"Geologic and Natural History Tours in the Reno Area" is an excellent auto tour book and much more. It begins with an explanation of how to use the auto tour trip guides. The following introduction covers, in easy to understand language, the basics of geology and how geologic forces have shaped the Great Basin, Sierra Nevada, and basin and range landscapes we live among today. Finally, there is a brief cultural history, starting with the original Native American residents and continuing through the explorers and emigrants who shaped, and continue to shape the human landscape.
Next, here are the four auto trip tours described in "Geologic and Natural History Tours in the Reno Area," along with a few highlights from the book's table of contents. Hopefully, you'll be inspired to learn more about the fascinating geology and natural history that surrounds the Reno / Lake Tahoe region.
Trip 1 - Around the Truckee Meadows
This tour follows the Truckee River from Reno to Verdi and on to the California - Nevada state line. There is a side loop around the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Some, but not all, of the features you'll see on Trip 1 are...
- Old Highway 40
- Oxbow Nature Study Area
- Bartley Ranch Regional Park
- Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
- Geology at the Huffaker Hills
- Hidden Valley Regional Park
Trip 2 - Virginia City, Carson City, Washoe Valley, Steamboat Hot Springs
On this drive, you'll climb the Virginia Range to Virginia City and the Comstock region, then continue on to Carson City and loop back north through Washoe Valley, ending near where you began at the Steamboat Hot Springs geothermal complex. Highlights include...
- Hydrothermal Alteration
- Abandoned Mines
- Interesting locales in Virginia City
- American Flat Mills
- Washoe Lake
- Bowers Mansion
- Slide Mountain
Trip 3 - Reno, Lake Tahoe, Carson City
Trip 3 takes you on one of the most scenic drives in America - up the Mt. Rose Highway from Reno and south along the east (Nevada side) shore of Lake Tahoe. It's a journey from the desert around Reno, up to the alpine region of the Sierra Nevada, and back to the edge of the Great Basin. Highlights of this tour include...
- Lake Tahoe Geology and History
- Logging, Drought, and Forest Issues in the Lake Tahoe Basin
- Lake Tahoe Development and Pollution
- Genoa and Glenbrook
Trip 4 - Reno Through the Truckee River Canyon to Pyramid Lake
This tour centers around desert jewel of Pyramid Lake. You'll learn about the natural and cultural history of this area east and north of Reno, along with how it has been altered over the years from both geological and and man-made forces. The Truckee River ends at Pyramid Lake (a remnant of ancient Lake Lahontan that once covered much of northern Nevada) after its journey of some 140 miles from Lake Tahoe. Here are some of the things found along the route of Trip 4...
- About the Truckee River
- Sparks Marina Park
- Derby Dam and the Newlands Project
- Pyramid Lake
- Early Explorers
- Wild Horses
- Carson Desert
- Anaho Island and Pelicans
About Geologic and Natural History Tours in the Reno Area
"Geologic and Natural History Tours in the Reno Area" is designated as Special Publication 19 and was published by the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology at the University of Nevada, Reno. The expanded edition was first published in 2005 and printed by Bear Printing in Sparks, Nevada. The first edition was published in 1995.