Saturday, May 14, 2011

Brown's Creek Trail

Brown's Creek Trail (south of Reno, Washoe County, Nevada) consists of a 2.3-mile-long loop trail, leading up and down on both sides of Brown's Creek. The loophead is reached after a 1.2 mile uphill-hike from the trailhead at Joy Lake Road. This adds up to a total trail length of a little less than five miles. In addition to hiking, allowed use of the trail includes mountain biking, equestrian and snowshoeing.  

Brown's Creek belongs to the family of parallel creeks such as Galena, Jones, Whites and Thomas Creek that run down—west-to-east—from the Mt. Rose Wilderness into the lower-elevation Galena/Reno area. 

The trail passes through pine forest with an understory of manzanita, sagebrush and bitterbrush as well as squaw carpet on the ground. My favorite stretch of trail passes through the riparian creek habitat, where aspen groups and dry-slope flora meet each other. Various species of birds and butterflies visit plants next to the running creek in spring. Patches of low-growing, white- and pink-flowered phlox can be found at many locations during this time of the year through summer.

Getting to the Brown's Creek Trailhead

Coming from Reno on State Route 431 (Mount Rose Highway), after passing the right-turn to the Galena Creek Visitor Center, turn left on Joy Lake Road. Follow this road through Galena neighborhoods, drive carefully over all the speed bumps and pass the bridge over the Lower Galena Creek Trail. After about 1.5 miles south from State Route 431, the trailhead is clearly marked by a welcome-sign. Parking is to your left and the trail is found across the street, starting out in southwest direction before it turns south toward the loophead and a vista point, which feature a bench and an interpretative panel informing about a short-lived ghost town attraction at nearby Joy Lake.

1 comment:

gpunchard said...

Pleasant hike; just under 5 miles with moderate inclines. Nice views of the valleys and Slide Mountain, and enough shade to get out of the sun.