A quick walk down the street makes one thing abundantly clear: Spring has most definitely sprung in Reno and the surrounding mountains.
Along the Riverwalk and in yards and parks throughout town, lilac, Scotch Broom and flowering trees are in full bloom, adding color and perfume to the air. In the mountains and deserts, wildflowers are starting to share their colors too – a show that will bloom through the spring and early summer.
Take any of these top five wildflower treks and catch one of Mother Nature’s most spectacular showings of the year before they’re gone.
Wildflower spotting in town
Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, 1595 N. Sierra St.
Directions: Head north on Old 395/North Virginia Street, turning left on West Eighth Street after half a mile. Turn right on North Sierra, and the park will be on the left.
Ever a local favorite, Rancho San Rafael is in bloom with both manicured gardens and wild fields of flowers to explore.
Huffaker Hills Trail, South Reno
Directions: Heading east on South McCarran Boulevard, cross Longley Lane and take a right on Alexander Lake Rd. Follow the signs to the trailhead.
The nearly 2-mile loop through the Huffaker Hills trails has been blooming since April, with Beckwith's violet, larkspur and big head clover among the blossoms to be seen. A great hike for families and dog walkers, this easily-accessible trail is perfect for a morning or afternoon flower-spotting adventure with the family.
Wildflower day trips
Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Loop, Mount Rose Summit
Directions: From I-580 S, follow the two right lanes to take exit 56 for the Mount Rose Highway. Once you reach the summit, the trailhead is half a mile southwest and features a paved parking lot and bathrooms.
The meadows at Mount Rose’s summit are a popular spot year-round, but spring brings gorgeous color along the interpretive trail’s creeks and paths. This 1.2-mile trail is meant for all levels and ages and is wheelchair accessible.
Sagehen Creek, Truckee
Directions: Drive toward Truckee on Interstate 80 W, taking the Highway 89 exit north toward Sierraville. Roughly 7 miles north 89 is a bridge crossing the creek, and a small parking lot on the right with the trailhead.
This 5-mile round trip takes hikers to a large meadow bordering the Stampede Reservoir and back again, and along Sagehen Creek. Camas lilies, wild hyacinth and woolly mule ears all bloom throughout spring and early summer.
Lake Forest Beach, 2500 Lake Forest Road, Tahoe City
Directions: Start on Interstate 80 W to CA-89 S in Truckee. Take exit 185 toward Lake Tahoe, and follow it to CA-28 E/North Lake Boulevard to Lake Forest, and then to Bristlecone Avenue. The beach is at the end of Bristlecone.
You’ve undoubtedly seen friends post pictures on social media from a magical field of waist-high purple flowers, Lake Tahoe sparkling in the background. Don’t miss your chance to frolic in the gorgeous meadow this year and head up to Tahoe City to experience it firsthand. And don’t forget your camera to snap your own fairy-tale shots from the meadow.