Tag Archives: Trails

Ash to Kings Trail Opening

Saturday, August 29th was the grand opening of the long awaited Ash Canyon to Kings Canyon trail. This non-motorized multi-use trail is seven miles long, and connects the Ash Canyon trail system to Kings Canyon Road (Lincoln Hwy) and the Longview Trail. Though the trail was designed with mountain bikes in mind, it is suitable for runners, hikers and equestrians. Trail construction began on July 1st, 2012, with most major work being wrapped up earlier this year. Final touches such as informational signage were completed in just the past few weeks. Now at completion, Carson City has a world-class mountain biking trail, on par with other famous local trails like the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
Making the ride and trek up to the trailhead

Although construction began in 2012, planning for this trail started back in 2007, a project that Muscle Powered’s Jeff Potter took the lead on. Scouting out the trail alignment was no easy task. I joined one of these early expeditions along the steep canyon walls of Ash Canyon. We made our way through thick brush, downed trees, and loose rock, the treacherous slope threatening to twist ankles at the first misstep. Potter was able to visualize a mountain bike trail cutting through this mountainside wilderness, while I was more concerned about trying to empty the rocks out of my boots and not falling down one of the many steep drainages. This was just one of many trips trail crews made in an effort to layout the future trail.

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
At the Ash Canyon trailhead

Once a rough idea of where the trail would go was established, there was the approval and funding process. Environmental and archaeological studies needed to be conducted. And with the trail crossing different jurisdictions, approval from the city and the U.S. Forest Service had to be granted. The Forest Service oversees an enormous area, and it can take a while for your project to come up in their queue. You must be patient. After studies were completed, trail alignments adjusted and approved, it was time to build a volunteer work force. There was no shortage of volunteers, but they’d all need to be trained and equipped with tools and safety gear. Even insured. Thankfully there were groups that stepped up to help with all the funding to get the project started. Carson City Open Space provided seed money that was used for grant reimbursement , and Jenny Scanland from NV State Parks was able to secure grants from the Recreational Trails Program. The city helped to cover the cost of workman’s comp insurance. Other private firms became involved to assist with bridge design and additional trail crews. A cast of many came together to get this trail built.

Ash to Kings Trail OpeningGathering at the Ash Canyon Creek bridge

Once trail construction finally began, trail crews started at both ends. Trail crew leaders Oli, Keith and Toby set a very high quality standard from the first rock that was laid, which set the bar for every trail workday after. Smaller sections were built and eventually joined together. When the winter snow arrived, crews had to wait several months for the melt off before they could begin again. Local businesses sponsored trail work days, and many from the community donated their free time to lend a hand. People of all ages came out, the kids working alongside the retired, everyone eager to see the completion of the trail.

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
More people continuing to arrive

So it was with great pride on August 29th when around 100 people showed up for the grand opening ceremony to celebrate the new trail. So many people had a stake in this project, whether doing the heavy work or assisting administratively. Some attendees rode or hiked up Ash Canyon to the trailhead, and others were shuttled to the event. Everyone gathered down the hill from the trailhead at the Ash Canyon bridge. The Mayor, Board of Supervisors, trail crew leaders, and representatives from Muscle Powered, Parks and Recreation, NV State Parks, Lumos and Associates Engineering, Great Basin Institute, Carson City Visitor’s Bureau, and the U.S. Forest Service were all onsite, and many had great words to say about the project. Leaders took their turns with the ribbon cutting, a “ribbon” made up of bicycle parts and running shoes. But of all the people that made this trail possible, it was Jeff Potter that was the big star of the day. While many of us helped out when it was convenient, Potter lived it. He sacrificed countless hours in all sorts of weather up in the canyons over the last several years to see this project through.

