North Evans Creek is the creek that you might not realize you’re seeing if you’ve wandered around Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno.
Flowing south from the Panther Valley area, this creek flows along North Virginia Street before entering Rancho.
North Evans Creek follows Evans Canyon Trail from Vista Rafael Way to the Nature Trail in the northern portion of Rancho, and under North McCarran Blvd. Once the creek passes McCarran, rock weirs capture the flows to create a wetland.
More on the wetland from the City of Reno’s watershed map: “This wetland was constructed to manage the higher flows coming down Evans Creek (in lieu of building a dam just above the Nature Trail across McCarran), allow pollution to settle out in the flat areas, and reduce flooding of Sierra Street.”
From there, the water makes its way to Herman’s Pond and the arboretum before it hits Evans Street and goes underground.
Once underground, North Evans Creek does not see the light of day before dumping into the Truckee River near Record Street. Quite the journey!
Similar to Chalk Creek, North Evans Creek used to only flow in response to snow or rain storms. With the urbanization of the Truckee Meadows, however, the lower portion of this stream and others in the area tend to flow year-round.
In the upper portion of North Evans Creek common vegetation includes willow, wood rose, cottonwood, service berry, Rye, crested wheat, tall wheat, Jeffrey pine, white fir and native wildflowers.
The lower portion of the creek is home to cottonwood, cattail, choke cherry, wood rose, Great Basin Wild Rye, rabbits foot, and invasive weeds (think tall whitetop, puncture vine, burr buttercup and more).
Regarding wildlife, along this creek you’re most likely to see coyote, jack rabbit, cottontail, marmot, raccoon, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, raven, and black-billed magpie to name a few.