Hiking & Biking
For hiking, biking, or horseback riding on scenic trails, Carson Valley is unsurpassed. There are trails for the both the neophyte and the serious hiker, biker, or rider. Hiking opportunities range from flat trails bordering the valley’s Carson River to alpine trails topping 10,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada to the west. Easy trails of two to three miles in length such as Spooner Lake, Curtz/Summit Lakes, and Hot Springs Mountain beckon the recreational hiker. For the more advanced, there are seven to ten mile trails like Marlette Lake, Horse Thief Canyon to Willow Creek, and Burnside Lake to Charity Valley. Serious hikers will want to try longer or more strenuous trails such as Job’s Peak, Mount Ralston Peak, or the Five Lakes Trek. And hikers can travel all or portions of the breathtaking 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail. There are also hiking events such as the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge that takes place each year on the Saturday nearest the summer solstice. Completing this 34-mile one-day endurance hike on the primitive Rachel Carson Trail is a badge of honor for hikers.
Alta Alpina Cycling Club
The Alta Alpina Cycling Club(AACC) is a road and mountain bike club in the Carson City, Gardnerville and Lake Tahoe area whose primary focus is to promote cycling and to create an environment in which cyclists of all ages and abilities can enjoy the sport and socialize with other riders. There are many activities for all ability levels. For the recreational riders there are organized rides most every weekend both mountain bike and road. For the more competitive riders there is a spring race series with categories for beginners as well as for the more experienced riders.
Club rides are open to non-club members. We encourage you to join us.
Bently-Kirman Tract Trail
Minden NV 89423
Explore 3.8 miles of hiking trail at Kirman Field in the Carson Valley. The Nature Conservancy has partnered with the Carson Valley Trails Association, local Eagle Scouts, area businesses and the property owner to construct the hiking trail system. At Kirman Field, the Carson River winds its way in braided channels, supporting willows and wetlands that sustain many animals and migratory birds. The trail provides visitors with access to these natural areas and the amazing panoramic views that Kirman Field has to offer. The Nature Conservancy has been working at Kirman Field since 2005, when a conservation easement was acquired with funding from Question 1 and the Nevada Department of Wildlife to preserve the incredible floodplain lands that surround the 4 miles of Carson River that flow through the property. In establishing the conservation easement at Kirman Field, the property owner, Mr. Donald Bently, and the Conservancy envisioned a place where conservation would benefit both nature and people; demonstrating that habitat protection, cattle ranching, and public access can coexist. The Kirman Trail fulfills that vision. Because Kirman Field is both a natural area and a working cattle ranch, the trail is open to hikers only with no horses, bikes, or dogs allowed.
Directions: Driving north on Highway 395 from Minden, turn right at Stephanie Way. Take Stephanie Way 1 mile, turn left on Heybourne Road for 0.5 mile, then turn left at the Bently-Kirman trailhead.
Big Meadow Trailhead - East Trail
Big Meadow Trailhead - East Trail(map)
Lake Tahoe NV 89448
This part of the trail is open to hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. Follow the paved road for 100 yards before going right onto the trail. The next 2 miles you will climb gently with switchbacks through a mostly thick forest of predominantly Jeffrey pine and Red Fir. Here you junction with the Grass Lake Trail so be sure to watch for Tahoe Rim Trail signs. From here as you continue your journey you will pass through several small meadows with many wildflowers and two rock outcroppings that make great viewing spots. From these you can see the northwest area of Lake Tahoe and mountains to the east and south. After a total of 4.4 miles you will reach Saxon Creek Trail (aka "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride). For an added challenge you can go on an extra mile (2 round trip) to Freel Meadows for more open views and wildflower viewing; otherwise find a nice spot for lunch and some relaxation before returning to your car.
Distance: 8.8 miles round trip
Low/High Elevations: 7300' to 8030'
Highlights: Views of the entire southern Sierras and great wild flower displays and you also have the privilege to hike on the first Tahoe Rim Trail section ever completed.
Location: The Big Meadow trailhead is on the north side of Highway 89 approximately five miles south of US 50
Big Meadow Trailhead to Big Meadow Trail
Lake Tahoe NV 89448
A trail leads 200 yards from the end of the lot to Hwy 89-cross with caution and look for a trail marker on the south side of the highway. You will begin by following the trail to the south on rocky terrain. As you climb the moderately steep trail you will be enjoying a thicker forest of Jeffrey pine, western white pine and fir. After 0.2 miles you will pass to the left of Big Meadow Creek, a large bed filled with huge granite boulders and lined with aspen trees. Another 0.1 mile and the trail becomes more moderate. As you walk close to a stream on level ground, your legs get a rest. When you reach the junction, be sure to continue straight ahead on the TRT. Soon you will reach Big Meadow, with great views of the surrounding mountains it’s a wonderful place for lunch.
Distance: 1.4 miles round trip
Low/High Elevations: 7300' to 7520'
Highlights: Large open meadow with potential to see some of the most stunning wildflower displays the Tahoe Rim Trail has to offer.
Location: The Big Meadow trailhead is on the north side of Highway 89 approximately five miles south of US 50.
