Some of the best trails are close to home |

Some of the best trails are close to home

Sam Bauman
Special to the Nevada Appeal

Often when looking for a hiking trail we look to the mountains in the distance, such as Horsetail Falls off Highway 50 at Twin Bridges. Sometimes we can find something a lot closer, like right here in Carson City.

I’ve driven King Street many times visiting a friend out there and recently noted a trail leading up the back of C Hill – a nice hike right in town. Just take King Street south and look for Thames Street on the right after the open spaces on the right. Turn left at the unnamed street and follow it to the cul de sac park there and walk about 60 feet uphill to a dirt road on the left.

That’s the trail head more or less; follow it for about 500 yards and you’ll see an uphill trail on the right. I call the C Hill Back Trail. You might want a hiking stick as this is a narrow path with a steep falloff on the left much of the way before the switchbacks.

The trail is in excellent condition on the lower part, just dirt. It doesn’t get rocky until you reach the plateau looking out over the city. Farther up around a hill, it gets very steep, with 3-foot steps in places and loose rock.

I got about halfway up the steep part when storm clouds moved in with rain and lightning. So I didn’t make it to the top.

There’s a lot more to C Hill than what you can see from town; it towers up there. There are several trails from the plateau area, leading down toward town or over toward C Hill with the big letter “C” still above you.

Not much in the way of wildflowers except for those little four-leaf yellow ones lining the trail. But the views are quite interesting, from Slide Mountain to Highway 50 heading west. This seems to be a popular trail and it is well maintained; my neighborhood friend says he often sees people working on the trail.

Looking northwest, you can get an idea of how big the four sections of the ranch are. Don’t know who owns those parcels but they certainly are beautiful patches of green set amid all the homes. Hope it stays that way.

I’d class this as a moderately demanding trek; lots of uphill without much flat areas. Next time maybe I’ll make it to the top, knee and weather permitting.

Heavenly gondola,

zip line open to all

Heavenly Mountain Resort, once just a ski resort before snowboarding became the alternate, is taking the family summer vacation to new heights – 9,156 feet or so.

The Heavenly Gondola opened for the summer on June 12 for sightseeing and adventure activities, including the Heavenly Flyer zip line cable ride. The Gondola is a must-do summer family attraction at Lake Tahoe , providing picture-perfect views.

The weather is typically sunny and warm and the views are absolutely amazing, said John Wagnon, Heavenly’s vice president of marketing. “Tahoe is one of California’s iconic vacation spots and there’s no better panoramic view of Lake Tahoe.”

John hit that one right. The observation platform gives a splendid panoramic view of the lake in all its 13 miles of length.

Heavenly Gondola will operate for sightseeing from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. through Sept. 7. The Adventure Peak activities area will operate the Heavenly Flyer zip line ride, the Spider Climber and the multilevel, daily throughout the summer, weather permitting, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. A hiking map with trail length and difficulty can be picked-up on site.

Dining choices include Cafe Blue, serving hot beverages, drinks and light snacks on the observation deck, the full-service Adventure Peak BBQ and the Umbrella Bar at the top of the Gondola all open daily from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The Heavenly Flyer Zip Rider cable ride at Adventure Peak is a most thrilling adventure ride. At 3,300 feet long, it is the longest zip line in the continental U.S. I’ll be trying it soon, lightning permitting – one more thing I want to do before I die.

You can take in awesome views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains while you zoom at speeds up to 50 mph.The elevated zip line carries flyers a hundred feet above the ground on an 80-second ride. From the Launch Pad at the top, just beyond the Gondola station, it’s a a vertical drop of 525 feet (roughly the same height as the Space Needle).

The Heavenly Flyer will operate throughout the summer from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. with rides beginning on the half-hour and the hour. Flyers must check in at Mission Control, at the top of the Heavenly Gondola, at least 30 minutes prior to their scheduled flight time. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the ticket windows at the base of the Gondola or the Adventure Peak Sales Booth located next to the Umbrella Bar at the top of the Gondola. Rides are $40 plus the cost of a Heavenly Gondola sightseeing ticket (adults $30).

The Heavenly adult winter season pass is $329 this week and buyers can enjoy Tahoe’s highest elevation, most vertical, best tree skiing and most consistent snow surfaces.

Pass holders who purchase their pass in full will be immediately rewarded with full summer access to Gondola sightseeing and $10 off the price of the Heavenly Flyer ZipRider.

• Contact Sam Bauman at sam or 841-7818.