It’s been snowing and raining like crazy this winter. We’re talking about an all-time precipitation record for Reno plus snowfall measured in tens of feet up in the Sierra Nevada. Since the winter water season began on October 1, 2016, Reno recorded 12.74 inches of precipitation as of the end of February, 2017, as measured by the National Weather Service. It has since rained and snowed even more, so the total to date is higher yet. The previous record for a year was 12.72 inches in 1982-1983. The average annual precipitation for Reno is 7.4 inches.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe has received 678 inches of snow this season (that’s 56.5 feet) and leads ski resorts in North America with the most cumulative snowfall this season. Other Tahoe area ski resorts aren’t far behind.

This has all been great for ending the multi-year drought in Nevada and California, but it hasn’t been a smooth transition from parched back to wet. The Reno region (and areas over in California) have endured periods of flooding, damaged roadways, mud and rock slides, avalanches, tough travel and closed highways, and a serious high water crisis at Oroville Dam north of Sacramento.

If you are going to be heading for the mountains this season, check highway conditions and the weather forecast. There’s no point in driving into trouble if you don’t have to.

Carson Pass, Highway 88, California, CA

Snowfall at Carson Pass on Highway 88. Since this photo was taken on March 4, 2017, it has snowed even more. Photo © Stan White

We’ve endured an epic winter with all kinds of weather-related issues. Some have been devastating, like flooding, while others have been beneficial, like drought-busting precipitation. We still have some winter-related activities to enjoy in March, but sure signs of spring are on the way. At least that’s what the daffodils starting to pop up in my yard think.

  • Art Walk Reno
  • Reno Bighorns Basketball
  • North Lake Tahoe SnowFest
  • Kerak Shrine Circus
  • Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry
  • Leprechaun Crawl
  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • Beer Crawls
  • Reno Expo 2017
  • CannaGrow Expo
  • Free Gardening Classes
  • Spring Break at Washoe County Schools

These are only a sample of things to do this month. Learn about even more from “March 2017 Events and Activities in the Reno Region.”

Spooner Lake has a system of cross-country ski trails that wind through the forest, across an open meadow and along the banks of Spooner Lake. The trail system is free to the public and made possible by a partnership between Nevada State Parks and Nevada Nordic, a non-profit group based in the Tahoe Basin. The scenic trail system includes several teardrop loops, offers both skate and classic skiing, and is intermediate with flat rolling terrain. These trails are great for both families and experienced skiers. Here are some trail etiquette rules so everyone has a fun time.

  • Do not walk on the trail in shoes or boots.
  • Dogs must be on a leash of not more than 6 feet in length and off to the side of the groomed trails.
  • Snowshoers are welcome, but should stay to the far edge and be careful not to mar the center of the trail where it is groomed for skiing.

Spooner Lake is part of Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. Access to the trails is free, but there is a park entrance fee of $7 per vehicle. Nevada residents receive a $2 discount. Spooner Lake is east of Carson City and south of Incline Village, at the intersection of U.S. 50 and Nevada 28.

Source story and photo: Nevada Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Cross country skiing, Spooner Lake, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, NV