The Carson Valley Trails Association builds and maintains trails in and around the huge valley South of Carson City. Muscle Powered Carson City works with the City on trails in the immediate vicinity of town. This Carson City link lists dozens of trails, including many around nearby Lake Tahoe.
The low hills surrounding Carson Valley are sage-covered and offer expansive vistas of the many snow capped peaks in the Sierras and beyond. When the weather warms up you can head up the forested trails all the way up to Lake Tahoe country, or just drive up to Tahoe and start your hike at 6500 feet.
Here's some shots from a few hikes close to Carson City:
|Bullocks Oriole in the sage brush of Jacks Valley.|
|It's been a pretty dry winter so the Sierras have less snow than usual for May, but they still make a pretty picture!|
Locals told us some years they'll be surrounded by snowy peaks all summer.
|Coming off the Clear Creek trail the clouds were building up to the East.|
|The beautiful Long Nosed Leopard Lizard|
|Hiking Ash Creek Canyon will get you up into the trees.|
|Poor quality cell phone photo...but we were cracking up at these deer peering over the top of a hill at us!|
An interesting thing about Ophir Creek Trail, it passes through an area devastated by an enormous landslide in 1983. At several places along the trail you can see evidence of ongoing slide activity in this granite landscape.
|The decomposing granite walls of this canyon are extremely unstable.|
|Ophir Creek flows through this canyon full of granite boulders from landslides.|
Slide Mountain above was the site of the 1983 landslide and is so unstable it has not completely reforested.
|Ophir Creek had a decent amount of water in it and would have made a great destination hike itself at about 2.5 miles in.|
Just beyond Ophir Creek I commented to Hans that even though we were climbing at least we had short stretches of up tempered by short stretches of easy. I spoke too soon! A little over three miles in we came to a very steep rocky section, at least 10% grade, that seemed to go on forever...though it was probably less than a third of a mile.
|At least we had pretty sarcodes to enjoy on the climb!|
|Nice views too!|
|And then we came to Rock Lake!|
It's a small lake, but it really lives up to its name.
|Any rocks that had been underwater at some point were red, |
all rocks beyond the high water line were typical gray granite!
|One of the best things about Rock Lake were the lily pads!|
|The snake was pretty cool too!|
We have really enjoyed our stay in Carson City, so much that we just may come back through here in October, we've got lots more trails to hike! Silver City Auto Body did a great job on the damage to our truck, so now we are back in action and our truck is good as new.
We stayed at Camp N Town, a basic full hookup RV park at the North end of town, with the delicious Pho Country restaurant right across the street. Though right in town, the RV park was quiet and convenient and turned out to be a decent, no frills, place to stay.
Next up: Reno, NV, a nice short drive of about 30 miles!