Construction of the long-awaited Rim to Reno Trail System began October 16, 2010. For the past several years, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association and project partners, including United States Forest Service-Carson Ranger District, Great Basin Institute and Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space, have surveyed the area, secured permits and mapped out the route of the new trail system.
The Tahoe Rim Trail circles the mountain ridges above Lake Tahoe and runs through the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s Mount Rose Wilderness. The Rim to Reno project will build new trail segments connecting the existing trails in the vicinity of Mount Rose and creating a new system that includes loop trails along with the connector trail to Reno. The new system will reduce resource damage by closing user-created routes and preventing users from creating new routes outside of the designated trail system. The completed trail system will total more than 20 miles of new trail.
The Mt. Rose Summit Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail have seen a dramatic increase in popularity since the trailhead at the Mount Rose Welcome Plaza, was completed in 2004. One of the goals of the new trail system is to provide quality recreation opportunities while minimizing impacts and reducing the potential for wilderness use conflicts. New trail connections and loop trail opportunities will help to disperse the increasing numbers of trail users.
This project would not have been possible without funding provided by the State of Nevada Question 1 Fund, which seeks to improve and increase recreational opportunities in Nevada. The Tahoe Rim Trail Association (TRTA) administered the grant and worked with the U.S. Forest Service to complete the environmental analysis. TRTA volunteers also made the project possible by designing and laying out the trail route.
“This has been a long process, working with the public to design a trail system that reduces impacts to the natural and cultural resources, yet provides improved access to this beautiful area,” said Mary Bennington, Executive Director of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association. “We are very excited that this project is getting started; eager crew leaders and volunteers are ready to link the Tahoe Rim Trail to Reno,” added Bennington.
The new trail system will be accessible through the Mt. Rose Summit Trailhead, U.S. Forest Service’s Thomas Creek and White’s Creek Trailheads, and Washoe County’s Galena Creek Regional Park, Lower White’s Creek and Lower Thomas Creek Trailheads. Ultimately, the trail system will be accessible from other Washoe County Trailheads, including the new Ballardini Trailhead, which is scheduled for completion in 2011.