Base Camp Reno: 101 Hikes from Sage to Snow

by Christopher & Elizabeth Barile

Base Camp Reno

Reno: A Base Camp for All Seasons
Ideally positioned between the spectacular peaks and lakes of California’s Sierra Nevadas and the vast and varied Great Basin of Nevada, Reno is an unparalleled hub for exploring the natural beauty and grandeur this region offers. The area’s four-season climate combined with year-round sun guarantees that every day can be a great day to go exploring.

Discover the dramatic scenery and diverse terrain of ten distinct geographical regions with 101 hikes—all within no more than an hour’s drive from downtown Reno. Enjoy a trail through snowbanks or amble along a sandy path. Traverse sage-covered hillsides or walk through meadows of wildflowers. Stroll along peaceful creeks or ascend to craggy cliffs and mountaintops. With Christopher and Elizabeth Barile as your guides and Reno as your base camp, you’ll find your perfect adventure, whether you have a few hours to spend or time for an all-day trek.

  • History, geology, flora, and fauna for each hike
  • Best hikes for each season, and where to enjoy spring wildflowers, fall foliage, and more
  • Ratings for trail conditions, difficulty, and suitability for children
  • Detailed driving directions to trailheads and info about parking
  • Regional maps showing all trailheads in each chapter; route and elevation map for each hike
  • Best hikes for kids, teens, and adults with limited ability
  • Elevation gains, mileage, average hiking times, and even calculated caloric burn!
  • Hikes by interest: waterfalls, rock scrambling, bird watching, petroglyphs, wild horses, and many more
  • How to prepare & what to take
  • 101 great hikes to choose from!

    Base Camp Reno: 101 Hikes From Sage to Snow IS NOW AVAILABLE IN bookstores and everywhere online.

  • Author picture

    Christopher and Elizabeth Barile have hiked thousands of miles together while carrying their two young children on their backs. Both Christopher and Elizabeth have advanced degrees in chemistry from Stanford University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Christopher is a chemistry professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Elizabeth is an artist and educator. They live in the beautiful city of Reno and have hiked over a thousand miles here. Although they have published dozens of scientific papers, this work is their first book.

    “A good hiking guide accurately directs readers to the trail, describes it well enough for hikers to know what to expect and plan for, and perhaps relates a few author anecdotes of time spent on specific paths. A better hiking guide, such as this one, also interweaves the author’s particular expertise or inter- ests. The Bariles are educators and naturalists, and they pay detailed attention to history, geology, fauna, and particularly flora–wildflowers, plants, and trees. The authors share their local knowledge of Reno: where to find the rare Dog Valley ivesia flower, Basque arborglyphs, hidden falls, or seasonal infor- mation on when particular flowers and ber- ries bloom. Each described hike contains information about difficulty, elevation, soli- tude, season, animals, distance, trail type, user type, land ownership, and features. In addition to driving directions, the authors include advice about vehicle accessibility (low/high clearance or 2WD/4WD) and note when digital map directions differ. Helpful appendixes guide hikers in choosing their adventure by interest, elevation, mileage, and difficulty. VERDICT A solid choice for local collections and for travelers planning to hike in the area.”—Rita Baladad, Library Journal, (01/04/2023)

    “With routes suitable for the beginner and expert hiker alike, this book should be your starting point for both choosing and planning your adventures around Reno. The incredible photos will make you want to go; the route descriptions and maps will show you how.”—Jeff Pelletier, an accomplished ultra-distance trail runner and filmmaker and a member of the Team Salomon Canada (09/09/2021)

    Base Camp Reno stands out in the genre of trail guides (like the Sierra Club Totebooks or the High Sierra Hiking Guides) in general but specifically for greater Reno and central western Nevada. Routes of the hikes with precise information about levels of difficulty, elevation gain, trail heads, and so forth, are clearly illustrated. The Bariles catalogue the area’s various ecosystems from high desert to montane forests, its huge variety of flora, fauna and geology, and the human history of the ranchers, miners, and indigenous peoples who live there. And they have done so in a guide that is crisp and cleanly organized, written in highly readable language such that the book is a pleasure to browse and then study, as you select the hikes best for you, your friends and family. Whether you are a resident of this part of Nevada, or a visitor or tourist, Base Camp Reno is of incalculable value for anyone who wants to experience big sky, mountain, and juniper-studded high desert.”–Michael Vella, Professor Emeritus American Literature, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (10/09/2021)

    “What a fun and information-packed hiking guide! It made us want to go out and try all these intriguing hikes, just minutes from Reno. The guide’s great variety of hikes and trails will please all hikers, from toddlers to grannies and everyone in-between. We greatly appreciated the clear directions to trailheads and admired the beautiful photographs which displayed the beauty of this region. Dividing the area into 10 geographic regions is an excellent way to provide interesting and useful back ground information on the diverse landscapes, including climate and weather, wildflowers and wildlife, cultural history and safety tips. Exceptional features are the “At a Glance” sections for each hike and the appendices to help readers chose the perfect hike for the readers, whether by mileage, elevation gain and even difficulty.”—Rose Strickland, author of How Not to be Cowed – Livestock Grazing on the Public Lands: An Owner’s Manual and a member of the Public Lands Committee of the Sierra Club (09/01/2021)

    “This is the essential guidebook for exploring the great outdoors in the vicinity of Reno (and even within Reno itself.) Attractively formatted and well organized with an abundance of photographs, Base Camp Reno: 101 Hikes From Sage to Snow offers concisely all the facts you need about enticing hikes you can tailor to your own interests and abilities, selecting itineraries according to length, difficulty, features, and other criteria. And as authors Christopher and Elizabeth Barile illustrate, some of these hikes can be a family affair, even with small children.”–Dennis Goza, L’Eau Theque Productions (10/13/2021)

