Nevada Toiyabe Ranges in five days. Mountains, Valleys and Atomic Bomb sites

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by KarmaSect, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    Seattle
    And you have nothing to say about the joy that is Jefferson Pass, Don? :lol3

    Where is box canyon? I maybe using a different name. Is that where the tree biting incident took place?
    #61
  2. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Oregon City
    Jefferson Pass was plain rough. Nevada got so much water this year the rock was washed clean of any soil. I hit the Juniper on the turn North (Upper Warm Springs). I still got a few shots after that, the last one at Pott's before Kip and I peeled off. It was a 223 mile day on the odometer by the time we hit Eureka.
    #62
  3. squidchief

    squidchief Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    855
    Location:
    Northern Nevada
    Thanks for bringing me along for the ride guys. I love seeing my state through other peoples eyes. I do think these fantastic ride reports of Northern Nevada need to be in some kind of password protected file. Too many people read them and then folks will want to come here to see for themselves. Again, looks like a great ride. Thanks for posting such an excellent RR and pics. Stay safe.
    #63
    ViperJustin likes this.
  4. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    Seattle
    After eating one of our Shoshone Market sandwiches in Belmont, we continued to head east across the Monitor Valley and up into the Monitor range headed for the Barley Creek pass.

    [​IMG]

    The road through this range was a nice freshly graded road that we burned through rather quickly. Our plan was to cut off some mileage by utilizing an overgrown two track. However, it proved to be too much work and we have a lot of miles to cover. So we aborted and routed south and east over Eagle Pass.

    [​IMG]

    Once again no pictures, but we did climb Eagle pass east to west in 2013. Here is Bill climbing out of the one narrow/steep section.

    [​IMG]

    The western approach to Eagle pass is very smooth until you reach the edge, then there is a narrow steep drop with a large washout V on the downhill side. You can see the close contour lines below. A little tricky but manageable for small bikes. GSs would probably want to avoid this.

    [​IMG]

    Once through the major drop, the route is sandy two track weaving through tight Junipers.
    Its here we have our only injury of the trip. Not exactly sure what happened (Don can elaborate) but he smacked a large Juniper branch and smashed his finger pretty good.
    Ouch!

    [​IMG]

    Don manned up and we kept riding.

    The Eagle Pass road dumps out onto a main gravel road through Stone Cabin Valley. This road immediately goes into a narrow canyon for a mile or so, then widens out into Fish Lake Valley.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The overgrown two track we had intended to take supposedly dumped out at the north end of Fish Lake, but we sure couldn’t find evidence of a road.

    Here is a map of the Fish Valley area, as well as the last couple of passes for the day:


    [​IMG]

    Pushing on up the valley, we encounter several very large herds of wild horse. The first of these caused us a bit of a surprise.

    Being a obsessed photographer, I saw the first herd in the valley and sped up to get close before skidding to a stop and yanking out my SLR. If you don’t take pictures quick, horses will be long gone.

    As I came over a rise and began to slow, however, the horse doubled back and ran behind me and across the road. Just then I looked back and saw that Bill (in the number two riding position) was obscured by the hill and couldn’t see what was happening. As he crested the rise, all he saw was horses running at full speed about 30 feet in front of him. Between quick reactions and fast horses, no contact was made. But it was very close. Here is the one picture I was able to get off before they cleared the hill and were out of site:

    [​IMG]

    Very soon after the horse meat incident, we ran into two more large herds. Always running.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Coming up, the last pass and Diana’s Punch Bowl.
    #64
    TwilightZone and TheAdmiral like this.
  5. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Oregon City
    Can't get a decent horse pic with the pocket cam, so adios to the running dog food. I had already got smacked by a 2" juniper and it felt like a baseball bat across my knuckle, so it was swelling in the glove.

    Mini Grand Canyon - Underwhelming and a must-see phenomena
    [​IMG]
    It's not everyday you get to see a gravel pit with trees growing in it.

    This was my last shot of the day. Kip needed to get back to load up and extend this trip into New Mexico. I needed ice and Advil at the Sun Downer. From here, the two of us finished a 700 mile, 4 day trip with 223 miles total on Day 4 to Eureka.

    Looks like the private Pott's Hot Springs has had enough of the internet, the public and:
    [​IMG]
    perverted dirt bikers
    [​IMG]

    so they also posted it on the internet:

    [​IMG]

    It saves cattle all the trauma. until they take a bolt gun to the head at a slaughterhouse. that's all I have for pictures.

    Not many riders want to do this type of riding. Most of us can get one or two at the most. Not many riders are willing to put time & prep into it. If they do, they have time limits. Looking for a retired guy with time, prep, and the tools to get it done isn't worth the risk of riding with a squid. Go in-reach and go solo.

