OverviewThe Red House Flume trail is actually comprised of an upper section and a lower section (also called the "Outer Flume), and depending on the point of origin and route desired can be ridden several different ways.
The trail gets it's name from a red "house" that is situated at the midpoint of the flume, where the flume crosses Franktown Creek.
Riding the Red House in its entirety usually means doing it as a downhill from the top of Tunnel Creek to Carson City (see map).
However, the upper section is ridden often as an uphill from Hobart Reservoir to Tunnel Creek as part of a loop in the Marlette backcountry.
Climbs up to the Red House from the east side are not done often or recommended, simply due to the steepness and amount of decomposed granite sand that makes up the local geology.
Red House, Upper Section
The top section of the Red House Flume Trail essentially starts at the summit above Tunnel Creek Station (which marks the north end of the Marlette Flume). A quick 0.5mi downhill leads to the old route of the flume (or aqueduct), and a near-level contour begins that lasts for 2.5mi more.
While the trail runs along an old roadbed, it has pretty much been reduced to singletrack. Much of this section is forested, and during certain times of the year wildflowers abound. The upper section ends at a small dam crossing Franktown Creek, where the road leading south to Hobart Reservoir is met.
If doing this as part of a loop back to Marlette Lake, you will turn right towards Hobart Reservoir. Otherwise, turn left to get to Washoe Valley or Carson City via Lakeview.
Red House, Lower Section (also called the "Outer Flume"
Once the dam is crossed and the Hobart road is reached, turn downhill for less than a quarter mile, and look for a road branching right. You will have passed the Red House itself on the left, and a left turn here would lead you to Washoe Valley via a series of fire roads.
The right-hand branch continues along the old flume route, contouring high above Washoe Valley for 4 miles. This section can be slightly sandy, and is pretty flat, so don't expect it to go quickly. At the end of 4 miles, you reach the The Tanks above the Lakeview subdivision between Carson City and Washoe Valley.
A fast and furious 2.5mi downhill loses 2000ft and drops you in the back of Lakeview on residential streets. A right (south) turn that loops back east followed by another right takes you down Combs Canyon to the Community College area in Carson.