    “If like me, you don’t live in the Reno area but are planning a visit, Base Camp Reno: 101 Hikes from Sage to Snow is a must-have resource. The photos are absolutely enticing. Each hike is described with all the information you will need to choose one suited to you and safely get you there and back. There are easy hikes, hikes with great views, hikes in both mountain and desert, hikes shaded or by water, epic or super challenging hikes and all within 35 miles of Reno. “—Jaimie Bruzenak, author, Retire to an RV: The Roadtrip to Affordable Retirement (07/29/2021)

    “Every hike resonates with the authors’ passion for and knowledge of the region, every page carries vivid descriptions that transport the reader into their world. The authors are particularly good on flora. At Mount Lola, look out for “crimson columbines, red paintbrushes, pink shooting starts, orange lilies, yellow monkeyflowers, blue larkspurs, lavender asters and purple lupines.” On Brown’s Creek on Slide Mountain, they invite you to scratch and smell the inner bark and twigs of the Jeffrey pine to enjoy its “delightful citrusy-vanilla odor… Alongside the geography and flora and fauna, the book also touches upon areas such as history, geology, and Native American culture, all contributing to the vivid picture that the Bariles paint of a region they know like the back of each other’s hands.”—Peter Thody, RoadTrip America (08/18/2021)

    “As an avid hiker of multiple trails the Sierra and throughout the Washoe and Carson Valleys, I was inspired and impressed by Elizabeth and Christopher Barile’s book Base Camp Reno: 101 Hikes From Sage to Snow. Their thorough overview of the history, geology, topography, weather, flora, and fauna was a perfect snapshot of the uniquely extreme variety the Reno area has to offer. Each hike has a detailed description that gives the reader enough information to successfully plan and locate it in an easy-to-read and organized fashion. This book is for both the experienced hiker and those looking to go on their first foray onto a trail. I look forward to checking each hike off the list myself! This book is a must-have for any local Reno hikers or someone coming to the area who wants to hit the trails.”—Dawn Swinney, (08/22/2021)

    “As an avid urban and trail hiker, I was blown away by the level of care and loving detail offered in Base Camp Reno. Reading this book left me feeling confident to take on a wealth of new hikes in northern Nevada safely and easily. Christopher and Elizabeth Barile have created a lush manuscript which will be valued by novice hikers all the way through old pros! I highly recommend this book.”—Harry Fagel, author of Street Talk and Undercover (08/18/2021)

    How to Use this Book
    The 101 guides to hikes in this book are divided into 10 geographical regions, with each region containing roughly 10 hikes. Each hike contains a trail map, an “At a Glance” box, and a detailed hiking description.

    The “At a Glance” box has several metrics to help you choose a hike. The difficulty rating is ranked on a scale from very easy to easy, hard, and epic. The difficulty rating is calculated based on the number of calories burned during the hike (see Appendix D). This means that a short, steep hike may be given a rating of hard, while a long, flat hike may be rated as easy.

    The “At a Glance” box also contains
    • The distance of the hike
    • A very approximate amount of time the hike will take
    • The solitude, or popularity, of the hike (e.g., heavy use, medium use,
    light use, complete solitude)
    • The walking surfaces encountered (e.g., paved, dirt road, foot trail, off
    • Land ownership (e.g., National Forest, Bureau of Land Management)
    • The best seasons for the hike
    • The transportation methods of other users (e.g., hikers, bikers,
    equestrians, off-highway vehicles (OHVs))
    • Any interesting features of the hikes (e.g., waterfalls, petroglyphs,
    colorful rocks)
    • Common large animals on the trail (e.g., wild horses, antelope).

    The elevation gain for each hike is also listed. This value is the total elevation gain throughout the hike, not just the difference between the highest and lowest elevations. For instance, a loop hike over rolling hills where you climb 100 feet and descend 100 feet and do that five times would have an elevation gain of 500 feet.

    Lastly, the book contains numerous appendices that organize the hikes by different categories and will aid you in finding the ideal hike quickly.

    The 10 Geographical Regions
    Most of the 101 hikes in this book are within a 35-mile radius of downtown Reno. For most hikes, this translates to less than an hour drive from downtown. Although reaching some of the trailheads requires traveling on dirt roads, every trailhead is navigable by low-clearance two-wheel-drive vehicles.

    The most defining landscapes in the Greater Reno area are mountains, so the hikes are organized into 10 geographical regions based on distinct mountain ranges.
    starting from the northwest and ending with the southeast.

    The Northeastern Sierras
    The first mountain range group described contains the Verdi, Bald, and Diamond Mountain Ranges of the northeastern Sierra Nevadas. Near the California-Nevada border,
    the Verdi and Bald Mountain Ranges each stretch for 12 miles in a north-south orientation between Sierra Valley and the Truckee River.

    The Diamond Mountains stretch for 50 miles from the southeast at Beckwourth Pass to their northwestern terminus near Susanville, where the Sierra Nevadas as a whole end and
    give way to the Cascades. Elevations in the region range from Babbitt Peak at 8,760 feet to 5,500 feet at the valley floors. Prominent peaks in this region, such as Verdi and Ladybug
    Peaks, are visible while driving on I-80 heading west from Reno.

    Paperback:  $27.95 US / $33.99 CDN ISBN: 9781945501586 — First Edition:  April 2022
    E-book: $12.99 US / $16.99 CDN  ISBN: 9781945501593

    376 pages.  101 Route Maps, 14 Detailed maps. 300 Color photos.
    6 x 9, 1.68 pounds

    Third book in the Base Camp Guide Hiking Series

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