This ride over the old pony express route, parallel to the
western approach to Austin
, is written up as ride No.6 in the Austin -
Toiyabe Mountain Bike Trail Guide, a free booklet available
at the Austin City Hall. The booklet describes the ride in
the opposite direction as I do here, which is pretty much
all downhill and therefore "easy". Doing the ride
in the direction described here, takes a little bit of
creative sign interpretation, because the cyclist - directed
signs are designed to be read from the other direction.
WEST ALT: jct US50 - Old Overland Road
2.(6320ft,mile07.7)profile turns left onto paved road,
immediately after the jct with Nv305
3.(7600ft,mile14.1)TOP: highest point on Emigrant Pass
4.(7484ft,mile14.3) Austin Summit; profile turns left
and follow US50
4.(6840ft,mile14.8)Grass Valley Rd takes off on left
5.(7267ft,mile17.1)Bob Scott Summit
6.(6840ft,mile18.3)START-END EAST: Grass Valley Rd
takes off on left
7.(6070ft,mile23.3)START-END EAST ALT: jct with Nv376
From West. Between the intersection of Nv305 and US50,
just west of Austin, there is an easily missed paved turnoff
onto a forest road. That is the start of a ride up Emigrant
Pass. This is one area where many of the roads, that exist in
reality, are not shown on google maps. But the roads do show up
on the satellite view. The road passes a Toiyabe Forest guard
station (useful for getting maps and clarifying directions) and
then a sign tells you that you are on FR184.
A rounded mountain appears ahead. But before getting close
enough, that this mountain has any chance to look imposing, the
route turns right onto FR43222. The turnoff is easily missed,
but signed from the opposite direction. Following the route in
east-west direction, the turn is obvious, since you want to
continue going downhill.
This smaller FR43222 makes its way through sage and open
brushy forest to crest at a cow grate. Here a view opens up onto
the bare breadloaf of the Simpson Park Mountains and the more
form rich flowing peaks of the Monitor Range.
But this is not the pass. Another right leads onto FR43223.
Again the turnoff is signed from the opposite direction. This
road is in the process of being grown over, and gophers or other
animals have dug a few craters into the surface that are big
enough to swallow even a 29 inch mountain bike wheel. But taking
once eyes off the ground, and checking out the surroundings is
very tempting. The views are steadily improving, and the road is
still climbing, and now facing the Monitor Range. After two
false summits, finally the real one comes into sight.
left : view east from summit point at mile 11
right: finally getting closer to the pass and looking north
From East. (described downwards). And in the same
view, the end of the trail and the junction with US50 on Austin
Summit also appears. The profile includes the ride back down
through Austin to the jct with FR184. Optionally there is also a
dirt road into Austin on the south side of Austin Summit.
A Dayride with this ride as intermediate summit
is on page: Austin Crest