Getting Your Steps In: 5 Beginner Trails to Get You Moving Around Carson City


Fall is coming! As cooler temps invite us away from the air conditioner and back into the outdoors, we thought it would be a great time to review some of Carson City’s most beloved beginner trails. Below you’ll find a list of local trails that are *almost* flat, that will show you around our beautiful city!


The California Trail

Boasting miles of continuous paved walkway, the California Trail will give you a tour through Carson City like no other trail can offer. Also commonly referred to as the Linear Ditch Trail, this path will take you through various residential neighborhoods, cattle grazing meadows, wetlands for excellent bird viewing, and even has stints along the highway. Depending which portion of the trail you choose to enjoy, you may hear sounds of wildlife and crickets, or enjoy the hustle and bustle of Highway 395. Keep your eyes peeled for historical signage that will teach you about the land and trail too!

The California Trail is stroller friendly and open to all foot traffic as well as bikes. If you pass through the cattle gates, please be sure to shut them behind you to keep the animals in their home! Pets are welcome on the trail on leash, and plenty of waste bags and bins are provided along the way—please keep our trails beautiful by cleaning up after your pet!

A common place to park for trail access is in the front lot of Fremont Elementary on Saliman Road, though please be mindful of up to date signage and instruction.


Vicee Canyon and Lower Ash Canyon

One parking lot, endless possibilities! Heading West on Combs Canyon Road, turn left onto Murphy drive and drive for about one hundred yards until you see a small dirt parking lot on the right. Park here for any energy level and any mood because from this one spot, you can enjoy whatever level of walk, hike, or bike you’re up for! Since we’re taking on beginner trails today, we’ll stick to the lowlands, but stay tuned for intermediate and expert trail lists to come!

Immediately to the south of the lot, you’ll see the beginnings of a paved walkway. You’ve just found the Carson City Trail, also known as the V&T Rail Trail! If you’re looking for paved only, this starting point offers about a mile and a half (round trip) of continuous pavement. Bring the stroller, bike, or simply lace up for a nice walk or jog. When you’re ready to put those sneakers into *sport mode*, numerous turnoffs to the West (towards the mountains) present themselves along the trail, offering a web of natural paths on relatively flat ground where no two walks ever have to be the same. We love a chance to change it up!


Old Railway Park

Immediately across Combs Canyon Road from Murphy Drive is another dirt parking lot that leads to one trail along the hillside. Old Railway Park offers three miles round trip of even terrain that will lead you to stunning vantage points for viewing the town. Bring the mountain bike for a beginner ride or enjoy the trail on foot. There is no leash requirement for the area, but please be mindful of all trail users and clean up after your pet.


Riverview Park / Mexican Ditch Trail System

A fall favorite! Bring the camera along during September and October for the changing leaves, because this area of Carson City lights up during the fall season! The Mexican Ditch Trail System can be accessed from a variety of locations and offers endless combinations to stack up the miles and get your movement in. Comprised mostly of decomposed granite trail, the Mexican Ditch Trail system offers plentiful opportunity to view wildlife, enjoy the Carson River, and take in stunning views of the Eastern Sierra. Be mindful of leash requirements for pets as signage varies by section of the trail and mixed usage is allowed.

The Mexican Ditch Trail system can be accessed several ways. Parking is available at Korean War Veterans Memorial Park, Moffat Open Space, Silver Saddle Ranch, and Carson River Park.

Looking to raise your heart rate a little higher? Be on the lookout for an upcoming blog on intermediate trails around Carson City. Until then, here’s one to get you started!


Upper Ash Canyon

At the top of Ash Canyon Road between the two water tanks, you’ll find parking for trail access. From here, you can utilize the gravel road or access single track. It’s a local mountain biking hot spot, but foot traffic is welcome as well! Enjoy a winding trail with a slight incline to get your heart pumping a little bit faster, as well as gorgeous mountain views on the way up, and a stunning view of the city on the way down.

Whatever trail you choose to enjoy this fall, we hope the views satisfy and the fresh air invigorates. Tag us in your trail photos on Instagram at @visitcarsoncity. See you out there!