Humboldt National Forest Trails:
Humboldt National Forest
Humboldt National Forest Overview
The Humboldt-Toiyabe, a vast and sprawling outdoor-lover's Garden of Eden that stretches all across western and central Nevada and into eastern California, will satisfy every adventure-seeking Adam and excitement-driven Eve.
The forbidden fruit here is biting off more than you can chew, as there is simply too much to see and do. Everything from helicopter skiing in the Ruby Mountains to dropping a fly on the riffled surface of a cold mountain trout stream.
Ecosystems within the forest vary greatly, supporting Joshua trees in the Mojave Desert and gnarled dwarf shrubs on subalpine mountaintops. The diverse terrain includes everything from rolling sage, juniper, and pinyon pine, to magnificent cathedral-like cirque basins. Elsewhere in the forest, visitors can lose themselves from the travails of daily life in an intricate labyrinth of deep canyons and rugged ridges shaped by glaciers long ago.
Humboldt-Toiyabe is the largest national forest in the Lower 48 at nearly 6.5 million acres, and home to 15 separate wilderness areas. To give you an idea of the spatial relationship between these mountainous "islands in the sky" that rise above the Nevada desert, 500 miles can easily separate one section of the forest from another. The Humboldt and Toiyabe existed as separate entities until they were merged into one magnificent recreational mecca in the 1990s.
Hike Cattle Creek
The Cattle Creek Trail, located in the Hoover Wilderness, penetrates remote and wild backcountry that receives very few hikers. The six-mile round-trip starts at an elevation of 7,090 feet and tops out at 9,402 feet. Expect to hike for at least eight to ten hours to complete the trail as it skirts the Cattle Creek canyon. The trail meanders through wet meadow and wooded areas and culminates with a dramatic series of cliffs. Black bear and mountain lion inhabit the canyon.
Explore the Jarbidge Wilderness
Explore 113,000 acres of rugged, glaciated, mountain terrain in the Jarbidge Wilderness. The Jarbidge is a Shosone Indian word meaning a "weird beastly creature." According to legend, the Shosone braves chased this creature into a cave in the present Jarbidge Canyon and blocked it inside with rocks and boulders. The Jarbidge Mountains form a single crest and maintain elevations between 9,800 and 11,000 feet for approximately seven miles.
Raft the Carson River
A 20-mile wilderness run on California's East Fork of the Carson features Class II rapids that are safe enough, but also splashy enough, for the entire family. For a more challenging ride, try the Upper Run—six miles of pulse-quickening Class III whitewater. River outfitters can be found near the town of Markleeville just off Highway 4/89.
Mountain Bike a Ghost Town
The Bridgeport Mountain Ranger District offers mountain biking through the spooky old mining ghost town at Masonic. If that's too scary for you, try the Twin Lakes Loop that loops lazily around the Upper and Lower Twin Lakes. You'll need to ford a creek twice if you take the Leavitt Lake Road; the road will deliver you to a beguiling alpine lake.
Fish for the "Fisherman's Fish"
Due to their cautious approach to feeding, brown trout are often referred to as the "fisherman's fish." Also called European or Loch Leven, the suspicious brownie is an autumn spawner easily identifiable by red and black spots on its body. In the Walker River, you'll find spring spawners like the technicolored rainbow trout. The kokanee, a landlocked sockeye salmon, is a metallic-colored species with a greenish-blue back. Kokanees spawn in Robinson Creek in September and October.
- Humboldt National Forest