Kings Canyon - 10/22/2006
A couple of Sunday's ago Sandie and I took our Chili Dog for a MTB ride up Kings Canyon. It is a long gradual climb from Carson City to Spooner Summit with beautiful views especially in the fall with all at the leaves changing color. The hardest part of the ride is climbing without much of a warm up. You are about a mile and a half into the climb before your body realizes it can do this.
The last time we did this ride was shortly after we met in 2000. We did a "shuttle" ride where we left one car in Carson and drove up to the summit. After the ride we arrived at the bottom and realized the keys for the car in Carson were in the car at Spooner Summit. We had to ride from the base of the trail to my house in Carson to get my other car at which point Sandie swore I was trying to kill her. In her defense it was her first MTB ride ever. This time however, she did the 9 mile climb with no complaints and probably could have kept going if we did not have the dog to worry about.
Chili Dog was a trooper as usual, even after we almost killed him earlier this summer on the Flume Trail. That was 27 miles, which is too much even for our bad ass dog. After that ride we decided that 15 miles is probably his limit. This ride was slightly over that at just over 18 but he was in much better physical shape this time around. He loved to drink the fresh water from the streams which seemed to give him magical bursts of energy. When I would stop to take pictures or give him a drink from my bottle, he would get impatient because his mamma kept going without him out of sight. So he would run between us keeping an eye on both of us making sure we stayed together. It must be the Shepherd in him.
You can find great trail maps and descriptions at Great Basin Bicycles Here is what they say about this ride:
Kings Canyon Climb (Blue Trail)
19 Miles - 3000 Feet of Climbing (Intermediate)
From Reno, take Hwy 395 south to Carson City. Once in Carson City, take a right on Winnie Ln. Follow Winnie Ln. to Mountain St. take a left then follow to King Street. Take a right on King Street and follow the road until it turns to dirt. Park at the end of the pavement, and start your ride here. Follow the dirt road for 2.6 miles where your will have completed the worst part of the climb. This section is loose, rocky, and steep, but once completed, the rest of the ride is beautiful. Once at the top of the climb, you will see a road coming in on your left. This road takes you downhill into private property and will dump you out ½ way up Highway 50. Continue strait heading west. The rest of the ride is very strait forward. There are no other road intersections into this jeep road. So, all you have to do is ride to the top. Follow this jeep road up and down for 6.9 miles (9.5 miles from the start) where it will drop you out on the top of Highway 50 Spooner Summit. Now just turn around and ride back down to the car. Be careful on the last 2.6 miles. This ride should take the intermediate rider 2 – 2.5 hours to complete.