GO to Hope Valley
October 18, 2007
Hope Valley and Carson Valley have many of the same assets that lie on the other side of the mountain: a pristine alpine lake, historic Western towns that grew up along the Emigrant Trail and Pony Express route, and snowy peaks and verdant river valleys to delight and challenge all manner of outdoor enthusiasts.
One area of major interest is tucked away in the Kirkwood Mountain Resort on Highway 88. You can hike this parcel over state park trails leading to Thunder Mountain. But at some times of the year, when the rangers have been well flattered, they will let visitors drive to the back edge of the ski area. There a trail once named Emigrant Highway, later the Emigrant Trail, leads up through thick trees and across a wide meadow were flowers bloom in the summer and leaves color in the spring. Of course, the leaves were always their bright colors, but the green of the cholorophyll fades with fall and the true colors emerge. If the weekend is right and the rangers well fed, they may let you drive to this spot for a private view of the leaves.