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June TD News -- Nevada Trails

Dean Eppley

With the snow lingering on many of our normal trails, the TD4WD Club ventured down the hill to Nevada for three excellent trail runs.  The first run on May 13, 2017 was out of Carson City, Nevada up Brunswick Canyon Road to Sunrise Pass Road and then back through El Dorado Canyon Jeep Trail to Dayton, Nevada.  Five vehicles made the trip.  The scenery was spectacular with wild horses, views of snow capped mountains in the distance, and varied geologic formations.  The first indication that it was going to be a fun trip was that GPS routing to Brunswick Canyon Road kept suggesting indirect approaches to the canyon.  Using a Satellite Map helped identify the reason – the Brunswick Canyon Road bridge across the Carson River was abandoned with large holes in the bridge deck visible from space.  Instead we accessed the area via BLM lands to the west and dropped down a very steep “exciting” dirt trail to the south side of the bridge at the Carson River.  From there the first sections of the road were washed out but the road improved as we drove up out of the canyon to Sunrise Pass Road.  Next the left turn took us down the El Dorado Canyon Jeep Trail.  This was the most challenging section due to the significant flooding that had occurred over the winter that obliterated the road and left a rocky, debris covered wash to navigate.  Don Schellenberg and Dave Brown led the group carefully picking their way down the trail as they had scouted it before.  The geology included this conglomerate cliff complete with a cave, as well as other spectacular rock formations.  Like most of our trips, this one ended with delicious Mexican food – this time in Incline Village.

The second run on May 20, 2017 was also up Brunswick Canyon but instead of turning left on Sunrise Pass Road, the group of ten vehicles turned right to exit the area to the West.  It was a beautiful day allowing the group to pick a picturesque lunch stop on the plateau with a view of the snow capped mountains to the south.  The day ended at a Mexican Restaurant at The Summit in Reno – who would have thought!  Thanks to Dave and Judy Brown for leading! 

The third run on June 3, 2017 took seven vehicles to Lockwood Nevada east of Sparks on Interstate 80.  From Lockwood we ventured south on Lousetown Road described as impassable by a concerned local resident who stopped his pickup truck to tell us of an alternative route.  We of course had to see firsthand, his definition of impassable.  The road started out rough with a steep drop off down into the wash but from there the road was just rough and rutted – hardly impassable for well equipped Jeeps!  We stopped to see the remains of an old way station/cabin with an interesting rock chimney but only one log from the original walls remained.  We soon caught up with a group of four Mercedes Unimog trucks rumbling along who thoughtfully let us by.  From there Dennis and Jan Austin led us to the Petroglyphs Site but not without stopping for a large Gopher (or Bull) snake crossing the road – it mimicked rattlesnakes coloration, including the yellow-black diamond markings.  We ventured across Long Valley Creek up to the Lagomarsino Petroglyph Site which is one of the largest rock art sites in Nevada with over 2200 petroglyph panels.  Here we ate lunch and enjoyed viewing the Petroglyphs.  These Petroglyphs were created over a 10,000 year period – I’m glad we got to see them!  From here the group continued on to Virginia City where we ran across hundreds of tricked out motorcycles participating in Street Vibrations.  Even with the crowds, we were easily able to find outside tables for us and our K9 partners to relax.

Tahoe Donner makes a great base camp to explore the region.  If you are interested in joining us, see our new Web Site at