A ride on the city’s wild side | NevadaAppeal.com

A ride on the city’s wild side

Sam Bauman

Last Friday, I had the chance to join Juan Guzman, Carson City Parks and Recreation Department open space manager, for a drive up Kings Canyon, Ash Canyon and Voltaire Canyon. I had little idea of the varied terrain up there west of the city. The roads are all four-wheel drive with some very steep dips, but they offer magnificent views.

With Guzman, who knows the land up there like his own backyard, it was an eye-opener. Site after site, Guzman identified plots and who owned them. While it’s a total no-fires area, there is at least one fine camping site.

At one point we stopped and overlooked a beautiful ranch with a green meadow that must be almost a mile long. It is capped by a large white house, easily seen from Highway 50 West on the left. Beyond it is a green canopy of forest – all of which will be cut down to make room for another golf course and multiple big, big homes. Guzman didn’t say anything about lost opportunities for open space, but the rest of us – two other members of the Parks and Rec commission – weren’t constrained.

The map Guzman was using shows the entire area in color – what is Carson City Land, what is privately owned, state owned, BLM property and Forest Service areas. Carson’s areas are colored in blue; too bad there isn’t more blue on the map.

It’s easy to ignore what’s in your own backyard for exciting-sounding wilderness, but those hills and roads are calling for hiking.

HIKING FOR BIRDERS

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Explore the Tahoe environment for the unique array of birds with a trained Tahoe Rim Trail Association hiking guide. The hike will start at 7:30 a.m. on July 6 and will last for about four hours. This will be a leisurely hike while discovering the unique birds near Page Meadows on the west shore of Lake Tahoe.

Hikers will search for Mountain Bluebird, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, McGillivray’s Warbler, Black-backed Woodpecker and Pine Grosbeak in these flower-covered, alpine meadows. The area also has tree carvings by Basque shepherds and an old Basque oven. Bring a sack lunch, necessary day-hike items and plenty of water. To sign up or for information contact hike leader Kirk Hardie at (775) 220-8785 or Krhardie@yahoo.com.

MORE HIKES

On Saturday, July 14, the first of the Desolation Wilderness hiking series will begin. These hikes will explore a few of the different trailheads on the west and south shore into the heart of Desolation Wilderness and on to the Tahoe Rim Trail.

The hikes are lead by a certified TRTA hiking guide. The July 14 hike will start from the Echo Lakes trailhead going to Glen Alpine, 15 miles, a moderate to strenuous hike. Contact Trena Bristol at 885-0875.

Squaw Valley USA’s Hiking Center offers a variety of guided and self-guided hikes on the resort’s upper mountain including the popular Full Moon Hikes. Full Moon Hikes are scheduled for today and Saturday, July 29-30, and August 27-28, 2007.

The Full Moon Hikes begin at 6 p.m. and cost $5 for adults and juniors and are free for kids 12 and under. An evening Cable Car & Hike Package is $14 for adults, juniors and seniors. Children ride the Car for just $5. Call (530) 583-6985.

• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com

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