Mount Rose Wilderness Trails
Hike and Trail
Mount Rose Wilderness
The Mount Rose Wilderness is truly an urban wilderness with portions of its boundary running almost to the Reno city limits. Some well-known trails and areas in the wilderness are heavily used due to this proximity to the city. Other portions of the wilderness contain little-visited meadows and small lakes, which are as wild and remote as any wilderness with solitude for the city dweller only minutes from their front door.
Trails and Access
Access to the Mount Rose Wilderness is via:
The Mount Rose Trail (6 mi). Located off of Hwy. 431 near the summit.
Jones/Whites Creek Trail (8 mi. loop). Trailhead is located at the north entrance to Galena Creek Park.
Thomas Creek Trail (3 mi.). Trailhead is located at the end of Thomas Creek Road.
Hunter Creek Trail (2 mi.). Trailhead is located in Caughlin Ranch Estates.
The Mount Rose Trail is the most traveled trail in the Mount Rose Wilderness, receiving use of over 100 visitors per day and over 200 visitors per day on a weekend. The trail offers spectacular views of Lake Tahoe; however, for a more primitive wilderness experience, venture off on the Thomas Creek Trail. This difficult six-mile hike to the summit of Mount Rose starts on a dirt road and climbs to 9,400 feet where a trail goes another two miles to 10,776 feet atop Mt. Rose. The trailhead is located off Hwy 431, Mount Rose Hwy, at the road maintenance station. The summit offers a spectacular view of Lake Tahoe and Reno and even as far as Mount Shasta on clear days.
The U.S. Forest Service recently completed new trailheads accessing the Mount Rose Wilderness: a large asphalt parking area, with ample room for horse trailers, was built at the base of the Thomas Creek trail.
The Dry Pond Trail climbs into the Mount Rose Wilderness and connects with Thomas Creek from the east. You can reach the trailhead via Timberline Drive about two miles east of Galena Creek Park along the Mount Rose Highway. Turn north on Timberline, and drive about a mile, then left to the trailhead.
The Jones/Whites Loop Trail is the second left after crossing the creek farther north along Timberline Drive. The trailhead now has a parking lot and bathrooms. This trail accesses beautiful forests, creeks and the Mount Rose Wilderness.
The Ophir Creek trail climbs up the southeast side of Slide Mountain. Park at Davis County Park in Washoe Valley, off of old 395. The trail climbs the Ophir Creek drainage, jumps the stream, leads to Rock Lake, past the remains of Upper and Lower Price Lake (destroyed by a landslide; hence the name: Slide Mountain) and on to Tahoe Meadows on the Mount Rose Highway.
For information on any of these trails, call the U.S. Forest Service Carson Ranger District at (775) 882-2766.