The Painted Hills, Virginia Mtns

The question came up, maybe you don’t write about the Incandescent Rocks. Well, here it is, such a unique environment I can’t help but to hope people visit it, respect it, and share it with others. What I could not figure out was how after living here and being a part of the outdoor community for 15 years how this place was a complete secret to me. And everyone I have asked about this place was equally in the dark.

Entrance to Incandescent Rocks Scenic Area

I was originally interested in this area from seeing it at a distance from Winnemucca Ranch Rd and Moon Rocks. When I looked it up on a map only the Painted Hills were mentioned. I made two trips out to the Painted Hills and both provided such unique scenery that even as the terrain got steeper the views made the effort worth it, just ask my companion Tom Driggers.

Tom feeling the climb out of Winnemucca Valley
But in awe of the terrain opening up in front of him 

My second companion Dean Magnuson thoroughly enjoyed the terrain and geology. He is always looking for that unusual spot to explore, and in northern Nevada that usually includes water and unique geology. Dean had initiated our Lagomarsino Cyn outing, still a favorite ride to date.

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Dean at the base of the vernal fall and headwall. The hike around was more than we wanted to do this day.

We explored two canyons off Winnemucca Valley. The first canyon was the Incandescent Rocks Scenic Area which was a 4 wheel drive road that ended at a trail along a wash that was fed by a vernal fall coming off a significant headwall.

The second canyon had several 4 wheel drive road options into the Painted Hills which continue to a ridge top road. Those will have to wait for the next visit. As always there are more roads to explore.

Photo Credit: Tom Driggers


3 thoughts on “The Painted Hills, Virginia Mtns

  1. Robert Rollins

    I was just up at the vernal falls after this last rain to make a few photo’s of it since it would be flowing. I had shot it a few years back with a lot of water gushing down over the fall. If your interested email me and I will send them to you.

  2. Pingback: High Basin Pah Rah Petroglyphs; S24O Local Overnight – Bikepacking Northern Nevada

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