Ride Report; Southern Selenite Range

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The Selenite Range is prominent along the east side of Nevada State Route 447, the popular route to the Black Rock Desert. I found a road that looked like it went through a canyon into the range. Further research suggested the road connected to a web of roads in the Kumiva Valley. I didn’t have high expectations for the Kumiva Valley. The satellite imagery  looked a little boring. In the end I was so awestruck I was afraid I wasn’t going to make forward progress if I kept stopping to take pictures.

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The roads were in great shape. I was on a mountain bike with 2.2 inch tires and had debated taking a bike with fatter tires just in case the roads got soft and sandy or rocky as often the case when exploring Nevada by bicycle. In the end I would have been comfortable on narrower tires, such as 700c X 40, as well.

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Early views of Kumiva Peak were obscured by clouds as northern Nevada was getting it first storm of the season. Most of the rain had stayed to the west but the highest peaks showed a dusting of snow. The craggy southern spine of the range and Purgatory Peak were always in view.

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I climbed to a saddle and was stunned bu the view of the granetic outcroppings, open Kumiva Valley, and nameless dry lake playa at the base of Bluewing Mountains’ Black Mountain. I had seen this playa on maps and now I had a route to get there. The roads spinning off from this point peaked my interest in the area. The ride down from the saddle was a smooth “roller coaster” of a descent past canyons begging to be explored on foot. This area is part of a proposed wilderness area that would restrict off road travel to primitive forms. Expansion of wilderness areas in Nevada has become a hot political topic and I hope these wild areas can be preserved in their beauty.

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I worked my way to the south with  views of the Selenites to my west, Seven Troughs Range and Bluewing Mountains to my east, and Nightingale Mountains to my south. As I entered Stonehouse Canyon I turned to follow the power line road to the northwest. I finished the loop back to the highway with views of Winnemucca Lake playa to my south.

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This half day trip by the numbers was 38 mile trek on well maintained dirt roads with about 6 miles of highway travel. The ride had just shy of 3,000′ in elevation gain. My Garmin Track is here. But the ride opened my eyes to a new area to ride. The remoteness and silence in the Kumiva Valley was awesome.

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3 thoughts on “Ride Report; Southern Selenite Range

  1. Pingback: Passage through Lake Range; Three Mile and San Emidio Canyons | Bikepacking Northern Nevada

  2. Pingback: Ride Report; Loop Around Winnemucca Lake | Bikepacking Northern Nevada

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