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Partnership to give locals a chance to experience Carson Aquatic Trail

Sandi Hoover
shoover@nevadaappeal.com
Sandi Hoover/Nevada AppealCarson City's Open Space Manager Juan Guzman lies back in a raft and enjoys the scenery through the Carson River Canyon Saturday during a raft trip to give local officials and other decision makers a glimpse of what the city has to offer residents and tourists on the Carson Aquatic Trail. Guzman was key in coordinating the purchase of hundreds of acres of open space through the canyon.
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A partnership forged this year between the Carson City Parks Division and Great Basin Sports will give locals a chance to explore a portion of the Carson Aquatic Trail on their own or as part of a tour.

Outfitter Pat Fried will set up a concession on the river this year offering a leisurely 3.3-mile Eagle Valley Class I/II guided float.

The 1-1/2-hour trip is beginner-friendly, Fried said, and runs from Carson River Park to Morgan Mill Park.

“This is also a family-friendly activity, and it’s so beautiful,” Fried said, adding that it is an interpretive tour with information provided about the history of the area, birding and the history of the Carson River.

“We will have a concession set up out there so people can also rent kayaks,” she said.

Cost is $40 per person, and children 8 years of age and older can participate if accompanied by an adult.

For those more adventurous and ready to set out on their own, she will rent kayaks for $25 an hour for a double or $15 for a single – and she also offers lessons.

“The kayaks are really nice,” Fried said. “They are the hard-shell, sit-on-top type.”

For more information on where to find Fried on the river or to a make reservation, call 775-450-3446.

Fried said she expects the rafting season to extend into July this year, so she’s hoping lots of locals will take advantage of the opportunity to see parts of the city most people don’t see.

WHITEWATER ADVENTURE

But for anyone interested in riding some rapids this year, Great Basin Sports also offers a guided 9.6-mile adventure tour, including equipment and instruction, for $75 per person. It’s the only outfitter currently offering raft and kayak tours of the river.

The whitewater tour puts in at Morgan Mill Road River Access Area just west of Deer Run Bridge and takes out in Lyon County at the Santa Maria Ranch. The trip features numerous Class II/III rapids with names like the “Train Wreck Rapids” appropriate for intermediate to advanced skills for kayakers and rafters, or fun for novices with one of her guides.

Without being too treacherous, it offers thrills and splashes as well as peaceful scenic views.

On Saturday, a group of intrepid officials and media types took to the water to see what all the talk was about.

“The idea was to get decision makers out on the river to see the resources we have here,” said Park Planner Vern Krahn.

Supervisor Karen Abowd and her husband Charlie were among the rafters. Supervisor Abowd said they have rafted on several other rivers, including one trip where they were flipped out of the raft into the water.

Because of that experience, she was a bit wary of taking the whitewater trip through the Carson River Canyon. By the end of the excursion, however, she said she was pleasantly surprised by how fun it was without being dangerous.

The Saturday trip was sponsored by the Carson River Regional Recreational Steering Committee.

OPEN SPACE

Most of the property through the canyon has been purchased, or is in the process of being purchased, by the city’s Open Space Division using Quality of Life funds.

Turning the canyon into a pristine passive recreational area will mean that motorized traffic will not be allowed past a certain point, and although this is wonderful news for some, others – like Teri Green-Preston of the city’s Open Space Advisory Committee – are upset about what that means.

“I grew up here in these canyons – I camped here, fished here, played here and went four-wheel driving. When you shut out motorized access, you’re also closing it off to many of the users and taxpayers who voted for Question 18,” said Preston, who explained that she was speaking as a private citizen.

“We voted for it so that no one could develop that land, not so that we would be kept out of it,” she said.