Water Activities

Among its many recreational attributes, Carson Valley is renowned for water activities such as boating, water-skiing, jet-skiing, swimming, and fishing. Topaz Lake at the southern end of the valley hosts all of these activities and more. The lake is a popular spot among anglers, who pursue the wily rainbow, tiger, and brown trout as well as largemouth bass, bullhead catfish, and mountain whitefish from January 1 through September. Holders of both Nevada and California fishing licenses may fish in Topaz during the season. No license is required by persons under 16 years of age. Topaz is fed by the Walker River, another popular fishing venue from late April through the end of October. Fishing licenses, boat rentals, tackle, and supplies are also available nearby. The limit in all Nevada fishing waters is five trout, 10 whitefish, and 15 warm water game fish, of which no more than five can be black bass. Boaters, water skiers, and jet skiers share Topaz Lake with fishermen, and courtesy among the different groups makes it a pleasant experience for all. There is camping for both RVs and tents at the northeast end of the lake, and visitors can partake of Nevada-style gaming and other amenities on the western shore.

The East Fork of the Carson River also provides excellent trout fishing, with information, bait, tackle, and fishing advice available at Woodford’s Station on Highway 88. However, the river’s main claim to fame is the opportunity for rafting, paddling, and kayaking. The 20-mile Hangman’s Bridge to Gardnerville section is a series of Class I and Class II rapids, navigable by both expert and recreational rafters and kayakers.

Swimmers can take advantage of the Carson Valley Swim Center in Minden. The facility boasts both indoor and outdoor competition pools, one-meter and three-meter diving boards, waterslides, an indoor kiddy pool, and a therapy pool.

Camp Richardson Resort 1900 Jameson Beach Road P.O. Box 9028
South Lake TahoeCA96150
Phone: 530-542-6584
Reminiscent of a time when friendship was a lifelong endeavor and vacation meant leaving your troubles at the door. A year-round destination resort of pure relaxation offering historic lodging, camping, boating, biking, beach-going, lakeside dining, cross-country skiing, sleigh rides, and more. All on the south shore of one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in the world and just minutes from world-class ski/board resorts and casinos.
Carson Valley Swim Center 1600 State Route 88
Phone: (775) 782-8840

In addition to the swimming facilities, the Swim Center features an exercise room with two treadmills, a Lifecycle, a Lifestep, a multi-station gym, free weights (3-40 lbs) and a PreCor EFX556. 

East Fork Carson River
Phone: (775) 450-3446

Gentle rapids, dramatic rock formations, and hot springs in the Class II section make the 210-mile East Fork of the Carson River a trip that's fun for the whole family.  For your safety, check water flows with the U.S. Forest Service before attempting on you own. 

Directions: Drive south from Carson Valley on SR-88 to Markleeville.  Launch about 10 miles out of Markleeville. 

Book Now Grover Hot Springs State Park 3415 Hot Springs Road
Phone: (530) 694-2248 or (530) 694-2249

Only 35 minutes from Gardnerville, the 700-acre park lies in Hot Springs Valley at an elevation of nearly 6,000 feet, with mountains rising abruptly on three sides.  Hawkins Peak, at 10,023 feet, is three miles northwest of the valley, and Markleeville Peak 9,417 feet, lies four miles to the southwest.  
• One-mile self-guided loop trail, with descriptions of the area's natural history begins at the Campground Bridge.  
• Charity Valley Trail - an additional hike is from the extra vehicle parking area where you can access the Charity Valley Trail.  There are three options:  either to the water falls (1.5 miles), to Burnside Lake (5 miles) or Charity Valley (6 miles).  Trail markers identify the three trails available.
One of the park's two concrete pools is fed by the runoff from six mineral springs with an average temperature between 102 and 104 degrees F.  The park has 76 sites equipped with fire pits and grills, cupboards, bear-proof lockers and tables.  Two of the 76 sites are designed specifically for wheelchair use.  Campsites may be reserved by calling 1-800-444-7275.

Driving Directions: Take SR-88 South to Woodfords.  Turn left onto SR-89 to Markleeville.  In the middle of Markleeville, take the paved road west for about four miles to the park.  Parking fee.
Lake Tahoe
A 20-minute drive from Carson Valley, the renowned Jewel of the Sierra has beautiful beaches, spectacular schenery, and water activities of all kinds. 
Topaz Lake Park 3700 Topaz Park Road
Phone: (775) 782-9828 or (775) 266-3343

Boat-launching facilities are located at the northeast shore of the lake.  This park occupies 90 acres on the shores of Topaz Lake, a reservoir on the Nevada-California border about 20 miles south of Gardnerville.  The park attracts anglers and water sports enthusiasts.  It is stocked with rainbow trout, and recent introductions of both largemouth and smallmouth bass are also thriving.  Brown trout turn up in the creel as well.  Pleasure boaters and water skiers use the boat launch and ramp at the park.  Because of the proximity to the Toiyabe and Eldorado national forests, the park is also a good base or way station for expeditions into wilder country.  Camping facilities include 15 campsites with water and electrical hookups, 45 developed non-hookup campsites with water available every third campsite, a group camp area (no hook ups) that can accommodate up to 6 RVs, and a spacious undeveloped camping area at the water’s edge.  There are flush toilets, showers, a trailer dump station, and a convenient fish cleaning station.  A playground for the kids is available along with a volleyball court and horseshoe pit.  Also on the property is a secured storage area for RV’s and boats with an affordable rental fee program.  The park is a well-kept secret among birdwatchers and small birds sighted at the park include orioles, swallows, red winged blackbirds, and yellow warblers.  A pair of bald eagles nest nearby, while ospreys and pelicans are frequently seen.  During the migration season, the park’s location on the Pacific Flyway makes it an especially good bird-watching spot.

Topaz Landing Boat Rentals 3505 Topaz Lane
Phone: (775) 266-3550

Aluminum motorized fishing boats for up to four people are available for rent at Topaz Lake.  For reservations and information, please call.  

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