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Windy Hill Trail

This morning the air was chilled, the sun was bright and it was perfect for a hike before I had to go to school and be stuck inside all day. Normally I wouldn’t get to enjoy the morning sunrise since I work at 4:30 each morning. Anyways, Mason and I had a few hours so we thought we would head over to Audrey Harris Park on top of windy hill.


I am not sure which I love more though – the hike up here or driving to get to the park. The drive here you see so many ranches , horses, ostriches, peacocks, chickens, cows, bulls, longhorns… The list goes on. It is a awesome small back road and it is a dangerous drive because you just want to look at your surroundings! But anyways, the view from up on top of this hill is amazing. I do not know of any other place in Reno where you get a complete 360 degree view of Reno.


During the winter the city closes off the gates so you cant get to the parking lot, but since it is spring the gates are open and there is about ten parking spots and you can see the trail winding down the hillside leading into Bartley Ranch.


This hike is not as beautiful as it use to be though. Back in 2011 a huge fire raged through these mountains ruining some houses and lots of wild land. The scenery is still beautiful and slowly growing back but you can still see the scorched fences and trees surrounding the area.


Have you checked out this beautiful hot spot in Reno? Share you pictures with me below!

Until next time,

Happy Trails!


Further West on the Truckee River

Happy Sunday! I hope you all are going to get a chance to go outside today; get some fresh air and some amazing views. The glory of God is all around us! Just take a step outside and you’ll see thousands of beautiful things that God created, just for us.

Mason and I enojoyed the Truckee River again this weekend except this time we ventured a little further up into the mountains to be surrounded by nature and to enjoy the silence.

To get to this Truckee River Hotspot head West on 4th street and turn left onto Mayberry Drive. You will see parking at Dorosktar Park. TR3
This spot is great for water rafting in the summer, fly fishing, going for a short hike or just playing in the water with your puppies. I went around 4 in the afternoon and the wind was picking up so the water was running a bit fast. So be careful if you do bring your dogs here and make sure they’re strong swimmers!

There are spots all along this trail that lead down to tiny beaches on the river; perfect for you to set a towel down and enjoy your surroundings.

Normally in the summer if I want a quick fishing trip I will head up to this spot in the early evening and catch some trout. But during the colder months it is nice to bring the dogs up here without the crowds and let them go crazy and get mud everywhere!

Not wanting to get muddy? Check out my post that will show you a Truckee River hotspot in the city!

Share your Truckee River pictures with me in the comments below!
Until next time,
Happy Trails!

Lower Thomas Creek Trail

After a week of not so great weather, 70’s, then cold wind, then rain, then SNOW, and back to 70 degree weather it felt good to get back out and hike again. As you all could probably tell I went on hiking hiatus last week because of the SNOW in APRIL in NEVADA. Anyways, I had a few hours in the afternoon after I got off work because my first class was cancelled so I decided to hit the trails!


I only had about an hour before I had to be to class so I wanted to go somewhere close with Mason. We decided to check out Arrowcreek Park (right outside the gated community) and this park connects with Lower Thomas Creek Trail.

It is real simple to get to this park and trailhead. Just get on Arrowcreek Parkway in south Reno and head west all the way to the top as far as you can before the gated community. The park will be on your left.


I will be doing a two-part blog on Thomas Creek Trail because it is very long and one post is just not enough! Although the weather was warm and clear for the first time in days, our hike was affected by the smoke produced by a controlled burn forest fire just a few miles ahead of us.

This trail is very thin and narrow, but not steep so great for mountain biking. There is also a little creek that runs along the majority of the trail for you or your pups to cool off in. (I went for a dip in my shoes of course….) But other than that I am going to be honest with you; the surroundings aren’t gorgeous ( except your view of Mt. Rose) and the creek is very…dry.


Regardless, Mason and I still had a blast and got muddy and enjoyed the warm spring afternoon. Looking for a bit more water to splash around in? Check out my Lake Tahoe Blog!

Also, I can not wait to share with you all the trails I have explored that I will be talking about next week! So check back soon!

As always,

Happy Trails!

Dog Essentials When Hiking

I felt bad when getting all my dog gear out to take pictures of for this blog because Mason, and my parents golden retriever Auggie, got so excited thinking they were going for a hike. I know I have never mentioned Auggie before, he is the awkward one in the family. But here he is just so you have an idea.
Taking proper care of your pup while out on the trail will really make the hours you spend on the trail more enjoyable. I know a lot of other outdoor bloggers feel like you should make your dog carry their own weight in gear, and there are little doggy backpacks for that, but my thinking is, their gear only weighs a few pounds and I want them to be able to run and be free, so I carry it.

What you bring on your hikes really depends on the season your going. In Reno in the winter it snows A LOT and we are always exploring the mountains. When Mason was young we were exploring in the snow up on Mt. Rose and Mason kept stopping and digging at his paws. I couldn’t figure this out. I stopped to see what was wrong and what had happened was the snow gets so compacted in between his paws and spreads them apart it starts to hurt him.
To avoid this from happening I invested in some puppy snow shoes. They sell these at outdoor warehouses and they’re usually around $20.00. Your dog will not be happy about them at first and probably walk like a frog when he wears them…but they will thank you later!

