Hiking and exploring back roads around Reno

Last Sunday we visited the Donner Party Museum at Donner Memorial State Park right off of Interstate 80 west of Truckee.  During the winter of 1846-47 a group of emigrants (The Donner Party) was trapped by snow on Donner Pass. The museum tells the story of the group and what happened to them. We watched the film in the museum, walked the short nature walk which goes by the site of one of their cabins, and visited the memorial.

From Donner Pass we decided to take back roads home to Reno. Heading north on 89 from Interstate 80 We turned east on Hobart Mills Road and then left on Dog Valley Road which eventually comes to Stampede Reservoir. We drove over Stampede Dam and stopped to have a look. It is a earth fill dam on the Little Truckee River completed in 1970. From Stampede Dam we took Henness Pass Rd back into Nevada. Except for some of the roads around the reservoir all of the roads after we turned off 89 were fairly good dirt roads. Duke and I love to explore back roads. It was fun to add this to our list of adventures.

Last week we also did two hikes with the Sierra Canyon hiking group. Coincidentally the first hike was also to Stampede Reservoir. It was a short pleasant hike along Sage Hen Creek to the west end of the reservoir. The trail-head was on the east side of highway 89 north of where we turned off for our drive on Sunday. The walk along the creek to the lake was mainly shaded and flat. The water level in the lake seemed fairly low. We walked out to the edge of the water and then back into the trees where we had lunch before heading home. I think the whole hike was about 4 miles.

The Sierra Canyon hiking group does an easier hike on Mondays and a longer hike on Thursdays. Our hike last Thursday was probably about 8 miles long. It was the first hike that Duke and I have done on the south east side of Reno. The hike was on the east side of the Mount Rose Wilderness. We parked at the trail-head on Timberline Road off the Mount Rose Highway. Heading up we hiked along Thomas Creek over a ridge and then down Whites Creek. In addition to being a longer hike than Monday’s hike there were also a lot more ups and downs. Both Thomas and Whites Creeks had quite a bit of water in them and were very scenic.

I thoroughly enjoyed both hikes. I didn’t take any pictures on our Monday hike but here is one I took at our lunch stop on Whites Creek on Thursday.