    Attached Files:

    #65
    TwilightZone likes this.
  6. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    Seattle
    OK. Last post of day 4.

    After dealing with all of the horse herds, the road up the valley turns north west and climbs up and back over the Monitor range. Along the way is a small canyon called the “mini grand canyon”. It is a bit anti-climatic, but was a nice place to stop and assess Don’s finger.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Don concluded that he should pack it in for the trip, so we debated a departure point. We decided to hit Pott’s Hot Springs in the next valley (Monitor Valley again), so we rode on over the pass (Dobbin Summit).

    We saw a sign on a bulletin board in Belmont that Potts was now closed to the public, but we didn’t want to believe it, so we went to the entrance to the ranch to check it out. Sure enough, a big sign saying CLOSED. (see Don’s post above) What a bummer. A shot from our visit in 2014:

    [​IMG]

    Kip was driving to New Mexico (for more riding) the next day, so he decided to peel off with Don and head back to Eureka. From our location, it was a straight shot up the valley and onto Highway 50. Once again, the InReach/Spot/Overlord setup worked well. A quick text to Mike back in Seattle and he knew to watch for two bikes traveling north and back to Eureka.

    The six of us remaining had one more stop before camping for the night: Diana’s Punch bowl, which is about two miles south of Potts.

    From Wikipedia:

    Diana's Punchbowl, also called the Devil's Cauldron, is a geothermal feature located on a small fault in Nye County, Nevada. The spring is exposed through a cup-shaped depression about 50 feet (15 m) in diameter at the top of a domelike hill of travertine about 600 feet (180 m) in diameter. Hot water in the pool of the bowl is about 30 feet (9 m) below the rim. The extreme water temperature of this feature is estimated to be 200 °F (93 °C).

    [​IMG]

    Of course, given that this is the middle of Nevada, there are no signs, no railings, on only a flimsy barbed wire fence around this thing. You open the barbed wire gate and ride up the hill and right up to the very edge. Fun and just a little terrifying if you think about it!

    An unassuming mound of dirt. Hey lets haul ass up to the top and blast over the top!

    [​IMG]

    Here are pictures of us hamming it up and throwing rocks, which is what grown men do when given such an awesome opportunity.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Our camp for the night was up Ike’s Canyon on the road directly behind the knuckleheads in the above picture.

    [​IMG]

    Camp in Ike’s Canyon. We found this spot in 2014 and given the timing of the day, it worked out that we were able to us it again. Flat spots for tents, shade, wind shelter and running water in the stream, even in September. And a great staging location for our run up Old Freight and Stoneberger Basin in the morning.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    View from camp.

    [​IMG]

    Day 5 (last but long day is next). Includes two long ridge runs between 8k' and 10k' with spectacular views of the valleys below.
    #66
  7. rider914

    rider914 Agnostic Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,202
    Location:
    Alta Loma, CA
    Thanks for the update guys :thumb

    Was aiming for Jefferson Pass in june of last year. We were on big bikes and could still see snow up top from Belmont, so re-routed to a lower pass (Charnock). Guess I am glad we decided to skip it, but will hafta try again someday on the small bike.

    That sucks about Potts :cry Was an awesome place :nod
    [​IMG]

    Looking forward to Stoneberger. That has been on my to-do list for awhile now :lurk

    -M
    #67
  8. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Oregon City
    Get the track from Mark. We had a re-route skipping a steep badly rutted hill. It still shows as a road on forestry maps, but we found a go-round the 4-wheelers used that was lots safer when descending in the basin from east to west. West to east it's obvious which way to go. The other way and you are committed before you know how bad it is.

    914 - another good route I took is to head south of Carvers, east to the Manhatten Petroglyphs, and take the 214 to the 82 road for a ride north through North Umberland Canyon. Real Scenic and it takes you to the Kingston store.
    #68
  9. liv2day

    liv2day Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    298
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Sucks about the finger, Don :( Hope it heals(ed?) ok and it doesn't give you any grief with the throttle/brake down the road.

    Incredible pics from all so far, what a cool area to ride. Looking forward to the final day's report:thumb
    #69
  10. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,933
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    Can you be specific where the Petroglyphs are?
    #70
  11. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Oregon City
    Coordinates from the waypoint I have on record:
    N38° 33.372' W116° 59.041'
    It's a BLM maintained vistor spot in the Bald Mtn wash.
    This route is in a lot better shape than Jefferson Canyon for bigger bikes.

