Carson City Trails

Welcome to Carson City, Nevada, where adventure awaits in a wide-open recreation vacation destination like no other. Nestled amidst the breathtaking Sierra Nevada Mountains, this vibrant city boasts a rich history, picturesque landscapes, and a boundless array of outdoor activities. From the expansive deserts to the towering peaks, Carson City beckons you to explore its vast playground of adventure. 

One of the best ways to experience Caron City is by trail.  The City’s rich history includes the wild west trails of the Pony Express and the Original Virginia Truckee Railway.  As a destination for politicians, gold seekers and business men from its inception, Carson city has always been home to the spirit of exploration and discovery.

Today Carson Valley trail networks provide hundreds of miles of outdoor recreation and discovery that families, visitors and adventure sports enthusiasts.

This guide to Carson City Trail will help you discover a new place to explore with friends and family

Carson City Trail Area

West Carson Trail Networks

Kings Canyon Trails

Ash to Kings Trail

  • This 7.4-mile trail between Ash Canyon and Kings Canyon trail networks provides mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders access to the foothills of the Carson Range. Exception wildflower trail in early summer has an average grade of 6% with a max grade of 15%. Access can be found at the Kings Canyon and Foothill Drive Trailheads, as well as the Ash Canyon water tanks. 

Upper Waterfall Loop Trail 

  • This 4.4 mile loop is a great family hike all year round. Take the road less traveled to the Upper Waterfall at Kings Canyon! This trail has unforgettable views of the old Borda Ranch Meadows and overlooks all of Carson City. This is an old dirt road that meanders off into a single track trail that is great for hiking/running, mountain biking, and horseback riding. This trail can be accessed at the Kings Canyon Trailhead at the end of Kings Canyon Road.  New Paved Parking and Bathroom facilities are available at the site.

Kings Canyon Waterfall Trail

  • This easy .3 mile trail is perfect for taking visitors from out of town or an evening stroll with a date. Also a nice place to take young children as you can walk right up next to the fall most times of the year. Dogs are no longer permitted at this trail due to an increased priority in protecting Carson City’s drinking water.  This trail is rated easy for distance but does have a 12% grade on the trail from the parking area.

North Kings Loop

  • This 1.3 mile loop is a Carson City favorite for an afternoon or morning stroll. The North Kings Loop provides amazing views of the old Borda Ranch Meadows with tons of wildflowers in the late spring and early summer months. Allows connection to the Upper Waterfall Trail. This is a dirt single-track trail with a width of 30″. This trail can be accessed at the Kings Canyon Trailhead at the end of Kings Canyon Road. 

The Lincoln Bypass Trail

  • This 4.4 mile trail was named Lincoln Bypass as it “bypasses” Kings Canyon Road, which is part of the historic Lincoln Highway. This trail was built by Muscle Powered at the start 2021 offering beautiful views of the Borda Meadow.  This is a dirt, single-track trail that is heavily used by mountain bikers, but is also perfect for hiking/running and horseback riding. This trail is located off Kings Canyon road prior to reaching Borda meadow and the other Kings Canyon trailheads. This route is a preferred Mountain biker route for the new Capital to Tahoe Trail Connection

Capital to Tahoe Trail

  • This new 17 mile one way trail opened in 2023 and is the first trail that connects Carson City with the Tahoe basin,  A great new single-track trail for mountain bikers, hikers and horseback, this trail flows up the Carson range to the Tahoe Rim trail above Marlette Lake where travelers can turn around or proceed South to Spooner State Park or circle Marlette Lake to the Fluume trail and North Lake Tahoe.

Ash Canyon Trails

Ash to Kings Trail

  • This is the Northern entrance to the 7.4 mile  Ash to Kings connection. The Ash to Kings Trail was completed in August 2015. It is a seven-mile single-track, non-motorized trail linking Ash Canyon Road on the north and Kings Canyon Road on the south. Dirt, single track. Award-winning trail, great views, part of the trail travels through Jeffery pine forest. Connects with Lincoln Bypass on the south end. 

Bob’s Trail

  • Named after a beloved trail advocate of Carson City, Bob’s Trial is currently two segments with a future connection in the works.  This 3-mile trail is a  Dirt, single track. Access from Ash Canyon water tanks, foothill drive, and the sound end of Murphy Drive behind Western Nevada College. 

Vicee Canyon Rim Trail

  • easy MTB trail that starts at the top of Vicee Canyon at the end of Timberline Dr. Trucks and ATV’s can navigate this road as well. A small creek at the back of the canyon runs year-round after heavy snow years.
    As an out-and-back, it’s about 3 miles; otherwise, you can connect to the Ash Canyon trails to make it a longer one-way or even longer round trip.

