Mt. Rose Wilderness
Mt. Rose Wilderness is Reno’s backyard wilderness playground, a slice of wild country nestled between the two urban environments of Reno and Lake Tahoe. It contains most of the high country of the Carson Range between Highways I-80 and 431. Outdoor recreational opportunities abound here from hiking, backpacking, backcountry skiing and snowboarding, and horseback riding. Popular trails through the wilderness is hiking to the top of Mt. Rose, the highest mountain of Washoe County at 10,785 ft, as well as the Hunter Creek Trail which takes you into the heart of the sloping foothills of the Sierras and deposits hikers to a beautiful waterfall. For those more adventurous and seeking solitude, hikers can traverse through the backcountry to come across numerous lakes, ridges, and alpine forests.
This wilderness is an ecological transition zone between the Sierra Nevada to the west and the Great Basin to the east, having plants and animals common to both areas. There are about 25 miles of trails within the wilderness. A wide variety of terrain is included in this wilderness, from mountain meadows to lush canyon bottoms. The rugged terrain around Mt. Rose ranges from 6,400 feet along the canyon bottoms to 10,776 feet at the summit. Open meadow lands, several peaks over 10,000 feet, and ridges affording views as far as Mt. Shasta (200 miles to the northwest) are found here. Wildlife includes deer, black bears, mountain lions and raptors..
The Mount Rose Wilderness is divided into two units by the Hunter Lake jeep road. The northern portion is the Hunter Creek unit consisting of Hunter Creek Canyon and is 5,000 acres in size. The southern portion is the Mount Rose unit and at 23,000 acres contains most of the major canyons and ridges as well as the 10,776-foot Mount Rose, the dominant feature of the wilderness.
Wildlife: Mountain Beaver, Snowshoe Hare, Gray Jay, Black Bear, Paintbrush Checkerspot, Striped Skunk, Common Raccoon, Hoary Bat, American Marten, Townsend’s Solitaire, Pygmy Nuthatch, Orange-crowned Warbler