By Dave Iltis
Updated June 13, 2017 – The Beaver Dam 49er Gravel Grinder is slated for June 17, 2017 at Beaver Dam State Park in South East Nevada. The ride will have 10, 35, and 45 mile options through the rugged and gorgeous terrain of Lincoln County, Nevada. A gravel grinder is a ride that takes place on gravel roads that are generally less technical than singletrack mountain biking.
We asked organizer Dawn Andone to tell us about the ride.
Cycling West: What are the courses like for the Beaver Dam Gravel Grinder? What type of bike do you need to use? Is the ride timed?
Beaver Dam Gravel Grinder: The course is mostly over dirt and gravel backcountry and jeep roads. There are some rocky patches that can be considered technical, but we have tried to keep those to a minimum. However, rain events can change the terrain—sometimes this results in having to change the route.
Fat tire bikes are the most appropriate. Some areas can be rocky and others sandy.
The ride is not timed. We want you to enjoy the scenery and take-in what Lincoln County and Beaver Dam State Park have to offer.
CW: What is the scenery like? What are the highlights along the course?
BDGG: The scenery is spectacular! The road taking you out of the park winds up a dirt/gravel road, through pines and junipers. The wildflowers will be in bloom so whites, reds, yellows, purples, and oranges will dot the landscape and standout against the evergreens.
You ride along the rim of the park so you can see all the geologic formations created during periods of volcanic activity millions of years ago.
The route takes you past old dams, and through ranching communities, with a lunch stop at the old one-room schoolhouse in Barclay.
CW: Where can people stay that come to do the ride? What other attractions are there if people want to make a weekend of the trip?
BDGG: Stay at the Park! Come camp in one of two campgrounds at the park. The ride starts at 7:30 am and the closest town is 35 miles down a gravel road. Camping is your best option. Stay Friday and Saturday night.
If you prefer to stay in a motel, Caliente has the closest accommodations.
Hike, bike, fish. You can do it all right in the park. There are number of trails, historic sites, and beautiful streams and ponds. It's a great way to spend the weekend.
There are also four other state parks in the area. Pioche is an old mining town you might like to checkout. And if you are willing to drive a bit there are some ghosttowns and a site where you can dig for trilobites.
Visit www.lincolncountynevada.com for more information on sites and activities in Lincoln County.
CW: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
BDGG: This is a fun time! Nevada State Parks strives to make your trip and the event one you will remember for a lifetime. We have a number of riders who return every year. We want you to come back, not just to the ride, but throughout the year to recreate and enjoy all Lincoln County has to offer!
CW: Where is Beaver Dam State Park?
BDGG: Situated in rugged canyon country, this breathtaking, 2,393-acre park is located approximately three hours north of Las Vegas, Nevada on the Utah border.
• 3-1/2 hours Northeast of Las Vegas: I-15 N to US-93 N to Beaver Dam Road East.
Head north on I-15 out of Las Vegas. Turn onto US-93 north at Apex following the Caliente/Pioche/Ely sign. Continue north on US-93 to the town of Caliente, Nevada. Continue north from town on US-93 about five miles, watch for the Beaver Dam State Park sign on the highway. Turn east (right) on the Beaver Dam Road. Drive 30 miles on the gravel road following the signs to Beaver Dam State Park.
• 2-1/2 hours Southeast of Ely: US-93 S to Beaver Dam Road East.
Head south on US-93 toward Pioche, Nevada. Continue south on US-93 past the town of Pioche about 20 miles toward the town of Caliente, Nevada. About five miles north of Caliente watch for the Beaver Dam State Park sign on the highway. Turn east (left) on the Beaver Dam Road. Drive 30 miles on the gravel road following the signs to Beaver Dam State Park.
• 2 hours West of Cedar City, Utah: UT-56 W to UT-18 S to UT-219 W to Beaver Dam Road.
Follow UT-56 west to Beryl Junction, UT. Turn south (left) on UT-18 to Enterprise, UT. Drive through the town of Enterprise to UT-219 going toward Enterprise Reservoir. UT-219 turns to gravel, continue on the gravel road following the signs to Beaver Dam State Park, Nevada.
• 2 hours Northwest of St. George, Utah: UT-18 N to UT-219 W to Beaver Dam Road.
Follow UT-18 north out of St. George to Enterprise, UT. Turn west (left) and drive through the town of Enterprise to UT-219 toward Enterprise Reservoir. UT-219 turns to gravel, continue on the gravel road following the signs to Beaver Dam State Park, Nevada.
June 17, 2017 — Beaver Dam 49er Gravel Grinder|, Beaver Dam State Park, NV, Ride the Rim and see the park from a different perspective. Pedal down an old chaining road that runs along the Park's rim and winds you through Pinyon and juniper trees. The course then swings around back to the main park road and down into Campground B where we end the ride with a BBQ. The course is subject to change based on weather conditions. 35 and 45 mile options., Dawn Andone, 775-728-4460, [email protected], beaverdamgravelgrinder.com
Original story: April 25, 2016