Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
1,980.00 ft (603.50 m)
Trail type
Shuttle
Distance
21.40 mi (34.44 km)
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The Rim To Reno Trail is one of the more challenging trails in the Reno/Tahoe area, however, the variety of viewpoints and breathtaking panoramic vistas that the trail passes over the course of its 21.4 miles might surpass those of any other hiking routes in the vicinity.

The trail requires hikers to coordinate shuttling vehicles between the Mount Rose Summit Trailhead parking area and the Thomas Creek Trailhead parking area at Galena Creek Regional Park, or to arrange som sort of drop off. Those wanting to go the "easy" direction, from the high pont of Mount Rose to Galena Park will encounter about 1,980 feet of climbing, while descending into Upper Thomas Creek Canyon and its pine and aspen groves.

The more challenging option is beginning at Lower Thomas Creek and doing the more uphill direction, which will end with nearly 4900' of total climbing. (Those looking for the ultimate challenge can tack on heading to the peak of Mt. Rose Summit Trail which adds 3 miles of distance and an additional 1000' of climbing.)

Named for having endpoints on the Tahoe Rim Trail and the edge of development in South Reno, the Rim To Reno trail spends most of its distance along the western-facing slopes of Mount Rose and Snowflower Mountain traversing the Mount Rose Wilderness, before crossing a saddle into the Upper Thomas Creek Canyon, where freshwater spring locations are visible, and wildflowers and aspens add seasonal color to the landscape. On the western mountain slopes, one notices how virtually no other trails branch off, leaving this wilderness area pristine, and an ideal location for backcountry camping. 

Hikers encounter Galena Falls about 2.5 miles from the Mount Rose Summit trailhead, and a year-round stream flowing from a freshwater spring at 5.4 miles from the Summit trailhead, however there is no other water encountered until the trail drops beside Thomas Creek, located about 6 miles from the Lower Thomas Creek trailhead.

Wind and colder temperatures are features of the higher elevations of this hike. And the trail between the fork to the summit of Mount Rose and the switchbacks at the end of Thomas Creek Canyon will be almost entirely empty, and simple to follow. There are only two trail forks encountered between those points, so simple navigation will point you in the right direction.

The trail passes views west to the Sierra Crest, with panoramas of Northstar Ski Resort, Donner Lake, Castle Peak and Stampede Reservoir visible. High points along the trail overlook cascading mountain ranges to the east, with peaks hovering above peaks in a scenic display of Nevada's flowing topography.

Hikers should expect for this hike be snow free and accessible following prolonged periods of warmer months. Following heavy snow years, there can often be snow blanketing the northern slopes of Mt Rose and Snowflower Mountain well into August or September, making the footpath invisible. 

This is incredible backcountry accessible from both Tahoe and Reno, where one can expect to encounter few, if any, other people. The vistas may be unmatched in the area. However the narrow window of time that it can be hiked, and the distance between the start and end points will require a bit of planning and preparation.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Epic views, Few other people in the backcountry, Access to pristine backcountry camping

Cons

This is a HARD hike!, Limited water along the route

Trailhead Elevation

8,900.00 ft (2,712.72 m)

Highest point

9,770.00 ft (2,977.90 m)

Features

Vault toilet
Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Reno + East Lake Tahoe Area, Nevada
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California
Reno + East Lake Tahoe Area, Nevada

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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