|Day Trip to Moon Rocks, Nevada
By Jon Crowley, UTVGuide.net
Tucked away in the desert just north of Reno is a peculiar outcropping of slick granite that is perfect for rock crawling. The rock formations are beautiful and create some fun obstacles to challenge 4×4 off-road vehicles.
The Hungry Valley Recreation Area (HVRA) was designated in 2001,as an open Off-Highway Vehicle Area (OHV Area) by the Bureau of Land Management. The popular name for the area is Moon Rocks due to the large rock formation near the staging area.
Moon Rocks is located in northern Nevada near Pyramid Lake and about 30 minutes north of downtown Reno.
The “Moon Rock” formation is popular for rock crawling and there are desert trails and many hill climbs in the area. If you aren’t familiar with the area, a GPS would be a good idea because there are extensive trails in every direction. The area is managed by the Carson City BLM office. Dispersed camping is allowed, but there are no services (dry camping).
I brought our new 2015 Polaris RZR XP 1000 build project. This build is still underway, but already is quite the XP 1000. It was built by TMW Off-Road and features Triple X seats, Wolf Designs wrap, Rigid Industries LED lights, Cognito Motorsports long travel suspension, FOX internal bypass shocks, Polaris 4500 lbs winch and 32-inch STI Roctane tires mounted on STI beadlock wheels.
It was a windy day so we spent some time out exploring some of the trails. There seemed to be endless options to create different loops. Many different hill climbs that will challenge your horsepower and lots of whoops to test your suspension.
After that, we decided it was time to rock crawl at the Moon Rocks. There are deep crevasses that you can straddle, tall vertical waterfalls, narrow fins and off-camber ledges. There really aren’t any trails, but just lots of rock obstacles where you can take turns challenging yourself.
Three of us made it up one climb right by the staging area where you had to carefully straddle a deep crevasse in the middle. It was a little dicey, but we all made it up without damage. Then we challenged one of the guys with a long travel XP 900 to try a pretty impossible trail so we could at least get some photos. Well that didn’t end so well. We had to use the winch on our XP 1000 to get him back down off the rock and he broke a tie rod in the process.
All in all, Moon Rocks was a good trip. I would like to spend more time exploring around the area. There are lots of whoops in the desert which can be annoying, unless you are trying to tune your suspension for rough terrain.
The 32-inch tires are awesome for rock crawling but a bit larger for hauling through the rough terrain in the desert. I was really impressed with the FOX IBP shocks in the whoops. I will mount up some 30-inch tires for fast desert next time.
Map to Moon Rock, NV