Why is this road here? There are no obvious signs of mining interests. As an isolated ridge on top of a steep mountain of sagebrush and juniper it does not seem necessary for fire suppression. The ridge lacks radio towers or other sensitive electronics. So basically, this road is here for me to enjoy unique perspective of my surroundings and test my will to get out and explore. I can handle that.
Hungry Ridge is one of my many frequented areas just north of Reno/Sparks on the west side of Pyramid Way, NV 445, and south of Winnemucca Ranch Road. I have ridden through the valley just to its west with the same name sake, explored its eastern slope, explored the southern portion of the ridge road, and now have satisfied my curiosity that the ridge road continues to the north.
From Winnemucca Ranch Road we traveled south on Prairie (Dog) Rd and Big Dog Rd to find a pullout suitable to start this ride. I made this ride with Raymond Eliot and our two dogs. Big Dog Road eventually turns to public BLM lands past the last ranch home. We picked a canyon road to climb that seemed well maintained but not often traveled. As often is the case, the long climb began. It was a fairly consistent climb of 1,400′ over 3 miles. After the first mile and a half we new we were on the ridge as we could look over Spanish Springs Valley to the east and Hungry Valley to the west. There were a couple of pitches over 25% grade (or way over) that required a hike-a-bike as well as a steep descent to the saddle between the north and south high points of the ridge.
Now I was in familiar territory from my previous rides. We descended ATV trails to the jeep roads above Hungry Valley. From here it was a short ride back to the car. This turned out to be an excellent 10 mile loop. As a full day adventure, or overnight from Reno, or mixed in with any of the other great routes around the Dogskin Mountains, the views from this ridge top road are not to be missed.
Hungry Ridge, South
I must have been waiting to write about this after I explored the northern portion of this ridge. So here it is a year later. I rode along the western base of Hungry Ridge, from the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, until I found a road that I thought would be likely to climb into the ridge. I had found some route descriptions that I thought I could follow from Peakbager.com and Summitpost.org. I use these two sources regularly when planning trips and doing my research. I was able to follow a zig-zag of roads and ATV trails to the saddle between Hungry Ridge, North and South.
I chose the southern return mostly because the route north started with a dauntingly steep loose hike-a-bike. The southern route was exciting with technical terrain, ridge top views, and a descent through a sandy canyon with an unknown outcome. At some point during the descent I thought if I had to turn around and hike out it would have made for a long night.
The canyon exited to the southeast just south of the gravel pit above Spanish Springs.