This week, I decided to stick closer to Reno. I had heard of Dog Valley but never been there before.
A couple of surprises for me were:
1. The easy access!
2. Beauty of the landscape
Dog Valley is outside of Verdi Nevada just across the state line into California. The easy way to get there is to take exit 5 off of I-80 and follow the road into Verdi. Look for “Bridge St.” and turn north on Bridge St. Follow Bridge St. to Dog Valley Rd. and turn right (NW). Just stay on that road till you get into the Toiyabe National Forest. Look for a road to the right that will take you along Dog Creek into the valley. Distance from the sign indicating you are entering the Toiyabe National Forest is about 3 miles.
There are about 4 good camping spots along that road that are easy to access. There are more roads farther along in the forest that dip down into the valley and all of them have at least a couple of places where you can pull off and camp. The area is not crowded at all!
If you have a short wheel base 4X4, there are some more trails that lead to even more camping spots! Emphasis here is short wheel base 4X4!!! Here is why:
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The forest service sometimes mounds up dirt in 4X4 trails to limit vehicle traffic. This truck had too long of a wheel base to make it over and got stuck at the top. Also, this illustrates the need to take a shovel with you when you go exploring even in dry weather!
There is plenty of wildlife in the area. I saw loads of chipmunks, quail, various other birds, and a squirrel or two. I did find plenty of deer tracks and I bet there are a few coyotes and the occasional large cat.
Here are some of the landscape photos I took;
I also walked down the creek a ways:
Loads of flowers are still blooming:
Got one good photo of a blue dragon fly:
So, if you are looking for some really good camping adventure, head on out to Dog Valley! Close to Reno and easy access. Bring your own water or at least a good filter if you take water out of the creek.
Don’t try to drive into the valley floor!!! Lots of swamp out there and getting burried in the mud is a real possibility, besides that area is off limits to vehicles anyway.