Golden Canyon Loop
This is my favorite long loop out of Wolf Creek area. I think the total miles are around 30.
I usually start from camp at Wolf Creek, head back out the road you drive in on, to the trailhead at the north end of the valley (past the cattle ranch house). This is where the trailhead for the River Trail and the High Trail start.
I usually take the High Trail for a shorter loop.... but if you run into any obstacles, you could still do the loop by starting on the River Trail. I actually prefer the River Trail for easier footing and the ability to trot or canter more on the River Trail.
Once you get into the Carson River drainage, follow the main trail up river until you get to the turn off to Golden Canyon -- it will be on your right. Follow Golden Canyon over the high ridge and then down into the top of the Wolf Creek Canyon. Just be sure you've got the right trail... or you'll end up on the Pacific Crest Trail heading for Canada! Did that once and went about 15 more miles than intended! (okay, Ranelle, you can quit rubbing my nose in that one!)
If you have time, take a short side trip to check out Carson Falls. You have to tie your horses above the falls and walk down to see them, but depending on the water flow, they can be spectacular. Once, friends and I camped right above the falls in a nice meadow and hiked down for swimming in the pool below the falls. It was great!
Be sure to take a map..... there are enough side trails around that you could go for miles on the wrong trail....
If you need to cut this loop a little shorter, you can take the first trail to your right up and over the ridge; the Murray Canyon Trail. I just think Golden Canyon is a better ride, better trail, and better views.
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