Hiking Near Carson City, Nevada

by Jay Leone

Carson City, the capital of Nevada, is a relatively small city with a population of just over 55,000 as of 2011. This city is located approximately 411 miles northwest of Las Vegas on the California/Nevada state border, 30 miles south of Reno and a mere 14 miles east of Lake Tahoe. Carson City encompasses around 153 square miles of area next to the Sierra Nevada mountain range. There are several walking, biking and hiking trails located throughout the Lake Tahoe area and around Carson City.

Carson City

Carson City itself hosts several hiking opportunities. At Bowers Mansion Regional Park (4005 US Highway 395 North, Carson City, NV 89704; 775-849-1825), visitors can tour the Bowers Mansion between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Hiking trails and walking trails are located throughout the park. In East Carson City, visitors can hike a four-mile trail that follows a small stretch of the old Virginia & Truckee Railroad line. Many other lesser-known hiking trails can be found throughout the Carson City back country.

Lake Tahoe

Scenic Lake Tahoe (www.parks.nv.gov) offers everything for the outdoor enthusiast. Visitors to the Lake Tahoe region in Nevada can enjoy everything from camping and canoeing to mountain biking and hiking. Sand Harbor offers a boat launch, sandy beaches and picnic facilities. There are many hiking trails around Lake Tahoe including the Tahoe Rim Trail along the Carson Range and the Flume Trail, which follows along above Sand Harbor.

Washoe Valley

Washoe Valley is an area of Nevada located between Reno and Carson City. This area offers many outdoor activities; several hiking trails are located throughout the Washoe Valley region. Davis Creek Regional Park (US 395 South Washoe Valley, NV 89704; 775 849-0684) features a campground facility located near Washoe Lake by Slide Mountain. Visitors can take small self-guided hikes along one of the park's many trails or arrange for a group hiking expedition.


Reno, Nevada is a short drive from Carson City. There are several hiking and walking trails located throughout the Reno metropolitan area. Bartley Ranch Regional Park (6000 Bartley Ranch Road, Reno, NV 89511; 775-828-6612) offers 56 acres of pasture, a horse arena, an interpretive center, an amphitheater and hiking trails. Several small exhibits are presented at various times throughout the year at the park's Western Heritage Interpretive Center. Rancho San Rafael Regional Park (1595 North Sierra St., Reno, NV 89503; 775-785-4512) hosts annual balloon races on its 600+ acres of land. Hikers can follow one of the self-guided trails at this park and read the interpretive signs provided along the trails.