Utah State Line (Baker) to Preston
The ADT in Nevada begins in Baker, a small community at the base of the Snake Range, which is the home of Great Basin National Park. The most prominent peak in the park is Wheeler Peak at 13,063 feet. Great Basin offers outstanding opportunities to hike in a variety of natural habitats ranging from sagebrush desert to alpine lakes. A bristlecone pine found here was determined to be the worlds oldest living thing: 4,950 years old. Tours are given daily into the limestone and marble world of Lehman Caves with its stalactites, stalagmites, columns, flowstones, and its rare and mysterious structures called shields.
The White River Valley is wide and relatively flat, and, typical of nearly all of these valley crossings, the trail is on a seldom-traveled dirt road. The White Pine Range is crossed on an old stagecoach road along Ellison Creek. The climb to the Ellison Ranger Station takes you through a canyon with sheer rock walls and the stone wall remains of a former stagecoach stop. After reaching the pass, you enter Freeland Canyon and descend through Blackrock Canyon to Bull Spring before entering Railroad Valley.
Big Sand Springs Valley, like most of the land that is not national forest, is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The dirt roads through this valley live up to their name big sand. The gradual ascent into the Squaw Hills and the Confusion Hills is on a jeep road through Jumbled Rock Gulch into Hot Creek Valley and Moores Station (private property) which is a former stagecoach stop. There are a number of tall buttes and rock formations at this location. Hot Creek Valley is quite narrow. You soon begin to climb into the Hot Creek Range toward Morey Peak (10,246 feet). The ADT enters the Monitor Range on the Toiyabe National Forest and the Morey Peak and Fandango wilderness study areas where only foot and horse travel is permitted.Moores Station to Pine Creek Campground
From Moores Station the climb is steep into Morey Canyon to Sixmile Summit near Mahogany Peak. The trail then proceeds to Cold Spring to Little Fandango to Upper Fish Lake to Little Fish Lake Valley. From the Little Fish Lake Valley ascend into the Table Mountain Wilderness through Green Monster Canyon to Mosquito Creek which descends into Monitor Valley. Look for elk, which have been reintroduced on Table Mountain. Cross the sagebrush-covered valley to Pine Creek Campground. Pine Creek Campground to South Twin Campground
After leaving the campground, begin a long ascent into the Alta Toquima Wilderness in the Toquima Range. The trail reaches the highest point of the ADT in Nevada near the south summit of Mount Jefferson at 11,941 feet and continues south to Jefferson Summit. From there it follows jeep roads past the historic site of Jefferson and into the Big Smoky Valley. Supplies are available in the town of Carvers. The route continues to South Twin Campground at the base of the Toiyabe Range.South Twin Campground to Ione
The ADT follows the Toiyabe Crest National Recreation Trail across the mountain, south of Arc Dome, to the junction of Big Sawmill Creek and Little Sawmill Creek. Descend through Cow Canyon into the narrow and green Reese River Valley. The Yomba Shoshone Reservation is north of Grantsville Road where the ADT turns west, soon passing the ghost town of Grantsville. Several buildings in various stages of ruin remain as a reminder of better days when silver was mined here.
From Ione continue northwest on the dirt Ione Valley Road and cross Buffalo Summit in a pinyon and juniper forest. At Eastgate the road becomes paved and soon meets U.S. 50, "the loneliest road in America," which you follow west for 25 miles. For most of the way along this highway the old road is still there and usable as a trail, switching back and forth on either side of the current highway. You are now also following the route of the Pony Express National Historic Trail. There is a U.S. Navy Air Base near here and low-flying aircraft are regularly seen and heard. There is a store at Middlegate.Middlegate to Virginia City
The ADT continues on Highway 50 at Middlegate to Sand Springs (Sand Mountain) and then cuts straight across the dry desert. Take plenty of water. Head west across the desert for Simpson Pass, which is located between the Bunejug and Cocoon mountains. Continue across Wildcat Scarp south of the now dry Carson Lake (dry sink) and north of the White Throne Mountains. Pass the site of the Wildcat Freight Station on the Pony Express Trail. After crossing U.S. 95 where Fallon is 15 miles north, the route continues across the desert north of the Desert Mountains and south of the Dead Camel Mountains. These alkali flats are also called playa and should only be crossed when they are dry.
From Virginia City, the trail crosses Mount Davidson, through Washoe Lake State Park to the northern outskirts of Carson City, named in 1858 for Kit Carson. It was named the capital of Nevada when it became a state in 1864. From north of Carson City you begin a climb into the Sierra Nevada Mountains and to Tahoe Meadows. The ADT follows the Tahoe Rim Trail around the northern ridges that form the basin. The ADT continues in the Toiyabe National Forest north of Incline Village and into California.
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