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FR002 Toiyabe Range s(u)

When crossing Nevada on the popular US50 bicycling route, The Toiyabe Range seems like the most formidable obstacle between Utah and Californina. As usual the paved route makes it as easy as possible, using a low shoulder on the north side, Austin Summit. I think this dirt road climb is scenically much more interesting, and shows the grassy triangular peaks of the Toiyabe Range from a better side.

According to my notes this forest road is labeled FR002, but google maps labels it NF12

1.(5630ft,mile00.0) START-END EAST: jct Nv376 - Kingston Canyon Rd
2.(6320ft,mile03.1) FR002 Kingston Canyon Rd enters Kingston Canyon
3.(7500ft,mile07.4) road reaches south end of Groves Lake
4.(8580ft,mile12.9) TOP: highest point of FR012
5.(7060ft,mile16.5) jct with North Fork Big Creek on right. Profile stays left
6.(5820ft,mile24.2) START-END WEST: low point at jct: Big Creek Rd - dirt road heading directly west


From East. Riding down Nv376 through Big Smoky Valey, you can see the collection of structures, that make up Kingston, for dozens of miles before you actually get there. They sit above on an alluvial fan, that looks as perfectly fan shaped as anything you might find in an opera.

The profile starts where a paved road leaves Nv376 to climb to the "gateway to the Toiyabe Range" as the sign proclaims. But the commerce in this gateway town is held to manageable levels. There is a General Store, and another establishment, that anounces with billboards that it might be capable of serving food. Both of the them are closed when I pass by. Luckily I still have plenty of water in my bottles.

Both options of the only paved intersection in town lead to the start of FR002, following Kingston Creek through a narrow canyon up into the mountains. After all that stark dessert, the rushing stream and soft noises of leaves blowing in the wind are a welcome change. Gradually the road comes across steeper sections. Kingston Campground has no water but charges no money either. It looks like one would find plenty of peace and quiet here. The following guard station houses have also been abandoned. By the time the road passes a small lake, the surrounding Toiyabe Mountains have become an overlapping series of green, grassy cones and triangles. A trailhead to the Crest Trail, immediately after the lake, looks like an inviting hike with incredible views.

The road just follows the creek further up, until a sign stating "trailers not approved" hints of changes to come. Sure enough, a quarter mile later a road cut appears in view, high up on the grassy mountain face ahead. The road makes a strong twist upward. It is enough to make me walk the next several switchbacks. The top of this unnamed pass comes up completely unexpectedly, just when I am starting to really look forward to a good view.

On both sides of this pass double track trails lead steeply higher. The one on the west seems to go all the way to the ridge line. The other one tops out on a lower hill. I included some of the the pictures of a short walk up the west side of the pass.

taken during a short walk above the pass. The track on the opposite side is not the pass road, but a very steep ATV trail that starts on the pass.

not the top - just a chance to relax

FR002 is far below in the valley and has a very steep climb ahead - seen from a short distance above the road summit

From West. (described downwards). The very top section on this side is deceptively steep too. No brakes can stop you, so to speak. After that a fast descent follows Big Creek downward over several stream crossings. The road continues to descent past Big Creek campground, well out into the alluvial fans of Reese River Valley. The bike still hardly needs extra pedal power to move, when the Toiyabe Rage has already become a distant set of green triangles, almost like a cubist painting. Here the road does eventually reach a low point and climbs again slightly before reaching US50 and Austin.



( < Pete's Summit Austin Crest Trail s(u) > )
FR002 Toiyabe Range, Austin Summit , Bob Scott's Summit(?) :
US50 east of Bob Scott's Summit > US50 east > Nv376 south > Kingston > up FR002 > FR002 Toiyabe Range s(u) > Big Creek Rd north > Austin > US50 west > Austin Summit > Bob Scott's Summit(?) > sp: 62.2miles with 5280ft of climbing in 5:36hrs (VDO MC1.0 m5: 13.6.20)

returning to Austin from Toiyabe Range, this is past the route in the elevation profile