Ride Report: Hills on the West Side above Spanish Springs

My rides in this area, from road rides up Eagle Canyon Rd to dirt rides through Hungry Valley and Hungry Ridge to the north inspired me to find a route through these hills. The maps showed Dolores Dr ending on dirt roads on public lands (BLM) so I figured I could find a route paralleling Pyramid Highway above Sparks/ Spanish Springs to the east and Sun Valley to the south.

Climbing above Spanish Springs

My first eyeopener was the neighborhood off Dolores Rd. What a gem with larger plots and nice homes tucked away from the city against public lands dominated by a juniper forest. The wealth of rugged canyons and jeep roads was my second eyeopener. I chose my fat bike for this ride as I knew my riding partner would be on his. It turned out to be a great choice for this ride. The combination of loose steep pitches, rock, and sand was more rideable with the extra traction and float of the fat tires. Fat tires are proving to be a great choice for exploring Nevada’s varied terrain. About half of the roads we were on were highlighted on my GPS and the canyon washes were rideable and added technical challenges as well. Some appeared  popular with the 4 wheel/ rock crawling crowd.

Looking north to Hungry Ridge above Golden Eagle Cyn

We climbed to a saddle between the high points of the hills. I cannot find a name for these hills. Some people refer to them as a part of Hungry Ridge. My research of USGS topographic maps or any other did not yield any clues. From the saddle looking north we chose a prominent canyon to descend to Eagle Canyon Road. The canyon was very rugged at times contrasted with a fast sandy luge run at others. We road along Eagle Canyon Road on an adjacent whooped-out quad trail until we looped back around the base of the hills we had just climbed through.

Rugged canyon descending to Hungry Ridge.

The return route offered many side routes up canyons or switch backs up the face to old mines. The relatively straight shot south provided a fast pump track experience on a sandy jeep road. I was really glad to explore this route to connect Reno/Sparks with Hungry Ridge/Valley. There are alternatives to this high route such as the Hungry Valley route or Pyramid Highway. More routes to come!


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