Head for the Chills: Winter in Carson City, Nevada

It’s that time of year! Beautiful snow-capped mountains, outdoor activities galore and plenty of places to cozy up on a chilly winter’s day. Experience all the winter-wonderful activities Carson City has to offer – all centrally located in Nevada’s state capital. An ideal extension of Lake Tahoe, Carson City offers many related experiences all complete with hometown charm, fewer crowds and more affordable prices.

Outdoor Activities


Hiking’s much older cousin is prime this time of the year. Beginners can visit   for a literal “walk in the park,” with mild terrain and exceptional views. For more intermediate snowshoers, Spooner Lake is a mildly-populated circular trail that is beautifully blanketed in snow this time of year. Ash to Kings Trail is not for the faint of heart but is perfect for those who are up for an adventure and a bit more of a challenge. Find more trails here, as well as guided snowshoe hikes and more activities for the whole family.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Located at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Carson City is a hop, skip and a jump away from many of Lake Tahoe’s world-famous ski resorts. Visitors need only to drive 30-45 minutes to reach the lifts as Heavenly Mountain or Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. By staying with us, visitors get the best of both worlds – quality, cost-effective lodging accommodations and easy access to plenty of ski and snowboard terrain. There’s even a wide variety of cross-country ski terrain nearby, just a short drive from Downtown. Equipment rentals are easy to come by, too, at Blue Zone Sports, perfect for those who don’t want to schlepp their gear or those who may have forgotten their helmet or gloves at home.

Carson Hot Springs Resort

Sink those frozen fingers and toes into the second purest water in the world at the historic Carson Hot Springs Resort. Rest and rejuvenate after a day’s adventure with natural minerals and 98-100 degree water. Those looking for a more secluded experience can hop into a mini-spa also offered at the resort. After your visit, try some craft brews from the Shoe Tree Brewing Company and indulge your taste buds at   restaurant, all conveniently located next door. You can even join in the local, not-so-average triathlon – eating, drinking and soaking.

Indoor Activities


‘Tis the season for gifting. Find one-of-a-kind gifts and trinkets at The Purple Avocado, voted “Best Gift Shop” by the Nevada Appeal. Midtown Marketplace is Carson City’s newest, niche shopping boutique. Get your hands on some vintage treasures here. Spending the day in? Grab some board games at The Nest Cards and Collectables. Filled with family-friendly pastimes, hobby supplies and more, your day cozied up inside will be nothing short of entertaining.

Museums & Tours

Carson City is filled with history and character. The Nevada State Museum’s exhibits highlight the state’s history, the historic Carson City Mint, and it even offers a replica walk-through mine and ghost town. Looking for something more kid-friendly? Visit the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada. Filled with educational hands-on experiences, children get to interact with exhibits based on the state’s past and present. History buffs and those interested in learning even more about Carson City will enjoy the Nevada Capitol Building, a great way to spend a winter day. Tour this building’s breathtaking architecture, learn about Nevada’s legislative history and maybe make friends with a deer or two. They wander all throughout the city this time of year.

Still, looking for more? Be sure to check out other museums and historical exhibits at the Nevada State Railroad Museum or the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum.

Restaurants & Cafes

Carson City is brimming with exceptional eateries and cafes, ready to satisfy your cravings and fill you up. Come in out of the cold, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee or hot chocolate at Old World Coffee Lab where the fire pit on the patio will keep you warm or Comma Coffee’s unique interior is sure to keep you cozy. Speaking of cozy, the atmosphere at Heidi’s Family Restaurant or the Cracker Box will be sure to make you want to kick your feet up. Better yet, gather round the famous firepit at Fox Brewpub patio. Lastly, get that comfort food feeling with a world-famous Awful Awful burger at the Carson Nugget. Each with its own charm and flavor, our local restaurants are the perfect places to fuel up or wind down.

Whether you’re with family, friends or simply flying solo, Carson City is a real-life winter wonderland this time of the year. Escape to the mountains or pass the time in the town. Still not convinced? Find more ideas for winter activities in Carson City.