Elko, Nevada 2009 – Our Trip to Lamoille Canyon, Jarbidge, Spruce Mtn., and Winnemucca Dunes!

ELKO, NEVADA IS A GREAT DESTINATION FOR A QUAD VACATION

CHECK OUT THE SLIDE SHOWS OF OUR  2010 TRIP TO ELKO IN OUR SLIDE SHOW SECTION.

I had read in an ATV Magazine at least two different times that Elko, Nevada was a great destination for quading.  It was all about a local quad club in Elko that put on an ATV Jamboree.  The article inspired me to go to Elko on our next vacation.
(To learn more about the Jamboree, go to the Jamboree website then click on “rides.”)

This past September (2009), I packed the family and quads up and headed to Elko. We left on a Thursday afternoon (our staring point: Pollock Pines, CA driving east on Hwy 50) and arrived at our Motel at about 10 o’clock. We stayed at the Thunderbird Motel on Idaho St. which is the main drag through town. You get off Hwy 80 at Mountain City Hwy turn right to left on Idaho St.  The Thunderbird is only a few blocks down on the left.  Idaho St. had a lot of motels to choose from and several casinos too.  The people at the Thunderbird Motel were very accommodating, the room was clean and beds were OK. They didn’t care if we parked our quad trailer anywhere in the parking lot and there was an empty lot next door we could park our quad trailer there also. The cost of the room for us was $65.00 a night for two queen size beds. They also gave each of us $5.00 food coupons for each day that we stayed for meals at two casinos down the street which ended up being a $60.00 savings on our food bills.  We ate at J R’s Bar and Grill in the Gold Country Inn and Casino and the food was great!

Lamoille Canyon

“Friday we spent the morning having an excellent breakfast and gathering information from the friendly locals…”

Friday we spent the morning having another excellent breakfast and gathering information from the friendly locals to help us plan where we wanted to go. We decided that on Saturday we would go to Jarbidge and then on Sunday we would go to Spruce Mountain, but first, today, we would spend the afternoon driving the truck up into Lamoille Canyon which is 25 miles SE of Elko on a decent, easily drivable paved road. The picture is on our home page. It was a beautiful drive with magnificent high Canyon walls with aspen trees changing to fall colors. I don’t think the pictures do it justice. If you go, make this trip a picnic lunch day.

Looking towards the entrance to Lamoille Canyon

Starting up Lamoille Canyon

Canyon off Lamoille Canyon

Canyon off Lamoille Canyon

Aspens in Lamoille Canyon

Aspens in Lamoille Canyon

At the top of Lamoille Canyon

At the top of Lamoille Canyon

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Jarbidge

“Another canyon had pillars on both sides and an Indian chiefs head painted on the rock alongside the stream.”

Painting of a Chiefs head

Painting of a Chiefs Head

Saturday we spent the morning having yet an another excellent breakfast and then headed north on Hwy 225 about 85 miles to Wild Horse where we turned right and staged on a dirt road just over a bridge that ran over a cove of the lake. Our quading destination was the old town of Jarbidge. This trip was a 114.6 miles round trip with a couple side excursions.  We traveled through terrain from desert to groves of aspens and down canyons with streams with – what I believe – looked like beaver dams on them. Another canyon had pillars on both sides and an Indian chiefs head painted on the rock along side of the stream.

We finally made it to the Old Mining Town of Jarbidge. I was surprised to discover the town was bigger than I would have thought. Jarbidge has a gas station but we made it round trip on one tank of fuel. But just in case we carried a spare 2 gal. gas can in our quad box. We had burgers at the Outdoor Inn Motel, bar and cafe, which is located in the middle of town, for a late lunch.

Outdoor Inn, Jarbidge, NV

Outdoor Inn at Jarbidge, Nevada

After filling ourselves with food, we took a little side road on our quads out of town up a small canyon where we saw a water tank and water treatment building along with some more wonderful scenery. I decided that we only had three to four hours of sunlight left so I thought for safety sake we should head back so we wouldn’t have to ride in the dark. With tired thumbs, we made it back to the truck in a little over two hours – even with a couple of rest stops. The road is in pretty good shape and  long sections of the road we could drive 30 to 40 MPH.

For me, this trip was the longest trek I have taken but I’m ready to take on more! I love feeling that feeling that the pioneers must have felt as they pushed west exploring new countryside not knowing what they might see around the next corner.

