Updated: Sep 9, 2022
While the turnout wasn't what I'd hoped, the adventure was worth every long mile to get to the northeastern most corner of Black Rock.
158 Miles, 4 days, 3 nights and a ton of fun!
We began our offroad trail at Denio Junction where we gassed up for the last time.
We headed West on Hwy 140 for a spell before turning due south and up into the Pine Forest Range with Onion Reservoir in our sights. Funny... I think I saw more aspens than pines in the Pine Forest Range.
We ascended almost 3,000 feet by the time we got to Onion Valley which did not disappoint!
We headed West after enjoying the view above Onion and hit a trail through the aspens that "should" wind us through the range to Knott Creek. I had my doubts, but our spirit guide John came through with excellent advice on which direction to go. This part of the journey was the highlight of the trip for me. This trail took us through grasslands that were overgrown and the path showed no signs of use.
This was after we drove through the grass and parked for lunch.
We continued our trek through the Pine Forest Range seeking a path to Knott Creek.
We finally made it to the main trail to Knott Creek where we setup camp for the first night. Funny thing though, when we got onto Knott Creek trail he said "well I don't remember the trail coming out here... maybe that isn't the route we took a few years I ago!" 😱
We awoke bright and early to owls hooting and birds starting to chirp as the sun crested the canyon wall. We had a hearty breakfast and headed out around 10AM with Soldier Meadow in our sights. We followed a trail up into Summit Peak Wilderness and found an abandoned site called Camp Stanley which appears to have been a homestead that was once managed by BLM but is now privately owned. Early 20th century appliances are still present, but the property is roped off. We honored the posted signs and setup our chairs in shade of some aspens nearby.
We made our way back to the main path, through some more aspens and onto Summit Lake Indian Reservation.
We drove on the main dirt road to the north of the research outpost and took a sharp left onto Solider Meadow Rd which saw us to our second campsite at the BLM cabin.
Lee and his daughter met us at Solider Meadow and continued on to the end of the trip. The next day we packed up quickly and headed for High Rock Canyon en-route to Steven's Camp.
We ended up hitting 2-for-2 on the cabins and were able to setup our final night inside Steven's Camp near Upper High Rock Canyon.
My neighbor showed up for a chat, and we enjoyed a beautiful evening, BBQ, and conversation before turning in for the night. Steve departed later that afternoon while the rest of us headed north past Massacre Cabin on our way to State Hwy 8A en-route to Cedarville and Alturas.
There's so much more than meets the eye in Black Rock! The beauty, history, and majesty of the place is truly a testament to God's creation and the gems hidden around every corner keep us coming back for more opportunities for discovery and adventure. The harsh environment highlights just how hardy our forbearers were to cross the desolation in the hopes for better life and to find prosperity in the new western lands of early America. They are the true "overlanders" and their legacy lives on in our thirst for discovery, adventure, and fun in the Nevada backcountry and beyond.
Pictures courtesy of Steve Helzer, Tony Farson, and Leland Pate.