Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
1,040.00 ft (316.99 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
7.20 mi (11.59 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Lower Whites Creek Trail follows the course of the creek from a neighborhood city park near the bottom of Mt Rose Highway uphill to a nondescript trailhead just across from the entrance to Galena Creek Regional Park at the base of the mountains.

Beginning in Whites Creek Park, a city park tucked away in a neighborhood, the Lower Whites Creek Trail parallels the creek, following an uphill path that is very popular amongst dog walkers, trail runners and the occasional mountain biker. While the trail tends to be hardpacked dirt, it weaves and meanders, with small climbs and drops, though most people should be able to do the hike. 

The creek is lined on either side with Galena area homes, a mix of old homes on sprawling properties and a constant hum of new constructions as land in this part of Reno tends to be subdivided for new houses. While the creek tends to be contained by dense brush, the trail has occasional spurs to its side, along with a few wooden footbridge crossings.

Over the 3.6 mile course to the top, the trail crosses three residential roads, the lowest of which is on a blind turn, so hikers should be very aware of cars driving quickly through here.

As the trail climbs higher, views of Mt Rose summit and the landscapes of Galena Creek Regional Park open up, as well as views across Reno toward Geiger Grade and the mountains around Virginia City to the east.

The trail is fairly basic. Near the upper trailhead at Timberline Drive, there are a few more creekside boulders and large pines to sit beneath. From the upper trailhead, a quick cut to the southwest will take hikers to the Upper Whites Creek Trail and parking for Galena Park. Following Timberline Drive for a half mile to the north will lead to the trailheads for Upper and Lower Thomas Creek trails.

An out and back over the entire trail covers 7.2 total miles, however it's easy to turn around at any point of the hike. There are no amenities of any kind along the hike except for trash cans at Whites Creek Park. The Whites Creek Park parking lot is open daily from 6am until sunset.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Vast scenery.

Cons

Dog waste along trail. Difficult road crossings.

Trailhead Elevation

5,030.00 ft (1,533.14 m)

Highest point

5,930.00 ft (1,807.46 m)

Features

Big vistas
Family friendly
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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