Fall is a beloved time of the year in and around Carson Valley and oh-so-worthy of exploration. Check out these 11 ways to harvest some new memories and take in all what the Carson Valley has to offer.
1. Experience the Magic of the Aspens
Take the very beautiful 20-minute drive southwest of Minden and you’ll find yourself in a scene straight out of a Monet painting. Hope Valley is known for putting on a colorful show and delights visitors each and every fall. There are several spots along the highway to stop and admire the aspens, but we recommend stopping in to the Hope Valley Café for a cold one or pastry, and then continuing to the Hope Valley wildlife viewing parking lot, just west of Picketts Junction. From there, you can take meander the West Fork of the Carson River or the paved trail up toward Luther Pass. Another great option is to head south on highway 89 at Woodfords and experience take the breathtaking drive over Monitor Pass.
The opportunities for fall photos are endless, or simply relax and admire the view.
2. Fall in Love with Genoa
Another fall gem is the quaint and charmingly historic town of Genoa. Starting with the scenic drive on Genoa Lane that’ll knock your Uggs off:
Next, pop into Sierra Chef for some lunch or a cannoli on their patio – the perfect place to take in the crisp air and beautiful colors of fall. Sierra Chef also hosts several Sunday Eggs Benedict Brunch Buffets along with cooking classes throughout the season. Check out their website to see their jam packed event schedule and plan your culinary creation today!
3. Will Dance for Candy
Of course, September in Genoa means one very important thing: the Candy Dance! Over 300 vendors and visitors from all over the globe descend upon the town for this annual arts and crafts fair – a beloved tradition with a rich history paired with even richer chocolate! Get a head start on your holiday shopping with the unique crafts, grab a drink at Nevada’s Oldest Thirst Parlor, eat your fill of locally made candy, and get tickets to the dinner dance to join the tradition that is over a century old! The candy dance event takes place near the end of September for the last 100+ years. Learn more about the history of the event here and watch the video below!
4. Dip into David Walley’s
The cooler evening temperatures make for a great time to stop in for a soak at the historic David Walley’s Hot Springs. Or, head inside their lodge for a drink at the 1862 David Walley’s Restaurant and Saloon, an Old World-style lounge of hardwood, leather and good vibes.
5. Snag a Good Gourd at Corley Ranch
Take the family out to Corley Ranch to experience life on a farm! For twenty years now, during the month of October, the ranch hosts the Harvest Festival complete with pumpkin patch, hayride, corn maze and pig races, to name a few. Open daily from 10a.m. – 5p.m. though some of the activities are only available on the weekends. Check out their website to learn more.
6. Taste Fall Delights at DST Coffee
We all know it – fall has a taste. It’s a warm and comforting blend of spices that make their special appearance once a year. DST Coffee embraces these melt-in-your-mouth moments and welcomes fall with a robust menu with high quality coffee, a light breakfast and really cool vibes to start your day. DST Coffee is family owned and source locally as much as possible. Their delicious fall options include pumpkin lattes, Nevada lattes (with pine and sage), hot apple cider and seasonal teas! Don’t forget the ice-cream bar too. So many options for the whole family. Drooling yet? Swing by and tantalize your taste buds, you deserve it!
7. Grab your lederhosen, it’s Oktoberfest!
You can’t go wrong drinking German beer for a good cause! A handful of Oktoberfest events come together each fall during the months of September and October in the Carson Valley, put on by several different organizations with proceeds benefiting non-profits, local veterans and youth. The action takes place at different parks in the region that include lively entertainment from local bands, German food and beer, games for adults and children, costume contests, crafters, raffle prizes and more. Check the events calendar for the most current dates. Prost (translation: cheers)!
8. The Trail is Calling
There are so many options to hit the trail in Carson Valley, but we recommend the Fay-Luther/Jobs Peak Ranch trail system if you fancy a stroll in the fall colors. The trail is fairly gentle and though it starts in limited shade, the rest of the walk is through open Jeffrey pine forest with aspen and mountain mahogany, to name a few. You’ll be treated to views of the Carson Range, Pine Nut Range and Carson Valley throughout the trail system. Click here for the trail map. Dogs are welcome but need to be leashed and be sure to bring the kids along! The Carson Valley Trails Association provides a fun trail treasures brochure for kids that will entertain the little hikers in your life!
9. Race a…Coffin?
Yep, you read that right! Carson Valley brings in the season in a big way with the annual Fall Festival, hosted by Main Street Gardnerville the first weekend in October at Heritage Park. The fun includes scarecrow building, petting zoo, pumpkin raffle, scavenger hunt, local vendors, live music and performances and best of all – coffin races! Teams of five (four runners, one rider) register to build and race a coffin against one another down Slaughterhouse Lane. This is a unique and unforgettable event that will have you laughing until you’re coffin’!
10. Walk into Autumn Wonderland at Eddy Street Vintage Market
Eddy Street Vintage Market is a pop-up shop in Gardnerville that opens its doors once a month with a new themed shopping event! Come by on the third weekend of each month for the uniquely themed event and stock up on everything you could ever dream of for the season. Built in 1906, the shop is a charming craftsman style
home turned vintage, antique and repurposed goods boutique that inspires everyone who steps through the door. The Fisher family curates one-of-a-kind items for a whole new experience each month! Can’t make the pop-up date? Visit their website and do some shopping after each theme.
11. Treat (Don’t Trick) Yourself at the Chocolate Shoppe
This isn’t your normal Halloween candy! A favorite by locals and visitors alike, the Chocolate Shoppe is known for its heavenly confections and friendly faces. You won’t find mass production lines here; everything is made by hand in small batches by people who have a true passion for their product. Indulge in some of their many creative and delicious chocolates just in time for Halloween or create a custom order. Visit their website (you can even order treats online!) or find them on Facebook.