Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Three Bar Ranch Road

Looking north up the 3 Bar Road from Highway 50.

I've been away for almost two weeks because of field trips and meetings. As I drove to the first field trip, I stopped and took this picture on Highway 50, within sight of the Eureka Quartzite outcrop on Lone Mountain. I took the picture knowing that I'd soon be north of the snow-covered mountains, north and beyond.

The Three Bar Ranch Road (or 3 Bar Road, Eureka #3708) heads north between the Simpson Park Mountains (left and center) and Roberts Mountains (right of the photo). From the pass between the two mountain ranges, one can drive northeast into Denay, Garden, and Pine Valleys. The Buckhorn-Cortez Road (Eureka #3706, same map) will take one west into the north end of Molly Knudtsen's Grass Valley and onto the Grass Valley and Cortez Road(s) (Eureka #3707, Lander #4206, also shown on old maps as S.R. 21). At the north end of Grass Valley, one is practically at the old silver mining district of Cortez. (Cortez used to be pronounced COR-tehz, but recent influx of people from outside the state has caused the pronunciation to revert to the more usual Cor-TEZ.)

Cortez, the old silver mining district - and newer gold mining district - was the second stop on the first field trip. When I first saw Cortez in 1975, it looked a lot like this, though maybe not as snowy.

The 3 Bar and Grass Valley Roads provide an excellent opportunity to make a side loop north from Highway 50 - a side loop entirely on dirt. The Grass Valley Road takes off from Highway 50 from a low area between Austin Summit and Bob Scott Summit, going north all the way to Cortez, or looping back to the 3 Bar Road through Pine Valley. It's a little early in the year to take this side trip (this year, anyway), although I'm thinking about it.

Cortez Mining District - at Online Nevada Encyclopedia.
Cortez - at NevadaAdventureS Ghost Towns
Cortez: Hearst Invested in Early Mines - at Gold Getter News
Here is Our Valley - by Molly Flagg Knudtsen - a great book by a great Nevada rancher.


Kea Giles said...

Nice photo!

Gaelyn said...

That's some gorgeous backroading.

Silver Fox said...

Coming back, time and weather inteferred with my idea of driving down the Cortez Road from Beowawe or from making the loop road from Austin through Grass Valley to the Three Bar Road. Mostly time - not enough. A little bit weather - rain and snow squalls to the north.

Dan McShane said...

I routinely check your blog because you have great photos!

Silver Fox said...

Thanks, Dan - and did you enter any photos to the Accretionary Wedge?

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful thing to see... My great grandfather started the 3bar ranch.. he started the curly horse...1864.. thanks for the pic!!!

Silver Fox said...

And here's a book with some history about the Three Bar and Curly Horse ranches - which you probably already knew about! :)