Rattlesnake Mountain is a short and steep climb up one of a series of volcanic buttes located a few miles south of downtown Reno.
Standing at the intersection of an urban development, quiet ranch properties lying along winding roads, and a manmade reservoir sitting at the base of the mountains bordering Reno's eastern fringe, the 1.6-mile round-trip hike to the top of Rattlesnake Mountain takes walkers up a trail that becomes moderately steep over the 400-foot gain to panoramic views of the entire Reno metro area. Capped with a beacon for the airport located only a few thousand feet away, the air up here tends to be punctuated by the roar of airplane engines as they climb through the air not far from the mountain's peak. These occasional sonic interruptions, however, are made up for with the trail's views of the downtown casinos stretching to Mount Rose and the Carson Range.
The trail shares a parking area with the Twin Peaks Hiking Loop at Huffaker Hills Park, which offers slightly lower peaks for those not up for the steep climb up this trail. That said, it is not uncommon to see other hikers and even some trail runners making their way up the trail.
An outhouse and trash cans are available in the parking area. Trails fall under the jurisdiction of Washoe County Parks and are open from sunrise to sunset daily. Dogs are allowed on trails on leash, and though bicycles and horses are also allowed, the rough and loose gravel on hardpan dirt trails tends to keep the numbers of either down. Also, the area can be very hot and shadeless during the summertime.
Note that some previous parking areas have been decommissioned, and the Huffaker Hills Park parking area is currently the primary parking area and trailhead for this climb.