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Arc Dome Twin Rivers Loop

nv

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 18.2 miles


This moderate two-night loop trail begins and ends in a high desert basin, climbs through rugged canyons and traverses a high pass. The opportunities for spur hikes make it easy to extend this trip far beyond the two nights.
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Years ago I coined the phrase "Anybody can love the Rockies, but it
takes a soul to appreciate the desert".  I wasn't talking about this
desert at the time, but the phrase applies elegently here.  If you are
a died-in-the-wool Sierra packer or the Rockies are your first and
last choice, this might not be the place for you.  If you are a old
desert rat like myself, this place is nearly heaven.  There are no
crowds, plenty of water, open vistas, shaded campsites, steep trails,
and giant mountain mahogany.  In fact, except for a handful of ticks
and a short evening thundershower this trip was nearly perfect - and
even the thundershower was really nice after a long hike on a warm
day.

Expect deep rugged canyons, high bald peaks, phenomenal wildflower
displays, elk, and wet feet.  Campsites are a little hard to come by,
so plan ahead.

The loop can be found in "Backpacking Nevada" by Mike White or the
Sierra Club "Hiking the Great Basin" by John Hart.  Either book is
well done.  I took the opportunity to explore both Twin River
drainages and turned this two-nighter into four nights.  I could have
easily done more.

Some notes on this section of the Arc Dome wilderness are in order.
First, please think about not having a fire.  The main streams have
nice riparian zones, but in general there is not a lot of firewood
around.  If this area got much traffic, the dead wood would soon be
stripped bare.  Second, I think the streams at the upper elevations
will be dry for much of the year.  I was there at the end of the
snowmelt season and there was a lot of water but I wouldn't count on
that in September.  Finally, the USFS recommends that you purify all
the water in this area.  There are cattle in the wilderness and lots
of elk and other wildlife so it is almost certainly a good idea.  That
said, I drank straight from the streams and had no ill effects.

I created the gpx file using my eTrex and some home-brew software then
polished it off with DeLorme Topo 6.0.  The DeLorme software took all
of my personal info out and put their own stuff in, plus it changed all the
times.  I am reasonably sure I never hiked much over 4 miles per hour.  Sigh.

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