Eagle View Trail

  • Built by Muscle Powered in 2019, the Eagle View Trail circles around the “knob” of Eagle View Open Space with great views and steep side slopes. This trail will connect Bob’s trail segments at this time. This trail can also connect you with the Evidence trail and then the four-mile trail as a lop network with bobs trail for a longer but thrilling trail experience.

Other small Trail segments within this network include the Evidence Trail -1 mile., the Four-mile Trail .6-mile, the creek trail .5-mile,  and the Postal Trail. 2 miles & the Seven Steps trail a short but steeper .3-mile trail segment.

Travel note for this Trail network, The Road up to the Water towers, where most people park, has several Water break speed dips that will destroy your car if you are going to fast. Highly recommend controlled slower speed as you access this road up to the parking areas.

Lakeview Trails

The Lake View trails are centered around Hobart Lake Road and access to the Northside of the Carson Range and Hobart Lake

Hobart Lake Road

This 5 mile trail is popular for horseback riders there is a watering station at the trailhead in summer months! This trail provides access to Secret Trail. No unauthorized motorized vehicles are allowed in this area.  This is a dirt-old two-track with a width of 12′. Access to this trail can be found at the Lakeview Trailhead at the west end of Hobart Road. 

Secret Trail

This short 1.2 mile trail is a dirt single-track trail that is great for all types of recreation! Hiking/running, mountain biking and horseback riding are permitted here. Access to the trail is found at mile 2.2 of Hobart Road Trail. 


C-Hill Trail System

An underdeveloped trail area on the West side of town south of the downtown district, C-hill trails tend to be short and steeper, with a focus on daily exercise routes.

C Hill Trail

  • This ,8 mile trail is an old use trail and is steep. This is a dirt and rock trail that has a width of 24″ that is great for a hefty short hike or run. Mountain bikes and horseback riding is allowed here, but not highly recommended. Access to this trail can be found off of McKay Drive at the Trailhead.  


  • This steep trail is .3 miles long. It has multiple access points at the McKay Drive Trailhead, as well as from Kings Canyon Road but parking here can be very limited. This dirt trail is great for a quick hike or run! Mountain biking and horseback riding are allowed here, but not highly recommended. 

C-Hill fire Road

  • Dirt two-track trail with a width of 10′, this is great for a quick hike or run. Mountain biking and horseback riding are allowed here, but not highly recommended. Access to this trail can be found at the Longview Trailhead. Please note there is very minimal parking here. 

East Carson City Trail Network


On the East side of Carson City, the Carson River and Prison Hill Provide Families and visitors great access to wide open spaces and great seasonal views.

Empire Ranch Trail

  • the 1.8-mile Empire Ranch trail travels along the Carson River and turns west along the south side of Empire Ranch Golf Course to Empire Ranch Road. The Morgan Mill Road River Access Area has a portable toilet, benches, and picnic tables. This trail is part of the Carson River/Prison Hill Trail System, and there is access to many other trails. Dogs are permitted under the control of the owner. Please do not let your dogs disturb wildlife. This is an easy trail with 10′-wide with compacted DG surface.

Riverview Park Trails

  • The 3.1-mile Riverview Park is a 109-acre natural area with wetlands and a network of trails extending to the Carson River’s banks.  Riverview Park is part of the Carson River/Prison Hill Trail System, with connections to many other trails, including the Mexican Ditch Trail, Empire Ranch Trail, and Buzzy’s Ranch Trail. There are many options for loops, making this a perfect venue for Walk/Run Events. Dogs are permitted under the control of the owner. These trails extend through important wildlife habitats, so please do not let your dogs disturb wildlife.

Buzzy Ranch trail 

  • This 1.1 mile trail provides for a scenic walk, run, bike ride, or equestrian ride along the Carson River and through a working ranch, with views of Prison Hill and the Carson Range. Interpretive signs provide information about birds of the Carson River and give a history of ranching in Eagle Valley. Access from Riverview Park or Carson River Park. Dogs are permitted, but please, they must be on a leash — this trail crosses a working ranch and is adjacent to critical migratory bird habitat. 

The Carson River trail

  • The 5-mile “Carson River Trail” is a five-mile trail that pieces-together portions of the Empire Ranch Trail and Riverview Park Trails, Buzzy’s Ranch Trail, the River Trail, and a portion of the Mexican Ditch Trail to create a continuous five-mile walk, run, bike ride or equestrian ride along the Carson River. The trail begins at Morgan Mill and ends at the Mexican Dam. 

