Sunday, June 9, 2019

Sacramento Pass Trails, White Pine County

An often overlooked, but awesome place to go, is the Sacramento Pass Recreation Area trail system. It's right off Highways 6 and 50 between Ely and Baker, NV. Along with trails there are two camping areas and a fishing pond. I went one Saturday to enjoy the trails. I wanted to get in a long run, so my plan was to run all the trails and make a big loop. 

I drove to the upper campground area and started on the trails in a clockwise direction. I enjoyed the beautiful wildflowers, including this phlox.

The trails are open to hiking, running, and mountain biking. I've done some mountain biking, and it is not easy, but it is fun and technical, with lots of tight turns and rocky sections. The Sac Pass Trail is the easiest of the three sections, but even that requires me to get off my bike many times.

For my run, I ran the Sac Pass Trail until I got to the junction with the Lucky Boy Trail. Then I took the next junction to the Mine Shaft Trail.

The trails are relatively well marked, but I was glad some bicyclists had been on a couple days before, leaving marks on the trail. 

Here's the beautiful dwarf lousewort. Not a pretty name, but a pretty flower!

And some nice twinpod.

The Mine Shaft trail makes a circle around a rocky hill. You head a ways south before the loop begins.

Then it's time to go towards the north, with Mt. Moriah in view.

After going through a pass to the east, you see Highways 6 and 50. Even though the highway is relatively close, you still feel pretty far away from civilization.

Some beautiful Astragulus (Milkvetch) was blooming.

And then you head south again and feel really isolated.

The trail gets really rocky in places.

The views are so great.

As the trail turns, it heads to some neat rock formations. This is an area with a wash, and if you need to bail, head up the wash for a major shortcut.

Instead, I kept going, and at the south end of the loop found this sturdy-looking gate.

Coming back around the west side was this impressive juniper.

This long rocky section is part of the trail.

And here's the cool rocky section from the up-wash side. This could make a cool camping area.

Next was a sagebrush area that was straighter and faster than many other parts of the trail.

It was nice seeing the snow-covered mountains.

Back on the Sac Pass Trail.

A few more rocky sections and twists and turns...

...going past a rocky alcove...

...and then it was back to the trailhead!

The campground amenities are nice.

Here's a map of the entire run. If you'd like to download the kml or gpx files, check out the Snake Valley Trails website.

Other things you can do at Sacramento Pass:

Mountain bike ride

Enjoy the night skies

Admire the amazing views

It's a great place to go, and relatively still undiscovered, although the campsites will fill up on holiday weekends.

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