Why A Web Site On Reno Trails?
Reno is unique. Many trails exist in and around Reno where people can hike,
jog, ride bikes or jeeps. Behind communities exist desert walks, hill side walks,
and even secretive valleys. In part, Reno-area trails are unusual because Reno is
near the transition between desert and alpine environments. When a trail changes
altitude, the plants change from desert bushes to alpine trees. In addition, if
water and some shelter from wind and sun is added, a grassland or even swampy
environment can be produced. Thus during some hikes, the plants change
from desert to grassland to swampy types. Further variation comes from the complex
geology that shapes the Reno-area and includes: granite mountains, volcanos, basaltic lava
flows, huge floods, springs/geysers, and glaciers. All this variation makes local
hikes remarkable and explains why my brother, Robert Hooper, spent 20 years documenting
these trails -- this web site is an attempt to publish his notes.
Robert's exact plans for these notes is uncertain. Did he plan to publish
them or just use them as notes for planning personal hikes? In my discussions
with his friends, one or the other of the views have been expressed sometimes adamantly.
However, Robert was still teaching at the University when he died and I suspect he had put off making
the publishing decision until after he retired and had more time to evaluate his notes.
Roberts notes are brief, concise, and often cryptic. He references over
120 trails in his database. Some entries duplicate other entries. Some trails have been
overtaken by development and are no longer useful. Some entries list
alternate routes and could considered more than one trail. In the final analysis,
his notes seem to refer to between 30 and 50 trails in the 50 mile area around Reno.
I encourage Reno and Nevada residents to preserve and document Reno-area trails.
Serious hazards exist along these trails. The trails are often not marked and are not
trails in a traditional sense. Getting lost is quite possible. Fall hazards exist -- cliffs,
pits, and old mines. Dangerous animals live in the area: poisonous snakes, coyotes, and wild cats.
Severe weather is a normal event in Reno: extreme heat in summer;
strong winter storms with significant snowfalls; and storms with high winds.
Precautions are a must when hiking these trails.