Thursday, September 22, 2016

Nevada Beyond the Neon: Onion Valley and Knotts Valley Reservoirs

         Take the Crayola challenge!

         Inspect the photo below to find the colors in a 16 count box of crayons*.

The road and the views stretch to the far horizon.
Click to enlarge.

          Most reservoirs in the western United States are as drab and uninspiring as they’re defined:  “...  large lakes used as a source of water supply.”  But not these two.  Located in remote northwestern Nevada, Onion Valley and Knotts Valley require a commitment of time and effort to access but are well worth the endeavor.  And the scene above, along the eight mile drive between the two reservoirs, should put to rest any descriptions of the Nevada landscape as monochromatic.

This is the long and winding road from the tiny town
of Denio Junction, NV to Onion Valley Reservoir.

         The reservoirs offer fishing and camping and our campsite high above Onion Valley Reservoir ranks as my favorite campsite of all time.

Our campsite (above and below) at Onion Valley Reservoir.
The view above is looking toward the lake.  Turning around, below, provided
 this view across northwestern Nevada—and into Oregon as well.

The world at our feet.

Tim fishes Onion Valley and is rewarded with a large rainbow trout.

         If you’re traveling Interstate 80 across Nevada and wish to escape the monotony of the four-lane, venture far from the beaten path to visit these two polychromatic reservoirs.  I guarantee you'll never again accept the definition of them as mere "water supply sources". 

Knotts Valley Reservoir.  Tim is the tiny dot in the float tube—
far right and center of photo.

Wild Irises bordered Knotts Valley reservoir on the June day
we visited.

* How did you do on the Crayola challenge?  Scrutinizing the photo I identified fourteen of the sixteen hues: orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, blue-green, blue-violet, red-orange, white, yellow-green, yellow-orange, brown and black.  That excludes only red and carnation pink, and I'm sure those two colors could be found elsewhere between the lakes.