Hiking Near Carson City

Carson City, NV

Between motorhome repairs and rainy days (desperately needed here) we did manage to get in two short hikes in the area, one near South Lake Tahoe and the other just outside Carson City.  We learned about the first hike from Hans and Lisa (Metamorphasis Road) who were here in the spring of 2014. The Glen Alpine Trailhead is located next to small Lily Lake just south of Lake Tahoe.  On the way to the trailhead we stopped along the southern shore of Lake Tahoe where the effects of the drought are definitely visible.  Our overcast day didn’t make for the best photos.

High and dry docks along Lake Tahoe

To get to the trail we drove past the community of Camp Richardson and turned south on Fallen Leaf Road.  The road went along the eastern shore of the beautiful Fallen Leaf Lake.

Fallen Leaf Lake

Just beyond the lake we passed a waterfall with just a trickle of water.  We recognized the rocks from a photo Hans and Lisa had put in their post during their visit.

The falls during our visit

Their visit was in the spring when there was just a bit more water in the stream.

The falls when Hans and Lisa were here (photo by Lisa)

As we passed the falls the road narrowed to one lane, but remained paved all the way to the trailhead.

We parked in the lot at the end of the road next to Lily Lake and hiked a little over a mile up a much worn gravel road to the site of the former Glen Alpine Springs Resort.

Lily Lake

Heading up the “trail”

Discovered in 1863, Glen Alpine Springs opened as a campground in 1878, and in 1884 the resort’s buildings were constructed. The resort became extremely popular in the 1920s and continued to operate until 1966.

The brown waters of the nearby spring are full of iron and carbonic acid, which back in the 1920s was considered a healthy fizzy drink.

Glen Alpine Springs was a backwoods resort that was far from most of the influences of civilization.  Most of the accommodations were tent cabins that no longer exist. There was also a hotel and a post office that are both gone.  The structures that still exist are in reasonably good condition. These include three cabins, a kitchen, dining hall, stable, caretaker’s cabin and an assembly hall.  Today a non-profit corporation, the Historical Preservation of Glen Alpine Springs, Inc. works with the Forest Service to preserve the site.  Guided tours are conducted at 1 pm on Saturday and Sunday mid-June to mid-September.

The dining room on the left and kitchen on the right

Part of the Dining Room

Peaking in a window

One of the remaining cabins

A few days later we did a short hike on a new trail in the hills just west of Carson City.  The Kings Canyon/Waterfall Trail just opened in August.  It’s a great seven mile biking/hiking trail on the hills overlooking Carson City.

The trail winds through hills that burned in a fire in 2005.

The switchbacks up the second mountain

As we hiked we noticed a group keeping an eye on us on a hillside above.

The burned trunks of Ponderosa Pines emitted a very enjoyable odor as we hiked through a wooded area.

After a little over a mile and a half we came to the Kings Canyon Waterfall, filled with water from our .5 inch of rain the previous day.

We crossed the creek and continued up the trail to another trailhead, where we turned around and headed back.

We cut our hike short so we could return to the RV park (Silver City RV Resort) as we knew that friends would be arriving during the afternoon.  Dave and Sue (Beluga’s Excellent Adventure) reserved the site next to us and will join us as we head south into the eastern Sierras this week.  Fellow bloggers Bill and Jodee (On the Road Abode) also arrived and took the site next to Dave and Sue.  While we read each others blog we had never met Bill, Jodee, and Tessa and looked forward to the opportunity to share some time together.

The three motorhomes in a row

The group enjoyed dinner together in Carson City at the Lake Tahoe Brewery and shared a couple of “happy hours” in the late afternoon.  For one of the happy hours we were joined by Denny, who was in the travel trailer across from us.

Sue, Dave, Bill, adorable Tessa, Jodee, Denny, and John enjoy a happy hour

Tomorrow we’ll head south along US-395 with Dave and Sue.  This scenic drive has been on our radar for quite some time so we’re anxious to head south.  More on that later . . .

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12 Responses to Hiking Near Carson City

  1. explorvistas says:

    Nothing better in the forest than the smell of a Ponderosa pine. It smells like vanilla. 🙂

  2. pmbweaver says:

    Gorgeous sunset header photo!
    That drought looks horrible! I remember how bad it was in TX two years ago. Awful.
    Can you image how beautiful that waterfalls must be when the water is running! Awesome photo from Lisa.
    Lily Lake reflection photo is lovely.
    Did y’all drink for the spring? It might be another “Fountain of Youth.”

    So glad you saw Kings Canyon Waterfall with water. Looks refreshing.

    We are so jealous that we aren’t with y’all. Have a wonderful time with your friends. Enjoy the adventure.

  3. I love the comparison waterfall photos! What a dramatic difference!

    When we visited soda spring it covered the entire brown area…at least a 25 foot pond…not the little bit of water in the cement thing you saw!!!! WOW!

    I am glad we saw Carson City in the spring!

    Looks like a fun meetup!

  4. Gay says:

    Two nice hikes. And great get-to-gethers.
    Looking forward to your travels south…

  5. Mary says:

    What a neat place, I love those old buildings! I’m glad they are getting rain in that part of the world.

  6. Jim and Barb says:

    Sounds like a really cool place with a lot of history. We love reading about your hikes and continual update our list of places to go!

  7. Sherry says:

    Wow what a graphic difference in the falls. I guess it is fall but with all the rain of late I’d have thought they’d look a bit fuller. Boy I thought I had some rocky trails here. That road to the resort is wider but wow – rocky. No question where the rocks to build the resort came from. Neat place. Wonder what the tour is like? So sorry to hear about the fire burning the ponderosas. They smell so wonderful, they are one of my favorite pine trees. Great looking waterfall for this time of year. Glad the rains helped it. You’ve really gathered a group a the campground. What a fun time!

  8. alicia says:

    Wow, I can’t believe how LOW the water levels were! Alicia, http://www.girlonatrail.com

  9. Jodee Gravel says:

    Glad you didn’t bring the fizzy health drink to HH! Really like the look of those little cabins. It must have been quite the place to have its own post office. We sure had a great time getting to know you both – haven’t laughed so much in years 🙂 Looking forward to seeing what great hikes you find as you move south.

  10. Ingrid says:

    What a contrast at that waterfall. Looks like rain is needed badly. Have a wonderful time exploring the Alabama Hills with Sue and Dave. The hills have been on our radar for quite some time.

  11. Laurel says:

    Wow, I can’t believe how low Lake Tahoe is!! And how much less water is running over the falls since last spring. The old resort is so interesting and well-preserved. They should open a concession with necessities like good coffee. 🙂 Looks like you guys had a fun gathering with fellow travelers.

  12. LuAnn says:

    I knew nothing about that old resort so enjoyed the history you provided. It seems most of the west is in need of water. I hope you enjoy 395 as much as we did.

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