A Wonderland of Trails and Sights

Centered in the Truckee Meadows at the interface of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Great Basin Desert, Reno-Sparks is one of the most scenic metropolitan areas in the United States.

Sage, Christopher, Elizabeth and Juniper Barile
Photo by Sarah Ann Grant

The area is surrounded by beautiful and varied mountains in all directions. The hikes will take you past alpine lakes, snowy moraines, cragged outcroppings, verdant wetlands, stunning wildflowers, stark desert canyons, and sprawling sage. Most of the trailheads are within a thirty-five mile radius or about a one hour drive from downtown Reno and are accessible via low-clearance two-wheel-drive vehicles. Easy hikes that can be completed in a few hours are complemented by more strenuous hikes that make for all-day outings or backpacking trips, if desired. Clear route instructions are written with the average hiker in mind. Most of the hikes, however, are off the beaten path, and many of the routes combine various use trails and off-trail trekking to produce unforgettable trips uniquely designed by us.

Many of the routes we describe in our book do not appear in other regional hiking guides. These newly developed hikes are the culmination of many hours of studying topographic maps, analyzing land use profiles, and trial-and-error hiking. Many of the hikes include climbing to the top of peaks and although most people would certainly consider some of the hikes strenuous, we successfully summited all of the described peaks while carrying our infant and toddler children on our backs.

Each route description (in the book) is accompanied by an annotated topographic map, an elevation profile, and a brief summary of the natural and cultural history of the area. The Introduction provides an overview of the region and how to hike safely and comfortably in the area. The hikes are organized into ten geographical mountain regions: The Northeastern Sierras, the Petersen Mountains, the North Valleys, the Pah Rah Range, Truckee Meadows, Donner Pass, North Lake Tahoe, the Carson Range, the Virginia Range, and Carson City.

Starting in April, we will be posting monthly articles about some of our favorite hikes in the area, that we did not choose to include in our book BASE CAMP RENO: 101 HIKES FROM SAGE TO SNOW.

We welcome any comments that you might choose to make either about our upcoming book or specific experiences that you might have had on any of the hikes we will be writing about here.

We are looking forward to hearing from you. See you on the Trail!

Elizabeth and Christopher

Christopher and Elizabeth Barile

Christopher and Elizabeth Barile

Christopher and Elizabeth Barile have developed a passion for the natural world through hiking. They have hiked thousands of miles together while carrying their two young children on their backs. In addition to summiting over 150 peaks in the Greater Reno area, Christopher and Elizabeth have visited 40 U.S. national parks. Some of their other favorite outdoor activities include backpacking, camping, snowshoeing, and birding. Both Christopher and Elizabeth have advanced degrees in chemistry from Stanford University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Christopher is a chemistry professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Elizabeth is an artist and educator. "Base Camp Reno: 101 Hikes From Sage to Snow" will be in bookstores and everywhere online April 5, 2022.

One thought to “A Wonderland of Trails and Sights”

  1. I have been reading parts of the book whenever I have some free time. Excellent in-depth information about what to see and so on these 101 hikes.

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