I had originally thought that the latter part of March would be a nice time to visit Nevada. I was wrong. I ended up spending too much time reading the weather forecasts and planning my trip around the forecasts. There were two snow storms that came through Nevada when I was at the Valley of Fire. After that I thought spring had sprung and I headed north. But snow, rain, and cold weather (low twenties) kept happening.
I had planned to camp at Cathedral Gorge State Park, but the cold and potentially snowy weather made me opt to camp at the Pahranagat Refuge which was lower in elevation. But before that decision was made, I called Cathedral Gorge and asked them about my chances of getting a camp site at the park. I laughed when the ranger told me it shouldn’t be a problem since it was currently snowing. I visited the park as a day trip.
I traveled to Tonopah via Hwy 375. There were numerous picture perfect sights along the drive. It was a fine lonely road to travel.
I stopped at Tonopah and was happy I did. They have the Central Nevada Museum and the outdoor Historic Mining Museum. I appreciated both. And I had warm weather.
Then I headed north with the goal of staying the night by Battle Mountain. The Austin Pass turned out to be a bit of a challenge – when would I be able to drive over the pass? Early in the day the forecast indicated snow with no accumulations. Later in the day while I drove north, snow was dumping on the pass and chains or four wheel drive were required. I sat at the bottom of the pass waiting to see if it would clear. It was early afternoon and I had time to kill. I looked at the map and wondered, should I drive east to Eureka then north? Should I spend the night where I was at a generous wide spot along the road? After some time of sitting and watching vehicles drive up and down the pass, a RV trailer/pickup truck came down the pass and turned towards me driving slowly. I jumped out and flagged them down to get information on the pass. They reported that all was good. The pass had been plowed, sanded, and salted. I would have no problems, and they were correct. The next day the pass was closed for a time because of ice issues. I was glad I drove over it when I did.
After that I just wanted to get home with the weather forecasts showing snow every third day or so. And cold night time temperatures. So the next stops were at Chickahominy Reservoir, Bend, and then I was home. Chickahominy was a nice convenient place to spend the night.
All and all a good trip. Time to start planning the next trip. Maybe back to Nevada.
- Camping at Pahranagat Refuge was good and bad. The good: Every camp site is water front with a wonderful view. The campground is well maintained with a camp host present and is free. The bad: You are adjacent to the highway that has a lot of truck traffic and noise. Fortunately after about 9:00 pm it gets quieter.
- Cathedral Gorge has fun/interesting slot canyons. Don’t miss them.