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Thread: Tried the HLT loop

  1. #1
    Wheeler
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    Tried the HLT loop

    So I've been wanting to do the Hunter Lake trail for a while. I decided I'd give it a shot today. I started in on the trail by the old fire station in Verdi. Had no problems getting up to the big meadow at the top but I could not find the trail that dropped into Caughlin Ranch. I found one trail that dropped down the West side of the mountain but turned around half way down. Then I found another trail that goes by a very large rock pile and at the bottom of a small hill is an old abandoned rusty vehicle. But didn't see enough tracks on that trail to make me think it was the correct trail so I turned around.

    I got frustrated and had to be back in town by 3 so I ended up coming down the same way I came up.

    Can someone please explain to me how I can find the trail that drops into Caughlin Ranch?

  2. #2
    Web Wheeler
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    If my memory serves me right....Fallow the trail past the rusty cars though the trees. Soon you will come to a staging area. As you enter this area you will see a marshy meadow field blockaded by large trees on the ground, this is Hunter Lake. Go straight ahead near the rear of this area and make a left, this is Hunter Lake Rd. Fallow down the mountain a little way and go over the large boulders. From here stay on Hunter Lake Rd as it winds down the mountain through the rock garden. As you drive you will see many smaller side trails 90% of this are alternative routes that lead back to the main road in a short period of time.

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    So the huge meadow at the top isn't hunter lake?

    Is the piece of road that came by the big rock pile and looped down the hill with rusty car at the bottom the right road?

    Where can I find maps that show all of the designated trails?

  4. #4
    I support Reno4x4!
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    Buy maps at the US Forest Service HQ on Franklin Way in Sparks. There's a Motor Vehicle Use Map in black and white that's relatively useless; the better map is in green and white/color. Neither one is as detailed as the older maps from years past. The routes/trails are marked with signs - stickers, arrows, route numbers. I know, I did it. The road you took south from the Boomtown fire station is Forest Road 462, otherwise known as the Garson Rd. This leads south, up into the Carson Range, passing alphabetically signed routes. The A route, lowest elevation, is closed because it's overgrown with brush, doesn't really go anywhere, and was never used much, hence its closure. The B route goes westward along the power line and is a dead end. The C route goes east along the 8,000 ft. contour and stops at the wilderness boundary in a cul de sac that'll accommodate about 4-5 vehicles. The D route goes southwest and deadends. The E route is a loop to the east and south, reconnecting with the main 462 before the main 462 crosses a stream. After this stream/culvert crossing the main 462 continues to a Y junction. Taking a right turn at this Y continues on the main 462 and leads to Bronco Creek and the Martis Fire area. FR 462 continues downhill through a lava bed and eventually ends at private property. Taking a left at the Y junction means you are on FR 392; this is the Hunter Lake Road/Trail going roughly eastward to Big Meadow, a wooden dam, and eventually Hunter Lake. Two routes east from Hunter Lake come together downhill and become the main Hunter Lake Trail. These routes are signed alphabetically, A being the lowest elevation on the Caughlin Ranch side. Total mileage from the fire station to Pinehaven Rd. is 24 miles. From Hunter Lake to Pinehaven Rd. is 6 miles. From the Nat'l Forest boundary post to Pinehaven Rd. is 2 miles across private property.

    See Google Earth and you can zoom in and see the roads. The HLT is/has been wrongly designated as route 100 on the Google Earth map. It has been FR 392 since BLM days.

    Nice photos. Phil
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  5. The Following 3 Users Like mtnhi7's Post:

    ChristopherP (October 19th, 2014), Dennis (October 19th, 2014), nvhunter (October 19th, 2014)

  6. #5
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    The large meadow at the top is Hunter Lake. Hunter Lake is more of a marsh then anything else. I found the Bing Satellite image maps are better than google because you can rotate the image. This allows you to see more detail.

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    Now I saw the wooden dam, I just couldn't find a trail that lead down to Caughlin Ranch.

    Right past that little wooden structure is where the trail divided. The trail to the right dropped me down the back side of the mountain and the trail to the left had a tree fallen across the trail but people since have made a trail around it and that's the trail that eventually goes past the abandoned vehicle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Trooper View Post
    The large meadow at the top is Hunter Lake. Hunter Lake is more of a marsh then anything else. I found the Bing Satellite image maps are better than google because you can rotate the image. This allows you to see more detail.
    I can see this causing confusion. The large meadow pictured is "Big Meadow"

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    Both Hunter Lake and Big Meadow are manmade. Both were constructed to provide a water supply to a couple of sawmills that existed in the area in the 19th century. Both can become lakes when we have good snowfall in the winter and then melt in the spring.
    The wooden structure pictured is a hunter's cabinet at Big Meadow. To the west of that cabinet is a route that bears west, then downhill through some aspens, and connects to the main 462 road. This route was historically marked as 392G until the Forest Service arbitrarily decided to change the number a couple of years ago to 21xxx. Might even be 21392. Not sure if the sign is still in place these days. If you started at the Boomtown fire station, and set your odometer, Hunter lake would be 18 miles up, south and east, and about 8,000 ft. elevation. Six miles from HL down to Caughlin Ranch.
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  10. The Following 4 Users Like mtnhi7's Post:

    Battlecock (October 19th, 2014), ChristopherP (October 19th, 2014), Dennis (October 19th, 2014), nvhunter (October 19th, 2014)

  11. #9
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    http://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/b.../#.VERAMvnF-Sp

    Here's the map of the trail from my last run. On the map's bottom left side, there a section the leaves the "main" trail where I explored a little. But you can see how the full loop is supposed to look.

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnhi7 View Post
    Both Hunter Lake and Big Meadow are manmade. Both were constructed to provide a water supply to a couple of sawmills that existed in the area in the 19th century. Both can become lakes when we have good snowfall in the winter and then melt in the spring.
    The wooden structure pictured is a hunter's cabinet at Big Meadow. To the west of that cabinet is a route that bears west, then downhill through some aspens, and connects to the main 462 road. This route was historically marked as 392G until the Forest Service arbitrarily decided to change the number a couple of years ago to 21xxx. Might even be 21392. Not sure if the sign is still in place these days. If you started at the Boomtown fire station, and set your odometer, Hunter lake would be 18 miles up, south and east, and about 8,000 ft. elevation. Six miles from HL down to Caughlin Ranch.
    So the trail that continues on past the "Hunters Cabinet" and starts going down hill on the west side of the mountain connects to the trail that goes back to Caughlin Ranch?

    I really need to get some trail maps

  13. #11
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    From there you would go north right along the east edge of the meadow.

    Both Big Meadow and Hunter Lake are marked on http://nevadatrails.info/
    Last edited by Dennis; October 19th, 2014 at 04:07 PM.
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    Download at the bottom of this link. http://www.nvtrailmaps.com/trail.php?trail=863

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    Thanks for the help guys!

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