What are “Dual-Days” anyway?

The weather in Northern Nevada can be a little temperamental (keep an eye out for our infamous June snowstorms!), and it’s often difficult to predict what will happen next. However, as the warm weather finally begins to arrive in spring, the different microclimates between the valley floor and the mountains of the Sierra provide us with opportunities for outdoor recreation that most of the rest of the country couldn’t imagine.

Whether it’s skiing in the morning or lying on the beaches of Lake Tahoe in the afternoon, these “dual-days” refer to maximizing your springtime fun with two radically different activities that only Northern Nevada can provide.

Kayak at Tahoe and then Hit the Hot Springs

When it comes to getting used to the “hot and cold” nature of the area’s weather, you can always start with the water. Starting with the cold — Clearly Tahoe offers tours of the world-famous “lake of the sky” in a clear bottom kayak, allowing visitors aged 6 and up to see the incredible clarity of the lake first-hand. Clearly Tahoe offers guided kayak tours starting from multiple locations around the lake, including Incline, South Lake, and Edgewood. Tours usually last about 1.5 hours, wherein guests can explore crystal-clear depths of over 75 feet with a knowledgeable guide to explain Tahoe’s unique history and ecology, as well as what we can all do to protect it. At certain times of the year, guests can even see the stars directly from the surface of the water within LED lit-kayaks for an unforgettable experience.

Tahoe gets its famous clarity from the fact that it rarely warms above 50 degrees at any time of the year. So once you’re done exploring its depths, you can warm up with a quick drive to the historic town of Genoa, Nevada, for a dip in the hot springs at David Walley’s Resort. David Walley’s boasts five geothermally heated mineral water hot springs in a peaceful and serene mountain setting with nearby shops, restaurants, and other amenities. With temperatures ranging from 98 to 104 degrees, it’s the perfect way to follow up on Tahoe’s cold-water exposure therapy.

Clearly Tahoe kayaking at Lake Tahoe
Clearly Tahoe and Moondulla LLC (photographer)

See Picturesque Views at the Nevada Museum of Art and then Step Out for Snowshoeing

The beauty of the Sierra Nevada is legendary, drawing artists from around the world to its hills, forests, and valleys to capture the dramatic vistas. Many of those famous works ended up close by, adorning the world-class exhibits and galleries of the Nevada Museum of Art. Located in the heart of Downtown Reno, there are few simpler pleasures than grabbing breakfast and a cup of coffee from a nearby cafe and then spending the rest of the morning wandering the halls of the NMA examining paintings, photographs, and sculptures from historical names and local arbiters of culture.

Afterward, you can strap on a pair of snowshoes (easily rented at outdoor recreation shops) and explore the snowy ridges of the mountains that inspired the artwork. Popular areas like “Sheeps Flat” meadow just past the Mt. Rose summit provide beautiful scenery and easy terrain to get out and explore the winter wonderland of the mountains well into spring. Snowshoers should remember to pack a snack, water, and sunscreen—bluebird days at high elevations with a layer of snow on the ground combine to produce inordinate UV levels, and getting burned can put a damper on any dual-day pursuit.

Sunset snowshoe tour
Photo by Tahoe Adventure Tours

Ski a Few Runs and Then Play a Few Holes

There are precious few places in the country where one can spend the morning carving powder on one of several world-class ski resorts and the afternoon playing 18 holes in stellar sunshine conditions. But when it comes to spring in Lake Tahoe, this combination is a famous example of Northern Nevada’s dual-day possibilities.

Incline Village’s Diamond Peak resort is a quick drive from Reno with six chairlifts and 30 runs. The nearby Incline Village Championship Golf Course or Incline Village Mountain Golf Course is even closer—offering picturesque views of the surrounding pine forest and plenty of nearby local lunch spots. On the other side of the water, South Lake offers proximity to both Edgewood Resort (rated one of the best courses in America), where the American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament is held every year, as well as world-class ski resorts like Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Palisades. And, as is sometimes the case, if the snowfall has your green buried, a quick drive back down the hill to Eagle Valley golf course in Carson City or Toiyabe Golf Club in Washoe Valley can keep your dual-day on track.

Hike for the Waterfall and Keep Going ‘Til You Hit the Lake

Spring is the perfect time to look for things to do in Reno and the surrounding areas, and hiking is especially pleasant this time of year before the summer sun gets a little too hot overhead. If you’re up for a full day on the trails, you can opt to start your morning with the locally beloved Hunter Creek trail on the western slopes of the Sierra just outside of Reno. Hunter Creek is a 6.4-mile, out-and-back trail offering beautiful views of shady glens and rocky hillsides in equal measure before depositing hikers at the base of a rare sight in the desert — a 30-foot waterfall aptly named Hunter Creek Falls. The elevation gain totals around 1,200 feet, so parts of this trail can be challenging at times, but all-in-all, it’s well-suited for beginners and expert trail runners.

After lunch at the falls, hikers can chill out with something a little easier on the ankles and easier on the eyes — the Tahoe East Shore Trail. Opened in June 2019, this trail connects Incline Village to Sand Harbor with three miles of flat, paved trail skirting Tahoe’s shore. It can be walked or cycled depending on how your legs feel after your morning hike. The East Shore Trail is part of an initial project that aims to eventually complete a walkable path around the entire circumference of the lake, so avid walkers and cyclists will have something to look forward to for years to come.

Grab a Drink by the River and Catch a Show in the Evening

When the weather in Northern Nevada turns pleasant, you can bet that the opening of Reno’s favorite riverside drinking establishment, the Eddy, isn’t far behind. Located on the banks of the Truckee River a block away from the picturesque Wingfield Park, the Eddy provides a child-and-pet friendly area to enjoy the sunshine with a local drink and snack in one of the many repurposed shipping containers that comprise its indoor bar and seating spaces. With specialty cocktails, games like bocce ball and giant Jenga, and misters for those unseasonably warm days, nothing says springtime in Reno like an afternoon at the Eddy.

After you’ve eaten and drank your fill, you can imbibe the local theater culture as well. Just a few blocks east of the Eddy, the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts hosts some of the city’s most unique cultural fare — from Broadway performances to comedy shows and concerts by the Reno Philharmonic. With an expansive calendar of events, you can find a performance to suit anyone’s tastes while enjoying state-of-the-art production in the Pioneer Center’s historic space. (If you have any trouble finding it, just look for the building that looks like an enormous golden turtle shell.)

The weather in Northern Nevada can get a bad rep—sometimes rightfully so—but it also provides opportunities for enjoying our outdoor spaces in unique and adventurous ways. To learn more about great ways to spend a dual-day in Reno-Tahoe, contact one of our neighborhood experts today!