Rattlesnake Mountain
Twin Peaks

Sat, Apr 24, 2010

With: Ryan Burd
Jackie Burd

Etymology
Twin Peaks
Story Photos / Slideshow Map

In Reno with the family, I had kid duty while Mom was at the convention center to work as a referee in a regional volleyball tournament. I had hoped to take the kids up Virginia Peak, but a recent spring storm had brought snow down to about 6,000ft putting the 8,300-foot peak was out of the question. It was not hard to find something a bit lower, with Rattlesnake Peak located at the SE corner of the city, the highpoint of a small group of volcanic hills that make up the Huffaker Hills. There is a small network of trails leading from the centrally located parking area to Rattlesnake Peak to the north and Twin Peaks to the south. In a couple of hours we easily hiked to both summits, each less than a mile from the TH and less than 500ft of gain. It is a fairly popular area for walking the dogs and joggers, judging by the dozen or so parties we came across on our visit.

We hiked to Rattlesnake Peak first, finding a small antenna complex atop it, but not really marring the views to the Reno area and surrounding hills. The air was particularly clear and the snow looked quite fresh on the forested summits. It was easy to pick out Peavine and Virginia Peaks to the northwest and northeast, respectively, and the highest peak in the area, Mt. Rose to the southwest. The Huffaker Hills were carpeted in many places with small flowers of yellow, purple and white hues. One passerby commenting about them said he'd lived in Reno for eight years and this was the most impressive display of flowers he'd seen in these hills. I had to admit, the scenery, the clear air and the delightful 55 degree temperature was making Reno look like a highly desireable place to live. Adding to the scene was a large hawk circling about the summit looking out for prey, gliding along as though it was all effortless. This was certainly the finest season for the area.

Despite the ease of hiking Rattlesnake, the kids weren't enthusiastic in wanting to continue hiking once we got back to the car, but it was too fine a day and too early in the morning to call it quits just yet. I perused the map at the TH kiosk and picked out a similarly easy route to the higher of the Twin Peaks located to the southwest. It was about the same distance but less elevation gain than Rattlesnake, and the summit sported a nice wooden bench that made a fine resting spot. Nearby an incredibly overbuilt rock windscreen had been built that was more of an eyesore than the industrial parks surrounding the hills. We hung out at the bench taking in the views and watching planes land at the nearby Reno Airport for 15-20 minutes until the wind had chilled us a bit, telling us it was time to return.

None of us actually did anything like break a sweat on this outing, but it was a great way to burn a few morning hours.

Continued...


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