Work under way on canyon access |

Work under way on canyon access

by Christy Chalmers, staff writer

Work is under way to upgrade the only public Carson Valley access point in a 20-mile stretch along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada.

Gary Schiff, head of the Carson Ranger District, said crews began grading a parking area for the Faye-Luther Canyon trailhead, located near Foothill Road, in mid-September and the work should be done within a few weeks.

“We’re excited,” he said. “There are a lot of people who worked very hard to make this happen. We’re now seeing the results of this work, and that is pretty gratifying.”

The improvements will include a gravel parking area with space for 10 to 12 vehicles and horse trailers, plus signs advising of the trails and rules for users.

Currently, those accessing Faye-Luther Canyon and other trails park along Foothill Road, a hazard for themselves as well as motorists.

Plans for a better trailhead have been in the works since 1997. Equestrians, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts who lobbied for the trailhead worried that growth along the Foothill Road corridor would cut public access to the Sierra Nevada.

Some residents were opposed, citing concerns about trash, increased fire danger and other nuisances trailhead users might cause.

The trailhead won’t include lights, restrooms or trash cans, and overnight camping and fires will be banned. Signs advising the rules will be posted.

Schiff said a dedication ceremony will probably be held when the work is done, and the different groups who helped on the project will be recognized. He noted the trailhead has important future implications because it guarantees public access to the Sierra Nevada from Carson Valley.

“We need a way to get into them (the mountains),” he said. “There’s a 20-mile stretch between Carson City and Horse Thief Canyon where there really isn’t any access. This is an important step for us.”