CARSON VALLEY, Nev. (July, 2020) – 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, Nevada, 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.
Carson Valley is a photographer’s dream. Photo: Juan Moralez
It’s no secret Carson 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 into Carson Valley (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.
Bird watchers find Carson Valley to be 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 Carson Valley with unspoiled views of Lake Tahoe. 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 Carson Valley 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 the guidelines and provide a welcoming environment for locals and visitors alike.
For the latest Nevada Travel Advisory and Information, visit online.
For more on Carson Valley’s legendary outdoor recreation and more general information, go to VisitCarsonValley.org.
About Carson Valley:
Nestled at the base of the Sierra, Carson Valley begs visitors to not just drive through it, but to it. Located 45 miles south of Reno-Tahoe International Airport and 12 miles east of South Lake Tahoe, the region’s natural beauty is legendary: wide-open farms, ranches, bands of wild horses and birds of prey dot the landscape. Outdoor recreation enthusiasts follow all points of the compass with more than 50+ miles of hiking, mountain biking or walking trails along with world class road biking. The valley’s museums, arts, antiquing, Basque dining, historic watering holes and more add to the destination’s authentic culture. The region includes the communities of Minden, Gardnerville, Topaz Lake and Genoa, Nevada’s first settlement dating back to 1851. Explore the land of everyday legends at VisitCarsonValley.org.
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