Monday, September 20, 2010

Journey to the Center of the Wild: Wes Hoskins in the Mt. Rose Wilderness

By Wes Hoskins

On September 10th-13th, Renee Aldrich, Miriam Smith, Buddy (Miriam’s Chocolate Lab) and I had a splendid three-night backpack through the Mt. Rose Wilderness. We were aiming to document some last-minute campsites and just get a last look at the wild interior of a place we may not see again for awhile.

Our group at the top of Relay peak

Friends of Nevada Wilderness has put on 9 monitoring and stewardship trips in Mt. Rose this year, and this may be the last one before the Aspen turns and the Truckee Meadows begins to tuck in its chin for the winter.

Renee, Buddy, and me at the rustic bridge crossing Gray Creek

As far as campsites go, we didn’t find much else other than what has been previously recorded. We did find some tracks from a motorized vehicle that ran through the meadow at the headwaters of Galena Creek. It’s frustrating to see that kind of needless damage in a sensitive place when the area has extensive signage prohibiting motorized use in Mt. Rose meadow.

Crushed corn lilies from vehicles driving off designated routes in the Mt. Rose Meadows

Backpacking on the Carson Range generally and Mt. Rose specifically is not as easy as one might think considering it is so close to Reno — a fair-sized population center.

Miriam swoops in and hangs the bear bag after I do the hard work

When a hiker gets into the depths of the range there is no real trail system, just a spider web of informal trails and old roads. Consequently, the first and second days of the trip for us required a little cross-country travel.

Sunday is hard for Buddy after the ascent and descent of Relay Peak. At least he has some awesome booties!

Friday: Thomas Creek Trail Head to Davis Meadow (10.1 miles, 2000’ gain)
Saturday: Davis Meadow to Bronco Creek (4.2 miles, moderate gain and loss)
Sunday: Bronco Creek to Gray Lake (7.7 miles, approx 2,000’ gain)
Monday: Gray Lake to Brockway Summit (10.4 miles, approx 1900’ loss)

If you have any questions about this hike or want to know more about the area you can drop me an email at

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