Exploring Around and Watching the Beaver at Merritt Creek

Monday June 22, 2015  Near Mountain City Nevada on Forest Road 016

I was off the hilltop fairly early as the sun was coming in my van windows and got me going, earlier then I like, like at six.

Exploring Columbia creek on the Maggie’s summit road

I drove a couple miles up the Maggie’s summit road to Columbia Creek where I explored the roads in that area.

This is the Columbia creek area I explored this morning.van

I went by this beaver pond on the way in. The yellow flowers are called skunk cabbage.pond


I crossed the creek and followed it up the hill several miles. The road wasn’t bad, just a little overgrown with grass and wild flowers. I was exploring around, looking for possible camps and anything else I might discover.

There’s actually a rather good road under all that. They have cows and sheep in the area, they just haven’t been up here yet. I’m following the ridgeback up the hill.flowerroad

I spent a couple hours up on the hill looking around then headed back to the Maggie’s summit road and continued on that past Tuscarora and north on highway 226. I took the forest road to the right just after I passed Patsville, an old bar.

Headed up to Merritt creek

The forest road I was traveling up into the hills to camp was 016. It’s a fairly good road that slowly climbs into the hills.o16road


A couple miles in or so the road forks and I took the one north to Merritt Creek.

This is looking back just after I turned off the main road to go to Merritt Creek. There’s beaver ponds on the left. I will camp tonight where the truck and trail are in the field on the right. The truck and trailer parked there usually means there is a cowboy out riding his horse checking fence and cattle, so they should be gone before night.camparea


I’m off to explore Merritt creek where there’s supposed to be good fishing. On the way I spotted several groups of antelope. Here’s some running full bore and they can go fast.antelope


I went over Yankee Bill Summit and down this road headed to Merritt creek, up ahead a bit.cattleguard


Of course I did some more exploring along the way. There is a road under that stuff I’m following.flowers


Lots of beaver ponds

Back to the main road and on to Merritt creek which has a bunch of big beaver ponds in the area. The beaver ponds hold back enough water for fish I suppose.

I stopped along the road and watched for a bit at this one. It was right outside my side doors and there wasn’t much room to get off the road. Not that there was a lot of traffic.pond2


This was  my view looking up stream from my van side doors and I saw something move up that way.pond3


It turned out to be a beaver climbing over it’s dam to go up to the next level.beaver


This woodpecker flew into the tree right in front of me too. It checked the branch out all the way to the top and then flew off.woodpecker


Walked across this field to the beaver pond

The map showed the fishing down the road a bit, so I worked my way down there. See that beaver pond across the grass there. I’m going to go for a walk to it as that’s where they show good fishing on the map.pond4


I drove down the road a little further and parked by the gate which I may have been able to drive through as it wasn’t locked, but I wasn’t sure, so I parked there and walked along here. The beaver ponds are to the left of the brush on that side.walk


This was the main beaver pond, the one seen from the road, but there were several large ponds in this area and the water was clear as there is a fairly good creek flow right now.pond5


Looking for  beaver

I was watching for beaver on the walk back to my van and saw this beaver doing some feeding just below where my van was parked. It would come near where I was in the bushes, then go around the corner and come back again, maybe stock piling food, but I couldn’t tell from my spot.

This was about as close as it got to me, about ten feet. The beaver and the muskrat look very similar when they swim like this. I think this is a beaver, but might be a muskrat.beaver2


When it went back around the corner I left and went back to the van.

Headed to a camp spot

I didn’t see any good camp spots in this area, there was barely room to park to check out the beaver, so I decided to head back to where the truck and trailer where this morning, at the start of the road to Merritt creek.

The truck was gone so I parked my van in the grass where he had been parked. It’s a big camp site and there’s even a big fire pit in the middle which you could see except the grass is too high. No matter, I don’t need a fire right now.vancamp


Water can mean insects

I’m camped right near some more beaver ponds and lots of water so there’s a few insect pests to deal with here. There’s been some mosquitos just before dark, but it cooled down now and they seem to be gone, except for the few still stuck in my van which I will have to deal with before I retire. That usually means turning off all the lights and taking a small flashlight and shining it around the van ceiling and all over to show there shadows so I can swat them with my fly swatter. That usually works.

I walked out to the main road just before dark to check the beaver ponds across the road, but didn’t’ see any beaver, but I did see this little bunny in the grasses keeping it’s eye’s on me just in case it needed to flee, but it didn’t and I returned to  my van.bunny


Headed to Owyhee

My plan tomorrow is to go to the town of Owyhee, Nevada which is on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. I’m hoping to use their internet access which is only available on week days at the computer lab and I will get gas at the tribal store before coming back down this way and continuing on with this trip.

That’s it for another interesting day in the hills near Mountain City.

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4 Responses to Exploring Around and Watching the Beaver at Merritt Creek

  1. Bob Noble says:

    Hi Richard,
    Things should be nice and lush up that way right now and I will be watching for your report. I hope to get up in those parts in a few weeks.
    Have fun,

  2. Bob Noble says:

    Hi Richard,
    I don’t fish any more, but that area has lots of water with lots of beaver so fishing should be good. Beaver usually indicates good fishing in the desert because they hold back a lot of water for fish habitat. And the area is large enough that it doesn’t get over fished like some areas.

    • Richard Pierotti says:

      Hi Bob,
      Thank you for getting back to me. I am heading up there on Thursday and let you know what I find out.


  3. Richard Pierotti says:


    I really enjoy your blog. I am considering buying property in the Merritt Creek area. Did you have any luck with the fishing in Merritt Creek?

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