NPLD Santa Rosa Mountains Trail Work

To celebrate National Public Lands Day I join a friends of Nevada wilderness trip to improve some trail in the Santa Rosa mountains north of Winemucca. I’m curious what these mountains will be like. From a distance they appear to be treeless. On the dusty drive in, the road dust seems to make pools in the air.

Dust Pools

Two vehicles drive to the Santa Rosa-Paradise Peak wilderness boundary in the morning, while a few of us elect to hike. Our trip leader Wes Hoskins introduces us to our tools here before we carry them up the steep access trail to the stretch of the Summit Trail we’ll work on.

Trail base

Larry and Alex with tools

A sage grouse takes flight as we pass.

UFO (or maybe sage grouse)

Our target section of trail has been overgrown with aspen, currants, and sage. It takes a few trips through the brush to identify the trail in places. We set to clearing a corridor large enough for horse travel and shaping the tread to reduce erosion.

Rocky Valley

Mike swings the axe

Packing up on cleared trail

We manage to open up about half a mile of trail. In the process I get completely covered in dirt, most of which is still left after the hike back down.

5 o'clock shadow, trailwork style

It’s a rewarding day. The trip leaders on these trips work nearly around the clock preparing food (and good coffee!), teaching, and organizing everyone to make sure they have a good trip. I’m full of admiration for them.

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