Looking at the aspens on our way to Jarbidge

Looking at the aspens on our way to Jarbidge

Shelby and I in the Canyon with Pillars. 5 miles to Jarbidge

Shelby and I in the Canyon with Pillars.5 miles to Jarbidge

Indian Head on the rock in the canyon by the creek

Indian Head on the rock in the canyon by the creek

Jarbidge Jail

Jarbidge Jail

Old Mining town of Jarbidge

Old Mining town of Jarbidge

Spruce Mountain

On the trip down Hwy 93 we saw a small herd of antelope standing along the fence line at the side of the road. They were majestic.

Sunday morning, this is the day for the Spruce Mountain trip. So we packed it up and stopped for which is now our favorite place for breakfast, JR’s Bar and Grill in the Gold Country Inn and Casino. I had the $4.99 special that day which was 2 eggs, sausage patty, hash browns and biscuits and gravy for only the cost of the drink with the food coupon. Our breakfasts were cheap with the help of the coupons.  So, after breakfast we hit the road heading east on Hwy 80, 50 miles to Wells and then South 37 miles on Hwy 93. On the trip down Hwy 93 we saw a small herd of antelope standing along the fence line at the side of the road. They were majestic. We finally came to the left hand turn onto a dirt road to find a place to stage for Spruce Mountain.  The trip on the quads ended up only being about 29 miles round trip with many stops to look at old mine shafts and all the old buildings. We spent the day wandering around the area and probably didn’t see half of what there is to see. There was a whole back side we didn’t even venture into. One thing to remember is to bring a powerful flashlight to look into the mines from the mine openings. The only thing I saw from the mine openings was darkness until I saw a picture that my wife took later. This trip had so much rich historical value. We loved it. We headed back to Elko just in time to clean up and go out for Dinner at JR’s Bar and Grill in the Gold Country Inn and Casino.

Looking down off of Spruce Mtn.

Looking down off of Spruce Mtn.

Old Mining Buildings

Old Mining Buildings

Old Mine Shaft

Old Mine Shaft

Cattle Watering Trough on Spruce Mtn.

Cattle Watering Trough on Spruce Mtn.

Another Mine Shaft Spruce Mtn.

Another Mine Shaft Spruce Mtn.

Cabins in Old Mining Camp

Cabins in Old Mining Camp

Old Mining Machinery

Old Mining Machinery

Another Mine Shaft at Spruce Mtn.

Another Mine Shaft at Spruce Mtn.

Looking in another Mine Shaft on Spruce Mtn.

Looking in another Mine Shaft on Spruce Mtn.

Winnemucca Dunes

 

The Dunes

 

We had to pack it up Monday morning and hit the road for the trip back home to Pollock Pines.  So we loaded up the truck with our belongings and made our last stop for breakfast and then jump on Hwy 80 west on our way to Winnemucca and then north on Hwy 95  8 to 10 miles to the Winnemucca Dunes. This is just what my 16 year old son Shelby has been waiting for.  To get the Kawasaki KFX 700 off the truck and hitting some jumps and getting some air. We had never been to these dunes before so we weren’t quite sure where the turn off was.  We didn’t see anything but an opening on the right through the fence as we came to the first part of the dunes. We drove past the dunes looking for some big parking lot or a sign or something that said “Welcome to Winnemucca Dunes” but didn’t see anything. We finally got to a road called Sand Pass Road then hung a u-turn and headed back and pulled into the opening in the fence we had previously passed.  There wasn’t too large of an area to park but ample for a few rigs. We got there at about 12:30 pm and because it was Monday there wasn’t another sole there. Not a mark in the sand. We ate or sack lunch and started riding. There were a few small bowls and some good jumping areas. Toward the hills there were some areas that were a little too steep for our liking especially without sand tires. It was a lot of fun and nothing to challenging for us except those hills which later when looking at the hybrid  map on Yahoo maps I saw that we were playing on only about  5% of the sand dunes and all the rest of it was on the other side of those hills. Out of 20 miles of dunes we only went on 1 mile of it. Funny, we didn’t even know it was there. In fact, looking on the map, we might have found access to the dunes from Sand Pass Road where we turned around. We still played for 3 hours. Oh well, we really didn’t plan for very long before this trip. We just went on a whim. I’ll sure plan better next time. The area that we went is where the Hwy 95 is marked on the Yahoo hybrid map.

Shelby at the Dunes

CHECK OUT THE SLIDE SHOWS OF OUR  2010 TRIP TO ELKO IN OUR SLIDE SHOW SECTION.

Happy Quading!

Harvey

( To see more Pictures go to onewithquad.com on Facebook )

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