Beautiful hike but very wet from all the snow melt, waterproof boots definitely came in handy. There's a big stream crossing at the boulder field that everyone should be careful crossing.The stream is running VERY strong and fast.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Nice long forest road/trail with views of Washoe lake, Slide Mountain, Virginia range, and Mt Rose. Nice steady gain in elevation and pristine litter free forest. Trail ends at Country Road 12. It has some wild flowers and wild life as well but the main attraction is several gorgeous vistas of Washoe lake and Valley. Only saw one other person the whole day.

Hiked from Ophir trail head to Rock lake. (see my recording, made it a loop) Very challenging route, mostly snow the last third of the way. The entire route is covered by medium density pines... there's enough shade and enough sun. The snow was firm and walk-able. However, be very careful near the lake. I fell through the snow twice up to my armpits, and my feet were not touching the ground, some very large drops. I took a right turn on the way back to follow a trail on the south side of Ophir creek, some of the best views on this side of Mt rose.

The second half of the trail is mostly snow covered. Other parts of the trail have literally tuned into streams. It was my very first Snow Hike (without snow shoes) and loved it.

Some suggestions if you want to make it to the top...

* Nearly impossible with a GPS. Second half of trail is no marked at all. I used Alltrails on my iPhone and it worked great. I lost the trail a few times, but was able to get back on track easily.

* Don't attempt the upper half without waterproof hiking boots. You have to cross streams and walk in shallow water ponds in parts.

* There is a major stream crossing at the bolder field.

On the way down, I recommend turning where I put the marker "trail sign". It follows the south rim of the canyon down and has stunning views of the valley. If you take this way, the trail is very clear.

At the bottom, DO NOT follow my trail over the spillway. I ended up in someones backyard. Continue not he trail through the gate and turn left on the black top. Continue walking north on the road until you see where my trail goes left off the road. If follows a very nice path along the canal back to the trail head. This detour from the sign post turn was my favorite part of the hike. See the photos.