Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rock Lake off Ophir Creek Trail

Rock Lake is a shallow lake southeast of Slide Mountain in Nevada. The lake can be accessed via a side trip while hiking and climbing Ophir Creek Trail, which connects Davis Creek Regional Park in Washoe County with Tahoe Meadows and the Mt. Rose Wilderness. Rock Lake is a little more than three miles away from the Ophir Creek Trailhead in Davis Creek Park. After crossing Ophir Creek, half-way from the trailhead, the trail bends back, follows the creek for a while on its south side in eastward direction and bends again, ascending westward through channels and forest. Along the rocky ledges and slopes, creeping penstemon mats—displaying their tubular purple-red flowers—can be found during late spring.  

The “lake junction” of Ophir Creek Trail is well marked: The half-mile Rock Creek Trail branches off to the north through dense forest and shrubs. The main trail continues as directed by the sign for the Price Lakes. The latter lakes are still 1.5 miles away.

Rock Lake is surrounded by forest, a few grassy patches and boulders. Rocks are also spread out over various areas of the lake. Its name is justified! Carefully hopping these rocks into central parts of the lake brings you close to the pads of yellow water lilies, which cover the open lake surface: Rock Lake becomes “Lily Pond.”

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