We know where you’re guaranteed to hit the jackpot in Reno. Hunter Creek Falls. It’s a favorite of Reno locals, accessible year round, and especially good in the summer months when snowmelt gives extra gusto to the falls. The creek is surrounded by green foliage popping brightly against Reno’s rocky red hills.
Hunter Creek greets you just a few hundred yards from the trailhead. You’ll see many hikers hopping across stones and logs to get to the other side. Save yourself the wet socks and take the trail to the south (hiker’s left). The trail scrambles up a small hill before descending to the creek where a log helps you cross to the other side. From there the trail crawls up dry hills filled with rock outcroppings. It’s uphill all the way to the falls, but the climb is gradual. You’ll have to scurry across rocks in a few sections, but even as you pass rugged cliffs, you’ll be parallel to Hunter Creek, whose rushing water creates a beautiful soundtrack.
About a half-mile before the falls the scenery makes a drastic change as you wander into a pine-studded forest. There’s one last mighty log crossing before you reach the base of the falls. A fallen tree stands upright, cutting the 40-foot falls in half and creating a dramatic effect. Let the mist cool you off before starting your trek back.
Tip: Stop by The Sandwich Factory to bring some food to the falls and enjoy it there.
Always check water depth and flow to ensure safe passage. The trailhead is located at the end of Hunter Lake Rd. in Reno; the road dead-ends at the trailhead. Get an early start. This is a popular trail, and the parking lot fills up by 10 a.m. on weekends. Most of the trail is exposed, so make sure to bring sunscreen and a hat. Check the forecast before going and bring plenty of water. Dog-friendly!