Tag Archives: Trails

National Trails Day 2014

(Originally published on MusclePowered.org by Jeff Potter)

We had a fantastic turnout on National Trails Day! Muscle Powered, Graceworks, Great Basin Institute and Starbucks volunteers (Thank you for the morning coffee!) showed up at the Waterfall Trailhead early Saturday morning to work on the Ash Canyon to Kings Canyon Trail. At the sign-in table volunteers were issued hard hats and were able to grab a bit of swag provided by Clif Bar through IMBA’s Clif Bars for Trail Work Days, and Adventure Medical Kits from the American Hiking Society. After sign-in and a bit of mingling, volunteers loaded up in vans provided by Carson City and Capitol Automotive and shuttled up to the worksite.



At the worksite Muscle Powered Senior Crew Leader Oliver Lieder conducted a safety talk and tool demonstration before sending crews off to work.


Crews lead by Ward Knous and Toby Welborn took the most difficult terrain, a steep cross slope with plenty of rock , which kept the crew busy the whole day, while crews lead by Mark Kimbrough, Oliver Lieder and Jeff Potter worked on slightly easier terrain. Keith Conrad lead our rock crew whose task was to pull rocks off the side slope, placed there during previous construction, and haul them to Church Bells Ravine to be used as rip rap.


This was the first time we’ve partnered with Graceworks, and I believe this was the first time they’ve worked on trail as an organization. It was wonderful to work with a dedicated group of hard working individuals, from ages 6 to 80, all in an effort of enhancing the community we live in.

Totally awesome Jenny! She brought MP and GW together. Thank you!

Great Basin Institute started working on Ash to Kings back in late 2012. In 2013 they worked a full season and built 2 miles of trail in the middle section of the alignment. In 2014 GBI conducted crew orientation, along with a couple of hitches, and together with Muscle Powered has built 4,000ft of trail since May 1st of this year. To have GBI with us on NTD was extra special. It gave everyone a chance to talk with the crews who are helping to build our trail, plus they’re a great bunch of people to hang around with.

Britney form GBI

We broke for lunch at 11:45 which was made by Comma Coffee provided by a generous donation from longtime trail supporters Galena Fest and Eagle Vision. Thank you!!!!!!

CJ working on the trail

After lunch we worked for a couple more hours. By 1:45 Mark and Oliver’s crew had finished their sections and moved up the trail to help the other crew leaders. At the end of the day crews had built 1,075ft of new trail!

Billie and Rex inspecting the sweet single track


We regrouped one more time, counted tools and took one last group photo before heading home. On the way out it was impressive to see the work Keith’s crew did with the rip rap.

Keith at Church Bells Ravine

Alex and Jeremy

Nathan and Isaac

Thank you to all who made this the best NTD ever!!!

Clear Creek Trail

Looking for some new singletrack to ride? Just south of Carson City is the new Clear Creek Trail! The Clear Creek Trail is almost 10.5 miles long, is open to hikers, mountain bikes, equestrians and dogs, has no exit, and is currently 21-miles round-trip. The trail begins next to Jacks Valley Elementary School at the Jacks Valley Trailhead, and ends about 1,000 feet southwest of the Highway 50/Tahoe Golf Club Drive interchange. Generally considered easy to moderate, the trail gradually climbs and descends along its length at a comfortable 5% grade with some flat sections. The elevation ranges between 4,950 feet at Jacks Valley Trailhead adjacent to the school, to a high point of 6,200 feet at the south fork crossing of Clear Creek, then down to 5,900 feet at the end of the trail. We got out to ride the trail recently, and here’s what we found.

Clear Creek Trail
Getting Started – Lots of turns in the tall brush

To get to the trailhead, head west on Jacks Valley Road just south of Carson City. The official trailhead is at Jacks Valley Elementary School, just a mile down the road. An alternate trailhead suitable for hikers and mountain bikers is just a half mile further to the west where the trail crosses the road. This is where we parked for our ride. There are several spots to park in the dirt off the road here, but our group got the last two spots. This new trail is really popular right now!

