Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
415.00 ft (126.49 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
5.30 mi (8.53 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 Pinyon Trail is set amongst a variety of outdoor roads, tracks and trails on the outskirts of the city of Gardnerville. Set on an expansive area of Bureau of Land Management land, the Pinyon Trail sees few visitors owing to its remote location. And while the hike itself isn't especially scenic, the mild grade and meandering course that opens up to wide views of the Pine Nut Mountains to the east and the epic Sierra Nevada-dominated skyline - stretching from Jobs Peak to Mt. Rose - to the west.

With a typical grade of around 5%, hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians all make use of the trail. The dirt path meanders through sage, juniper and piñion pines, following a lollipop route where it makes little difference if it is hiked in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction once hitting the fork.

Views to the south show evidence of a 2020 wildfire that burned much of the landscape surrounding the trail area, but spared the trail itself. With only about 350 feet of elevation gain, the towns of Gardnerville and Minden can be seen in the near distance. Signs mark where ORV tracks intersect with the hiking trail. 

Overall, while there is no real moment of 'ahhhhhh' on the Pinyon Trail, it is a good example of a well-marked and maintained escape into the hills where the lack of other people will likely offer you a mostly quiet afternoon hike with views of the mountainous landscape encapsulating the area.

Aside from a sign board, there are no amenities of any kind at the trail, and very little shade. Plan accordingly.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Expansive views.

Cons

No shade.

Trailhead Elevation

5,702.00 ft (1,737.97 m)

Highest point

6,053.00 ft (1,844.95 m)

Net Elevation Gain

350.00 ft (106.68 m)

Features

Family friendly
Horseback riding
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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