One would be hard-pressed to find a place that embodies the unbridled beauty and freedom of the American West to the extent that Fallon does. With hundreds of miles of trails snaking through a kaleidoscope of terrain, OHV aficionados can rip through marshes, coast over dunes, and blast through sand and rock under snow capped mountains and bluebird skies – sometimes all in the same day. And the delights of off-roading in and around Fallon don’t stop there – discovering treasures such as relics from the Comstock, far-flung cabins, or petroglyphs can transform a memorable ride into an unforgettable one. Here are a few hotspots near Fallon where adventure awaits, regardless of how many wheels get you there.
Undoubtedly the most popular place to ride near Fallon, the Sand Mountain Recreational Area features a playground of of jaw-dropping golden sand dunes that will bring a smile to the face of any OHV pilot, regardless of their skill level. Seemingly belonging to another planet entirely, this series of dunes measures 3.5 miles long, 1 mile wide and 600 feet tall. The crest of the angularly sweeping dune also offers impeccable views of the surrounding area. With a little luck, visitors can hear sounds ranging from a soft rustle to a roar caused by shifting sands. Located 25 miles southeast of Fallon, the 4,795 acre area is a designated fee site. The area can be accessed for $40 for 1-7 days and annual passes can be purchased for $90. Camping and limited facilities are also available. Take it slow when approaching the area, as v-shaped trenches in the road – each marked as a “Dip” – can wreak havoc to vehicles travelling over 5mph. For more information, visit BLM’s site.
Cold Springs Station
Located an hour east of Fallon on US-50, Cold Springs Station has long served as a basecamp for visitors from far and near who yearn for a classic rural Nevadan adventure. From double-digit creek crossings and petroglyph-covered cave walls to scenic valleys and picturesque mountains, this hub serves as an ideal staging ground to experience the rugged beauty of the basin. For those looking to cover serious ground and score serene views, Alpine Road, via Shoshone Pass, takes OHV buffs high above pristine Dixie Valley through an epic 120-mile-long loop. Another popular route near the station is the War Canyon Trail, which follows Cherry Creek at the base of majestic Mt. Agusta, culminating at an old mountain cabin beckoning passersby for a much-deserved celebratory stop. If the cragged features of the Desatoya Mountains are calling, a trail can be found just six miles from Cold Springs Station off of NV-722 towards Eastgate. Since many of these routes are unmarked and/or unnamed, we suggest connecting with Cold Spring Station’s owner George McNeil before heading out. George knows the area like the back of his hand and is an expert at helping riders find their bearings. CSS is also a great place to get a post-journey burger and beer. For more information about Cold Springs Station click here.
While many OHV enthusiasts might be more
than content with soaking in a ride’s sweeping views and spotting unique local
flora and fauna, sometimes they are drawn to the unnatural, unexpected, or
out-of-place. In this sense, the Steamshovel Trail does not disappoint. Past
the fallen rocks, cottonwoods, natural hot springs and impeccable views of the
Dixie Valley, explorers on this trail are rewarded with a startling sight: a
1950’s-era Speeder diesel crane shovel. If it weren’t for the rust, from afar
it almost looks poised to break ground. After caressing its metal panels,
peeking inside the cab and a climbing on the weathered frame, trailblazers will
have no choice but to exchange theories as to how and why it met its fateful
end in these desolate mountains. Dotted with washouts, gullies, tree limbs, and
debris, this challenging trail is best suited for experienced OHV buffs. To
reach the trailhead, from Fallon, head east on H-50 4.9 miles to Stillwater Rd.
(SR 116), then continue northeast 48.7 miles.
Thanks to its almost endless miles of trails, wide-open terrain, and stellar views, Nevada is becoming a popular destination for all kinds of OHV riders and drivers. Right in the heart of the state, Fallon is deservedly making a name for itself as an ideal jumping-off-place to explore these jewels of the Silver State. In an effort to preserve these pristine areas, remember to always pack out whatever you pack in and to respect local laws and regulations. It’s always a good idea to inform others where you plan on exploring, and to ride in groups. Pack plenty of water and supplies and don’t forget to wear protective gear. Finally, don’t hit the trail without registering your OHV. For more information, visit the Nevada Off-Highway Vehicle Commission website.
If you are ready to hit the sand, check out our new OHV Trail Map. The trails are mapped throughout hundreds of miles of Fallon landscape, allowing you to glide through massive sand dunes, splatter through mud or tear into rocky hills, sometimes all in the same day.