Ophir Creek Trail

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Nevada

Distance4.3mi
Elevation Gain1,305ft
Trailhead Elevation7,225ft
Top8,470ft
Elevation Min/Max7225/8470ft
Elevation Start/End7225/7225ft

Ophir Creek Trail

Ophir Creek Trail is a hiking trail in Washoe County, Nevada. It is within Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. It is 4.3 miles long and begins at 7,225 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,305 feet. This trail connects with the following: County Road 315.

Ophir Creek Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Backpacking Nevada (Wilderness Press)
Mike White
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"Although the Ophir Creek Trail does not enjoy wilderness protection from nearby Mt. Rose Wilderness, this trip offers an abundance of positive attributes, including two small but scenic lakes, a beautiful, 2-mile-long subalpine meadow, tumbling Ophir Creek, and the evidence of a major geological catastrophe. Mark Twain, astute observer that he was, described the east flank of the Carson Range in Roughing It, his chronicle of life in the Far West. Twain's colorful account of history repeated itself most recently in the spring of 1983, when an entire flank of appropriately named Slide Mountain, saturated with meltwater from the thawing winter snows, broke loose and plunged into the canyon of Ophir Creek, instantly displacing the waters of Lower Price Lake. The snow-soaked debris merged with the water from the lake, forming a semi-liquid mass, which roared down the canyon with lightning quickness, consuming everything in its path and reaching the floor of Washoe Valley in a matter of seconds." Read more
Hiking Nevada: A Guide to the State's Greatest Adventures (Falcon Guides)
Bruce Grubbs
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"A day hike in the Carson Range near Lake Tahoe featuring the remnants of a massive landslide. This hike is a difficult and strenuous climb up the Ophir Creek drainage to the remains of Upper and Lower Price Lakes, which were destroyed when part of Slide Mountain fell into them in 1983. The resulting mud and water accumulation rushed down the Ophir Creek drainage and created a massive movement of earth that was deposited at Washoe Lake. It also removed part of the trail. Three miles from the western end, the trail turns into a jeep road that ’s open to hiking only. The last 3 miles also parallel scenic Tahoe Meadows, and the trail ends at highway NV 431. There is a new trailhead 0.5 mile to the east along the highway. This trailhead is shared with the Mount Rose Trail." Read more
Hiking The Sierra Nevada (Falcon Guides)
Barry Parr
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"To some, the canyons descending the east side of the Sierra Nevada, transitional journeys between lush alpine meadows and the Great Basin desert, might seem poor and stingy as landscapes, Not everyone loves the barren, crumbling mountainsides, pungent sagebrush, nagging winds, gulches choked with cottonwoods and aspens, and the quiet, little, old reservoir at the bottom of this short, steep, out-and-back hike. But then again, many of us love it very much. For those with a fondness for old-time Nevada, Ophir Creek evokes a powerful, colorful, lovely sense of place. The trail starts on the eastern side of NV 431, at an elevation of 8,600 feet. A dirt road with a blue and white sign indicating the Tahoe Rim Trail heads southeast through a lodgepole wood, with views through the trees of Tahoe Meadows to the left (north). Where the Tahoe Rim Trail splits off to the right (southwest), we continue straight, soon stepping across a small stream." Read more
Afoot & Afield: Tahoe-Reno: 201 Spectacular Outings in the Lake Tahoe Region (Wilderness Press)
Mike White
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"Although the Ophir Creek Trail does not enjoy wilderness protection from the nearby Mt. Rose Wilderness, the trail does offer many positive attributes, including two small but scenic lakes, a 2-mile-long subalpine meadow, tumbling Ophir Creek, and evidence of a major geological catastrophe. Mark Twain, astute observer that he was, described the east flank of the Carson Range in Roughing It, his chronicle of life in the Far West: “The mountains are very high and steep about Carson, Eagle, and Washoe valleys—very high and very steep, and so when the snow gets to melting off fast in the spring and the warm surface earth begins to moisten and soften, the disastrous landslides commence. The reader cannot know what a landslide is unless he has lived in that country and seen the whole side of a mountain taken off some fine morning and deposited down in the valley, leaving a vast, treeless, unsightly scar upon the mountain’s front to keep the circumstances fresh in his memory all the years that he may go on living within 70 miles of that place.”" Read more

Ophir Creek Trail Reviews

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5/20/2012
Oops I forgot my snowshoes. Some of the last trails to have snow in Tahoe. Lovely spring wildflowers and meadow views. A nice spot for a picnic by the creek.
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8/13/2009
I hiked this trail last spring and thought it would be a nice half day hike for my son and his girlfriend who were visiting. They enjoyed the hike and liked having a trail map to see where they were supposed to go although I'm not sure if they actually stayed on the Ophir Creek trail. This is a great spring hike if you like wildflowers. The wooden boardwalk across the meadow is also nice for anyone who wants to walk across Tahoe meadow without actually hiking. This trail is one of the many wonderful hikes around Tahoe.
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8/13/2009
This is a wonderful hike for the whole family. The trail works its way around the edge of Tahoe Meadow and then joins the Ophir Trail where you experience granite boulders and pines.
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3/28/2009
Extremely steep to begin with but it levels off a little after a mile or so from the trailhead. The trail itself is very difficult to stay on because it keeps forking. Early in the season (which is when I went) when you get high enough to run into snow, it becomes impossible to find the trail unless you see footprints lining the trail. I eventually was forced to turn around because I just couldn't find where the trail went. Overall, its a beautiful trail.
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8/18/2008
The trail could be marked a little better, but over all a good hike.
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5/13/2007
When we did this trail, there was still a lot of snow, so we were guessing where the trail was. Amazing scenery, didn't look like it was traveled veryo often. Didn't match the map very well. About half way down the trail runs into a 4WD road, turn left to stay on course. About mile 6 the trail forks with no markings. The right fork is the one that ends at Davis Creek Park. Couldn't tell where the other one went. Took us 5.5 hours travelling fairly slow. Good hike!
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5/20/2006
Did not make the whole trail but the first bit is beautiful, the water was flowing good in the creek from the record snow pack melting, thus we did not attempt the crossing. Look forward to future attempts to complete the trail.
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10/14/2002
This is a steep trail through a beautiful area. There are also several nice side trails, but don''t count on finding any water in Rock or Price Lakes late in the year. (Upper Price Lake is non-existent.) Ophir Creek should have water year-round, but it is a couple of miles between crossings. (Prepare to get your feet wet when doing so.) There is access from either end of the trail, and if just going one-way, the down-hill is much easier. There are beautiful views of Slide Mountain from most of the trail, and there are great places to stop all along the way. But remember, just when you thought that the incline leveled-out, it starts right up again.
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Ophir Creek Trail Photos

Trail Information

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
Nearby City
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Waterfalls
Features
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Carson Ranger District, 1536 South Carson St., Carson City, NV 89701; (775) 882-2766; www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf
Local Contacts
USGS Washoe City, Mount rose
Local Maps