The Huffaker Hills Trailhead is the parking and entrance point to a collection of trails that traverse the rolling terrain made of up of a cluster of volcanic buttes. The trails offer a breath of fresh air as well as panoramic views of the Reno metropolitan area.
Though they share a parking lot with the short but challenging ascent to the top of Rattlesnake Mountain, the Huffaker Hills Trails offer several connecting loops and a more moderate slope, making it a more comfortable hike for all abilities. Hikers will also find two peaks with scenic overlooks at the summits.
From the signs and tables at the trailhead, a sharp left leads to the Reservoir Overlook Loop, a 0.8-mile trail that climbs gradually up the eastern slope of the Huffaker Hills. A few signs elaborate on the natural and man-made history of the area as the trail climbs slightly and offers a fork to the Twin Peaks Loop.
Currently the Twin Peaks Loop is a well-worn spur to the top of the higher of the two peaks, which stands at an elevation of 5,030 feet. A bench sits at the top, allowing hikers to sit and take in the view of the entire Washoe Valley. From here, a less-defined trail heads northwest to the second of the Twin Peaks. The loop trail and more interpretive signs are in the planning stages, though for now you can follow a singletrack footpath that has been worn to the second peak before meeting back up with the Reservoir Lookout Trail.
The Western Loop Trail joins the Reservoir Lookout Trail as a middle fork entering from the trailhead. This 1-mile loop zigzags as it descends to a jeep road between two buttes before looping around and climbing back toward the trailhead. This is the least scenic of the three loops, though it is popular with trail runners and mountain bikers due to its terrain.
During the spring, the higher and sunnier portions of the Huffaker Hills can be covered in purple and gold sheets of wildflowers. Largeflower hawksbeard, buckwheat, hooker balsamroot and biscuitroot blossoms create pools of gold that contrast with the green grass and smaller purple blue flax blossoms that appear to paint the surface of the buttes. More sporadic are bursts of great basin violet, the white collections of tidy tips and the red to white orbs of big-head clover that grow here under the right conditions.
Due to its central location and varying degrees of hikes, Huffaker Hills is a popular spot for trail runners, mountain bikers, dog walkers and hikers, so expect to see others on the trails.
Washoe County Parks rules apply, and the trails are closed from sunset until sunrise. Trash, covered picnic benches and an outhouse are near the parking area, but the area has no water.