Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
800.00 ft (243.84 m)
Trail type
4.30 mi (6.92 km)
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When the snow level drops enough, this route is easily accessible from a popular parking area in Galena Park along the lower portion of Mt. Rose Highway just outside of Reno, and rarely has any other people on it.

The route is actually an older portion of Mt. Rose Highway that became abandoned after the highway was rebuilt to handle more traffic. As such, the trail is wide, easy to follow, and follows a stable uphill grade over its 2.1 mile course. The hike is moderate difficulty, owing primarily to the stable incline that gains 800' in elevation over those 2 miles.

From the parking area, the trail can be accessed by crossing through the Manzanita Picnic Area and skirting the outside of the NDOT fence before reaching the former highway - now a forest road. Alternatively, you can carry your gear out of the Galena parking lot and through the NDOT lot, the path begins on a poorly marked road through the NDOT lot's south side.

While you'll likely have the former highway to yourself, during the first mile the modern highway route was built all of about 40 feet away and down a slope, meaning that you'll be seeing and hearing the traffic on the highway throughout the first half of the hike. Though at about the halfway point, the route turns a corner and begins heading west, with views first of Slide Mountain and then Mt Rose framing the trail. Little Washoe Lake and portions of Washoe Valley become visible as the trail gains in elevation. 

The trail comes to an end anticlimactically at the side of the highway. When the Christmas Tree restaurant stood, it was possible to cross the highway and head just a little bit further and stop in for a meal, though that option no longer exists and traffic can be pretty busy on the highway. So turning around and following your route back down is the best option these days. If wanting to stop for a break or a snack, the nicest portions of the route are just below the trail end.

Parking for the trek is located inside the Galena parking lot behind the Nevada Department Of Transportation building. The parking lot is open daily from 8am to 5pm, with the gate being closed and locked at 5 nightly. 

There is a bathroom and water inside Galena Park near the parking lot. There are no amenities of any kind along the hike itself.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass



Easy to follow trail. Wide views.


Highway noise. Limited parking lot hours. Anticlimactic ending.

Trailhead Elevation

6,250.00 ft (1,905.00 m)

Highest point

7,040.00 ft (2,145.79 m)


Big vistas
Flushing toilets
Potable water

Typically multi-day



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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