Sometimes taking the back roads leads to a discovery. If you take the scenic route between Carson City and Reno, there are some cool places to hike. A great place to discover is Davis Creek Regional Park in Washoe Valley on Old U.S. 395 South.
This park has led to numerous explorations since finding it. It’s never too crowded, and the place offers a variety of activities depending on what you want to do.
There’s a campground, a pond to go fishing on or cruise around in a kayak. There’s a group picnic area that can accommodate a large gathering or there’s smaller private areas to have a picnic. You can go hiking and people come here to go horseback riding. It’s a nice shady area that can accommodate recreational activity in the summer heat.
Most of my time is spent on the hiking trails to immerse myself in nature. Relaxing in the picnic area is nice, but getting a few miles away from the road and setting up a hammock is a real joy.
Davis Creek offers hiking trails for every skill level. There’s a small nature trail that is a half-mile long. This trail has signs along the way as part of a self-guided tour that helps hikers learn about the plants that call Davis Creek home.
Another small easy trail is the Discovery Trail. This 1.5 mile trail includes part of the Nature Trail, but goes farther uphill just a bit. It’s a larger loop that shows more of the Davis Creek area without going too high in elevation. A part of the trail appears to split and go higher in elevation. While this is not an official part of the trail it does go on for a bit and offers some solitude and scenery.
The hard trail here is the Ophir Creek Trail. It’s a long one that can take you all the way to Mount Rose Highway. It’s a rough trail due to the elevation gain. There are parts that aren’t so bad, but when it goes up, it goes up fast. It is sure to test your endurance if you want to make it far.
If you’re not planning on doing the entire Ophir Creek Trail, it is worth it to get to where the stream crosses the trail. Early in the season, the creek is gushing with the fresh snowmelt. By this time of the year it has died down quite a bit, but it still is a lovely area. The landscape is unusual because a mudslide brought down tons of rocks from Slide Mountain. The slide occurred on May 30, 1983, bringing tons of rocks down with it. Boulders surround the creek, but it should have many plants there instead.
The trail offers wonderful views of Washoe Valley. A good place to end is Rock Lake — a peaceful spot with a unique landscape due to the slide. Large rocks surround the edges of the lake.
There are two more lakes before you hit Mount Rose Highway — Upper Price Lake and Lower Price Lake. It is difficult getting this far because the trail is not marked as well. One attempt in November put me in the wrong place due to the snow, so getting to Upper Price Lake and Lower Price Lake is still on the bucket list.