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hiking

New Gazebo

A new steel gazebo has been constructed at the overlook on the Dead Man’s Creek trail complex at the State Park. This replaces the weathered wood one. This is a great replacement and a tip of the hat to those that made it possible. We saw some wild horses while were up there today too.

Snake Season!

We almost stepped on this little guy before he started heading for the nearest bush for cover. We were hiking up in the hills behind New Washoe City and this 8″ baby rattler was sunning himself in the road. Just a reminder that the rattlesnakes are out and to be aware of your surroundings when you and your animals are out in the backcountry and your yard. I found one hanging out by the pool at my inlaws house one morning in Arizona!

Winters Ranch Overlook Hike

By Ron.

We recently discovered a new trail to explore in the valley and would like to share it with your readers. This trail appears to be a “new” fire road that connects the northwest side of the valley with the Mount Rose Highway just downhill of the old Reindeer Lodge. While the road is now gated, it may be open to vehicles in the summer. It offers outstanding views of the valley, Washoe City and Pleasant Valley. Along the route one can also see all the “fuels reduction’ work that has gone on recently to reduce fire danger in our beautiful forests on the west side. It looks like most if not all of this trail is on Forest Service property.

Directions: The trailhead is .7 miles north of the entrance to Davis Creek Park on the west side access road to I-580 just past the NDOT maintenance yard. There is a locked gate on the road but there is also a sign that says “Foot Traffic Welcome”. How they imagined we are supposed to do that is up to your imagination. There is no access around the gate which connects barb-wire fencing on either side. Access to the trail is gained by clamoring over the gate and you can see that the gate has suffered already. We have seen other trailheads that employ a kind of “jog-entry” that accommodates horses, hikers and bicycles but not vehicles. Hopefully they will add this feature but for now access is limited to the limber with a dog small enough to lift over or squeeze through the gate bars.

Trail Description: The trail winds upward through open country for about a mile before entering a treed bench area. Since the forest has been cleared of excessive trees and underbrush (ladder fuels, in defensible space lingo) the appearance is quite “park-like” and pleasant. In the long view, there are stunning views southward across the valley of our verdant pastures and shimmering lake. To the west is the foothills and mountains of the Carson Range in a new, dramatic relief. Off to the north can be seen a bird’s eye view of historic Washoe City and Pleasant Valley in the distance. We stopped at the two mile mark but the road continues on for several more miles before connection with the Mount Rose Highway. This would be a great loop trail for mountain bikers and a point-to-point trail for hikers and equestrians when the gates are open. As with most hikes in our area, plan on packing water for dogs as it is dry.

Where Is Jumbo Falls?

A reader writes in: “A friend asked if I could find out exactly where Jumbo Falls is located.  He and his wife try to find it in spring and they were hoping to be successful this spring.
Please let me know if you have the location.”

Jumbo FallsThere it is! Actually, it is northeast of New Washoe City and is found by taking a road north from the Jumbo Ghosttown townsite. We found it a couple of years ago and it is really just a cascade when the spring runoff occurs.Jumbo Falls The photo shows the little canyon it is in. Go to Google Maps and click on the “terrain” feature to see the view to the left and then click on “map” to see the roads that go close to it.

GPS: Lat 39 degrees 19.81 N; Long 119 degrees 41.543 W

If you take the route we took, you will also go by Washoe Valley’s own version of the Devils Postpile Nat. Monument.