Snowshoeing in Carson City
Written by local resident Shelby Holte
Ohhhh, the weather outside is frightful… unless you’re a snow junky! We live for this kind of weather! After a few misses, Carson City finally had a snowy holiday season and we’re excited to say “it doesn’t show signs of stopping.”
Our unique positioning at the foot of the Sierras usually gives us a gentle experience of the winter season without the hassle of relentless snow, but occasionally, the winter storms from Lake Tahoe spill over into our valley and give us a winter wonderland to enjoy. Take that last sip of hot cocoa and lace up your boots—it’s time to go snowshoeing! Read along for our favorite trails in Carson City to enjoy the winter snow.
Vicee Canyon and Lower Ash Canyon
Beginners welcome! Vicee Canyon and Lower Ash Canyon are home to a web of trails that comb the base of the Sierras. Don’t want to climb too high in your snowshoes? No need! Use this spot to get your hip flexors in shape for the season. That first snowshoe of the year can really catch you off guard! Suddenly, the trails you were comfortably running on in the fall require leg lifting for each step? Let’s call this cross training. You’ve got this!
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. From there, throw the snowshoes on and enjoy any combination of beginner trails.
Kings Canyon Trail
Tucked behind the west side of Carson City is our beloved King’s Canyon trail! Visitors from near and far frequent this spot year round to see our town’s very own waterfall. Have you seen it in the winter yet? Snowmelt in the area allows it to maintain a strong flow while the wall of rock it flows over turns to a stunning display of ice! Enjoy this quarter mile hike with your snowshoes on, and if you’re up for it, keep heading up the trail for higher views of Carson City. Please note: the parking lot is currently under construction to provide spaces and bathrooms for the area’s fanatics, but the trail remains open on weekends.
Hobart Reservoir Trail
So you’ve gotten your hip flexors in shape for the season at Lower Ash Canyon and the lifting of the snowshoe through feet of fresh powder now excites you. You’re ready for a challenge. Head on over to Hobart Reservoir Trail! Be sure to pack extra water and perhaps an energy bar if you plan to push for a longer distance trek because this trail is all uphill. You’ll be working hard, but fear not, you’ll be rewarded with some of Carson City’s best views of Washoe Valley and Washoe Lake. This trail boasts nine continuous miles up into the mountains, so plan ahead and be aware of changing weather conditions as you travel further up.
Day Trip to Chickadee Ridge
Not only is Carson City home to countless trails and views of its own, it’s also the perfect jumping off point for mountain adventures all around. Call us a base camp, if you will. Just a forty-five minute drive from Carson City is one of the regions most renowned and beloved snowshoe areas, Mount Rose Wilderness. Every year, trekkers make their way up to the famous Chickadee Ridge to catch stunning views of Lake Tahoe, and feed the area’s chickadees from the palm of their hands. The intermediate trail will certainly require some stamina to get to the top, but there is plenty of open land at the bottom of the trail for sledding and family friendly snow play. Check out our recent trip to Chickadee Ridge HERE and get inspired to make the trip!
Guided Snow Shoe Hikes
Are you new to snowshoeing, or looking to try it within an experienced community setting? Our local Parks and Rec department will be hosting a series of guided snowshoe hikes this winter! Book your spot ASAP as there is limited availability per hike.
We hope you enjoy taking advantage of all that Carson City has to offer in the winter months. And yes, hot cocoa before AND after snowshoeing is totally acceptable. Be sure to tag us on social media in your snowshoe adventures!