Monday, June 21, 2010

Jones Whites Loop Trail

The Jones Whites Loop Trail (JWLT) is a 9.2 miles loop trail accessing the Mount Rose Wilderness, the Upper Whites Creek and the Galena Forest area southwest of Reno, Nevada. If you are going to hike the loop clockwise, you'll start with a steep climb that takes about an hour until you reach scenic vista points and the junction to Church's Pond (see Fluctuating water level at Church's Pond). From here, the loop hike continues on in downhill mode, mostly through pine forest—with patches of aspen stands. The trail goes along steep slopes or through creeks and a few times you need to make it across downhill-rushing water. About a quarter of the loop trail follows the Upper Whites Creek. After passing the junction to Dry Pond (see Dry Pond is still wet), it is less than a mile to get to the junction at which you want to turn right to get back to from where you started. This final stretch, again, offers nice views and is always worth to be hiked back and forth by itself when you are not prepared for the whole loop or snowpacks at higher elevation are preventing you from doing the loop.

Hiking JWLT in late spring or early summer gives a good chance of seeing wildflowers such as squaw carpets, pussypaws, and snowplants.

Getting there from the picnic facilities in Galena Creek Regional Park
From the trailhead parking area at the northwestern part of the picnic area follow the trail signs, pass by the Bitterbrush Trail and the service road junctions until you reach the first “running water” point, across which you'll enter the loop.

Getting there from the Upper Whites Creek Trailhead
From the Upper Whites Creek Trailhead, which is located about one mile west of Timberlane Road, follow the trail along the creek, leisurely walking uphill until you reach the junction, from where you may want to turn left to do the clockwise tour or walk ahead to loop anti-clockwise.

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