Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
495.00 ft (150.88 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.20 mi (5.15 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Monitor Canyon is one of several canyons that feed into the ghost town of Unionville, Nevada. The canyon double track climbs out of the ghost town, paralleling and often crossing a stream as it ascends up into the isolated Humboldt Mountain Range.

While there is little signage or efforts at maintaining the path, much like other aspects of Unionville, the double track offers a great opportunity for hikers to leave the shady valley below and head up into Nevada's dramatic mountainous backcountry.

The double track itself can be followed for over 10 miles, up to switchbacks that reach the mountain peak ridgeline. However, a much shorter out-and-back path tracing about 1.6 miles each way gives hikers an easier route leading to a couple shady, scenic aspen groves, one of which was home to a miner whose abandoned cabin ruins still remain.

Hikers can park at the wide turnaround at the top of the town. Rather than continuing west up the adjacent Wilson Canyon, hikers can walk about 30 feet back downhill before heading south on a road that quickly passes over a creek and then continues up a rough path into Monitor Canyon.

Observant hikers looking uphill to their right or to the mountaintops straight ahead will notice tailings piles and structure ruins from the Arizona Mine, once the town's largest producer while it operated between 1862 and 1880.

The route continues up a mostly shadeless track with several stream crossings, though as you ascend, shady aspen groves tend to line the stream along flatter areas, offering a chance to get a break from the dry sunshine. A short ways after the third stream crossing, a wide aspen grove marked with trees containing a noticeable amount of graffiti and carvings will stand on the right side of the path. Continuing another 100 feet up-trail will lead to a grove on the left, through which an abandoned miners cabin is noticeable.

This area makes as good of a landmark as any to stand still, listen to the canyon's sounds of trickling water, wind rustling through aspen leaves, birds singing along the lush corridor, and just generally enjoy what tends to be an infrequently accessible scene within the Nevada desert.

From here, retrace your route back down into the town of Unionville. There are no amenities in the ghost town. The nearest amenities of any kind are located at the offramp to Interstate 80. Unionville lies several miles up a graded gravel road and normally remains accessible to all passenger vehicles.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Isolated. Great views.

Cons

No shade.

Trailhead Elevation

5,085.00 ft (1,549.91 m)

Highest point

5,135.00 ft (1,565.15 m)

Net Elevation Gain

450.00 ft (137.16 m)

Features

Wildlife
Wildflowers
Mine

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Rye Patch State Recreation Area
Rye Patch State Recreation Area

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