“Great out-n-back from Jack's Valley Road to US Hwy 50 featuring spectacular views of Carson Valley.”
— Carlo Luri
This trail is open to hikers, bikes, and equestrians. Please yield right of way as sections of trail are narrow. The trail crosses private property - please stay on trail, especially where marked.
This trail starts at Jack's Valley Elementary school on Jack's Valley Road. Riding the first few miles, you'll see high desert vegetation like sage and bitterbrush. The trail gains elevation quickly through this section then contours above the Alpine View Estates neighborhood and eventually enters a pine forest.
Continue to climb through the forest where eagles, raptors, and deer sightings are common. At about 7 miles in, there is a popular overlook called the knob. This is a great place to stop for beautiful vistas of the valley below. Many people turn around here and head back down.
If you continue on, the remaining 3 miles to Old Clear Creek Road passes through some spectacular forest and more technical singletrack which can get narrow at points, with moderate drop offs. There is a second overlook between the knob and Old Clear Creek Road which makes for a great picnic or rest stop (the knob can get a little busy). The trail follows Old Clear Creek Road for 0.8 mi before turning into singletrack again. The end of the trail is about 1,000' from Tahoe Golf Club Drive and the interchange of US Hwy 50.
Need to Know
The first section of trail, off Jack's Valley Road, can get hot in the summer as there is no shade for the first 2+ miles. The trail gains significant elevation and can be sandy and loose during the summer or after long dry spells. Many people are put off by this first section and never make it to the best part of the trail. Oh yeah - did I mention rattlesnakes? The first rider gets to sweep...
Further up, the trail gets narrow and has some moderate drop offs. Not expert terrain but requires some decent bike handling skills. No water until you get to the stream crossing near the top of the trail (highly recommend treating any water from streams). The trail can be done as a one way (with shuttle) or as a pleasant half day out and back.
There is an on-street trailhead just east of the fire station on Jacks Valley Road. Many people start the ride here, but the trail crosses the road and continues another half a mile to the large dirt parking lot on the west side of Jacks Valley Elementary School. There is no established trailhead on the US Hwy 50 / Tahoe Golf Club Drive end of the trail although it is possible to find the end of the trail nearby.
As mentioned, many people ride from Jacks Valley School to the knob and back for a 15-mile round trip. If you have the time it is worth going all the way to the trail end for about a 21-mile out and back. It is also possible to shuttle by getting dropped off near the top of the trail at US Hwy 50. The one way from US Hwy 50 to Jacks Valley has about 500' of climbing and 1,400' of descent. The trail sees a lot of use from hikers and horses so it is important to control downhill speed especially on sections with limited line-of-sight.
This is a very popular trail and could eventually connect to the Tahoe Rim Trail and Carson City trails at Kings Canyon if permission is granted by local landowners.
A few miles further south on Jacks Valley Road, you'll find the historic town of Genoa where there are additional trails and services. Be sure to stop in at the Genoa Bar (Nevada's Oldest Thirst Parlor) or stop at David Walley's for a soak at their hot spring fed pool. There are also several places to eat in town.
History & Background
This trail was opened in the spring of 2014 by the Carson Valley Trails Association. Over 3,000 hours of volunteer labor and many generous donations went into building the trail. The trail crosses USFS public and private lands. Construction would not have been possible without easements from several local landowners. The sections of trail that cross private property are clearly marked. Please respect private property.