6 great local hikes to take this winter
Staying active during the winter months can be a challenge, but it’s so important for both your physical and mental health. Though there are plenty of indoor gym options to keep your heart pumping, getting outside and into the fresh air to exercise can boost your mood, and a quick hike is the perfect way to work off those post-holiday indulgences. Luckily for us, the Reno area has plenty of hiking options for those looking to get outdoors for a fast workout while (mostly) avoiding the snow.
Check out these local winter hiking spots that won’t require special snow gear.
East Keystone Canyon
This well-groomed, climbing, canyon trail will take you up through East Keystone Canyon and to the ridge above the N, where you’ll be met by glorious views of the entire valley. East Keystone Canyon is easily navigable even with a little snow on the ground, and is an especially great trail for dogs. To find the trailhead, take North McCarran Boulevard to Leadership Parkway, where you’ll see the parking lot on the right.
Hunter Creek Trail
Though it can get slippery if there’s been a recent snowfall, this moderate-to-difficult trail rewards hikers with a stunning frozen waterfall as the payout. The Michael D. Thompson Trailhead leading to the Hunter Creek Trail is located above Mayberry Drive off Woodchuck Circle.
Tom Cooke Trail
Also in the hills above Mayberry Drive is the Tom Cooke Trail, a 3.9-mile look through the foothills. Points of interest include the Hole-in-the-Wall, a literal hole through a hill that will be cascading with water during the winter months, as well as an old concrete airmail marker. This is a great trail for both dogs and older kids, though the trek up the hill at the beginning can be a little strenuous. Find the trail above the Patagonia Outlet by starting at the trailhead lot off Woodland Avenue.
Hidden Valley Regional Park
With multiple trails of various lengths and difficulty levels, Hidden Valley Regional Park has options for those looking for both a tough hike, or a meandering stroll. One of the biggest bonuses of these trails: encountering herds of the wild horses for which Hidden Valley has become known. The park entrance can be found off West Hidden Valley Road, 4740 Parkway Drive.
Cross Peak Trail
A little-known gem of a trail, Cross Peak can be tricky to find, as there’s no marked trailhead to the peak itself, but the hike is worth the search. Many off-shoot trails mean tons of variation and exploring for repeat hikers, and summiting gets you a beautiful view of the city. Take Caughlin Parkway followed by a right on Sawbuck, and finally a left on Bitteroot Road to find street parking. The hike to Cross Peak begins on the Steamboat Ditch Trail.
For urban hikers, the Truckee Riverwalk has both gorgeous scenery, paved paths (great for strollers that can’t handle off-roading on the rougher trails), and places to stop for a hot cup of coffee or pastry along the way. Many entrance points from Idlewild Park down to Wingfield Park mean tons of trail options, and exploring the various parks as you come to them makes the Riverwalk an even more fun, family-friendly option.