Monday, October 18, 2010

NEW: Silver State Trails

The Silver State Trails in Nevada was posted about over on the Offroading Home Forum a few days ago. I'd never heard of them before, so did a bit of research and found that the trails were just a bit north of our old stopping grounds in Mesquite, up by Pioche and Pananca.

The person who posted about them left some links to pages that he had found, so I followed them.   As usual, there were no REAL, usable maps or files available; so, no-one could actually download anything but PR hype.

I found the BLM web site for the area, and one additional site which had the area split up into five of those proprietary, and nearly unusable, Adobe PDF maps.   As you know some BLM field offices are still using this "protectionist" type of format – probably thinking that what they are doing is somehow useful to people.

The entire trail system now has been painstakingly digitized and included into the "Nevada Trails" master map file available at:   Select the "Nevada Trails" download link and the "NevadaTrails.kmz" file to download.   The Silver State Trail is in the northeast region of the Google Earth map.

Never having actually been there myself, I've only been able to "tour" the area through Google Earth (GE).   Take the tour yourself and see if you come up with a better idea than I have about the area.   There's a lot of "flat brown area," a small bit of "darker brown, rugged area" and a tiny bit of "greenish" area.

It is a VERY LARGE loop trail with several entrance points around the perimeter all marked with waypoint markers on the map.   Legends have it all being dirt road of either one or two tracks; so, even though nothing is clearly spelled out, it is probably passable on either SUV or ATV.

The full loop is most likely a camping trip due to its size, but there are several "shortcuts" and "crossings" which would enable one to cut the trail down to a manageable day-trip to and from a single staging area.

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”
Ansel Adams
You will also notice the obvious absence of any Panoramio photographs displayed on GE in area of the trail system.   I'm not sure what that means about the areas popularity, but I hope it's something that readers rectify shortly.   You don't really notice how much you rely on the little blue Panoramio boxes of photos until you try and navigate to an area without them.

The only trailhead with any services is the one at Chief Mountain – which just happens to be the same trailhead used by the Chief Mountain Riding Area, so this map is a "twofer" and both systems have been included in the Nevada Trails map.

Notice that the Chief Mountain area trails are a bit more challenging to vehicles and riders.

I hope that anyone who has either lived or ridden in this area will enlighten us a bit by either leaving a comment – or posting a thread on the forum.   Tell us what it is actually like "on the ground."

Learn A Little More

Panoramio was initially a tiny web service which, like many others, allowed people to upload their photos onto the web.   Only it was one which either accepted GEO-coded photos OR had the facilities to use Google Maps to help you geo-code them yourself.

It became very popular and eventually was noticed by Google who bought them up.   The service is completely free (google makes $ by displaying ads in the photo banner) and you can register for your account easily at: Panoramio.

Once you have an account number it's a simple matter to upload your photos and give your friends your private account number so they can log on and see your photos.   Panoramio's interface makes it easy to code where you took the photo; or, if your camera does it automatically, it'll already be filled in.

Of course, you then also have the option to allow Google Earth to scan your folders for photos which meet their guidelines for display to everyone on their graphic of the earth.   Basically, it's just that they want photos of the EARTH not buildings, and people.   So, if it's got a person in it (except unrecognizable, distant and incidental) or if it's under a roof – they won't glean it for display.

Even after the filtering, that leaves all the great photos of the geography and content of the earth to be placed in the position it was taken for us to see as we navigate around the globe.

If you take the small amount of time to upload the photos of your ride you will be in great company.   There are many professional photographers who have caught the vision of how much this adds to the GE function and who are now uploading to the "earth."

Offroading Home encourages you to use this facility as it not only makes GE better but it also cuts the bandwidth load on our servers by not needing to include photos within the maps – they will already be IN the GE display.


Jeff said...

This area is a secret that many people are finding out about each day . Not too many people riding the trails yet and even when there are others the area is so vast it does not matter. Lots of old ghost towns, old mines just a neat area to check out. I encounter wild horses on a regular basis. Every type of terrain as well , from open desert to tight mountain trails. Even water crossings......

Unknown said...

We recently discovered the Silver State trail by accident and there is very little info online anywhere BUT we did get a printed map at the Patterson trailhead which was very nice, lots of free campsites and access to the trail and 100's of good trails so of Ely, NV

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