Friday, October 01, 2010

Journey to the Center of the Wild: Wes Hoskins on the Pasco Canyon Trail

By Wes Hoskins

Friends of Nevada Wilderness ended its 2010 series of projects in Alta Toquima on Sept. 24-26, 2010 with a big logging and lopping event. We have adopted de facto the Pasco Canyon and Pine Creek trails which are adjacent to each other and sit on the east side of the Alta Toquima range.

The scenery at Alta Toquima (photo by John Fiske)

We first identified this trail-clearing project when while scouting the area in August, trying to find an erstwhile connector between Pasco and Pine Creeks so that we might create a nice loop section out of the two drainages. But we were thwarted during the scouting trip by wild rose, thick as kudzu, lashing our skin and downed willow trees blocking every turn. The connector, even though it is on the Forest Service visitor maps is not a viable route right now. We may still try to conquer the connector but that will have to be left for next year. The connector was not a viable one-weekend volunteer project so we moved on to look at Pasco Canyon.

The obstructed trail before Friends of Nevada Wilderness (John Fiske)

Hiking up 2 miles we found that an intense weather event had demolished the trail. Aspen, willow, and water birch trunks and limbs lay scattered around the area for over one mile.

The trail after the team cleared it (John Fiske)

Clearing out this trail to aid access for hunters and horse users was a perfect project, we decided to get it done the last weekend of September and we did it in a day with 6 volunteers. We logged out 217 dead, downed, and hazard trees, in addition we created a 500 foot re-route in an especially impacted area. This project was highly needed and the satisfaction level at the end was super-high.

Big thanks to Larry, John, David, Mike, and Phil (John Fiske)

I have to put in a good word for Phillip Breslow. An honors student at UNR, he came out to satisfy some required service learning hours, but he worked as hard as anybody on the trip. He loves to be in the backcountry and I truly hope that he sticks around. Soon, my generation will need to find wilderness champions from the next generation, if they are like Phil, Nevada’s public lands will be in good hands.

Phil earns some relaxation time after working hard! (John Fiske)

Just so you all know, the Pine Creek Trail out of Pine Creek campground is now cleared out and leads up to the Jefferson complex of peaks. Length of the trail is approx 12 miles roundtrip.

Would you like to see your trip on the blog? Write up a description of your hike and include a photo or two and email it to and your adventure could be featured!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had a really great time on that trip; thank you very much for the opportunity and the kind words on my behalf Wes. I truly look forward to working with Friends of Nevada Wilderness again in the future just as soon as school work stops keeping me so busy.

-Phillip Breslow