Only a three-hour drive from Reno, Nev. boasts one of the West's best Mountain Biking Areas, Austin, Nev. located in the Pony Express territory. Austin is built along the steep walls of Pony Canyon, and Highway 50 climbs over the Austin summit at an elevation of more than 7,000 feet above sea level. Nearby mountains soar to 11,941 feet.
Weather conditions are ideal in the fall for mountain bikers, averaging 60-70 degrees during the day with lows of 40-45 at night Austin is a high mountain desert with moderate ranges of weather conditions. The air is generally dry and clear.
Numerous rides are available for all level riders. They include trails like the Castle Loop, an easy 4.5 mile trail with a 400-foot elevation gain. The Crest Cut-off challenges the more advanced rider with a 5,000 foot elevation gain totaling 24 miles. Other rides include the Cahill Canyon Run, Bob Scott Slide, Gold Venture Loop, and the Pony Canyon Down Hill Trail, all offering different mileages and elevation gains. The Pony Express Trail is an 11-mile trip for all level riders. Details on each trail can be reviewed at
Backcountry Discovery Routes is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization whose mission is to establish and preserve off-highway routes for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel. Through education, advocacy, and promotion of responsible motorcycle travel, BDR seeks to preserve backcountry motorcycling opportunities for generations to come.
BDR works with land managers, state tourism departments and rural communities to keep backcountry roads accessible to motorcyclists. Through careful investment of funds and volunteer resources, BDR is able to create new routes and provide free GPS tracks, photos, videos and planning tips for each route. The organization also works to educate the motorcycle community about responsible travel on public lands.
Backcountry Discovery Routes' goal is to create a new Backcountry Discovery Route each year for the Adventure Community. For each BDR route, a full-length documentary DVD, a Butler motorcycle map, and free GPS tracks are produced. BDR works with motorcycle dealers across the US to organize BDR movie premieres and training seminars.
Adventure Motorcycling encompasses more than just riding. It's about passion, adventure, travel, risk-taking, personal triumph, camaraderie, and becoming one with nature and the world. Since 2010, Backcountry Discovery Routes has inspired thousands of people -- seasoned adventure riders and those new to the sport -- to take advantage of the riding opportunities available in the United States.
When you are driving along Highway 50 The Loneliest Road in America this is a great stop to rest your weary head.
This campground isn't free - it's actually $10 per night. But it has water, trash collection, and pit toilets. Each site has a fire ring and picnic table. It also has splendid views of the area and gorgeous starry skies. Some sites are pull-through and a few sites are mostly level, but many aren't. BSC is First Come First Served. Sites are large and while there is a lot of shade in the park, most of the sites are open for those who need solar power. The town of Austin is a few miles down the road if you need to gas-up or grab an ice-cream in the warm summer temperatures.
Open May through October, camping, picnicking, restrooms, trailer sites, water. Located 6 miles east of Austin on US50.
12 miles from Austin in the Reese River Valley. Open May through October, camping, picnicking, restrooms, trailer sites, fishing. North of the wilderness on FS#002, 17 miles west of SR 376 and 12 miles south of US 50.
Area fishing is fun and relaxing, with little traffic and few people to interrupt your solitude. Many of the creeks have trout are planted in late April - beginning of May, weather and water permitting. The following descriptions are courtesy of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Service.
• Mosquito Creek - Aptly named. Hatchery rainbow, brown and brook trout available. No facilities are provided.
• Barley Creek - Stocked rainbow trout. No developed facilities provided.
• Cottonwood Creek - Stocked rainbow trout. Anglers willing to hike a couple of miles up) Cottonwood will find good fishing for browns and brook trout. No developed facilities provided.
• Clear Creek - Wild rainbow trout. No developed facilities provided.
• Pine Creek - Brown, brook and rainbow trout. No developed facilities provided.
• Barker Creek - Can be good, but not exceptional for wild rainbow trout and brook trout, developed facilities provided.
• Upper and Lower Reese River - Brown, rainbow and brook trout.
• North and South Twin Rivers - Rainbow and brook trout.
• Peavine - Brook trout.
Central Nevada is a hunter’s paradise, with a variety of options on where and what to hunt. Hunting in wilderness areas or other federal lands is regulated locally by the Nevada Division of Wildlife. There are also several licensed local guides/outfitters who can help you. Contact the Nevada Division of Wildlife for more information or to request application forms and full descriptions of regulations. The following information is a summary of those regulations for your convenience.
The Toiyabe Crest Trail runs 72 miles mostly along the ridges of the Toiyabe Range at elevations generally above 8,000 feet and contains slopes of 30 to 80 percent. The trail and its surrounding terrain average about 20 inches of precipitation per year with 90 percent of it in the form of snow. Temperatures range from 10 degrees in the winter to 60 degrees in the summer. Winds are a continual factor with the greatest gusts occurring in April and May and then decreasing through the summer.
The wide range of vegetation occurs along the trail. Limber Pine, Quaking Aspen. Curleaf Mountain Mahogany, Mountain Big Sagebrush, and Low Sagebrush comprise the upper vegetation story, with grasses and forbes providing the ground cover. The vegetation tends to be most dense in the wetter canyon areas. Because the trail zone traverses some of the highest elevations in the region, it provides considerable scenic potential. High vantage points offer unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains as well as the valleys below. In addition to the natural landscape, occasionally one sees both historic and recent mining operations.
The north end of the trail starts a half-mile south of the Kingston Guard Station. From Kingston Canyon, the trail keeps mostly to the crest of the mountains southward for 343 miles to Ophir Summit. At this point the Ophir Canyon road cresses the trail. From Ophir Summit the trail continues south for about ten miles to Wardenot Pasture. Then it turns southwesterly around Arc Dome Wilderness Area. The last 29 miles of the Crest Trail is within the Wilderness Area. At the Junction of Big Sawmill Creek and Reese River, the trail turns southeasterly up Reese River for about five miles. At the Junction of Trail Creek, the trail turns northeasterly for about ten miles, crossing the pass into South Twin River drainage to terminate at the road head on the South Twin River. Numerous “feeder” trails of variable standards and conditions are located along the entire length of the Toiyabe Crest Trail. These trails vary in length from one half mile to eight miles. They drop off into the canyons on both sides of the mountain range, and provide numerous access opportunities along the Crest Trail.
**You should be prepared to bring water with you and plan on boiling and water you get from the streams because of bacteria found in the water. There are some rattlesnakes in the area. It is advised that you come prepared for any emergency. Central Nevada is remote and far from medical attention. Use common sense, be responsible for your campfires and leave your camp clean. You may camp anywhere on forest for up to 14 days per site.