When I was a kid, C-Hill was my playground. I spent many hours up in the foothills exploring the roads and trails on my Schwinn Stingray. Right about the time mountain bikes came along though, the developers came in and built on every part of land that wasn’t steep hillside. The playground was finished. There was nothing left but steep 4×4 roads going straight up the mountain. Biking, hiking, and winter sledding were gone.
Fast forward several years later though, and the trails are starting to reappear! Recreational trails that are appealing to mountain bikers and hikers are making a comeback in the area, as people begin to realize the importance of having these assets close to home. One of the newest trails on the map is the Longview Trail.
How to Get There
The Longview Singletrack trailhead is located at the intersection of Longview and Kings Canyon Road. On the south side of the pavement there are two dirt roads. One heads steeply up the ridge, the other leads into the ravine. Follow the lower trail into the ravine for a short distance, and look for the singletrack on that right that continues up the ravine.
The trail starts off following an old foot path, but eventually leaves the old trail and begins to cross back and forth across the ravine where it makes more sense to have a trail. The trail climbs pretty steep, the narrow ravine offering very few options for an easier line. I was able to make the climb up the ravine on my single speed, but had to rest frequently to do so. At least this offered plenty of opportunities for pictures! I’m looking forward to trying out the climb again with a granny gear.
When the ravine becomes too steep and narrow to continue up, the singletrack switchbacks out of the ravine and onto the western ridge above. The trail meanders around fun trail features such as boulders and abandoned mines, and eventually crosses the upper road mentioned in the beginning of the post. When you finally come out on top, you are rewarded with fantastic views of Carson City and Kings Canyon.
The steepness of this singletrack classifies it as an intermediate skills level trail. There are a few technical challenges along the way, mostly in the area of the switchbacks, but overall the trail is pretty smooth. Beginning riders will enjoy the trail if they don’t mind resting often on the climb.
Other Trails in the Area
The trail continues south to a plateau above Borda Meadows where it terminates at this time. From here, you can ride back the way you came, get on the doubletrack that crosses the south side of Borda Meadows and eventually connects to Kings Canyon Road, or head east to the canyon behind C Hill. There is a crude trail in the canyon behind C Hill that goes all the way to Rhodes Street where it meets Curry Street. I haven’t ridden it this year, but it can be overgrown at times, doesn’t connect all the way to the top, and has gaps in the middle due to intrusive geological exploration by land developers. Thankfully, the housing crash has spared further development in this beautiful canyon.
The Longview Trail is a welcome addition to the Carson City Trail network. Every new section of trail opens up new possibilities. Trails and roads are suddenly connected, and new loops are formed. In the future, it’s not hard to imagine connecting Douglas and Washoe counties along Carson’s west side. Or how about a giant loop around Carson City when all the trails are eventually connected? Now wouldn’t that be cool?