The search for the best trails around Reno

Kelsey Middleton
5 min readApr 19, 2022

Kelsey Middleton reports on trails around Reno, rating them on difficulty and beauty.

The sun is out and the weather is warmer during the springtime in Reno. The trails around town are a great way to enjoy nature blooming and see squirrels and chipmunks scurrying around.

I am from Las Vegas and am here in Reno for my second year of college. Back home, I would go on a trail almost every weekend because I love to adventure and be outside. Reno has cooler weather so I was very excited to search for trails, hikes and walks I could do year round. Being outside helps my brain escape the maze of work from school and my job.

Three trails that aren’t too far from downtown are the Miners Trail to the “N,” Dorostkar Park Nature Trail and Silver Willow Trail. I used the “All Trails” app to search trails near me. The app gives directions to the trail through Apple maps and gives a good description of the trails. The app also has a feature where you can navigate the trail as you walk it to make sure you are on the right path. I ranked these trails on navigation, parking, difficulty, the view and the beauty from the ground.

In southwest Reno is Dorostkar Park. The park has multiple trails that go along the Truckee River. Photo by Kelsey Middleton.

#1 Dorostkar Park Nature Trail

Ten minutes away from the University of Nevada, Reno is a trail full right beside the Truckee River. The directions to get to Dorostkar Park Nature Trail were easy, correct and there was a small parking lot at the start of the trail.

High trees and bushes surrounding a thin dirt trail was where the trail began. There were small divots to venture off to get close to the river. A couple squirrels were running through this part of the trail. Further along, the path becomes pavement and leads to a bridge that crosses the river. This view from the bridge was the best part of the hike.

Next was a grassy walk close to train tracks where there was a small picnic table. A couple of people were walking their dogs but it was not crowded on a Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Part of the trail takes you near some houses and then it goes back to pavement to get to the parking lot.

The clear navigation for the 30 minute, easy trail made the experience relaxing. The view while going through the plants and at the bridge were amazing. Although there weren’t many flowers or pretty colors, the animals and river made up for it.

Northeast of downtown is the Miners Trail to the “N.” The trail is well known to college students, being just minutes away from campus. The views are what this trail is famous for because the N is toward the top of the hill. Photo by Kelsey Middleton.

#2 Miners Trail to the “N”

The trail with many trails. This hour-long trail turned into a closer to two hour trail.

On the app, it’s difficulty is ranked as easy but I would say it’s a medium. You start off by going a small slope down hill where you reach shallow water running through some rocks. From there on, it’s a steep walk up to the top. The steepness isn’t horrible but with the elevation gain, that’s what makes this trail a medium difficulty. I took some breaks on the steep part to catch my breath from the elevation gain.

Getting closer to the N, there is a small path that goes right to the bottom of the N. The app has you go further up and that takes you to the top of the N. I took the shortcut to the bottom but ended up walking alongside the N to the top.

The views from the lower elevation all the way to the top were incredible. No noise from the road was heard, just the birds chirping. There were pretty bushes and flowers at the top of the hill. However on the way back down, I found a trail that led inside a bundled up row of trees. There was water flowing in the middle of this bundle and signs to read about the area.​​ A small circle of white rocks to pick up and share was near a tree on the path. This trail, when followed going toward the road, leads to Rancho San Rafael Park. I did not take this whole trail but I will look to do it soon.

The hill with the N has many biking trails which were busy on a Saturday at noon. Lots of dog owners were doing the trail at this time too. With such a wide open area, the path did not seem crowded at all. The navigation was simple to follow and there was a lot of parking.

Although there were more places to adventure on this trail, the elevation of going uphill was more of a workout than I expected after reading it was ranked as easy.

A little further from downtown is the Somersett community. The Silver Willow Trail takes you on a wide paved path at the bottom of a hill. The best views are of houses and hills further away. Photo by Kelsey Middleton.

#3 Silver Willow Trail

There was nothing very exciting about this trail. The nature around the paved path was dull. In one spot, you could see a little bit of water and that was about it. The sound of birds, seeing the large houses on the hills and the view of the hills further away were the best part of the Silver Willow Trail.

It took about 45 minutes to walk this 1.7 mile out-and-back trail. It was easy to find and navigate. There was a big arrow on the pavement near the beginning of the trail that looked like it took you to another dirt path. I am interested in going back and following the arrow. The parking was just at the end of a cul de sac, but it wasn’t busy when I went on a Wednesday.