Hiking tips

Hiking Basics and Hiking Tips from a Pro

We live in a beautiful state.

Now that summer is over, it’s the perfect time to get out.

Red Rock and Mount Charleston are popular destinations, but Nevada is home to equally dazzling and lesser-known destinations.

No one knows better than Benjamin Spillmanthe editor of the Reno Gazette-Journal, whose job it is to explore these places.

Ben joined us by phone to talk about the basics of hiking and where to go.

Best backpacking trip for beginners:

The Tahoe Rim Trail – This is a very nice trail that goes around the Tahoe Basin. This is an approximately 170 mile trail. Of course, you don’t have to do everything. The trail is very well laid out and well marked and it is beautiful.

Tahoe Rim trial / Wikimedia Commons

Once you have gained experience:

The Eastern Sierra is a great place to go once you’ve done a few trips. The High Sierra from Bishop, CA north to Yosemite and even south to Bishop is simply stunning. It has very high mountain peaks including Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States is in the Eastern Sierra. The John Muir Trail is the main trail.

Mount Whitney/Wikimedia Commons

Beginner/Intermediate Hikers in Southern Nevada:

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Mount Charleston – You really can’t go wrong.

Red Rock Canyon/BLM

Near Pioche – There is a small group of state parks about 100 miles from Las Vegas that offer some great hiking.

Kershaw Ryan State Park is an amazing hidden gem in Caliente. It’s only maybe an hour and a half from Las Vegas. They have very nice campsites and very nice sanitary facilities. Then there is a trail that goes up to the edge of a canyon. A reasonably fit person could probably do this in about an hour and then spend the rest of the time enjoying the leaves.

Kershaw-Ryan State Park/Ken Lund/Flickr


Check the weather: weather.gov

Nevada State Parks

National Park Service

California State Parks

Utah State Parks

Arizona State Parks

From Desert Companion: 15 Hikes (Practically) in Your Own Backyard