Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hanging Out in Reno, A Place of Contrasts

We're spending a week in Reno, NV. Why Reno?, you might ask. We are both city-born and lived dozens of years in San Diego so we have an appreciation for cities and enjoy exploring them. Back roads and back country are our favorite landscapes, but we like to throw in a little variety here and there. This will be our last big city before we head into the small towns and quiet spaces of Northern CA and Eastern OR.

Reno probably hates this description, but it really does seem like Las Vegas' little sibling. Casinos abound and the whole party lifestyle that goes along with them, and the pawn shops and homelessness too. The city works hard to make it a pleasant place to visit and there are some interesting sights here and there...and that's our job as retired, fulltime RVers: to seek out the funky, interesting things each place we visit has to offer.

The Truckee River runs right through downtown Reno, making it the town beach on a sunny day!

The bus depot even has some fun art!

Great mural harking back to the old days in Reno.

Every old town in the West has at least one elaborate old church!

Even though we appreciate and enjoy cities, we do love the peace and quiet of the outskirts of any town. And one of the great things about Reno is it's proximity to the Eastern Sierras and Lake Tahoe. With the temps pushing 80 it was time to head for the hills. We chose a six mile loop hike at about 9,000 feet, using the Mt Rose Summit Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail. Fortunately we keep extra jackets, gloves and ear bands in the truck because when we arrived at the trail head it was 46 degrees and windy, something we hadn't fully considered before we left the RV!

Early on the trail we had an amazing view of the snow capped Sierras in the distance
with Lake Tahoe in front (and blending in to the mountains!) and Tahoe Meadows below us.

As we headed around the North side of the mountain we encountered a lot of snow!

At just about halfway we reached pretty Galena Creek Falls. 

The view from the top of the falls was wonderful!
Mt Rose and views into Reno in the distance, a colorful meadow below us.

This little beggar came very close looking for a handout.

Beyond the falls we encountered a great deal of snow. Hans is searching for footprints.
Fortunately someone who knew the trail had recently passed through ahead of us.

Our lunchtime view.

As we wrapped around the South side of the mountain Lake Tahoe came into view again.

This was an excellent hike in the mountains with only 500 feet of elevation gain. You can also hike to the top of Mt Rose which reaches 10,776 feet and is a ten mile round trip.

We are staying at the Grand Sierra Resort Casino. They have a rather large RV park right along the Truckee River (and its bike path). We're really enjoying their very pleasant pool facilities. More exploring ahead...


  1. Reno is a fun choice for city-exploring (San Diego sets the bar pretty high). The A/C came on in the house just as I read you were at the top of the falls - literally felt like I was right there with you :-))))))). Enjoy the pool while you can!!

    1. With the wind blowing it was quite cold on the hike...but a welcome respite from the city heat.

  2. I like your job description -- "seeking out interesting and funky places, wherever you go." Eric and I love the backcountry wilds, but it seems we equally enjoy quirky little towns and interesting cities. Another beautiful hike you shared with us! We're heading that direction in a couple of weeks -- I could do without the snow, though.

    1. When the temps are in the 80's the snow is mighty nice! Though a bit treacerous to walk on !

  3. Couldn't stay in the city for very long could you:) I do believe we would have headed out for that gorgeous hike also!!

    1. You know me well, don't you! The city is fine for a while, but I really do need to be out in nature!

  4. Looks like a beautiful hike. Glad you found your way on the trail. Isn't it fun seeking out areas where one is able to find such varying temperatures?

  5. It is always interesting reading other peoples perspective on a city, like Reno which I have visited several times and learn something new. Most especially the hike that you did for I don't think in my previous life I would think of hiking when visiting Reno :)

    If you like cars/autos, I recommend checking out the National Automobile Museum.

    1. I couldn't stand spending the entire week IN the city of Reno, had to get out to the pretty mountains to soothe the soul!

  6. So nice to have a blending of big city and yet have wilderness close by to get a nature fix. Looks like a great trail, even with the snow.

  7. Your posts about this area have inspired me to schedule a stay in Carson City. I always thought I'd avoid this part of the country (most of Nevada) but it just goes to show that our preconceptions about places really need to be shaken up. Or stirred.