Close Enough to Touch

Linda Burton posting from Carson City, Nevada – From the door of my room I see mountains. They are a dry-brush brown, with a white-snow frosting along the tops. I could walk across the street and start climbing towards the snow. If I were a hiker, that is. These mountains look approachable; with gently rounded slopes. I could wrap my arms tight against my body and go rolling down. If I were a kid, that is. Rocks jut up here and there, but overall, these mountains have a friendly look. And they are close enough to touch.


These mountains are the Carson Range, part of the Sierra Nevada, running north-south on the east side of the well-known Tahoe lake. Snow Valley Peak has an elevation of 9,214 feet; Marlette Peak 8,780, Duane Bliss Peak 8,658; these are the ones that catch my eye with snow today. Across the street from the Post Office is C Hill; the topo map shows elevation 5,764. It has a chubby baby look, I calculate it out – if the city streets already sit at 4,500 feet, that’s why it looks so walkable!

By my measure with a ruler on a map, Lake Tahoe is about eight miles west of downtown. “We are lower than the lake,” I’m told at the Visitor Center. “Carson City sits lower than the Tahoe lakebed. The surface elevation there is over 6,000 feet.“ “So, if these mountains fell over, we’d drown?” I ask, tongue obviously in cheek. “But they won’t,” is the serious reply, “These mountains have been here forever.”

Carson City is nestled in, secured by mountains all around. The Virginia Range lies to the east; McClelland Peak is 7,864 feet; Duck Hill and Indian Mountain are over 5,000. These mountains are recreational Edens; go hiking, climbing, hunting, off-roading, birding, whatever suits. They are a year-round haven for residents and nature-loving visitors. And pretty good for people like me, delighted just to look. Or walk across the street and touch.

See more about Nevada mountains and recreational opportunities at these interesting sites; lots of photos too.

Bureau of Land Management

Carson Range Summit Post

Virginia Range Summit Post