Ash Canyon to Kings Canyon Trail

Carson officials, volunteers carving trail system in mountains west of city
By Teri Vance (Story originally appearing in the Nevada Appeal)

In the super-abridged version of the story, Jeff Potter complained to city supervisors in 2006 that more mountain bike trails were needed in the area.

Their response: Then do it.

Carson City

Of course, it wasn’t that simple. There was the master plan to consult. Permits needed to be acquired. Plans needed to be drawn up.

But after years of working with Carson City’s open-space manager, Juan Guzman, to negotiate with city, state and federal agencies as well as private property owners, the plan is starting to take shape.

Max Jones, who owns Spooner Lake Cross Country and Flume Trail Mountain Bikes, lent his expertise to determining three routes connecting Kings Canyon to Ash Canyon.

Potter said they settled on the mid-line route, traversing seven miles along the east-facing slopes of the mountains. It begins around 5,600 feet and climbs 1,100 feet to the highest point of 6,700 feet. The average grade is 6 percent.

Potter said it was an easy decision.

“If this was the only trail I could put in, it would be a killer trail,” he said. “Plus, we had fewer obstacles with this option.”

He said the gradual ascents with some steep climbs will make the trail a challenge for the experienced mountain biker while still being accessible to the novice.

“This is for everybody,” Potter said. “All skill levels.”

The trail also will be open for other non-motorized use, like hikers and equestrians.

While there are some trails now in the hills of east Carson City, they are what’s known as non-system trails. They don’t connect in a meaningful way and may not have the proper permits.

The trail, with access points in Kings Canyon and Ash Canyon, will make sense to users, Guzman said.

“It’s from a very well-known point to another well-known point,” he said.

It also could draw other outdoor enthusiasts to the area, Guzman said.

“This is the kind of thing that people will drive thousands of miles to come and experience,” he said. “We have a hidden spot here. People do not realize what a unique place this is. The Sierra Nevada is just spectacular.”

Potter said while users will be able to begin at either point, he imagines most will prefer to begin from the Kings Canyon side and climb about 2.5 miles to the highest point.

Once there, they’ll be on an outcropping with views of the entire city, along with Job’s Peak, the Sweetwater Range and Washoe Lake.

From there, it will a 5.5-mile descent into Ash Canyon. Along the way, there will be other overlooks for users to take in the view.

Work on the trail is expected to begin in the spring and could take up to five years to be fully complete.

Guzman said he appreciates the dedication and expertise of volunteers like Potter.

“This is the perfect use of our lands,” he said. “This corner of Nevada is just fantastic.”


Parks and Rec Commission Meeting This Tuesday

Parks and Rec Commission Meeting This Tuesday, originally published by Jeff Potter on

On the agenda for (discussion-only ) this Tuesday is the efforts by Muscle Powered to construct and maintain trails in the Ash Canyon area.

Carson City Overlook
Chas scouting the proposed AC/KC trail alignment

Tuesday, May 4th at 5:30 p.m. in the Sierra Room at the Carson City Community Center.

The Ash/Kings Canyon Trail project has picked up momentum recently with invaluable assistance from Chas Macquarie, Jeff Moser, Howard Riedl, Janice Brod, Toby Welborn, and Lester Fitzhenry. Though we’ve seen recent success with the Open Space Committee unanimously voting in support of funding the necessary environmental study (which is required before we can build trail on Forest Service land), our advocacy efforts are far from over.

A big selling point that we’re employing to convince our city managers that this is a cost effective project (besides quality of life and economic benefits), is that the mountain bike community is stepping up to the plate to construct the trails with volunteer labor. This is where you, the Bike Carson reader, come in.

The large turnout we had at the Open Space meeting April 19th didn’t go unnoticed and we need your help again. Though the agenda item is for discussion-only, a strong show of support from the mountain bike community would demonstrate that we’re serious about our trails.

Hope to see you there!

Kings Canyon to Ash Canyon Loop

As energy costs steadily increase, it is becoming more important to change our habits to conserve these vital resources. In years past, there was no consideration to throw the bike in the car, and drive up to Lake Tahoe for recreation. Fuel was cheap. These days are over, and it’s time to start thinking of new ways not only to get around town, but to get our favorite recreational areas too.

Looking Towards Carson Valley

Last weekend some friends and I decided to explore some of the Lake Tahoe Trails by beginning our ride from Carson City. In the end, the ride was much more rewarding, knowing that we had made the whole journey using only Muscle Power.

Please come read the story of our ride that took us from Carson City, up Kings Canyon to Spooner Summit, up to Marlette Lake, down to Hobart, and finally back to Carson City down Ash Canyon. The story can be viewed on the Bike Carson site by clicking HERE.