The road into the Carlin Canyon BLM boondocking area is paved. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 14 days at Carlin Canyon. The Humboldt River makes a big loop and cuts through a mountain range to form Carlin Canyon.
The California Trail, which was established in 1841, followed the canyon's riverside. The first train tracks were laid in 1868, several years later. Eventually, train tunnels were blasted out, and US 40 was built on the old rail line. Since I-80 has become the major highway and has its own tunnel through the mountain, Carlin Canyon's road has become very calm and tranquil despite being visible from the interstate.
The canyon can be reached by taking Route 221 south from Carlin and turning east (left) at the first major crossroads. After 4.5 miles, the pavement will pass beneath the freeway and into the canyon. Never mind the closed signs! Camping spots in the canyon are scarce. The first rest stop is noisy because of its proximity to the highway. To access the riverside pullout, continue driving until you reach the second available parking spot. A gravel space big enough for multiple RVs and a seat with informative signage are provided.
Shortly after the turn off, the route is closed and there is no way to get back onto the interstate, with the exception of cyclists, who must use the canyon road around the tunnel. There was no clear path leading to the water that we could see. Both of the dirt roads in and out are guarded and gated with barbed wire. It's possible that the initial rest stop serves as a gateway.