Tahoe-Pyramid Trail: Compiling and reporting TPT trail user counts from Truckee to Reno

Project title

Compiling and reporting TPT trail user counts from Truckee to Reno

Research question

The Tahoe-Pyramid Trail organization has collected data for 1-2 years of trail users in 3-4 locations from Reno to Truckee. This data is used to create improve the safety of the trails. Currently this data is presented as raw data reported in emails and text messages. Our research need is for a student to organize and format data in a useful way. We currently are looking to compare volume of traffic at different locations; number of uses by day-of-week and month-year; even amount of hikers' vs cyclists. Tahoe-Pyramid Trail also has the need to, possibly, estimate data gaps and provide feedback on how we can improve our systems.


Volunteers have installed and maintained two types of trail traffic counters since 2020:

  • At Mogul there is a light-beam-interrupter which counts each body that goes by (on bike or on foot). Due to technical difficulty, we will only have 6-8 months of data by fall semester.
  • In the canyon from Truckee to Verdi there have been 3 motion-activated cameras with the ability to count (manually) hiker's vs bikers. This data spans 2 years (excluding winter) but is somewhat intermittent.


A table and graph of trail user counts, including all locations and both technologies (described above), from 2020-2022.
A short explanation (can use the information included in this document) of scope and technique.

Optional: recommendation of better tools and techniques for more systematic data collection.

Suggested skills

Ability to sift through raw data and create a summary report.

Agency representative

Janet Phillips


(775) 825-9868