Friday, May 4, 2012

Hiking through Jack's Valley Habitat

The Jack's Valley Habitat Management Area in Nevada, located northwest of Jack's Valley Elementary School (seen in the middle of the picture to the right of the rock), is a combination of a sagebrush ecosystem and rock outcrops. This area is open to off-highway vehicle use from May to October and reserved for hikers and mule deer herds in winter. The end of April is typically a good time to see and smell blooming desert peach. The habitat also is a temporary home to migrating birds.

This recreational area includes sand and gravel trails. The lower section has broad trails for ATVs to pass through. Higher elevations feature rock outcrops, like the one shown in the picture, and areas of open pine forest. These sites can be accessed on a single-track trail, in parts marked by little pyramids of piled stones. The trail is often steep and strenuous, since one has to walk upward over loose soil and crumbled rocks. From the upper hillsides and the top, one can trace the Sierra Nevada Frontal Fault Zone and view the Carson Valley and the Carson Mountain Range on the east and west side of the fault line, respectively. And by browsing the air space, one may be lucky and spot red-tailed hawks and golden eagles.

Getting there, staying there
The habitat is located south of Carson City, between Highway 50 and Jack's Valley Road. For further descriptions see Getting to and around in Jack's Valley Habitat.

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