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Barney Riley, Rating "5"

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Barney

 

 

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  Location: Barney Riley trail is located east of Markleeville and ends close to the Nevada state line. Access the trail from HWY 89 or Monitor Pass between HWY 4 and HWY 395. Turn North on to Loope Canyon Road, it is located 1.7 miles east from the intersection of HWY4 and HWY 89. Take Loope Canyon Road for 1.3 miles to FR 190B turn left. In about mile and a half you run into FR 310 which takes you all the way to the North Fork of the Carson River. Be sure to take a map there are a few trails you can make wrong turns on. Some trails have markers but not all of them.

Barney

  Description: The trail is about 10 miles in to the Carson River, which is about as far as you can go on public land. You have to come out the same way you went in so you’re talking about at least 20 miles of trail. The original Barney Riley Trail route took off from the south side of Hangman's Bridge. The bridge is located where HWY 89 crosses the Carson River. That route was closed many years ago to vehicle traffic. You now must enter from HWY 89 or Monitor Pass on forestry road 190, or Loope Canyon Road. There are several different routes you can take. For first timers I would recommend 190 to 190B to 310. 

Barney

The trail has few good hill climbs going either direction. One of the more note able hills has rubber water breaks installed in it. I understand it is called "Tie Rod Hill” probably due to someone’s misfortune. One thing about the trail is a large number of baseball-sized rocks you drive on all day. At the end of the day you will feel like you drove a hundred miles off-road. Be sure you air down to help smooth the ride. 

Barney

When you get to the end of the trail and the Carson River there is a man made stone pool or hot tub. The tub is supplied hot water from a natural spring. It is located on the northern side of the river. If you took the right fork down to the river you can cross the river with your vehicle relatively easy. If you took the left fork down to the river beware of the river crossing, it can be deep during high run off times. Also there is a trick to crossing there, go with someone who has done it before or study the area. Don't drive straight across there are some deep holes in the river bottom.

Barney

 There are many trails and interesting sites off of the Leviathan Mine Road to explore that is near by. Leviathan Mine road runs from Monitor Pass to HWY 395 in Nevada. The Leviathan Mine itself is off limits to the public. The State of California purchased the Leviathan Mine site in 1983 and began an on-going pollution abatement program. A remediation program was begun by the State of California in 1983 and completed in 1985. While considerable success was achieved from these efforts, acid mine drainage remains a problem, particularly during high-flow periods. Leviathan Creek's waters are seasonally affected by toxic acid mine drainage and other dissolved minerals leeching from the Leviathan Mine site. Pollution of the waters of Leviathan Creek and Bryant Creek first became evident shortly after 1952 when the Isabell Construction Company, which was employed by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, removed some 22 million tons of the overburden from this mining site and dumped the waste, which contained large quantities of low-grade sulfur ore, into three dump or "spoil" sites, one of which was the Leviathan Creek canyon. The Leviathan Creek canyon dump site covered 26 acres to a depth of more than 130 feet. Subsequently, in April 1954 and November 1959, releases of large amounts of acid mine drainage into Leviathan Creek resulted in extensive fish kills in Leviathan and Bryant creeks, and as far as ten miles down the East Fork of the Carson River below the entry of Bryant Creek. Monitoring data taken between 1954-1975 showed significant mining impacts to water quality in this area in the form of high metal and sulfate concentrations, and low pH (acidic) and low dissolved oxygen concentrations in Leviathan and Bryant creeks. During this same testing period, iron and arsenic concentrations were found to exceed U.S. Public Health Service 1962 Drinking Water Standards seven miles downstream from the mine. Also during this study, no fish were found in Leviathan or Bryant creeks between the mine and the Carson River East Fork, a distance of some nine miles.

  Recommended equipment: Any type of  4x4 vehicle can make it through.

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Barney

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  Accommodations: Undeveloped camp area near Carson River and Hot Spring with one out house.

camp area near Carson River

hot tub

Hot Tub Site.

 

 


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