On our every day hikes I bring: a water dish with water, a leash with pinch collar, a baggy with treats and dog bags, a duck bumper (if we will be around water) a shock collar, and again the gorilla tri-pod I talk about in my post on hiking gear for me. You want to get some awesome pictures with your dog on the trail and this tripod will let you. In the summer here in the desert, water is crucial. Not only do I fill his water dish bottle up, I also bring an extra bottle and it will be gone by the end of the hike. A pinch collar, which sounds horrible, really isn’t and it is great at keeping your dog from choking themselves or ripping your arm out of its socket when they are on a leash. I got a shock collar so I could better control Mason when he is off leash on the trail. Once he ran after a squirrel he saw and ran really far away and got himself into a dangerous situation. Now this can be avoided but make sure to properly train them with the shock collar or you will have wasted the $150.00 you spent.

What do you find necessary to have for your dog when out on the trail?
Share your thoughts with me below!

Happy Trails!

These boots…

Trying to find a boot that is tall enough to prevent dirt, keep stickers from invading my socks, and that fits well is no easy challenge.  Most tall boots I’ve tried are sloppy in the heel area or too spacious for my foot. The best hiking boot is the one that fits your foot the best. But let me just say my feet would be destroyed and covered in blisters if it weren’t for my Merrell’s. I’ve been in pursuit of the perfect boot for many years. The best fitting, most comfortable boot I have ever worn is my Merrells.


I got these boots a few years ago on a sale rack. They have been amazing and together we have traveled hundreds of trail miles. They have seen the beautiful mountains and waterfalls that surround Bowman Reservior in the Tahoe National Forest, they have gone quail hunting with me, and saved my ankle from being crushed during my Sage Hill hike.
I also bought a pair that I am very pleased with for my friend and they are still his favorite hiking boot AND day shoe.

These boots are durable and comfortable and have taken a beating over the years and are still in excellent condition. Although it may seem like a pricey boot, for the quality you cannot beat them. They range from $100-$200 for women’s and $100-$300 for men. These boots grip the trail, help you slow down and stop and will be comfortable enough for you to wear while backpacking the mountains or just going for a day hike. I spray mine with some waterproof, so I can trudge through little creeks and streams without worrying about getting my feet soaked, but I wouldn’t go swimming in a lake with them… they’re not that waterproof. Trust me I’ve tried it. So to all my friends that go hiking with me, save you Nike shoes for the gym and get some real trail shoes!

What is your best pair of hiking boots? Share your stories and thoughts with me below!

Happy Trails!

Recieving a Dog’s Unconditional Love

As you all know my blog is called Golden Hiking and I always put up posts about the trails I hike with my dog Mason. With that being said I want to share with you all a little more about the golden part of my blog. So let me formally introduce him: His name is Mason Bleu.

Mason is almost 3 years old now and we are inseparable. After our family golden retriever, Sammy, died from lymphoma at the age of 6, I needed to fill the gap. It was the middle of the summer, July, and I saw a listing for golden puppies and I went JUST TO LOOK. We all know that you can never just LOOK at puppies. So I got Mason that night, at 8 weeks old.
I was so anxious for Mason to get fully vaccinated so I could bring him with me on the trails and to the lake. Adventure was calling our names! I did not waste any time. The day he got his last parvo vaccination I had him out at Boca Reservoir for a camping trip and was teaching him how to swim and explore the woods. We do everything together. Sledding, fishing, camping, hunting, swimming, hiking and cuddling.
If there is anyone that understands my sense of adventure and love for the mountains it is Mason. You know that saying, ” the dog takes on the personality of the owner,” well that pretty much nails it. When we are hiking Mason is in his own little world, doesn’t pay attention to any other people or dogs, and just explores with me to new places.

Nothing beats the smile your dog has on their face after you come home from a long hike. This blog has only brought Mason and I close because I bring him on every hike or trail I go on so he is gaurenteed a few hikes a week now! We will never stop exploring.

Share pictures and stories with me of you and your puppy! You can see more pictures of Mason and our adventures here!

Happy Trails!

Red Mountains in Hidden Valley

Over the weekend I noticed something about the mountains in Southeast Reno. They seemed more red/orange in color to me. Maybe it was because the snow has finally started to melt, or maybe I have just never noticed it before. Regardless I felt the need to explore it.
It was at a trail I am familiar with near the Hidden Valley Regional Park which is best known, at least in my opinion, for its dog park.

It was a crystal clear afternoon, the sky was such a bright blue and with the contrasting orange mountain sand with bright green trees – it was a very colorful hike. (Which is sometimes rare in our desert region.)

If you are going to the park, head towards the dog park and you will see parking. I usually spend a little time in the park but Mason prefers to roam the mountains with me. The trail begins if you head east of the parking lot and kind of to the right… It is easy to spot but hard to explain! This terrain can get a little tricky since it is mostly decomposed granite so it is slippery and unstable in a lot of places. One unique feature of this mountain is all the tree like bushes that are scattered along the hillside. The really only belong to this mountain, but I have seen quails scurrying through them and I feel like the trees would make a nice home for a mountain lion so I am always prepared.

I have not fully explored this mountain and gone past where the trail ends but I want to one day when I don’t have to rush off to work. But this trail is great in the winter, which is when I discovered it, but looking for a new, closer dog park to bring Mason. In the winter the mountains on the east don’t get as much snow as the west so it makes them a little easier to explore.

After about a strenuous 20 minute hike up a little knoll I was able to snap a great picture of the city of Reno below.

Have you fully explored this mountain? Have you seen or heard of mountain lions in the area? I really feel like they would live here. Haha! Share you stories and experiences with me! @RachelRoen

Happy Trails!

Rachel Roen

My name is Rachel Roen, and I have so much to share about Reno's outdoors! I will give you a complete 360 degree view of the Reno area whether you're a local looking for a new trail, or a visitor wanting a day of exploring. From mountain trails, to city trails, adventure is always at our feet!

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