Hike to Hobart Reservoir gives views of Carson, Washoe Valley

Hobart Reservoir is seen in May. This body of water is a popular fishing spot in Nevada and it takes 5 miles to hike here. (Photo: Kyler Klix/Nevada Appeal)

Hobart Reservoir is seen in May. This body of water is a popular fishing spot in Nevada and it takes 5 miles to hike here. (Photo: Kyler Klix/Nevada Appeal)

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If you’re looking for a long, strenuous hike, with a scenic ending, Hobart Reservoir is worth the trip. This 9.9-mile roundtrip hike at the north end of Carson City takes you from the edge of the desert, to about 2,600 feet higher into the forest. The destination of the reservoir is a nice, peaceful spot and a popular place to go fishing.
This trail is popular for equestrian use, so the parking lot has a large area for people to park with horse trailers. Make sure to leave them space and park elsewhere.
The hike follows a dirt road, which is well-maintained. Although there are sections that are steeper, the path is easy to walk as you’re not stepping on big rocks.
Starting off, there’s a steady incline right away. You’ll have a vast view of Washoe Valley. You go up very quickly and there is nothing obstructing the view. Then the trail turns left and heads toward the Hobart Creek. At about 1 mile on the trail, there is a small spot with concrete that accesses the creek. This is a nice spot to rest. Many people looking for a short walk will go to here and then back. The trail after this part is steep.
The next two miles are the toughest part of the trail. It goes up for quite a bit, with just a few flat spots for breaks. The trail is close to the creek, although you can’t see the creek for most of the way unless you’re looking through the thick brush. There is an abundance of plants along this stretch, and you can easily find some shade for a break. You’ll also get some good views of Carson City once you get out of the brush.
At about 2.5 miles on the trail there is a building used by the Marlette Water Co. This building is about the half-way point up. There’s a nice flat section after this with a view of Washoe Valley.
This road reaches an intersection at Lockwood gate, and you turn left to head to the reservoir. There is a piece of history sitting here with an information sign calling it a “Ghost of a Sawmill.” There’s a giant boiler leftover from a lumber operation in the late 1870s and 1880s.

An old boiler sits along the trail as evidence of the lumber process that took place here in the late 1870s-80s.

 There’s another stretch of uphill here, and it’s the last stretch. Once you make it up this part, there’s a spot with some large boulders and that’s the highest point of the hike. It will have much more of the Tahoe characteristics. It’s a slightly downhill walk the rest of the way.It’s a pleasant walk to finish off that strenuous uphill. There will be lots of small critters scurrying about and birds chirping throughout the forest. The tall trees provide a shady canopy the rest of the way.

It ends at the reservoir, which is a nice peaceful spot. There are a few campsites to greet you before you reach the water — complete with bear boxes and picnic tables. There’s a small bridge on a water outlet you can cross and then there’s plenty of access to the water. There’s also a pit bathroom here, but no potable water, so bring everything you need or plan to treat the water if you’re staying.
People can often be seen fishing at the reservoir. It’s a popular place to catch a few different species of trout and the Nevada Department of Wildlife stocks it with more fish every year. It’s worth it to bring a pole, but if not, it’s just as nice to relax by the water and enjoy the view.
The trip back is much quicker than the way up. Besides the slight uphill in the beginning, it’s downhill the rest of the way.
Always remember to respect nature and other hikers. Leave no trace and take everything you brought in back with you.
Kyler Klix is a designer for Nevada News Group. He also writes about the outdoors and entertainment. Email him at kklix@nevadanewsgroup.com.


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