“And It Was Allllll Yellow” – 5 Best Leaf Peeping Spots around Carson City
Guest Post by Carson City local Shelby Holte
Tucked between the buzz of Summer and the cold of Winter, we get a short window of—let’s face it—the best season of the year. Fall in Carson City is six to eight weeks of weather that can make a person giddy. The morning chill makes that first cup of coffee extra good for the soul and you can still catch those warm rays of sunshine by the afternoon. The local trails are just begging to be hiked, and the family activities are endless.
Topping it all off, our trees put on a wild show every year that will inspire you to get outside and enjoy the beauty of our State Capital. Did you know that in 1994 Carson City qualified for the Division of Forestry’s Tree City USA program? We’re proud to have maintained our qualification ever since! The Tree City USA program recognizes towns and cities across the nation that have implemented successful urban forestry programs to improve the health and longevity of the city’s trees. What better time of year to enjoy the local efforts than when the trees themselves show off for us all to see!
Listed here are Carson City’s best “leaf peeping” spots. Whether you’re driving around town, lacing up your hiking boots, or just out enjoying a walk, Carson City has a leaf show for you!
5 – C-Hill
A bird’s eye leaf viewing opportunity can be found from the top of our cherished C Hill. This moderately steep climb will reward you for your efforts with views from directly above town. Be sure to bring snacks and water and pack out any trash to keep our trails beautiful for all.
While Carson is host to many trees across town, they tend to be most concentrated on the historic West side. Fire up the stroller if you have one and grab your hot beverage from nearby Old World Coffee Lab and head West. Our favorite views on foot or by car include those on King Street and the neighborhoods along Curry Street. If you’re able to take your gaze off the glowing leaves, you’re likely to see signage around town, detailing the history of old buildings and historical sites. Don’t want to miss any of the history while seeing as many golden leaves as humanly possible? The Carson City Ghost Walk (link) is the event for you. On this tour, the irreplaceable Madame Curry will show you incredible Victorian Era homes on the West Side, as well as their spooky history.
3 – Ash Canyon
We’ve seen the leaves and all their glory from below,
now to see them from above! Hop in the car for a quick ten-minute drive up to Ash Canyon for a sweeping view of Eagle Valley and all the changing leaves below. Watch for the safety dips in the road on your way up! Parking is available at the water tanks, or if you’re comfortable driving on a dirt road, there’s a lot a bit further up. Test your eye from this lookout to see if you can find the silver top of the Capitol Building! Ash Canyon is an incredible stop for leaf viewing but load up the mountain bike and the pets for a gorgeous fall day on the trails, too.
Staying on the walking theme, cross over to the other side of Carson Street for a gorgeous walk through the Capitol grounds. If you’re in need of a refill, be sure to stop by Comma Coffee first. Our capitol building truly shines in the fall. The perimeter of this historical landmark is lined by 17 different trees, each representative of a different county of Nevada. Many of the trees are marked with descriptive plaques to help you identify them and the county they represent. While you’re leaf peeping, see if you can find Carson City’s tree! Be sure to bring the camera as this spot will inspire some of the greatest fall photos in town.
**The Capitol will be under refurbishment until mid-2023. The doors are still open for visitors to explore the building and see the Battle Born Hall on the second floor.
Some will say we’ve saved the best for last here—you’ll have to let us know what you think on our Facebook or Instagram channels. Without further adieu, make sure to visit Carson River Park this month to see incredible spread of yellow leaves along the flowing waters of the Carson River. Just ten minutes from the center of town, this park is home to the largest grove of changing leaves in city limits and it will have you putting on Coldplay’s Yellow ASAP. Enjoy the views from the car window while driving along Carson River Road or pull into the park itself for up to 3 miles of out and back trails along the river.
BONUS LOCATION: Mills Park
One of the largest parks in Carson City is home to some stunning cottonwood trees, a mini railroad, and incredible bridges. It’s also a wonderful place to spend a day soaking in the yellow.
Headed out leaf peeping? Tag us in your fall photos around Carson City! We hope this season and its colors inspire you to get out in whatever way you’re able and enjoy it to the fullest! See you out there!