Hone Your Hobbies in Legendary Carson Valley
While we can all be grateful for technology over the past few months, there are some places in the world that are just no match for virtual reality. In Carson Valley, the mountains stretch far beyond any touchscreen. While people are excited to break free of their homes and reconnect with nature, there’s no better time, and frankly, no better place, to hone your outdoor hobbies. Socially distant options are aplenty in the rugged outdoors.
It’s no secret this valley is a photographer’s paradise. The dramatic landscape creates endless opportunities for scenic photos worthy of a frame. Traveling any of the three main roads leading here (U.S. Highway 395, State Route 88, or U.S. Highway 50), offers unspoiled views of the valley – surrounded on the east and west by mountains that are sometimes snow-capped year-round. Virtually anywhere in the valley offers opportunities for landscape and wildlife photography. The region’s extensive trails system provides photographers opportunities to step into nature and capture the valley’s beauty.
Anglers know Topaz Lake as a premium destination for fishing. The dominant sport fish is rainbow trout, but the lake also boasts bowcutt trout, brown trout, tiger trout, smallmouth bass and sometimes largemouth bass. Launch a boat or rent one at the Topaz Landing Boat Rentals & Marina. For details call 775-250-4374.
The Carson River also offers ample river and fly fishing. River access in Carson Valley is convenient and reachable for most types of vehicles. One of the best places to access the river is just a short drive from Lampe Park located in the center of Gardnerville accessible by the Lutheran Bridge from Highway 395 – just turn west onto Waterloo Lane, then turn south on Centerville Road.
For more about where to drop your line, check out this post.
Bird watchers will find a treasure trove of exciting and unique bird species. The area is home to raptors and waterfowl in winter, including Bald and Golden Eagles, Rough-legged and Ferruginous Hawks and Prairie Falcon. Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier and American Kestrel are resident while White-faced Ibis and a modest number of Sandhill Cranes may be observed. A colony of Tricolored Blackbirds breeds in the Carson Valley, the only known occurrence in Nevada.
Head to River Fork Ranch, an 800-acre preserve owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy. This wetland, meadow and riparian habitat stretches two miles of the Carson River near Genoa and provides ample opportunity for wildlife viewing. Another well-kept secret for bird watchers is Topaz Lake, a regular breeding ground for Bald Eagles, Swainson’s Hawks, Long-billed Curlew and Bank Swallows.
Soaring & Gliding
There’s nothing quite like sailing through the sky in an engine-less craft, especially when it’s over the expansive green valley with unspoiled views of Lake Tahoe just over the Sierra Nevada. The thermals created by the surrounding mountains and prevailing weather patterns create spectacular flight conditions, making Carson Valley one of the most acclaimed locations in the world for sailplanes and gliders. Whether you’re an experienced pilot bringing your own aircraft, a pilot wishing to improve your skills and rating or someone simply wanting to ride along and experience the thrill of soaring, this is the place. Check out SoaringNV for details.
Visitors to can summon their inner Joanna Gaines for the day, relishing in more than 10 antique shops throughout the region. Make a day of it by following the Arts & Antiques Trail Map and discover one-of-a-kind treasures to take home.
As travel restrictions continue to ease, Carson Valley and its businesses are prepared to work within recommended guidelines, and provide a welcoming environment for locals and visitors alike. Until we see you again, follow along with us on social media, @CarsonValleyNevada.