Get Out There. Really Out There… The Carson Valley

Your Base Camp For Adventure When Traveling Near Reno/Tahoe

Buckle up, adventurers, and get ready to feed your need to do something a little wild. The Carson Valley is a recreation wonderland, a place that’s ready to be conquered, in a region that’s ripe for discovery. Surrounded by BLM open space, National forests and Wilderness areas the Carson Valley is outdoor enthusiasts dream when searching for locations with less tourist buzz than Lake Tahoe or Reno.

Being a passionate outdoor advocate, the Carson Valley provides me with year round trails and open space all year round, but is close enough to the luxury adventures of Lake Tahoe and Alpine County ca that I can easily escape to broader adventures for the day and still come back to the Carson valley for a great sunset and evening in.

The Carson Valley is blessed with amazing sunrise and sunsets with 360 degree mountain views that stun most visitors from the very first time they drive into the Valley. Here is a simple list of Local adventures to consider when staying in the Carson Valley.

Van sickle snowshoe Lake Tahoe
Van sickle snowshoe Lake Tahoe

Ice Tee Season

Spring season in the Carson Valley means it is Ice Tee season, that’s what locals call skiing in the morning, golfing in the afternoon on the same day. With World Class Skiing with in 20 minutes of the Valley floor at Heavenly Ski resort just up the mountain where you can Ski in both states and see the beauty of Lake Tahoe while gliding down the slopes. Or Travel south to Kirkwood where locals and visitors alike can feed the burn with some of the worlds most breath taking scenic drops. Then head back out to the links in the afternoon to catch a great evening of wide open golf for any style or level.

Golfing in the Carson Valley caters to almost every style of Golfing play. From Links style course at Sunridge Golf Course to the long beautiful fairways found at two world class golf courses in Genoa at The Ranch Course or Genoa Lakes. Our personal favorite is the Carson Valley Country Club, a bit simpler in design and features than Genoa, but follows the River and is a provides an exciting day on the links.

Get a Little Dirty

If getting dirty is more your speed, when it’s spring, get out into the valley’s rugged terrain on miles of single-track trails, dirt roads and wide open spaces. Motor sports enthusiasts can discover an untamed Carson Valley by ATV, OHV or motorcycle.

And hikers find both the Carson Valley trail system and the wide open hills of the Pine Nut Range on the East filled with beautiful and dry trail conditions.

No matter our choice of exploration the views are stunning and the adrenaline charge is unlimited.

Spring is perfect for exploring the Sierra Nevada that hug the valley. Plunge down epic single track from Tahoe into Genoa, or Head South into Alpine County and explore what many call the California Alps. Seek out seasonal waterfalls, grab a pole and take in a day of spring fishing on the Carson River even consider a spring campout in the rugged dispersed camping options surrounding the region.

Whatever their passion, visitors to Carson Valley will find their wild here.

Wide Open Space for Mental Health and Wellness Travel.

Within its 751 square miles of scenic territory, Carson Valley offers a multitude of naturally physically distant recreation opportunities perfect for a mental health getaway. Whether on horseback, bike, OHV or foot, visitors could start on a trail and not see another soul for hours.
From wide open ranches to world class soaring, trails and off-road adventures, there’s an activity for all abilities and all levels.

As we as a culture come to grips with the Covid realities that will be with our culture for years to come, finding wide open space to enjoy the calming and peaceful outdoors is essential to most travelers. Using the Carson Valley as a base camp give you a vast selection of areas to come close to nature but not your neighbor.

Carson Valley reflection
Carson Valley reflection

Creative. Inspiring. Photo Tourism.

Picture the Great American West. Images of soaring bald eagles, majestic wild horses, stunning mountain peaks and lush valleys probably come to mind. Maybe there’s a rushing stream, a working cowboy or a historic building in view. These scenes are what visitors find in Nevada’s Carson Valley. Easily. Every day. Within reach. The area’s scenic natural beauty inspires photographers of all abilities and ages. A photo tourism visit to Carson Valley begins on arrival.
A few minutes in any direction and visitors are transported to the wild west of their
imaginations, unburdened by the noise, congestion and pressures of their regular life. The mountains, skies, historic buildings, wildlife and water features are easy to access and practically scream to be captured and shared as fine art, Facebook and Instagram posts. Carson Valley is a destination that inspires visitors to become storytellers and create their own new histories of the west, through the lens of their camera.

Tahoe sunset

Carson Valley Hospitality – Where to Stay and Eat

The amenities in the Carson Valley at first glance may not look as exciting as maybe Reno or Lake Tahoe, however for the traveler looking to get away from the rat race adn find a little home town feel to their vacation the amenities are top grade.

With a variety of stays including the Carson Valley inn and Casino with their Nevada shaped into Pool and fine dining options , the luxury stays at David and Wally’s Hot Spring resort in Genoa, or a simple luxuries of the Historian inn in historic downtown Gardnerville there is a fit and style for every visitor.

Speaking of historic treasure in the Carson Valley. Dinner in a Basque restaurant is less like a meal and more like an experience. Nobody knows that better than JB and Marie, the hosts at the legendary JT’s Basque Bar & Dining Room in Gardnerville. Their family has owned and operated the legendary eatery for more than 50 years. A meal at JT’s begins with the inexplicably delicious and devilish Picon Punch. (First timers to quickly learn the correct pronunciation is PEE-con Punch.) Then, guests tuck into family style tables heaped with plates of the day’s delicious specials and traditional side dishes,
all served with a jug of red wine. Drunk from juice glasses. There’s nothin’ fancy here. The JT’s experience is rich in conversation, raucous with stories and laughter, the kind of place full of friends you didn’t know the night before but will not soon forget. This is Basque cooking. This is the Basque experience. This is an authentic dining experience only found in Carson Valley.

If Basque dining is not your thing, no problem as the arson Valley is home to great local dining that continues to expand. Cuisine choices in every ethnicity are available from locally owned family restaurants.



Publisher of Sierra Rec Magazine. An avid hiker and explorer of mountain lifestyle and adventure. I love to discover new trails, hike along rivers and hang a hammock along the shores of a mountain lake. I often great people on the trail and have found some of my favorite places from the advice of people I meet in the Wilderness. I love the sierra and just like sharing what I know.

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