Clear Creek Trail
Watch for snakes!

To get started, go through the gate by the information kiosks. Follow the dirt road west just a short ways and make the first right to the north that climbs the hill. Immediately you’ll see a small sign that directs you onto the Clear Creek Trail singletrack. The trail begins with a gentle climb, taking its time to go anywhere as it meanders up the hill through the sagebrush.

Clear Creek Trail
Riding around granite boulders

Early into the climb you’ll pass a sign warning of rattlesnakes. While we didn’t encounter any snakes on our ride, I heard from a friend that grew up in this area that this hillside has a very high population of rattlesnakes that are active during the warmer months. While I don’t see them as a big threat to riders just passing through, use caution when taking a break near the many inviting rock outcroppings. Watch where you’re putting your hands and feet! Also keep a close watch on your dogs if you bring them.

Clear Creek Trail
The lower part of the trail can get sandy at times

Clear Creek Trail
One of the sections where the trail is cut into a steep hillside

The first part of the trail is below timberline, and winds through brush and around granite boulders as it climbs to the west. The trail is built mostly on decomposed granite. It’s packed down pretty good in the center of the trail most of the time, but there are some sandy sections that occasionally make forward momentum a challenge. This trail doesn’t have many trail obstacles to pinch flat on, so you can run lower tire pressure for maximum flotation on the sand. Certainly don’t go over the minimum recommended pressure on your tire’s sidewalls. If you know your tire’s capabilities, you may even want to go lower than the recommended pressure. The sandy trail would also make a great place to ride Fat Bikes.

Clear Creek Trail
Entering the Trees

After a couple miles, the trail climbs up into the trees. The trail firms up here, and winds through the woods with plenty of fantastic views of the valleys below. At times the trail gets narrow and traverses some steep slopes. This adds some thrill to the trail, but can make it difficult when meeting other trail users along the way. We encountered horses coming the opposite direction, and had to duck into a drainage area in a corner while they passed safely. Although the trail crosses many dirt roads and side trails along the way, the Clear Creek Trail is always clearly marked to keep you on track and off private property.

Clear Creek Trail
The trail firms up once in the trees

We went as far as Knob Point before turning around. At 6,050 ft, it makes a great vista point with views of Jacks and Carson Valleys. From here the trail turns to the north and heads towards Clear Creek, a section we plan to explore on our next outing on this trail.

Clear Creek Trail
Enjoying the view at Knob Point

Clear Creek Trail
Crossing a bridge, a fun trail feature

We had a great descent back to the trailhead. There are a few short climbs on the way out, but overall there is much downhill to enjoy. The gentle grade doesn’t allow for breakneck speeds, but that’s probably good with the mix of trail users we encountered. The slower speed was also good for the young mountain bikers we had in the group, so they could work on their trail skills without flying out of control. The trail gets a little confusing in the last mile. You don’t notice all the turns much when climbing, but hidden in the sagebrush, they are hard to see when descending at speed. I found myself trying hard not to skid into a few turns when the trail would suddenly break left or right without warning. Some practice on the last section may be needed to memorize the course.

Clear Creek Trail
Bonus: Bring your GPS and try to find the many Geocaches in the area!

The Clear Creek trail is a lot of fun, and is a great asset to have so close to Carson City. The lower elevation of the trail gives us something to ride early season, as many of the mountaintop trails don’t open until May and June. The shade on the upper section will be nice in the summer, and the easy terrain should be great for night riding. The gentle climb and lack of difficult obstacles make it a good trail for beginners. For those looking for additional things to do while on the trail, there are a lot of Geocaches nearby. Thank you Carson Valley Trails Association for such a great trail!

Clear Creek Trail
Excellent Views of the Carson Valley

Clear Creek Trail
Descending back to the trailhead

More information:

For more information about this trail, including a trail map, please vist the Carson Valley Trails Assocation site: http://www.carsonvalleytrails.org/Trails-ClearCreek.html

It's Always Something Eventful in Carson City

About a year ago, a few of us participated in the making of a promotional video for Carson City. Our segment was to promote our city’s recreational trails, so Ash Canyon was selected for the location. For about an hour, we all pedaled up and down the dirt road, and back and forth on the trails. Nearly two seconds of the footage made it to the final cut.

