Plenty of areas to visit south of Carson
Nevada Appeal Outdoors Editor
I’d be willing to bet that many if not most of you might not be aware of all the delightful features that the area, south of Carson City, has to offer in the way of sightseeing adventures during late June.
So, here’s a suggestion for spending a leisurely day at this time of the year, enjoying what Mother Nature has to offer in the way of outdoor scenery.
All you will need is your family, the family vehicle, some spare time and the desire to see more of this fabulous countryside.
If you do take the trip, remember to take your camera and plenty of film.
Then, when you return home, be sure to share those photos with the poor souls who remained behind, while you were having fun.
It might also be a good idea to pack a tasty picnic lunch to enjoy, somewhere along the highway.
So, here’s the suggestion:
Carson City to South Lake Tahoe:
Take U.S. 50 west from Carson City, over Spooner Summit, through Cave Rock Tunnel, past the South Shore Casinos, past “The Y” at South Lake Tahoe, Calif. to the intersection of U.S. 50 and Calif. S.R. 89. (Just past the Calif. Agricultural Inspection Station).
South Lake Tahoe to Hope Valley:
At that intersection, turn left onto S.R. 89 and drive up and over Luther Pass. As you climb uphill on S.R. 89, the highway, way off to your right, is U.S. 50 going up to Echo Summit.
Then, after crossing Luther Pass, continue downhill to the intersection with S.R. 88 at the edge of Hope Valley in Alpine County, Calif.
At this intersection, you will have two choices:
Hope Valley to Kit Carson Pass:
If you turn right, you will continue on S.R. 88 through scenic Hope Valley and past Red Lake to the top of Kit Carson Pass for spectacular views and camera shots of both Red Lake and Hope Valley.
When you’re done, drive back to Woodfords.
Hope Valley to Woodfords:
If you turn left, you will continue on S.R. 88 and S.R. 89 down Woodfords Canyon to the tiny Town of Woodfords.
As you drive down the Canyon, you will be along the West Carson River.
This river is routinely stocked in the summer by Alpine County with some eye-popping rainbows that can be in the 5-6-7-8 pound class.
When you reach Woodfords, be sure to stop at the Woodfords General Store for a visit with its owner, Dave Kirby (a longtime personal friend of mine).
At Woodfords, you will have two choices:
Return home to Carson City: By a combination of Calif. S.R. 88, Nev. S.R. 88 and U.S. 395, via Centerville and Carson Valley.
Drive to the top of Ebbett’s Pass.
From Woodfords, travel a short distance of 7 miles on S.R. 4 and S.R. 89 to Markleeville, the county seat of Alpine County.
Then, just continue through Markleeville, past the Monitor Pass Junction (where you will leave S.R. 89) and go all the way to the top of Ebbett’s Pass, on S.R. 4.
A portion of the drive from Markleeville will be along the East Carson River.
This river is also routinely stocked in the summer by Alpine County with some eye-popping rainbows that can be in the 5-6-7-8 pound class.
Be sure to stop at the Carson River Resort for a visit with its owner, Brad Davis (another friend of mine).
Once S.R. 4 leaves the East Carson River, the highway will become progressively narrower and more winding as it climbs steeper and steeper toward the pass, but the views are breathtaking!
If you are uncomfortable or afraid of heights or narrow roads, you might not want to make this choice.
Just before reaching the pass, you will see Kinney Reservoir on your right. It is noted for its feisty rainbow trout and Eastern brook trout.
At this time of the year, between the reservoir and the pass, there should still be snow drifts remaining from last winter. This is a great place for unforgettable photos of playing in the snow in late June!
There, you have it:
A suggestion with a number of interesting variables, which is guaranteed to make a day trip in this area, a little more enjoyable.
And, it will also give you a chance to enjoy a little bit more of all that this general area has to offer.
If you take my suggestion and like it, be sure to tell you relatives, neighbors and friends back home.
Show them your photos and tell them about the fun time you had in the Great Outdoors.
Then, most importantly, be sure to return on another visit!
• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you the name of the junction of S.R. 88 and S.R. 89 in Hope Valley.
If he grins and says, “Heck that’s easy. It’s Pickett’s Junction,” you just lost this bet.
• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.