Users: This part of the trail is open to hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. Mountain bikers should note that the Tahoe Rim Trail joins the Pacific Crest Trail in 4.9 miles and bikes are not allowed on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Bike The West
P.O. Box 5123(map)
Stateline NV 89499
Bike the West has been producing quality bicycling events since 1989 in around the Lake Tahoe area Northern California and in the State of Nevada. The Comstock Silver Century premiered in 1989 followed by America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride and Oatbran in 1991. Our other popular events include Tour de Tahoe which is an early fall bike ride around Lake Tahoe, along with Tour of the Carson Valley which is our newest ride. All Bike the West bicycling events are fully supported with Welcome Packet / Goodie Bags, Event T-shirts, Event Water Bottles & other premium items, Rest Stops with Food & Beverage including lunch and after ride meal, First Aid, Tech Support and SAG Transport Services.
Carson Valley Trails Association
PO Box 222(map)
Minden NV 89423
The Carson Valley Trails Association is a nonprofit volunteer-based organization working with partners to provide access to public lands through a recreational trail system for present and future generations to enjoy. Copies of CVTA's free Local Trails Guide and Genoa Trail System brochure are available at the Carson Valley Visitors Authority, 1477 Highway 395, Suite A, Gardnerville. Trail maps also can be downloaded at carsonvalleytrails.org.
Fay-Luther/Job's Peak Ranch Trail System
Southwest of Minden(map) NV
The Fay-Luther/Job's Peak Ranch Trail System offers a family-friendly, 8.8 mile network of linear and loop trails, including an Interpretive Loop with signage highlighting the history, geography, geology, flora and fauna of the Carson Valley region. These trails are open to mountain bikers and equestrians, except for the trail section between Valley View Loop and the Job's Peak Ranch trailhead. The Fay-Luther/Job's Peak Ranch Trail connects both trailheads. Dogs are allowed year-round, but must be leashed at all times for the first 1.6 miles from Job's Peak Ranch trailhead and everywhere from Nov. 15th - March 30th.
Directions: From the intersection of Hwys. 395 and SR-88 in Minden, drive south on Highway 88 for 2 miles and turn right on Mottsville Lane. When you reach Foothill Road, turn left. The Job's Peak Ranch trailhead is 2.5 miles and the Fay-Luther trailhead is another 2 miles further, both on the right side of the road.
Genoa Trail System
The Genoa Trail System is 16 miles of non-motorized trails in the Genoa area open to hikers, equestrians, mountain bikes and dogs. Trail segments include the Genoa Loop, Eagle Ridge Loop, Sierra Canyon Trail and Discovery Trail. The Discovery Trail follows the upper section of the Genoa and Eagle Ridge Loops. Bikers and equestrians are not recommended on the lower portion of the Genoa Loop in Genoa Canyon. Here, the trail narrows in challenging terrain with tight switchbacks and steep drop-offs. Sierra Canyon Trail is a long hike with substantial elevation gain/loss. It is 9.6 miles one way just to the Tahoe Rim Trail. The best view of Lake Tahoe is still another mile north on the Tahoe Rim Trail. Allow a full day if you plan on a round-trip hike. An alternative is to shuttle a vehicle and start or end your trip from either the Kingsbury North or Spooner Summit on the Tahoe Rim Trail. Formal parking areas for the Genoa Trail System are available at the Eagle Ridge, Sierra Canyon and Genoa Canyon access points. Public parking also is available within the Town of Genoa. Please remember to drive slowly in residential areas.
Directions: From Highway 395, go west on Genoa Lane into the Town of Genoa. The Eagle Ridge Trailhead is located near the green water tank 1.8 miles north of Genoa off of Jacks Valley Road on Adams Ranch Road. The Sierra Canyon trailhead is located 0.5 mile north of Genoa, and then left on Centennial Drive for 0.3 mile to the junction of Snowshoe Lane. The Genoa Canyon trailhead is located at the end of Carson Street in Genoa.
Grover Hot Springs State Park
3415 Hot Springs Road(map)
Markleeville CA 96120
Phone: (530) 694-2248 or (530) 694-2249
Only 35 minutes from Gardnerville, the 700-acre park lies in Hot Springs Valley at an elevation of nearly 6,000 feet, with mountains rising abruptly on three sides. Hawkins Peak, at 10,023 feet, is three miles northwest of the valley, and Markleeville Peak 9,417 feet, lies four miles to the southwest.
Job’s Peak Ranch Trail
Job’s Peak Ranch Trail(map)
Gardnerville NV 89410
The trail begins at the trailhead located on Foothill Road, approximately 4 miles south of SR-207 (Kingsbury Grade), and follows an easement through a private development. The first portion is through a sage-covered, open-space area. After a gradual uphill, the trail enters a forested area, crosses a small creek, and continues to climb through the forest until it ends at the CA/NV state line. Once on U.S. Forest Service land, it is possible to hike to Job’s Canyon. The trail is intended for hiking (pedestrian use only), dogs okay on leash. Future plans to connect with Fay-Luther Ranch Trail.
Distance: 1.5 miles
Classification: Family friendly, light to moderate
Low/High Elevation: 4540’ to 4800’
Directions: Driving south on U.S. Highway 395 into Minden, NV take SR-88 to Mottsville Lane, turn right, and drive to Foothill Road. Turn left and drive approximately 4 miles to the trailhead. Driving north on U.S. Highway 395 toward Gardnerville, turn left on Dresslerville Road (SR-756), follow to Centerville Road, continue across SR-88 to Foothill Road, turn left, and drive approximately 3.1 miles south to the trailhead.