Wood Canyon Spring
overview of trail
|Trail in Google Maps|
|creator:||Tim France (nvprospector)|
|Dates:||July 03, 2010|
|Trail time:||2 hours 30 min|
|Vehicle classes:||Narrow high-clearance 4WD|
Southwestern United States, Southern Nevada, Nye County, Spring Mountains, Pahrump
Old trail heading up the canyon to a flowing spring.
The trail begins just north of Pahrump, NV at an elevation of 3,276 ft on a rough one track road. Several parts of the trail that are in washes have been washed away, but these washed out segments have alternate routes around. In several of the washes, there are steep, narrow, and very loose climbs. Need to be prepared for possible wheel spin on these climbs out of the washes. Two much wheel spin will pull you into the sides.
The entire length of the trail is littered with sharp Dolomite rock. Good tires with strong side walls are a must.
When you enter Wood Canyon proper, the wash bottom becomes loose gravel. This will be challenging for Dual Sport and Moto riders. Heaver vehicles sink in the gravel and this makes turning some of the bends difficult.
Terrain type / brush factor
Non-maintained ranching trail; boulder and loose gravel wash bottoms; narrow, steep, loose climbs out of some washes
Medium brush factor in canyon
Permits? Fees? Seasonal closures?
There are no vehicle requirements or permits. The trail is not maintained and it is up to the driver to determine if the trail conditions are suitable to drive.
Toyota Tacoma/ Tim France / (nvprospector)
History, geology, etc.
When in Wood Canyon you are surrounded by dark brown to pale red sandstone and maroon siltstone cliff face. A spring is flowing from a section of weathered conglomerate into a little water fall. Large trees are found further up the canyon, and it is just a short hike to see them. When at the spring forty chucker where counted. There was also sign of horse, burro and mule deer. On an upper rock face at the top of the canyon, an eagle sat and was not very happy with me from stopping him from getting a few chuckers.
Along the north face of the canyon there are many petroglyphs. The petroglyphs face east into the canyon and are not seen when you enter. They sit on 45 degree rock faces with some going up about 200 feet. In order to see the upper most petroglyphs, you need to climb along the rock panels. Just watch where you step and place you hands. Some of the petroglyphs are faded and hard to see. Best time to take pictures of the petroglyphs is in the late afternoon.
The geology was first recorded in 1924 when Nolan named the Wood Canyon Formation and described it from exposures he located within Wood Canyon. In 1937 Hazzard extended the use of the name to the southern Nopah Range, where he measured a section of Precambrian to Cambrian strata including those of the Wood Canyon Formation. Later in 1966, Stewart divided the formation into lower, middle and upper informal members.
The lower member is composed of interbedded siltstone, thinly laminated to platy bedded, fine- to medium- grained feldspathic and micaceous sandstone, and laminated, siliceous dolomite.
The middle member contains a lower sub-unit composed of arkosic conglomerate and grades up-section into cyclically bedded subarkosic sandstone and maroon siltstone. The interbedded light olive-gray to tan siltstone and dark brown to pale red weathering, fine- to very fine-grained quartzitic sandstone of the upper member are similar to those in the lower member with respect to distribution and primary sedimentary features. Sandstone beds are 1 to 5 ft thick, well laminated to massive with occasional cross-laminations.
The dolomite in the upper member is contained mostly in one sub-unit, which is characteristically cyclically bedded. Distinctive millimeter-sized platelets of echinodermal debris are found in the dolomite beds.
All services are available in Pahrump. The site is close enough to Las Vegas that it can be an easy day trip with a nice picnic when you arrive. When up in the canyon there is no cell phone service but in the flats before entering the mountains there is cell phone service.
GPS units/laptops used for tracking/navigation: ASUS EEE PC; GPS puck attacted to computer; DeLorme PN-40 (backup in case of hard drive crash)
Navigation software used for planning/navigation: Oziexplorer
Books/maps used for planning: Topo – Mt. Stirling, NEV; 1984
Hazzard, J. C., 1937, Paleozoic section in the Nopah and Resting Springs Mountains, Inyo County, California: California Jour. Mines and Geology, v. 33, p. 273-339.
Nolan, T. B., 1924, Geology of the northwest portion of the Spring Mountains, Nevada [Ph.D. thesis]: New Haven, Conn., Yale Univ.
Stewart, J. H., 1966, Correlations of Lower Cambrian and some Precambrian strata in the southern Great Basin, California and Nevada: U.S. Geol. Survey Prof. Paper 550—C, p. C66-C72.
Important waypoints as coordinates
Wood Canyon Trailhead: N36.409858, W116.068765