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The New American West

The New American West

May 03, 2018

Spring has sprung and there is no doubt that you have already broken out the maps and planned some killer road trips this year. If your wanderlust happens to draw attention to the desert southwest, make sure you look past Hurricane, UT and Las Vegas to consider the small town of Caliente, Nevada.  

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 Just two and a half hours north of Sin City, surrounded by layers of extensive basins and beautiful mountains, sits a town that will eventually be one of the new meccas of mountain biking in the American West. You might not believe me now, but I have been there. I have seen the beginning as well as the future potential. Caliente, nestled into the vast 10,700 square miles of Lincoln County, has been blessed with a landscape that caters to a number of different outdoor recreation pursuits, including mountain biking. It is so diverse in this part of the US, that it is possible to grow pecans at one end of the county and potatoes on the other.
It was only a year ago when the idea of a mountain bike destination was still just a dream for Caliente. A lot can change in twelve months, and after a lot of hard work and planning, the spring of 2017 was beginning of making trails a reality. By the end of last year, the area had a solid six miles of trails in Barnes Canyon as well as an extensive bike park smack dab in the middle of town.

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Mountain Bike Park

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Big berms, rollers, and serious tabletop jumps now dot the sides of the mountain above Strawberry Hill, just off Highway 93 and Ada Street. While these features are things you would not expect to see in a southern Nevada town, it is believe it or not, exactly what you will find. Multiple flow trails, both technical and playful, cascade down gravity-fed slopes into the progressive dirt jump park anchored by a concrete pump track. It is an amazing place to have loads of fun while improving your skills at the same time. It may also be one of the best places in town to watch one of Caliente's awe-inspiring sunsets.

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Mountain Bike Park BuildMountain Bike Dirt JumpMountain Bike Park BuildingMountain Bike Barnes Canyon

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Just minutes down Clover Canyon, to the northwest of town, is Barnes Canyon. The area has a unique landscape dominated by muted green pinion-juniper forests covering jagged limestone slopes. The TeePee Rocks, white-colored, tent-like formations, are the signature features of the canyon, striking a sharp contrast against the almost-daily, bluebird skies. The current offering of trails takes you around, through and under these geologic features, showcasing the strange beauty that Barnes has to offer. With more singletrack in the works, there is no doubt mountain bikers will have plenty more to discover in the coming years.

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Mountain Bike Barnes Canyon Ridge

Mountain Biking Caliente

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Everything You Need

Caliente is a simple town - it has everything you need and nothing you don’t. There are a few hotels, a couple of restaurants serving hearty food, and a grocery store that will cover the spectrum of low budget to high maintenance food and supplies. If self-contained is your style, the surrounding BLM lands can offer you both solitude and quick access to recreation.

So what do you think? Summer is still a few months off. There is still time for one more spring road trip - don’t forget to make a stop in Caliente, Nevada.

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Mountain Biking Caliente Town

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