    [​IMG]
    Thanks Brad. I'll know more next week with the ortho appt. Mark will likely put this one in the bank for another trip. I gave it to him in the Birch Creek gpx files with waypoints so I'm sure Jerry will get a copy too. This was a loop day ride from campsite.
    #71
  12. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,933
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    That looks good in MapSource.

    I don't have any tracks in that canyon, looking forward for some.
    #72
  13. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    Seattle
    Day 5 was another epic adventure. Several passes, two high altitude ridge runs, a difficult valley crossing, a hot springs refresh and a long pavement blast back to the trucks in Eureka.

    Our tracks for the day. The criss-cross in the middle was to facilitate gas. Always the constraint in these parts. The ‘text’ tag is supposed to say “End of Dirt"

    [​IMG]

    An elevation profile annotated with some locations.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a more detailed map of the next section:

    [​IMG]

    The adventure begins right out of camp as we continue up Ike’s Canyon and traverse several switchbacks to the pass (unnamed as best I can tell). This is one of the prettiest valleys I’ve ever ridden in. Truly breathtaking:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The pass. No snow this time.

    [​IMG]

    Looking toward Stoneberger Basin from the pass:

    [​IMG]

    Our first trip through this route was in June of 1014. We got all the way to this point and encountered one snow drift. Determined to press on (we had been turned back on Ophir pass the previous day), we carved a groove for the bikes and walked them up to the pass. Hard work.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Danny thought he would be clever and just ride his KLR up the small trough. It didn’t work.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Back to present day. Not satisfied with 9k’, Scott and I tried to hit 10k’. We came within a few feet. From the bottom looking up.

    [​IMG]

    And from the top looking down:

    [​IMG]

    The view from the top:

    [​IMG]

    This made Scott happy:

    [​IMG]

    Back down to the pass, we proceeded to Stoneberger basin:

    [​IMG]

    Almost immediately, there is a steep downhill that is now very washed out. Map:

    [​IMG]

    Here is one of our 2014 riders coming down the section that is now bypassed. Even three years ago it was a bit of a sphincter tightener:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A map of the new bypass. Tag should say “bypass":

    [​IMG]

    Stoneberger Basin is a small green valley about a mile long, with the above drop on one end and a similar accent on the other (no pics of the basin itself apparently). You will note on one of the maps above a waypoint called, “Dano Wrist”.

    In 2014, one of group was climbing out of the basin and his wheel slipped into the big rut to one side, causing a minor stall and tip over. Unfortunately, his wrist hit the ground followed by the full force of the handlebar end onto it. He ended up with a severe break of both the bones in his right wrist. At this point, our enjoyable ride was over and we had to focus on getting an injured rider out of the mountains and to a hospital. Given the remote location, this took us 12 hours.

    Riding through the next section in 2014 is a blur, as the only thing I could think of was, “Is the rest of this route easy enough for Dan to ride?”. It pays to have a retired firefighter on the rides, as Don was able to quickly splint up Dano and we gingerly proceeded — before too much shock came on. Amazingly, even with such a severe break, Dano was able to twist the throttle and using only the rear brake ride out. He admitted later to being nauseous and dizzy. He didn’t show it.

    Here is a picture of us in Austin after connecting up with a Nevada State Patrol. Dano is on the right…holding his arm.

    [​IMG]

    Frankly, the thought of Dano’s fall made me very nervous while climbing out of the basin, even though it was not particularly difficult (as long as you don’t go in the rut!).

    And finally, the top. Technically, this is not as high as the other side of Stoneberger.

    Views:

    Looking west:
    [​IMG]

    Looking east back across Stoneberger and Ike’s Canyon:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then it was on to a super cool ridge run (Old Freight Rd) with views to the valleys on either side:

    [​IMG]

    Bill and Gregg arguing about which view is more awesome probably:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Finally, Old Freight drops down and you hit the main gravel road heading to Austin. Given our need for gas, we headed straight across the valley and into town.

    Looking toward Austin:

    [​IMG]

    Looking back on the other end, near Highway 50:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    End of Day 5, segment 1.
    #73
  14. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Oregon City
    From the 2014 file of madness:
    Picture of Danny doing some of the wrapping. The rider's wrist was in a classic silver spoon shape and he knew it was broken.
    DSCN4638.JPG
    Mark identified the re-route for the steep rutted hill making this a scenic ride less technical than Orphir Pass.
    Pic of Mark on the 610 Husky
    DSCN4636.JPG
    Rider ability aside, DR 650's, Husky 610's, WR 250's, a KLR, and the Punkin of choice, have all been on this route. Even a 950 adventurer on a Fall ride. Dano rode down throttle hand only on his Husky 610 as time increased the swelling and pain level.
    DSCN4641.JPG

    Mark likes horse pictures, this one was hitch hiking
    [​IMG]
    #74
    liv2day and TwilightZone like this.
  15. rider914

    rider914 Agnostic Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,202
    Location:
    Alta Loma, CA
    Thanks for the petroglyph waypoint. Added to the planning file :evil

    Ike's and Stoneberger look great! Must do!

