Sunday, May 30, 2010

Jumping the sandbars in the Carson River at Kirman Field

More and more ranch land is turning into land for multiple uses. Washoe Valley and Carson Valley features various historic ranches differing in attractions, uses, and trail miles. The Bently-Kirman Ranch Trail (also Bently-Kirman Tract Trail) opened at the end of April this year. It makes Kirman Field accessible to the public with the goal of coexistence of recreational use, habitat protection and cattle ranching. This trail includes two separate loop trails, crisscrossing floodplain lands next to the Carson River. Each loop trail provides access to the river and its sandbars. Once you jump the sandbars and hit a muddy spot, you may decide to leave these little islands for the birds and enjoy the view of the Carson Range with Jobs Peak, Jobs Sister and Freel Peak. Up there, the Tahoe Rim Trail is still hidden under snow, but should be hikable without snowshoes in a few weeks, when the Kirman Field is blistering in the heat.

Getting there
From Highway 395 between Carson City and Minden take Stephanie Lane, exiting left if you are diriving south and exiting right otherwise. After one mile turn left into Heybourne Road and turn left again after about half a mile. Now you are in a short dirt road that ends at the trailhead, which is easy to be recognized by the standing interpretive board. There is parking on both sides of the dirt road. The board announces trail use: no dogs, no bicycles, no equestrians, no motorvehicles. Hello hikers and sandbar jumpers!

[1] Carson Valley Trails Association: Bently-Kirman Ranch Trail.
[2] More to see at MikeOnTheTrail: Bently-Kirman Trail.

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