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
Lining the trail

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
Mayor Bob Crowell addresses the crowd. Board of Supervisors on the left

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
Muscle Powered’s Jeff Potter, the lead on the trail project

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
Jenny Scanland from State Parks helped to secure grant funding for the trail project

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
Muscle Powered and Lumos and Associates’ Chas Macquarie helps out with the “ribbon” cutting

After a great ceremony, it was time to enjoy the trail. Bikers and hikers, young and old, took to the trail to enjoy the rest of the day. Sunny clear skies offered trail users views of Carson City, Washoe Valley, and the Carson Valley as they climbed to the trail’s high point at 6,731 ft elevation. And of course, what goes up, must come down. Our group enjoyed a long descent down into Kings Canyon, finishing up at a picnic provided by Lumos and Associates at the bottom. Here are a few photos from the ride.

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
Climbing up out of Ash Canyon

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
At the boulder overlook

Ash to Kings Trail Opening

Ash to Kings Trail Opening

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
View of Washoe Valley

Ash to Kings Trail Opening

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
Fun for all ages!

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
Lots of smiles out on the trail

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
Great views of Carson City

Ash to Kings Trail Opening

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
Lots of helpful signage

Ash to Kings Trail Opening
On the Kings Canyon Creek bridge

While the trail is now officially open, that doesn’t mean the work is done. Ongoing trail maintenance must be done. I overheard trail crew leaders discussing sections that already needed to be tended to. Also, there is a plan in the works to construct a new section of trail that will bypass the steep road climb up Waterfall Road. And if you want to look at the big picture, area trail groups are working together, planning to connect our Ash to Kings Trail to the Tahoe Rim Trail and Carson Valley trails for a huge network. It’s definitely a good time to be living in Carson City!

If you’re interested in getting more involved with this trail and other future trail projects in our area, consider joining Muscle Powered, Citizens for a Walkable and Bikeable Carson City.

More photos from the event on Flickr here.

Kings Canyon to Ash Canyon Trail Update

My son and I joined the Muscle Powered Trail Crew over the weekend to work on the Kings Canyon to Ash Canyon Trail. The Bike Smith hosted this particular work day, and many of the guys from the shop were there to lend a hand. We arrived at the Kings Canyon trailhead at 9:00 AM where we received a safety talk, a hard hat, and trail tools to carry up to the work site. We worked about a mile up from the trailhead, so along our walk we got to see a lot of the completed trail work and were treated to fantastic views of the city below. Most of the trail has been cut at this point, so our teams concentrated on the finish work. Some sections had to be widened. Brush and stumps had to be cut back. There was rock work to be done to build nice wide switchbacks. Here’s a look at the trail and some of the work we did:

Arriving at the work site

A nice wooded section

A section still under construction near a waterfall

Removing small stumps and roots bordering the trail

Checking on trail progress below

Cutting back the brush

Constructing a switchback

A section of completed trail

Crossing the steep hillside

Moving lots of dirt

Heading back to the trailhead

The crew worked until about 4:00 PM. We were pretty tired and covered in dirt. We also endured some smokey conditions at times from the fires in CA. We returned home with an appreciation for all the hard work of the trail builders, and anticipation that someday we’ll get to come back and ride our bikes on this amazing trail!

A cooperative effort with Muscle Powered volunteers, Carson City, and the U.S. Forest Service, the Kings Canyon to Ash Canyon Trail will be a non-motorized multi-use mountain bike trail. Trail grade is kept at a pitch to allow riders to climb comfortably in a low gear, and descend at a controlled pace that doesn’t require the rider to be on the brakes all the time. Switchbacks, water diversions, and other trail features are designed to be ridden, so the rider doesn’t have to get off the bike. Though the trail is designed with mountain bikes in mind, it will also be suitable for runners, hikers and equestrians. When completed, the trail will be seven miles long, and will connect the Ash Canyon trail system to Kings Canyon Road. Trail crews are still completing the finish work, and two bridges must be installed to protect the creeks before the trail is officially open. It won’t be long now though. What a great asset to Carson City this will be!

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