    There is another old grade that i've wanted to check out, just a couple canyons south of Ike's and intersects at Stonberger Basin.
    I'll bet you can find it :deal

    BTDT :nod
    Last year, Somewhere between Kingston and Austin...
    [​IMG]

    Two bikes thru :thumb
    [​IMG]

    :lurk

    -M
    #75
    tundradirtbiker likes this.
  16. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    Seattle
    Day 5, segment 2 (the last installment)


    After gassing up in Austin, we stopped for our first hot/non-dehydrated meal in several days.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is our route out of Austin. An immediate set of climbs up steep, rutted hills was a great way to work off a few calories. I came down these in 2013 and they were not nearly as bad. That was a theme of this trip — lots of ruts that weren’t there a few years prior…


    [​IMG]

    After the first steep accents, you end up on top of the ridge and go through a long series of ups and down. Super cool.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Killer views

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Finally you reach a small strip mine. This is where the route wove up into the hills. Looking at the map, however, we became concerned it might be a bit technical — and thus time consuming, so we routed down into the valley and back up toward Kingston pass. Next time.

    [​IMG]

    Some pictures heading up and over Kinston pass from west to east.

    Sheep!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A very sudden and unexpected water crossing. There were several of these on the west side of the pass.

    [​IMG]

    Getting close to the top:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On the pass looking back west:

    [​IMG]

    Looking east toward Kingston:

    [​IMG]

    No pictures of the long decent back down to the valley floor. At the end of the east side canyon is Kingston. No gas, but a small store. I first came to Kingston in 2003 on a street bike trip, and always wanted to come back and go up the canyon. It only took 14 years!

    [​IMG]

    Some wild temperature swings due to all of the ups and down. The two highest passes of this last day were 50 and 55 degrees.

    [​IMG]

    The high was 88, which was when we were flailing in what should have been a simple valley crossing on a nice straight two track road.

    [​IMG]

    As it turns out, it took us 1 hour 45 minutes to go 17 miles across the valley. No pictures, as my camera was starting to malfunction. But we first encountered a new trash dump on the outskirts of Kingston, then couldn’t find the road, then the road disappeared into a large washout, then disappeared into a lake (supposedly only “wet in spring”, then died out prior to a key turn — requiring some improvisation and cross country riding. And we had to chase a pack of burros along the way. Always an adventure….

    [​IMG]

    We finally reached Spencer Hot Springs. While they were a little too hot for a dip, we all did our best to splash off…as we had determined from Don (now in Eureka icing his finger) that there were no motel rooms and we were going to need to pack up and drive home without showers!

    From Spencer, it was a shot shot up a couple of gravel roads, then a 60+ mile road run back to the trucks. My last GPS recording was at 5:30 pm. We loaded up and drove through the night. Arrived home in Seattle noon the next day. It was an awesome trip.

    Here is the final tally, day by day.

    [​IMG]
    (I think I screwed up the Day 5 entry! should be 88 high and 49 low)

    THE END!
    #76
  17. Gregarious

    Gregarious Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Oddometer:
    423
    Location:
    Seattle
    My single greatest disappointment of this trip was not being able to enjoy the hot sprints at Potts. That visit in 2014 remains - to this date - the best tubbie I've ever taken.

    [​IMG]
    #77
  18. Mojave Mutt

    Mojave Mutt Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,339
    Location:
    Apple Valley California
    Great trip! Thanks for posting pic of Toiyabe Café in Austin , had a handful of decent meals there.. Been trying to remember that name.

    Last trip to Austin first meal was at The International down the street.
    I'll eat gas station food before wasting time and money again at this joint.
    #78
    tundradirtbiker likes this.
  19. KarmaSect

    KarmaSect The Dude Abides

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    Seattle
    Toiyabe Cafe is good and the staff friendly. While on the subject of remote Nevada food reviews, another plug for the Shoshone deli (and convenience store) in Carvers. In Eureka, we ate at the Owl Club for dinner. Meh. Mediocre food and super slow service. Previously we have had lunch at the Pony Express Meats and Deli in Austin. Really good. And as I said in my report, we were amazed by the speed and quality of service at Whipple's Country Store in Lund (another store with a grill in the back).
    #79
    Mojave Mutt likes this.
  20. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Oregon City
    #80
    squidchief likes this.