Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,023.00 ft (311.81 m)
Trail type
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
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The Hunter Creek Trail is a popular hiking and trail running destination due to its proximity to Reno and the 30-foot waterfall at the end of a consistent climb of just more than 1,000 feet.

This there-and-back trail is about 3 miles each way. The trail remains within view of the creek bed, which forms a riparian ribbon down an otherwise parched desert canyon.

The trail is clearly marked and easy to follow. At about 2 miles in the trail leaves the exposed dusty hillside for the cover of pine trees. Note that this trail is subject to seasonal extremes; expect sun and heat in the summer and snow and ice on the portion of the trail beneath the trees late into the winter. Come prepared for the conditions!

Soon after you begin the trail and climb out of view of Reno's skyline the sound of traffic is replaced by the sounds of running water and birdsongs. Plenty of hikers and runners use this trail, so expect to share the falls with others when you arrive. If you are willing to brave the heat or snow, you may have the falls and the shady grove of tall pines to yourself.

During the summer there is a small pool at the base of the falls that is perfect for a quick dip. During the winter, the ice formations on the falls form a stunning visual display in the frosty surroundings.

The hike itself has a moderate rating due to its long and consistant elevation gain and a few points where hikers must balance across makeshift bridges to cross the creek.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Close to the city. Shallow pool at the falls.


No shade.

Trailhead Elevation

4,979.00 ft (1,517.60 m)




Nearby Lodging + Camping

Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California


The crossing boards which lay over the creek will sometimes be washed away in the wet seasons. However, don't give up! You can still access a pretty out-and-back hike down the near side of the creek via one of the side trails off to the right.

Expect all textures of mud on the way - no problem if you pay attention to the path.
This trail is one of my "not too far from home" hikes! It's very easy to get to and the waterfall at the end is a nice surprise.

Make sure to bring sun protection because for most of this trail you are exposed to the sun. Some parts of the pine-tree area is prone to being really muddy and or icy, even when it's warmer out. Don't let that stop you, though.

You'll definitely want to bring water a snack. There are several stopping points, take advantage of them because the upwards climb can get tiring. Also, there's an area where the trail is a bunch of large rocks, so wear somewhat-thick shoes.

Last thing, if you plan on hiking later in the day watch out for rattlesnakes. I've ran into a couple on this trail.

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