Davis Creek: Exploration and relaxation for the whole family

Slide Mountain is seen behind Davis Pond at Davis Creek Regional Park in Washoe Valley. (Photo: Kyler Klix/Nevada Appeal)

Slide Mountain is seen behind Davis Pond at Davis Creek Regional Park in Washoe Valley. (Photo: Kyler Klix/Nevada Appeal)

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Davis Creek Regional Park in Washoe County has something for everyone. This park has several trails from easy to difficult, and it also includes a campground and a picnic area in a wooded area. It’s great for several types of recreation including hiking and equestrian use, and it’s especially popular with birdwatchers. There is an outdoor amphitheater for various interpretive programs and a large pond here that’s popular for fishing as well. The pond’s water level varies. At the end of last year, it was empty, but it is filled up, for now.
The geography of the area is interesting. You drive in and you’re right at the base of the forested mountains. The large mountain with the exposed rock is named Slide Mountain. The higher elevation hikes climb up the side of a giant ravine where Davis Creek flows.
There’s much to discover here too. The park includes more than 100 species of birds depending on the time of year, according to the park’s website. There’s many plants to identify and you might come across several insects or mammals. The park’s website supplies a bird guide. You can download and print.
You never know what you’ll see if you’re paying attention. You just might hike right under a bald eagle and it might startle you when it takes off.
There’s a long driveway to get into the park. There’s several places to park depending on what you want to do. There is a parking lot on the left when you first pull in. Equestrian trailers are usually parked here. A kiosk a map area of the area and other useful information.
Farther up there’s a parking lot on the right, this one often gets filled with overflow campsite users. If you drive past the gate into the park, there is a small parking lot on the right where there will be another trailhead marker. Then if you follow the road (toward to the right) to the end there’s a large picnic area and many more parking spaces. There’s a bathroom here as well with a sink.
All the trails are near every parking area, so scout out the area and pick the best spot for what you want to do.
The easier trails here are great for families bringing along children. This trail takes you around Davis Pond. At 0.7 miles, it isn’t too lengthy, and it also doesn’t climb any elevation. There’s lots of vegetation as trees and bushes provide a canopy of shade for most of the trail.
There’s some great views of Slide Mountain and there’s a good view when you’re looking at it with Davis Pond in the foreground.
The shorter Nature trail is used for teaching groups about the area. There are signs along the way and an interpretive guide (ONLINE: bit.ly/3oyt6Hy) with points of interest explained.
The Discovery Trail overlaps the Nature Trail for about one-third of the trail, so you get most of that experience, plus a little more on the 1.7-mile Discovery Trail.
There is a slight elevation gain, making this trail a little more difficult, but it’s still considered easy. This trail goes through most of the base of the park, into the meadows outside of the trees and around the campground and up part of the hill.
You cross a couple of the creeks draining from the Sierra Nevada and the small elevation will give you a better view of Washoe Valley and Washoe Lake.
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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