Ash Canyon Video Shoot
Video shoot in Ash Canyon

In case you were planning to blink while watching, the mountain biking segments are at the :27 and :50 marks in the video. But not to worry, since the video is chock-full of all the fun things to do in our city and surrounding areas. It’s enough to make your heart swell with pride!

It’s Always Something Eventful from Visit Carson City

Trail Building Volunteers Needed

I’m often asked by the local mountain bikers, how can I get involved in building the trails? Well here you go. Here are two upcoming opportunities advertised in the latest news release from Muscle Powered.

Max adding the finishing touch to a switchback on the HLT


No previous trail building experience needed. Work for all or part of the day. Volunteers must wear long pants, long-sleeved shirt, sturdy hiking shoes or boots and glasses or sunglasses. Hard hats and tools are provided. Bring water and lunch.

Muscle Powered Trail Building

Friday, Sept 2nd – Hobart Link Trail Workday

From Bill the Ranger: This trail will be a beautiful and fun multi-use but mostly mountain biking alternative to the steep, hot, dusty Sunflower Hill Rd. The trail is close to half done and we are excited to be building the first trail in the park primarily designed for biking so please join us!

  • Meet at: Lakeview Gate in Lakeview subdivision just north of Carson City – follow Hobart road uphill to gate. We will gather here and caravan up to the work site.
  • Time: 8am – 3pm
  • Clothing/misc: long pants, work shirt, hat, water, lunch, sun lotion, boots
  • Tools/supervision: Parks will provide
  • Transportation: you may drive your 4×4 or team up with another volunteer
  • Exit time: we should be finishing up at roughly 3-3:30pm and then caravanning out.


Carson Valley Trails Association:

Help build the Sierra Canyon Trail that connects to the Tahoe Rim Trail and Carson Valley Discovery Trail!

Saturday, September 3rd -Sierra Canyon Trail

From Jeremy Vlcan:  Park at the junction of Centennial Drive and Snowshoe Lane by 8 a.m. and walk up Snowshoe Lane to the kiosk and trail. Centennial Drive is 1/2 mile north of Genoa. If you’re late, follow the trail behind the kiosk and walk almost one mile up to the end of the trail where we are working.

  • No experience needed. Work as long as you like. Cold drinks provided. Bring a lunch.
  • Required work wear are long pants, long-sleeved shirts, sunglasses for eye protection, hiking shoes and work gloves.
  • Tools and hard hats are provided.
  • Work days through September are posted at http://www.carsonvalleytrails.org/Programs-Calendar.html

If you plan on helping with the Hobart Trail Link please contact Jeff Potter. For the Sierra Canyon Trail just show up.

Jeff Potter: jeffpotter@musclepowered.org


Jeff Potter

IMBA Trail Care Crew to Visit the Area

If you’ve ever been interested in the effort that goes into constructing the trails that we frequently enjoy, from working with land managers to working in the field, then this trail building class is for you.

Trail Work

The International Mountain Bike Association Trail Care Crew, with assistance from the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association, Carson Valley Trails Association, and the USFS, is coming to our area to offer a trail building weekend that is open to the public. This is a great opportunity to learn from the pros:

Subaru/International Mountain Bicycling Association Trail Care Crew Coming to South Lake Tahoe, California

Expert team will join TAMBA to teach sustainable trail building

South Lake Tahoe, CA: April 8-10 – The International Mountain Bicycling Association’s (IMBA) Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew will be in South Lake Tahoe, from April 8th through the 10th to talk trails, how to work more effectively with your area land managers, and how to improve the overall economic and social health of our community by creating more riding opportunities. The visit is one of about 70 stops on the 2011 schedule. Everyone is invited to attend the weekend’s events.

The award-winning Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew program includes two full-time, professional teams of trail experts who travel North America year-round, leading IMBA Trail building Schools, meeting with government officials and land managers and working with IMBA-affiliated groups to improve local mountain biking opportunities. IMBA’s crews have led more than 1,000 trail projects since the program debuted in 1997.