The Mexican Ditch Trail

  • Easy walk, run, bike ride or equestrian ride along the historic Mexican Ditch. This trail is part of the Carson River/Prison Hill Trail System and it connects with many other trails, providing many options for loops. Section 1 (North) extends from the Moffat Open Space (Hells Bells Road) to Silver Saddle Ranch. Section 2 (South) extends from Silver Saddle Ranch to the Mexican Dam. Dogs are permitted under the control of the owner. Please do not let your dogs disturb wildlife or ranch livestock. Length: Section 1 (North) – 2.4 miles Section 2 (South) – 1.5 miles
Prison Hill East Trail
  • Easy walk, run, bike ride, or equestrian ride along the east side of Prison Hill from the 5th Street Trailhead to Silver Saddle Ranch. This trail provides lovely ranch views and connections to many other trails, including the Mexican Ditch Trail. Dogs are permitted under the control of the owner. Access: 5th Street Trailhead (corner of 5th Street and Carson River Road), or Silver Saddle Ranch.

Prison Hill Fairview Trail

  • This easy 1-mile trail travels along the base of Prison Hill near Fairview road on the NW side of Prison Hill. It is perfect for walking, running or bike ride.

River Trail

  • This .7-mile trail is a Beautiful walk, run, bike ride, or equestrian ride along the Carson River; this trail provides access to the river observation deck. It is part of the Carson River/Prison Hill Trail System with access to many other trails and Silver Saddle Ranch. Dogs are permitted under the control of the owner. Access from Carson River Park.

Prison Hill Trail System

Prison hill trail map carson city

A Popular destination for Hiking and mountain biking, the Prison Hill recreation area allows visitors to climb up the canyons of Prison Hill and recreate around and near the rim of the hill with 360-degree views of the entire Eagle valley and further south into the Carson Valley.

5th Street Loop trails

  • 1.7-mile lop great for families with kids. 5th Street Loop Trails include the Sagebrush, Rabbitbrush, and Bitterbrush loops that offer stunning views of Prison Hill, surrounding ranches, and Carson City itself!

North Loop

  • 2.2-mile loop that is fun hike up the canyon and then around the top of the North peak. The views from the Top are stunning over the City. The North Loop is a fun hike or ride with amazing views and crossing rocky terrain. 

North Loop Connector

  • .9 mile trail extension – The North Loop Connector Trail is a very steep and heavily used social trail. Advise using extreme caution if mountain biking this trail and suggest only experienced bikers.

Dead Truck Canyon

  • This is a steep 1.6-mile route with a  20% grade. This trail is an old road that provides a steep hike through a classic Great Basin desert canyon with interesting geology. This is the divide between the granitic south of Prison Hill and the meta-volcanic north of Prison Hill. Along the way you will encounter the canyon’s namesake, an early 1950’s Chevrolet Pick-up!  

Escape Prison Hill Route

  • “Escape From Prison Hill” is a 5K, 10K and Half Marathon highlighting Dead Truck Canyon and the North Loop of Prison Hill. The Tahoe Mountain Milers Running Club created these races and occur every year to encourage everyone within the community to get out and explore some of Carson City’s most challenging and scenic trails.  Prision hill has no shade, so this route is brutal in the sun, bring lots of extra water. especially if bringing a pet. his is a dirt and rock trail with various grades and trail widths. Perfect for a long hike/run, mountain bike or horseback ride! 


Wildhorse and Pale Rider trail

  • The Wildhorse Trail and Pale Rider can be connected with the pole-line road to a make a fun 2-mile loop trail! Southern exposure allows this trail to be accessible year-round. this is very rocky terrain, so please be cautious, especially when riding a mountain bike. Wild horses are almost always present here; please do not approach and enjoy their beauty from a distance! Mix of dirt and rock trail with a width of 30″. This trail can be used for all types of recreation; hiking/running, biking and horseback riding! Access to this trail can be found at the back end of Centennial Park.
Goni Kevin Waking Path
  • This is a 1 mile loop trail.  This easy walking path is on parcel that is privately owned by the Goni Canyon Preservation League who also helps to maintain the trail. This trail is compacted dirt and gravel that is great for walking and running. Access to this trail can be found off of Kelvin Road. 

Carson River Aquatic Trail

12.6 miles of Carson River Water recreation. The Carson River Aquatic Trail is a water trail designed for river recreation. It is divided into two sections. The Eagle Valley section is 3.3 miles long with class I rapids, ideal for most non-motorized water craft. The Carson River Canyon section is 9.3 miles long and contains class II and III whitewater. This section is meant for rafter and kayakers with whitewater experience. 

 The Aquatic Trail has various access points at East Silver Saddle Ranch, Carson River Park, and Morgan Mill River Access Area. 

Carson City News and Updates

The Latest news on trails and events in Carson City. Discover more on your next visit to the Capital City of Nevada.

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