Truckee River Canyon, upstream from Fleish Dam. Oct 2, 2015.

Exploring Truckee River Trails: The Trail to Fleish Dam

In Fall, Truckee River trails by KelseyFitzgerald0 Comments

After work on Friday, I headed out with my pups to explore a new piece of the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway — a short section that leads from I-80 down to the Fleish Dam. I’d been down there years ago to climb at River Rock, a popular local climbing spot, but I remember that journey involving a lot more bushwhacking than I experienced this time.

To get to the trailhead from Reno, you have to head west on I-80 until you reach Farad, then exit, reverse directions, and head back on I-80 East approximately 2.8 miles to a large pull-off on the shoulder of the highway. Here are directions and a map from the bikeway website.

The trail, now well-marked and easy to follow, begins at the south side of the parking pull-off.  It runs down an old road — a remnant piece of the historic Lincoln Highway — then veers down the hill toward the river. You’ll cross the train tracks (past a sign that says “no trespassing”, but keep going, you’re on the right track). The trail then turns to the left, and you’ll soon see a large granite rock outcrop across the river.

Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway, near Fleish Dam. Oct 2, 2015.Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway. Oct 2, 2015.

Puddle jumping. Truckee River Bikeway, en route to Fleish Dam. Oct 2, 2015.

Puddle jumping. Truckee River Bikeway, en route to Fleish Dam. Oct 2, 2015.

Overlook, Truckee River Canyon near Fleish Dam. Oct 2, 2015.

Overlook, Truckee River Canyon near Fleish Dam. Oct 2, 2015.

The Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway, near Fleish Dam. Oct 2, 2015.

The Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway, near Fleish Dam. Oct 2, 2015.

The river was flowing slowly through this area, and reflected the rocks and the sky in the fading light. Because of the high canyon walls, it gets dark earlier along this section of the Truckee River. My photos came out very dark, so I ended up lightening them and playing around with some different filters on the computer when I got home. Now they look a bit surreal. I’m looking forward to returning a little earlier in the day to get some better shots.

Granite outcrop, upstream from Fleish Dam. Oct 2, 2015.

Granite outcrop, upstream from Fleish Dam. Oct 2, 2015.

Looking downstream toward Fleish Dam, Oct 2, 2015.

Looking downstream toward Fleish Dam, Oct 2, 2015.

Finally, the trail led to the Fleish Bridge, a wooden drawbridge that crosses the Truckee. Eventually, you will be able to follow this trail all the way to Verdi. Most of the trail is already in place, but they’ve had part of it closed for construction. If you head up the trail in the opposite direction (upriver), there is new single-track to explore, but it was getting darker and darker, so I decided to save that for another day…

Fleish Bridge. Oct 2, 2015.Fleish Bridge. Oct 2, 2015.

Fleish Bridge. Oct 2, 2015.

Fleish Bridge. Oct 2, 2015.

Fall colors. Oct 2, 2015.

Fall colors. Many of the Black cottonwoods have spotted leaves. Does anyone know why?

Mullein reclaims the Lincoln Highway. Oct 2, 2015.

Mullein reclaims the Lincoln Highway. Oct 2, 2015.

Snowy thistle (Cirsium occidentale var. candidissimum), a native thistle. Oct 2, 2015.

Snowy thistle (Cirsium occidentale var. candidissimum), a native thistle. Oct 2, 2015.

An adventure for another day...

An adventure for another day…

 

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