Recent rains haven’t had much of an effect on streamflow in the Truckee, but the overcast skies and added moisture make everything look bright and beautiful. On Monday, my parents (visiting from New York) and I took a hike on a relatively new section of the Tahoe-Pyramid bikeway, located in Farad, CA. Flowers were blooming, birds were chirping and we had a great time exploring.
The trail between Farad and Floriston is about 2.3 miles long (4.6 miles round-trip). From Reno, take I-80 west to the Farad exit. The road passes under the freeway, and if you continue straight, you will come to a parking area on the right. From there, walk down the dirt road toward the Farad Power Station. The trail leads behind the power station, crossing over the pipes via a wooden staircase. From there, it is easy to follow. Here is a map, from the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway website.
Along the trail we saw lots of blooming shrubs — Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), Sierra currant (Ribes nevadense), and a few Sierra gooseberry (Ribes roezlii). The fruit of Sierra gooseberry are edible, although you have to peel off the thorny outer layer. Also, they aren’t ripe yet, we learned…
The trail parallels the old wooden flume, which was built to carry water to the power plant at Farad. Farther down the trail we came across a few sunny patches of Balsam-leaved arrow-root (Balsamorhiza sagittata) and lupine (Lupinus sp.). We followed a bright-colored flash and found multiple Western tanangers hopping around in the willows.
The trail surface is rough in places (no roadbikes), but great for hiking, running, mountain biking and walking with dogs. It’s a great place to get outside and enjoy springtime on the Truckee!
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