We came to Carson City with the intention of staying 3 days. We had a couple things on our list to do while in the area. We wanted to see Lake Tahoe, we wanted to tour Virginia City, and we want to visit the state capitol. That first day we went for a short hike and fell in love with the place. We returned to the campground and extended for a month.
Our love is hiking, so naturally, we have spent most of our days on one trail or another. The hiking is superb with two National Forest units maintaining hundreds of miles of trail. Additionally, there are three long distance trails in the area--Tahoe Rim Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the American Discovery Trail.
You may be surprised to know that hiking is not the only thing there is to do here. There is, after all, the lake. Summer brings out the boating and water sport enthusiasts. The sand beaches around the lake are covered with sun bathers. And this is a fisherman’s paradise. There are literally scores of small alpine lakes scattered throughout this mountainous region. There have been very few hikes we’ve been on where we didn’t see someone with fishing gear.
This is a popular place for bicycling, as well--both mountain bikes and road bikes. Most of the trails we have hiked have been multi-use trails. Kingsbury Grade is a popular route over the mountain from Carson City to South Lake Tahoe for road and racing bikes. If you’re into more casual riding, there is a terrific paved greenway system along both the north shore and the south shore of the lake. There are a couple bike rental shops if you don’t have your own bike with you. The greenway is also wonderful for walkers.
We haven’t seen so many horses on the trails, but there are a few. We saw 3 horsemen yesterday. There are a couple liveries with horses for hire and many of the trails allow horses.
Weaving in and out and up and down these mountain slopes are hundreds of miles of dirt roads for ATVs. We rarely see them as we are hiking, but we often hear them.
Summer is not the only season in this area. Winter may actually be the most popular time of year. There are several ski resorts and all these trails around here are home to the snowshoers and cross-country skiers.
If your thing is shopping, not to worry. Carson City is a little lean on shopping, but Reno has a large mall with all the national chain department stores and speciality shops. South Lake Tahoe also has a pretty good shopping area.
Let’s not forget the casinos in Nevada. Carson City and has 3 or 4 large casinos as does Stateline (the official name of the community on the Nevada side of the boundary with California in what I always collectively call South Lake Tahoe). Then, of course, there is Reno just up the road.
So whatever you like to do, the Lake Tahoe area has what you need to have some serious fun. We will definitely be back.