Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
470.00 ft (143.26 m)
Trail type
4.90 mi (7.89 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.

In August of 2021, a Cessna 172G plane crashed in the hills above Reno. All three passengers walked away with no serious injuries, and today, the site of the plane crash remains an interesting hike in the hills near the town of Virigina City.

The hike itself follows rugged backcountry ORV roads. Gaining about 400 feet in elevation from the beginning of the hike to the plane crash site, where the remains of the small Cessna still sit. The hike traces dirt roads around the Virginia Highlands backcountry, curving around sage graced hills and through a scenic ravine. 

While there's a good chance that you'll encounter no other hikers or mountain bikers out here due to its remote location, the roads are open to capable off road vehicles, and you may be passed by a few, particularly on weekends.

The trail winds just under 2.5 miles out to the wreck site. While it follows roads that are clearly visible, there are a few forks, and no signage of any type located in this backcountry, so be prepared beforehand with navigation.

Hikers can often spot the wild Virginia herd of horses in this area. Upon cresting the last hill, Peavine Mountain and the cityscape of Reno come into view in the near distance. The remains of the plane wreck lie adjacent to the road, so you won't miss them. The site of an aviation wreck left behind in the hills is unique, and those who make the hike to reach it may find the surreal scene. After observing thewreckage, you can return the way that you came.

There are no amenities or signage of any kind at any point along the hike. 4WD is often necessary to reach the trailhead - a fork of several different roads and the furthest point that a car lacking lifted capable 4WD abilities can reach. Less capable vehicles may need to park and start their hike sooner than the trailhead, depending on conditions.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Unique destination. Few crowds.


ORV traffic on weekends.

Trailhead Elevation

5,570.00 ft (1,697.74 m)

Highest point

5,990.00 ft (1,825.75 m)


Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Suitable for

Motorized vehicles

Permit required




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