This year, instead of taking part in the mass consumer frenzy known as Black Friday, REI and Tahoe Trail Bar are urging YOU to #OptOutside on Friday, November 24th. We will be putting boxes of Tahoe Trail Bars at the trail heads of Hunter Creek Trail, Upper Thomas Creek Trail, and Mt. Rose Summit Trail to help fuel your journey that day! Be sure to tag #OptOutside and @TahoeTrailBar when sharing pictures from your outdoor adventures!
In 2015, REI launched an initiative to encourage people to spend more time outside by closing the doors to their retail locations, headquarters, and distribution centers across the nation on the Friday after Thanksgiving. A bold move for one of the nation’s largest outdoor retailers, their statement has been gaining traction within the outdoors community every year since. This year, REI activated their #OptOutside campaign with some compelling media that asks people to really consider the consequences of continuing to live out our lives indoors (link to REI’s video), compared against the benefits that could be gained if we collectively made an effort to redirect our lives back outside and into nature (link to REI’s report).
Whether you prefer to hike, ski, snowboard, fish, hunt, observe wildlife, or photograph nature, take some time with the people you love to explore all that the outside has to offer.
The Hunter Creek Trail is a popular hiking and trail running destination due to its proximity to Reno and the 30-foot waterfall at the end of a consistent climb of just more than 1,000 feet.
This there-and-back trail is about 3 miles each way. The trail remains within view of the creek bed, which forms a riparian ribbon down an otherwise parched desert canyon.
The trail is clearly marked and easy to follow. At about 2 miles in the trail leaves the exposed dusty hillside for the cover of pine trees. Note that this trail is subject to seasonal extremes; expect sun and heat in the summer and snow and ice on the portion of the trail beneath the trees late into the winter. Come prepared for the conditions!
Soon after you begin the trail and climb out of view of Reno’s skyline the sound of traffic is replaced by the sounds of running water and birdsongs. Plenty of hikers and runners use this trail, so expect to share the falls with others when you arrive. If you are willing to brave the heat or snow, you may have the falls and the shady grove of tall pines to yourself.
During the summer there is a small pool at the base of the falls that is perfect for a quick dip. During the winter, the ice formations on the falls form a stunning visual display in the frosty surroundings.
The hike itself has a moderate rating due to its long and consistent elevation gain and a few points where hikers must balance across makeshift bridges to cross the creek. Directions to the trailhead here.
From the often-crowded parking lot on Mount Rose highway, easily traverse the hillside with lovely flowers and grasses. Pass right under the steep slopes of Tamarack Peak on your left. Though forested, there are plenty of breaks in the trees to appreciate the view.
Head downhill for a while, pass a waterfall, and make your way towards Galena Creek. Many waterfalls and wildflowers grace the next section, and this is one of the more pleasant and easy sections of this hike.
And now for the hard part! Cross the second branch of Galena Creek and immediately start the climb up Mount Rose, which won’t let up until you hit the summit. In early to midsummer, this is one of the best places for wildflowers in all of Nevada, so make sure to take a break from the slog upwards.
Take a right when you get to the Rim to Reno Trail and take many switchbacks up the final climb to the summit. This section is strenuous, but the effort will all pay off at the top. Enjoy the stunning views of entire Tahoe basin! Once you’ve had your fill of the incredible scenery, head back the way that you came to return to the trailhead and your car. Learn more about this hike here.
Thomas Creek Trail is a favorite for fall foliage seekers! Accessed off Timberline Drive, this trail follows Thomas Creek, providing connection to the Dry Pond Trail at mile 1.5, or continue to the Mount Rose Wilderness at 3.9 miles. Along this trail you will find both Jeffrey Pine and aspen woodland habitat, and some amazing fall color! Get directions to this trailhead here.