Ride Report; A Route Through the West Shoulder of Dogskin Mountain

This panorama is slightly distorted from getting blown by the wind, above Bedell Flat

The forecast was for windy conditions increasing in severity by the afternoon. I wish the weather payed closer attention to the forecast! My original goal for this ride was to climb through the Seven Lakes Mountains to the west of Bedell Flat. While there are still roads into the Dogskin Mountains to be explored this proposed route I considered to be my last major route in this area to be ridden. The area is a favorite place to take people. Antelope Valley Road and Winnemucca Ranch Road  turn to dirt only 30 minutes out of Reno/Sparks. Bedell Flat is, well, flat, occasionally sandy, and has the potential to get washed out. Dry Valley has a collection of roads that wind through the pygmy forest of junipers and dip through seasonally dry creek beds. Combined with the views, wildlife, and solitude this area has something for everyone.

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Bedell Flat in the light, under a stormy sky

Brandon Anderson and I took off across the Flat between Fred’s Mountain, Sand Hills and Dogskin Mtn. Above the Rancho Haven neighborhood, we climbed a steep hill giving us a view of the routes around us. We decided the roads through Seven Lakes were better suited to mountain bikes. To north there was a road I hadn’t ridden so we chose that. Did I mention the wind? The sustained winds that were forecast for the afternoon showed up early.

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Sand Hills OHV recreation area

The road into the Dogskin Mtn was fantastic! It got us out of the wind. It provided a sustained pitch that was about at my max climbing ability for the gearing and traction of my KHS Grit 440. Occasionally the roads got a little to chunky to ride. The variety of geology in the canyons kept us visually motivated. We eventually topped out on the route with a stunning view of Winnemucca Valley, Tule Peak, the Virginia Mountains, and our abrupt descent to Winnemucca Ranch. There were a couple of choices at forks in the road that made us curious if there wasn’t an alternative approach to this route.

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Early in our climb out of Dry Valley
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We were swallowed up by the canyon
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Final pitch to the saddle summit of our route
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First look at Virginia Mtns
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Tule Peak, Virginia Mtns
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Looking down our descent
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First complete washout in our route
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An extreme washout that would test any rock crawling jeep

The descent had taken its toll from the wet winter. A couple of times the road completely disappeared in a debris field/creek but we were able to continue after a short hike downstream. From Winnemucca Ranch road we saw a huge boulder field low on the Dogskin that must of come from a major slide.

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A groomed sandy climb to Moon Rocks

Links to my past rides in this area:

Around Freds Mountain with Raymond Eliot

Camping with bikes in Dry Valley

Exploring Dry Valley Creek with Billy Vicks

State Line Peak and a Loop Around Dogskin Mtn on Snow

2 thoughts on “Ride Report; A Route Through the West Shoulder of Dogskin Mountain

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