Fabulous Fall Color Near Reno

Taking a walk on a streamside trail while you’re serenaded by the sound of the water is ordinarily a peaceful experience. When the stream is surrounded by gold and orange aspens in the fall, it becomes even more serene. Colorful leaves flutter into the water, making the stream look even prettier than usual. 

That was the case on Sunday, October 15 when we hiked up the Thomas Creek Canyon trail near Reno. The autumn color there was at peak at around 75%. 

Autumn Color at Galena Creek Park, 10-15-23, Patrick Wilkes

Since there hasn’t been much wind and the weather’s been warm, the color should look lovely there for the weekend of October 21 and into at least part of the coming week. You also may find splashes of color on other trails at Galena Creek park. 

Mountain Mahogany and Fall Color on Thomas Creek Trail, 10-15-23, Patrick Wilkes

The combination of mountain mahogany trees with the colorful aspens reminded me of the fall scenery at Great Basin National Park.

Fall color near Reno
Fall foliage on Thomas Creek Trail, 10-15-23, Patrick Wilkes

As you’re driving up Timberline Drive to the trailhead you also get a great view of the residential neighborhood and golf course of Montreux, where the maples and other trees were approaching peak on October 15. 

If You’re Going

To reach Thomas Creek Trail, drive up Mount Rose Highway from Reno. Look for Timberline Drive on the right side of the road, across from Montreux. Note that Thomas Creek Trail does not start from the Galena Creek Visitor Center up the road, like other trails at the park.

Take Timberline Drive to the signed turn off for Thomas Creek Trailer Parking on the left. You can park there at the turn off, especially if you have a sedan as the road leading to the trailer parking is kind of rough in spots. If you have a 4×4 or AWD with higher clearance, there are some parking spaces along the road with side trails leading to the main trail along the creek. 

There’s a good map of Thomas Creek Trail and other trails at Galena Creek at the park’s website.

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