7 Reasons Why Summer in Carson Valley, Nevada, is a No-Brainer

Landscape photo of Carson Valley, Nevada with the lake and mountains.

Summer in Carson Valley, Nevada, offers families abundant activities to enjoy. With its stunning scenery, mild climate, and abundant outdoor recreation opportunities, Carson Valley is the perfect place to create lasting memories with your friends and family.

Here are seven family-friendly activities you can enjoy in Carson Valley this summer. The list includes award-winning golf, stargazing beneath iconic peaks, historic hot springs, wild and scenic waterways, and more.

Summer Stargazing in Carson Valley

A view of the stars and milky way from a hillside in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Stargazing in Nevada: Credit Travel Nevada

Catch the celestial show of a lifetime this summer at the foot of the eastern Sierra Nevada from Carson Valley’s Topaz Lake. Nestled in a remote-yet-accessible high desert basin about 20 minutes from downtown Minden and Gardnerville, the state-straddling Topaz Lake offers an unusual combination of dependable creature comforts and wildness hard to find. 

Only here can one savor a Topaz Lodge steak dinner followed by stellar night sky viewing at one of Nevada’s most unexpected stargazing destinations. Little to no light pollution can be detected from the shores of Topaz Lake, making thousands of stars, constellations, planets, and even the Milky Way Galaxy (best viewed in Nevada from May through October each year) visible to the naked eye.

Best yet, a handful of astronomical events are on the horizon, including the Perseids Meteor Shower (July 14-Sept. 1) and the Annular Solar Eclipse (Oct. 14).

Trout Fishing Topaz Lake

A view of Topaz Lake in in Carson Valley, Nevada.
Topaz Lake at sunset

Topaz Lake brings water and other outdoor activities to the area with swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, biking, and summertime camping. Reeling in an 18-pound trout the lake is stocked with is not unheard of. Back in Gardnerville, stop and fish one of Nevada’s most pristine wild and scenic rivers along the shores of the Carson River. Stock up on flies and fishing gear at The Angler’s Edge in Gardnerville. Learn more about fishing in the Carson Valley.

Summer Hiking in Carson Valley, Nevada

Access over 70 miles across six vast networks in Carson Valley. The user-friendly Carson Valley Trails website is new. It provides reliable information on the Bently Heritage Trail, Clear Creek Trail System, Fay-Luther Trail System, Genoa Trail System, Pinyon Trail, and the River Fork Ranch. Each offer different mountain biking, hiking, and equestrian riding terrain with supporting amenities.

Gliding over Carson Valley in the Summer 

A glider pilot from SoaringNV glides over the Sierra Nevada from his cockpit.
The beautiful Sierra-Nevada Mountains, Yosemite National Park, the Whites, and Inyo Mountain ranges are some of the incredible places you can visit while soaring from SoaringNV at the Minden-Tahoe Airport: Credit SoaringNV

In Minden, glide through world-renowned flying and gliding conditions that pilots worldwide come to Carson Valley to experience. Operating from the Minden-Tahoe Airport, skydive over Lake Tahoe, or sign up for an only-in-Carson-Valley glider ride with Soaring NV. Prized for ideal mountain wave conditions not possible anywhere else in the United States, strap into a glider with a certified pro, then brace for the glide a lifetime over Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay, Desolation Wilderness, and the spectacular Carson Valley.

Carson Valley Golf Courses

 Sunridge Golf Course during Summer in Carson Valley, Nevada.
Sunridge Golf Course in Carson Valley, Nevada

In the shadow of Jobs Peak and the majestic eastern Sierra Nevada range, Carson Valley serves up some of the most beautiful golfing landscapes in all of Nevada. With four award-winning courses, grip it and rip it from Carson Valley Golf Course in Gardnerville or choose from two separate Genoa Lakes Golf Club Courses—the Lake Course or The Ranch Course. Or test your game at Sunridge Golf and Recreations. You can’t go wrong!

Soak in Carson Valley’s Hot Springs

Holiday Inn Club Vacations David Walley’s Resort features five mineral spas. The geothermal heated groundwater is produced naturally from the Earth's mantle.
Holiday Inn Club Vacations David Walley’s Resort features five mineral spas.

After a full day of fun, soak in the Great American West from David Walley’s Hot Springs, one of Nevada’s most historic 19th-century hot springs resorts. Mark Twain himself famously soaked, then wrote about his ethereal experiences along with some of Nevada’s earliest socialites and Comstock millionaires. Take your pick from a large, family-friendly hot springs-filled swimming pool, or slide into three additional hot tub-style soaks, each varying in temperature.

Live Music in Carson Valley 

Nothing says summer like long days, cool nights, and evening live music. Head to TJ’s Corral at Carson Valley Inn for outdoor summer concerts to rival any big city. The Bently Summer Concert Series is a live music option featuring a complimentary lineup of local and touring musicians, vendors, and more.

If you’re looking for something that requires a lot less movement, head to Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park for Chautauquan performances as part of the 2023 Summer Festival performing series now through the end of August. Chautauquan is a performance art with actors portraying intriguing historical figures in character. 

These are just a few activities you can enjoy in Carson Valley this summer. Its stunning scenery, mild climate, and abundant outdoor recreation opportunities make it the perfect place to create lasting memories with adventure buddies.

Summer in Carson Valley, Nevada, is perfect if you’re looking for a summer destination offering something for everyone.

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