From the Trail

  • Treasure Hunting by Horseback

    Remember what it was like to find something really cool when you were a kid?  To go hunting for secret things or stash treasures in places only you and your close friends knew about?  Well there’s no need to grow up….welcome to adult treasure hunting with a technological twist.  “Geocaching” is a relatively new pastime that has caught on like wildfire since the advent of handheld GPS and GPS phone apps.  All over the world, hikers started leaving “geocaches” hidden along trails for others to find since the first cache was stashed in Oregon, May 2000.  Now there are over a million caches hidden on all seven continents including Antarctica.  Not just for hikers anymore, over five million registered cachers are hunting for containers hidden in public buildings, parks, trees,…wherever!   Due to our area’s high volume of tourist traffic, many people come to Las Vegas and hunt for our city’s non-casino treasure while here on business or vacation.  But what do you call it when you go hunting for a cache by horseback?  Equicaching, of course!

  • PVHA Supports First Responders

    A Terrible’s Casino parking lot may not seem like the ideal location to start a trail ride.  But for the members of the Pahrump Valley Horsemen’s Association this place has special meaning.  They met in the lot across the street on Saturday morning and saddled up their horses for the ten-mile ride.  Last year the community suffered the tragic loss of deputy Ian Deutch, shot in the line of duty at the casino after responding to a call.  A charity ride was put together by this local equestrian group to raise money for the stricken family.  Current PVHA president Steven Lee explained that this year, the PVHA decided to repeat the ride.  They have started a special account to support all First Responders such as fire, medical, and other response personnel who may need these funds in a crisis.

  • NWHA Ride for the Wild

    This morning’s trail ride to benefit the National Wild Horse Association took place from the Sunrise Picnic area under bright, sunny skies.  Although without horse today, I headed over to meet with some of the staff and members and to catch the early part of their ride.   I am a big fan of our desert textures and the gorgeous lines of Frenchman Mountain provided the perfect backdrop for the 40+ riders.   The NWHA hosts two fundraising trail rides, one in the Spring for Easter and the second in November.  Breakfast beforehand and lunch afterward plus a raffle with some great prizes make this a full day of riding, fun and friendship.

  • Competitive Trail Ride at SVR

    My sixty-mile drive from Las Vegas to Sandy Valley, CA began with a beautiful desert sunrise.  I was heading to an ACTHA event at Sandy Valley Ranch CA, just a stone’s throw past the Nevada border.   ACTHA is the American Competitive Trail Horse Association, a foundation started to promote untimed, competitive trail riding.  The first ever CTC (Competitive Trail Challenge) was held in Texas in the Fall of 2008, the brainchild of two women who loved endurance riding and competition, but were tired of long days in the saddle.  In less than 3 years, the ACTHA has grown spectacularly to include thousands of members competing in hundreds of rides across the United States.

  • DNWR – Joe May trail

    Off Hwy-95 toward Indian Springs is the 1.5 million acre Desert National Wildlife Refuge.  Because access to trailheads is by dirt roads, we decided to reconnoiter in the pickup truck before pulling out a loaded trailer.   The DNWR is the largest national wildlife refuge in the 48 states, although more than half falls within the Nevada Test and Training Range where access is prohibited.  It forms one of the largest intact blocks of bighorn sheep habitat remaining in the Southwest.  Six major mountain ranges rise to almost 10,000 feet, including the Sheep Range around which are most of the trailheads.  All roads are primitive and there are no amenities (water/phone/fuel) once you leave Hwy 95.  However, there are thirty springs within the park, with guzzlers added to help the survival of bighorn populations.

  • Trail ride – Lower Kyle Canyon

    Saturday we headed to the lower slopes of Mt. Charleston for an exploratory ride from a well-used trailhead off SR-157 (Kyle Canyon).   The parking lot is just under nine miles from Hwy-95 and there is ample space for trailer parking.   OHV vehicles are allowed and although I’m not sure about the legality, we came across shooters in a box canyon.  Footing is medium to firm except in wash bottoms where it can be sandy.   To see all pictures from this route click here: Pictures.

  • Exploring Our Lands

    No doubt about it, we live in one of the richest areas in the country for taking a horse to trail.  Sure it gets hot for three months in the summer, but for now it’s January and we’re out riding in short sleeves while the Northeast braces for another eight inches of snow.  We can look forward to four more months of gradually warming weather, the desert bursting into bloom from all the winter rain, and no onslaught of nasty blood-sucking bugs.  Personally, I love it here.

    But where to go?