Nevada’s state capital, Carson City, is a smallish, pleasant city that takes its name from the Carson River, which takes its name from legendary frontiersman Kit Carson. This city has its casinos and museums, but on a smaller scale than, say, Reno or Las Vegas. What really makes Carson City worth visiting, other than the history and the friendly people, is the abundance of outdoor adventure right in its back yard. There are lots of ways to experience Carson, from Horseback in the Rose Mountain wilderness, from a raft on Pyramid Lake, or dangling above the mountains on a hang glider.
The many nearby lakes and rivers offer plenty of boating and fishing opportunities. The Carson River in the heart of the city is full of bass, whitefish and rainbow trout. Small stream fishing in Clear Creek is awfully relaxing, but the locals swear by the Hobart Reservoir. Spooner Lake has Nevada’s only catch and release program and is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the state, making it a great place to catch a glimpse of Ospreys and Bald Eagles.
Carson City is a perfect base of operations for hiking and biking, and the surrounding area has numerous challenging trails. The Spooner Summit trail 12 miles west of Carson City takes travelers to Martlette Lake then down to the site of the Ponderosa near Incline Village. The Carson River Loop follows 10 ½ miles of scenic riverfront. For a real workout hikers and bikers should try and tackle the 15-mile Brunswick Canyon Trial along its old mining sites and encampments.