Ride Report; First Ride in Adrian Valley and Churchill Narrows

Craggy bluffs above the Churchill Site

This was my third trip out to  Fort Churchill State Park and I am liking it more with each visit. On this trip I wanted to explore Adrian Valley and a feature on the map called the Churchill Narrows. I am looking for various routes into the Pine Nut Mountains and I have traced this route to Churchill Canyon and Como Rd.

I seek out these emigrant trail markers

When exploring this route by satellite view I was not impressed with what I saw. Everything was the same shade of Nevada brown and I was not expecting much for scenery. But Nevada did not let me down. The scenery was fantastic with craggy bluffs, eroded canyons, large cottonwoods, and plenty of birds for wildlife viewing.


In the first field we crossed we saw a group of male blue birds. I’m not sure I have seen a more brilliant blue outside the tropics. I am thankful for the natural history knowledge Dean brings on our rides. He also identified a marsh hawk. Bird identification is not a skill of mine.

Churchill Spring creates a small aquatic oasis in the desert

We came to the Churchill Site and Churchill Spring. It is always amazing to find water in the desert and see the oasis it creates.


Against the cliffs we saw a hawk flying about. Unfortunately I do not have a camera or the experience to photograph wildlife. But if you do, Nevada’s  public lands deliver plenty of opportunity to those who seek it.

Fat and plus size tires make exploring Nevada much easier  
Before entering the wash
Our “trail” for the next few miles

We took a side road to the west along a buried pipeline. Our hope was to find a loop back to the park but we chose to loop back to the Churchill Spring via a boulder strewn wash. The size of the wash really inspired my imagination as to the enormity of the flash floods required to create it.


Once back at the park we rode the nature trail to Buckland Station at the intersection of State Highway 95 and the Carson River. It is fantastic that bikes are permitted on the park’s trails. We chatted with a ranger who recommended continuing along the trail following the Carson River downstream along the Carson River Ranches to Lahontan State Recreation Area. Definitely a goal for my next visit to Churchill State Park.

Park maintained buildings near Buckland Station

3 thoughts on “Ride Report; First Ride in Adrian Valley and Churchill Narrows

  1. Pingback: Return to Fort Churchill; Ride Report | Bikepacking Northern Nevada

  2. John

    That drainage is the northern extension of Adrian Valley, and geologic study indicates probably hosted diversion of the Walker River into the Carson River, perhaps as recently as 300 years ago.

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