Last minute suggestions for the upcoming holiday weekend |

Last minute suggestions for the upcoming holiday weekend

Don Quilici

The Memorial Day holiday is this weekend, and countless folks will be heading into Great Outdoors for their first big, camping/fishing outing of the year.

So, where are you going to be this weekend?

You don’t know! Yipes!

Well, if you are interested in going somewhere, here are some last minute suggestions, tempered with a little advice: Most places will be jam-packed with hordes of vacationers. Go prepared for huge crowds, no matter where you go.

Just one example is the 25,000-40,000 people estimated for Lahontan Reservoir.

Here are my suggestions:

Not very far:

Davis Creek Regional Park, a Washoe County Regional Park in Washoe Valley, which is located just north of Bowers Mansion.

That county park offers camping and hiking trails, plus a small trout fishing pond.

The campground has a total of 62 sites, including 19 pull-through trailer sites (with no hook-ups).

All campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Camping fees are $17 per day, plus $5 for each additional vehicle.

This campground is also one of a very few in this area that features hot showers. Right on!

This park is a perfect fit for someone taking their first camping trip and who is not really sure of what to expect. If camping is not up to expectations, it’s a short, quick and easy return back home.

For information, call the park ranger at 849-0684.


Obsidian Campground, about a 1.5 hour drive from Carson City.

Drive south for 66 miles on U.S. 395 to the junction of Calif. S.R. 108 (the Sonora Pass Highway). Continue on U.S. 395 for one-half mile. Take the dirt road on the right and drive about four miles on a dirt road to the campground. Plan to get your vehicle very dusty on this road.

This campground offers hiking opportunities into the nearby Hoover Wilderness Area.

It features fishing for small Eastern brook and rainbow trout in the nearby Little Walker River. The further up the river you hike, the better the fishing.

Don’t be surprised if a black bear visits your camp during the night.

For information, call the U.S. Forest Service office in Bridgeport, Calif., at (760) 932-7070.

Much further:

Walker Lake, north of Hawthorne, is about a 2-hour drive from the Carson City area.

This large desert lake offers shoreline camping along its western shoreline or at the BLM campground at Sportsman’s Beach.

Walker Lake contains Lahontan cutthroat trout, which can run up to about 5 pounds. The limit is 5.

If you fish from shore on the far north end, you will be on the Schurz Indian Reservation and will need a tribal fishing permit.

Be advised to bring a hat and your own shade, because there are no trees at Walker Lake and the weather will be HOT!

And, if you want to fish but don’t want to camp at the lake, Hawthorne’s motels are only 15 miles away. My idea of camping!

A long ways off:

Wildhorse Reservoir is 64 miles north of Elko (about a 7 hour drive) from the Carson City area.

It has great high desert scenery plus four campgrounds (Native American, Nevada State Parks, BLM and U.S. Forest Service).

There is also Dennis Dunn’s Wildhorse Resort with its rustic cabins, RV park, restaurant, bar, fishing supplies, etc.

A fun place to stay, and if you go, tell Dennis that Don Q said “Hi”.

The reservoir contains brown, cutthroat, rainbow and tiger trout, plus black bass, smallmouth bass, catfish and tons of perch.

Other activities:

If you don’t want to go anywhere or don’t camp or fish, you could choose to bike or hike on King’s Canyon Road, between Carson City and Spooner Summit on U.S. 50 near Lake Tahoe.

Take a leisurely bike ride or a slow, easy hike from the end of the pavement on the Carson City side (just follow King Street until you run out of pavement), or you can go downhill from Spooner Summit.

The King’s Canyon Road offers great views of Carson City and Carson Valley with the chance to see wildlife such as mule deer, coyote or even a black bear.

Last suggestion:

If none of these suggestions suite your fancy, you can always have a nice, quiet, outdoor barbecue in your backyard.

That can be your own version of having fun in the Great Outdoors for the holiday weekend.


Wherever you go and whatever you do, have a happy and safe Memorial Day. Enjoy the outdoors!

• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon he can’t tell you what we are going to be doing over the holiday weekend.

If he grins and says, “Don and Elaine are going to be relaxing at their mountain cabin,” he could be one of our close friends.

• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.