While the city of Reno, Nevada rests in a desert valley, its geographic position in regards to natural scenic beauty may at first glance be deceiving. It is in fact surrounded by many natural wonders such as mountains, large lakes, and scenic rivers. When you visit Reno, be sure to explore some of these areas not that are located not far outside of town.
The Truckee River makes its way down from Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, just southwest of Reno, and flows through downtown. But the river is most scenic along Interstate-80 in the mountains before it reaches the city. Take a 40 minute drive up this highway into the town of Truckee and you’ll get a good glimpse of the beautiful river. Donner Lake and Donner Memorial State Park are not too far from the town of Truckee, all of which are surrounded by thick pines and high mountains. Another 20 minutes’ drive southeast from Truckee you’ll run into the source of the Truckee River—the blue/green crystalline waters of Lake Tahoe. Take a scenic drive by King’s Beach, Agate and Crystal Bays, or spend an entire day exploring this massive natural alpine lake.
But the Truckee River also flows in the opposite direction through the town of Reno, Nevada, northeast into the refreshing desert oasis of Pyramid Lake. This unique lake has a salinity about 1/6th that of seawater. This ancient lake offers stunning views of desert colors and a famous towering rock formation that juts out of the water and inspired the name of the lake. Pyramid Lake is part of the National Scenic Byways Program, and the drive is encompassed entirely within a Paiute tribal reservation. Water temperatures in the summer can reach 75 degrees, and thus the lake is popular for boating, fishing, camping, and sunbathing.
When you visit Reno, Nevada, be sure to experience the natural scenic wonders easily accessible from the city for an afternoon or and all day getaway.