With the abundance of spring snow, the crew will spend the first day in the classroom on Friday. In collaboration with the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association (TAMBA), topics will include Land Manager Training, Better Living Though Trails, and Club Care Advocacy. These presentations will teach and advocate the health, economic, and social benefits of trails within our community. Weather permitting, Saturday’s session will culminate in a trip to the Carson Valley to break ground on a new trail that will ultimately connect the Tahoe Rim Trail with the town of Genoa. The crew will spend the morning teaching attendees about the proper techniques of trail building with actual hands-on trail work in the afternoon.

The Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew program has inspired great volunteer trail work across the U.S. and abroad – a big help to government agencies and land managers who have limited funding for trail construction and upkeep. As a direct result, there are now thousands of new and improved trails in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and several European countries.

The Trail Care Crews teach “sustainable” trail building, which means building lasting trails that require minimal maintenance. This helps reduce trail damage, protects the environment and enhances visitor enjoyment.

The Crews travel in new Subaru Outbacks provided by Subaru of America. The company has been IMBA’s leading sponsor since 1997.

All are welcome to join the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew leaders when they come to town. Below is a schedule of events that are open to the public:

Friday, April 8: 12:30 – 5:00 pm; USFS conference room, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe

-TAMBA presentation – “Who we are and what we’ll do”

-Land Manager training.

-Better Living Through Trails

-Club Care presentation (time allowing)

6:00pm -Social event at the Divided Sky in Meyers

Saturday, April 9: 9:00am – 12:00 pm; USFS, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe

-Trail Building classroom session.

1:00 – 4:00 pm – trail construction on the Carson Valley trail outside of Genoa.

Sunday, April 10

-Group mountain bike ride in the Carson Valley. Specifics TBA.

To register for the work day visit https://www.imba.com/civicrm/event/info?id=111&reset=1

For more information contact: bfish@designworkshop.com

Ash Canyon Trail Report

The Ash Canyon Trails are in fantastic condition right now! There is plenty of traction and no mud. There is high visibility on the Creek Trail, as the leaves have mostly fallen from the trees, and the grass has started to die back. With little sun reaching the bottom of the canyon though, it’s chilly down there, and the ground is frozen in parts.

Jesse and Cortney
Jesse and Cortney headed towards the Creek Trail

Don’t wait too long to enjoy the great trail conditions though! Looks like we got a “significant winter storm” headed towards us this weekend. You never know when your last ride on the Creek Trail for the season is going to be, so get out there.

Ash Canyon Night Ride
Ash Canyon Night Ride

There is also a night ride scheduled for Thursday, November 18th at 6:30 PM. Denis at the Bike Habitat wants to help get you out on the trails, and has a great selection of lights available. Call the Bike Habitat at 267-5053 if you’d like to reserve a demo light for tonight’s ride.

A map to the Foothill Road Trailhead off Winnie Lane can be found HERE.

Sabotage! on the Ash Canyon Trails

Be Alert! Someone has sabotaged the trails in Ash Canyon by digging deep holes in the middle of the trail. The holes are located in high speed sections or in places where you wouldn’t see them until too late. Hitting one of these holes at speed would cause serious injury or even death! We weren’t able to repair them at lunch, but tried to block off the trail with downed brush. We’ll get trail crews up there ASAP to repair the damage. Until this issue is resolved, it is advisable to ride up any trail first at a slow speed before bombing back down it. The four holes we discovered were on the lower trails just west of the V&T bike path (Jackrabbit and Postal Route). No holes were found higher up, but this could change at any time. Trail map here: http://www.bikecarson.com/trails-and-rides/

Trail Sabotage
1st Hole on the Jackrabbit Trail (Depth indication provided by Robin)

Trail Sabotage
2nd Hole on the Jackrabbit Trail

Trail Sabotage
3rd Hole on the Jackrabbit Trail

Trail Sabotage
Beginning of the Postal Trail