The Dirt: Carson City



Carson City is the capital of the State of Nevada. It is also an autonomous county, stretching from the Eastern Sierras to the Pine Nut Mountain range. in the center of the county is the junction of highways 80 and 395, making travel to the general area very easy. Carson City itself has every service an OHV enthusiasts could need. Cell phone service is good in and immediately around the city, but can become spotty in box canyons or if you cross any mountain ranges. High-clearance, 4WD vehicles are recommended for many of these routes.

From downtown Carson City, there are six OHV routes and trail systems within a half-hour drive. The closest of all, with an interesting history, is the Prison Hill Recreation Area. Originally part of the prison complex (still partially active) on the outskirts of the city, the hill has now been turned into a multiuse recreation area. The northern part of the recreation area is unmotorized, for pedestrians, equestrians, and bicyclists, but the southern part is open for use by ATVs, UTVs, and dirt bikes. On the opposite side of town is the King's Canyon route to Spooner Summit. These trails are popular with folks seeking a quick day outing with ideal angles for photographing the city. Just southwest of the city is the Kingsbury Stinger & Genoa Peak Road, a popular collection of trails between Carson City and Lake Tahoe. Just south of Prison hill is the Johnson Lane OHV staging area, with routes in Douglas County.  This is a popular way of accessing the Pine Nut Mountains, a vast mountain range extending into Lyon and Douglas Counties. Finally, while technically in Washoe and Storey County, Carson City is just minutes away from the Washoe Lake State Park to Virginia City interpretive trail, which in turn accesses the trails in Storey County, known as the Comstock Historic Mining District.


There are many OHV routes and play areas in and around Carson City. Here are links to the most popular:

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: City of Carson

Carson City Parks and Recreation
3303 Butti Way # 9
Carson City, Nevada, 89706


Carson City Parks and Open Space Website

Motor vehicles are permitted on designated trails only. For local regulations regarding OHV use on county roads, visit the Carson City Parks and Recreation Website. Always plan ahead and prepare for uncertainty. Travel with warm clothing, first aid, food, water and appropriate tools to fix a problem. Traveling in groups is always a good idea, as well as informing someone of where you will be going.

  • Register Your Vehicle
  • Make sure your vehicle is equipped with a spark arrestor
  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • No Overnight Camping Allowed
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Trail Users

Leave No Trace

Tread Lightly

Historic Preservation

Land Manager

Plan Your Visit