The Dirt: Douglas County OHV Trails



Douglas County includes the land between Lake Tahoe in the west, to the PineNut Mountains in the east. The county provides many opportunities for getting outside and doing some off-roading.  Cell phone service is good in and immediately around the valley and urban areas but can become spotty as you travel to more remote locations. As trail conditions can change rapidly due to weather, high-clearance, 4WD vehicles are recommended for many of these routes.

From downtown Minden and Gardnerville, there are several OHV routes and trail systems within a short drive. Just off of Kingsbury Grade at the summit, riders can take the Kingsbury Stinger & Genoa Peak Road. This popular collection of trails in the high sierras between Gardnerville and the lake provides some of the most beautiful vistas of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Tahoe Rim Trail and many other non-motorized trails are in the area, so use caution and respect other trail users.

Most of the OHV roads and trails are in the Pine Nut Mountains, east of the Carson Valley. On the north end of the valley is the Johnson Lane OHV staging area.  This large staging area at the end of Johnson Lane has an open “play area” and is a popular spot for accessing the Pine Nut Mountains.  Ride up into the Pinyon, Juniper  and PineNut forests, along one of the many existing dirt roads.  This area provides fun and challenging trails for all experience levels.

Just north into Carson City, 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 southern part of Prison Hill is a popular area used by ATVs, UTVs, Rock Crawlers and Dirt Bikes. This OHV area is being updated and improved to be a premier OHV play area, for experience levels. Note that the northern section of the Prison Hill is strictly for Non-Motorized activities. 


From Minden, head north on Hwy 395. Turn right onto Johnson Lane and follow to the end. 

There are several other parking and staging areas, such as on Leviathan Mine Road off of Hwy 395 South, and the Single Tree Public Lands Access south of Gardnerville.  To get to the Single Tree Access from Hwy. 395 South, take Pinenut Road east, veer right onto Dump Rd, and turn left onto Pinenut Road again.  There are two open areas to park within the first mile along the road.

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: BLM Sierra Front Field Office

BLM Sierra Front Field Office

5665 Morgan Mill Rd

Carson City, NV  89701

Phone: 775-885-6000

Website:  Sierra Front Field Office | Bureau of Land Management (blm.gov)

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

Plan Your Visit