Multiple choices for hikers, bikers and equestrians at the Fay Luther Trailhead. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

“It’s sandy, especially at the start.” That was the warning from the anonymous man parked at the Fay Luther Trailhead.

He wasn’t kidding. It was like being at the beach or on some of the trails in Todos Santos, Mexico. If it weren’t for the motor, it easily could have become a walk instead of bike ride.

I’ve hiked most of these trails along Foothill Road in Carson Valley, so this time I wanted to explore by bike.

(Note: This trail links with the Jobs Peak Ranch Trailhead that also starts on Foothill, but no bikes of any kind are allowed from that starting point nor are they allowed on the connector trail.)

The Valley View trail is single track dirt with some rocks. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Mostly the Fay Luther system is a series of loops. I opted for the Valley View Loop because I had already done some riding that day and I was pretty sure I would be able to take a short cut to the house where I was cat sitting. Plus, any trail with the word “view” in it is going to be scenic.

Expansive views of the Carson Valley unfolded before me. So much green in late June.

Other than the soft dirt at the get-go, the Valley Loop was easy to navigate through a mix of sage brush and conifers. With it not being the heart of summer heat, the exposed areas were tolerable without shade midday. This would not be true all the time.

The Carson Valley seems to go on forever. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

A slew of routes are available from Fay Luther. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

I had to cross water twice. Once I could have easily pedaled across, the second was going to be too deep with a sudden uphill pitch to have made it successfully. I walked the bike through both sections since I didn’t know what I was in for.

Biking on a weekday meant I had the trails to myself. The only person I saw was the informative guy in the parking lot.

What always surprises me is the bulk of this trail system is in California.

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