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Thread: Reno NV -- Looking for suggestions

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    15

    Reno NV -- Looking for suggestions

    I'll be in Reno on business next week and plan to have some spare time available for photography. I'm taking my 4x5 and was looking for landscape suggestions. I'll have 1~2 nights available for camping, if that helps influence your recommendation. In addition to purely natural landscapes, I'm enjoy photographing interesting man-made relics/ruins/desert junk, especially old signage.

    Caveat: I live in the Lancaster / Palmdale area of So Cal (at the southern end of the Sierras), so I'm already familiar with the usual suggestions along 395 such as Yosemite, Bodie ghost town, etc. I've also been to Lake Tahoe quite a few times, although I'm open to specific suggestions for out-of-the-way locations there.

    At the end of my Reno trip, I'm driving to San Francisco for another short meeting. Rather than following I-80, I was considering the Ebbetts Pass or Sonora Pass. Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance for the help!
    highdesert

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sonora, California
    Posts
    1,462

    Re: Reno NV -- Looking for suggestions

    I'm sure there will be many who'll sing the praises of the lake and rightfully so...I'll leave that to others. I'm not fond of Reno proper but, if you head east out of town you eventually come to a high desert country of quite subtle natural beauty. The high desert of Northern Nevada have quite a different aspect and character than those of Southern California. Sunrises are especially enjoyable.

    I live most of the year in the foothills East of Sonora. The trip over the Sonora pass is well worth the minimal extra effort (but, of course, I am biased). There are many beautiful places to stop and rest or camp along Highway 108 just this side of the pass. You may also find some excellent fly fishing in that area this time of year (if you're into that kinda thing).

    Traffic over the Sonora pass and into San Francisco **should** be significantly less than over Donner pass and along 80 or 50, etc... Beware however, that the Bay Area folks headed home from Yosemite on Sunday can add considerably to East bound traffic along 108/120. Last weekend was notably bad.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    15

    Re: Reno NV -- Looking for suggestions

    BradS,

    I've finally lived in the desert long enough to appreciate the subtle differences between northern and southern deserts, etc. Five years ago I wouldn't have believed it. Thanks for the suggestions.

    Lake Tahoe frustrates me as a photographer: it is clearly one of the most beautiful spots in the west, but I've never figured out how to do it justice on film. That hasn't stopped me from trying!

    highdesert

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    9,093

    Re: Reno NV -- Looking for suggestions

    Virginia City is touristy but if you get there early in the morning you'll find opportunities, especially if the steam locomotive is running.

    Sonora Pass will take you through the Marine Corps training base for mountain troops. IIRC the tent helecopter hangars appearing in the middle of the forest does have an "Auric Goldfinger" look about it. I prefer Sonora Pass in the early spring though. when the streams "cartwheel" down the steepter slopes. OTOH the California Railroad Museum is nearby and there is a bunch of cool photogenic junk laying around there---chunks of old locomotive awaiting restoration. Consider 88 through Jackson you can find old stone corrals built by chinese laborors visible from the hwy. At least one old mine is open for touring and there is the "X" rated chocolate factory near Clements if that sort of stuff floats your boat..
    Lake Tahoe is grand enough, but there are smaller jewels in the area. Donner Lake to the North off 80 and Silver Lake to the South. Fallen Leaf Lake is also very pretty. Ebbetts Pass is beautiful as is the town of Markleeville (excellent trout fishing, btw) If you feel like splurging, take the Heavanly Lift and hike around up top in classic California granite. There are some easy (and a few brutal) trails. A lightwieght 4x5 wouldn't be too big a burden to carry. For interesting architecture you might consider going out to Vikingsholm.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    9,093

    Re: Reno NV -- Looking for suggestions

    Did I mention Zak's Fries at the old Kirkwood tavern?
    I should have! Yummy!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Minden, Nevada
    Posts
    79

    Re: Reno NV -- Looking for suggestions

    One of my favorite places is Wolf Creek off of Highway 4. About ten miles past Markleeville, before the highway turns to go up to Ebbets Pass. There is a several mile fairly rough road to the trailhead and campground. You may also enjoy Monitor Pass, between Highway 395 and Highway 4, South of Gardnerville. There is a Sequoia grove at Big Trees State Park, near Angels Camp, on the West side of Ebbets Pass. An easier place to get, which is still very pretty, would be to go up 88 toward Carson Pass and then South on the Blue Lakes turnoff. Camping near the turnoff and also at Blue Lakes, about 12 miles in. Or head up to Winnemucca Lake, an easy walk South of the trailhead at Carson Pass. I agree that Tahoe is hard to capture on film. Better to just visit the lake and point the camera at something else.

  7. #7

    Smile Re: Reno NV -- Looking for suggestions

    Try pyramid lake.

  8. #8
    Preston Birdwell
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Columbia, CA
    Posts
    1,577

    Re: Reno NV -- Looking for suggestions

    The MWTC at Pickle Meadows on 108 is pretty interesting. However, since 9/11, the Corps takes a dim view of folks parking along the highway near the base. In fact. it is posted a No Parking Anytime zone.

    (Climbers Side Note: I've climbed with some of the Marines from the base during visits to Sonora Pass. It surprised me when I was told that their standard is to lead 5.9, in the dark, with no headlamp! They always choose nights in the dark of the moon. Five-NIne isn't a cakewalk on a sunny day on dry rock; doing it at night, by feel, and carrying a combat load is a pretty amazing thing! )

    I will second Brad on Hwy 108 over Sonora Pass. It certainly is not as direct as 80, 50 or 88, but it is much less traveled, is quite beautiful, and there are some nice free and unimproved campsites between Leavitt Meadows (on the east side) and Kennedy Meadows (on the west side). The nicest spots are higher up--at or above 8,000 feet. There is lots of granite and many wonderful western Juniper and lodgepole pines. There is a nice alpine view of Leavitt Peak and Blue Canyon a couple of miles west of the pass.

    There are some nice old buildings in Columbia, a state hysterical park, just north of Sonora. Early mornings are best, here. The railroad mueum to which John refers is also a state hysterical park, called Railtown 1897. It is off of 5th Ave in Jamestown, a few miles west of Sonora on 108. Also, the Diamondback Grill in downtown Sonora has great food and great wines--highly recommended!

    As Brad mentioned, the west-bound traffice on 108/120 headed to the Bay Area can be pretty bad on Sundays. It takes about three hours (average) to get to the Bay Bridge from Sonora, so time your trip to hit the Bay Area around ten am.

    I'll add that this time of year, the Sonora Pass country is very quiet, and with the softer light of September it is very special.

    Note to Brad S: Where do live in the Sonora area? I'm in Columbia, so let's see if we can meet! Shoot me a note at: mtnbum(@)mlode.com or a PM.

    Enjoy your trip, HighDesert!

    -Preston
    Last edited by Preston; 5-Sep-2008 at 19:09. Reason: typo
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15

    Re: Reno NV -- Looking for suggestions

    Folks, thanks for the suggestions. I can see that I need to find more time to spend in this part of the Sierras.

    highdesert

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15

    Re: Reno NV -- Looking for suggestions

    Robert,

    Is there a specific part of Pyramid Lake that you like best?

    Thanks,
    highdesert

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