Why A Web Site On Reno Trails?

Reno is unique. Many trails exist in and around Reno where people can hike, jog, ride bikes or jeeps. Behind communities exist desert walks, hill side walks, and even secretive valleys. In part, Reno-area trails are unusual because Reno is near the transition between desert and alpine environments. When a trail changes altitude, the plants change from desert bushes to alpine trees. In addition, if water and some shelter from wind and sun is added, a grassland or even swampy environment can be produced. Thus during some hikes, the plants change from desert to grassland to swampy types. Further variation comes from the complex geology that shapes the Reno-area and includes: granite mountains, volcanos, basaltic lava flows, huge floods, springs/geysers, and glaciers. All this variation makes local hikes remarkable and explains why my brother, Robert Hooper, spent 20 years documenting these trails -- this web site is an attempt to publish his notes.

Robert's exact plans for these notes is uncertain. Did he plan to publish them or just use them as notes for planning personal hikes? In my discussions with his friends, one or the other of the views have been expressed sometimes adamantly. However, Robert was still teaching at the University when he died and I suspect he had put off making the publishing decision until after he retired and had more time to evaluate his notes.

Roberts notes are brief, concise, and often cryptic. He references over 120 trails in his database. Some entries duplicate other entries. Some trails have been overtaken by development and are no longer useful. Some entries list alternate routes and could considered more than one trail. In the final analysis, his notes seem to refer to between 30 and 50 trails in the 50 mile area around Reno. I encourage Reno and Nevada residents to preserve and document Reno-area trails.

Serious hazards exist along these trails. The trails are often not marked and are not trails in a traditional sense. Getting lost is quite possible. Fall hazards exist -- cliffs, pits, and old mines. Dangerous animals live in the area: poisonous snakes, coyotes, and wild cats. Severe weather is a normal event in Reno: extreme heat in summer; strong winter storms with significant snowfalls; and storms with high winds. Precautions are a must when hiking these trails.