I had first read about a ride to the Lagomarsino Petroglyphs in the dated Reno/ Carson City mountain bike guidebook. Although at the time I intended to do all the rides in that guidebook I never got around to this one. Once I had ridden out Louse Town Rd and onto dirt roads above Reno knowing that the petroglyphs were somewhere in the vicinity but turned back after a less than earnest attempt. I am pretty sure I was not on the trail of this lost canyon.
This ride was planned by my friend Dean Magnuson. He had been up this canyon a few times previous, hiking, trail running, biking with his wife and friend. He searched out this route as a quest for water. The vernal creek was not quite making it to the Truckee River. But the day was filled with creek crossings and wet feet. The vegetation was thick with sage, willows, cotton woods and a spongy carpet of grass along Long Valley Creek. At times the spongy “swampy” trail was anything but Nevada.
Long Valley Creek snakes it’s way through a very rugged canyon. The canyon is rimmed with basalt columns. On this cool November day the riding conditions were perfect. But Dean has stories of how hot the canyon can be in the summer. The canyon is very popular with wild horses, an abundance of wildlife, and we were privilege to a pair of Golden Eagles soaring through. The canyon is a unique experience of geology, ecology and riding even before we made it to the Lagomarsino Petroglyphs.
I have visited quite a few archaeological treasures internationally but never this close to home. The placard read these petroglyphs number in over 2,200 panels and created over the last 10,000 years. Why here? Why such an abundance in comparison to other petroglyph sites in our area? This local treasure is a worthy day trip or side trip for any bike packer traveling through the area. As with any great treasure you will earn your reward riding up this rugged canyon. As with any great adventure the rewards come repeatedly along the route.