Hunter Creek Falls

P1000768 (640x527)In our first hiking post on the Brown’s Creek trail, we mentioned another early season, dry trail on the east side of the Carson Range, Hunter Creek Falls.  From Tahoe, you take Hwy 80 to Reno, get off on W. 4th Street near Mogul, turn right on Mayberry Rd., right on Plateau Rd., and right again on Woodchuck.  In 0.6 miles at the end of Woodchuck you reach the Michael D. Thompson trailhead.
This moderate, seven mile out-and back trail gains 1,450′ in elevation.
Although not hard to follow, this trail is not well maintained, and can be rough, rocky, eroded, and poorly graded in spots, but none of that should deter you from reaching your ultimate goal of Hunter Creek Falls.  In the springtime you will constantly be serenaded by the sound of cascading water. 
Most of this trail is in the sun, and it can get warm or even hot during the middle of the day and in the afternoon, so carry plenty of water if you hike during these times.  However, the area around the falls is cool and shady, with surrounding Ponderosa Pines, White Fir, and Incense Cedar. The sagebrush covered slopes at the beginning of the hike provide home for a number of wildflowers, including Desert Peach, Storksbill, Daggerpod, Brown’s Peony, Silver Lupine, and Humbolt River Milkvetch to name a few.
P1030134 (640x480)Finally, a cautionary note for those who love isolation and solitude. This trail, being so close to the large Reno metropolitan area and with its increasing popularity, can be extremely busy on weekends during the middle of the day, and is popular with dog lovers. 
One Sunday, I saw over 100 people on the trail, and there were 20+ dogs near the falls.  It was surprisingly like a local version of the Kennel Club of Philedelphia National Dog Show without the structure and obedience. So if possible, choose an early morning week day to truly appreciate the beauty of this area.   Happy hiking, Tom

“These beautiful days must enrich all my life … they saturate themselves into every part of the body …”   John Muir