High Roads Project Part 5; FS Road 44017 Climbing to the Toiyabe Crest Trail

August 19, 2019 This road did not make the list of high roads in Nevada. This is not a criticism of “the list”. But this road has been on my radar since I rode the Toiyabe Crest Trail north to south from above Groves Reservoir to the edge of Arc Dome wilderness. I finished this ride well into the night so it was a joy to see it in the day light. There are a few roads that climb to the TCT, Campbell Canyon and Eldorado Canyon, Big Creek, and Kingston all worth exploring.

It was a great road to the summit. I need to descend Ophir Canyon in the daylight

I started this ride in the Reese River Valley off the Yomba Indian Reservation. I wasn’t alone, I looked back and saw a coyote following me. It did so for minutes before it peeled off into the sagebrush. Soon I was climbing into pinyon forest.

In and out of pinyon forest
Creek crossings in aspen groves

The pinyons gave way to open rolling shoulders of the Toiyabe Range. Although I was climbing between 8,000’ and 9,000’ there was no escaping the Nevada sun. I have a new riding kit from Kuhl that I am most pleased with. The Airspeed LS shirt is now a must have part of my rides. It fills every want I have in a riding shirt from fit, to performance fabric, to pockets, style, and even a feature I didn’t know I would want, a hidden sunglasses cleaner. I also have a couple pairs of shorts and a pair of pants. Every product is superior in fit, features and style to anything else I have been riding in. While I do think cycling specific clothing has its place I do prefer to ware something a little more casual in styling especially when meeting non-cyclists in the middle of nowhere.

Wide open
At the summit looking into Ophir Canyon down to Big Smoky Valley
Northern boundary of Arc Dome Wilderness

When I reached the pass at 10,100’ I recognized the spot I had last explored by my tiny headlamp. Being caught after dark with miles to go had taught me to forego the tiny tent-headlamp for a more powerful Niterider Adventure 320. I met a deer hunter who was doing far more glassing for animals than shooting. I told him about the elk I had seen on past trips on the TCT.

Taking a spin on the TCT
Exposure above Ophir Wash and Crane Canyon

I decided to climb a bit on the TCT since I was there. While taking on the entire trail is an undertaking I would only recommend with reservation experiencing sections of the trail from any of the access points is highly recommendable. This access point, especially so. The climb on the forest service road is particularly moderate. The quality of the TCT from the pass, the views, and diversity are tops!

Why would you want to ride anywhere else?

By the numbers This out and back was 21 miles, with almost 4,000’ of climbing to 10,500’ on the TCT. The pass itself crests at . When I descended the other side in the dark is was a pretty harrowing experience. I would like to repeat that in the light. A future ride would be to circumnavigate the Arc Dome Wilderness and explore the roads that bring you to the wilderness’s boundaries. I may have to put int on the calendar for October 2020.

It was a ride to beat the heat but the shirt tells the tale of a sweaty climb

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