Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Thomas Creek Trail leading through a golden tunnel of quaking aspens

Quaking aspen trees often grow in communal groves near creeks or streams. Thomas Creek southwest of Reno, Nevada, is such an environment. Easily accessible, nature lovers and recreationists flock to the lower section of the Thomas Creek Trail to enjoy the yellow-golden stands of aspens during the early fall season. As part of the recently established Rim to Reno Trail (Rim2Reno, Reno2Rim, RtR), this single-track way follows the scenic creek upstream through a canyon and across hillsides toward RtR's upper portion to invite exploration of the Mount Rose Wilderness. As you hike and ascend, the shimmering aspen leaves might propel you on and make you forget the many miles you will face to reach the rim.

From various vista points you will see patches of brownish-yellow aspen groves within the forested creeks and valleys of the Carson Range. But walking right through an aspen grove, shedding its golden leaves in fall, is special: you won't see the light at the end of the tunnel—instead, you will see the light in the midst of the tunnel.

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