Carson Valley, Nevada a Photo-Worthy Destination

By on September 18, 2020
Carson Valley

Carson Valley is a pocket of northern Nevada where nature, landscapes, and wild characters harmonize throughout the region. The beauty of the mountains, high desert landscape, ranchlands, and wild residents are unmistakable. Needless to say, the endless visual storytelling opportunities provide variety for women over 50 who call this area home.

Carson Valley

Nestled at the base of the Sierra, Carson Valley begs visitors to not just drive through it, but to it. Located 45 miles south of Reno-Tahoe International Airport and 12 miles east of South Lake Tahoe, the region’s natural beauty is legendary. Wide-open farms, ranches, bands of wild horses, and birds of prey dot the landscape. Outdoor recreation enthusiasts follow all points of the compass with more than 50+ miles of hiking, mountain biking, or walking trails along with world-class road biking. The valley’s museums, arts, antiquing, Basque dining, historic watering holes, and more add to the destination’s authentic culture. The region includes the communities of Minden, Gardnerville, Topaz Lake, and Genoa, Nevada’s first settlement dating back to 1851.

The monthly #WhyCV Photographer Spotlight Series highlights each photographer’s unique Carson Valley photo experience. For example, nature lover and photographer Cheryl Bromley introduces us to some famous Carson Valley’s residents – wild horses. Wildlife preservationist and photographer John T. Humphrey demonstrates the beauty of Carson Valley’s open space and shares a consideration for the wellbeing of the region’s ecosystem. Family man and hiking enthusiast John Flaherty has been featured on local news hundreds of times simply by capturing the beauty that surrounds his Topaz Lake home and the magic of simply getting outside.

fall scents for your home

Borrowing from the professionals themselves, visitors are encouraged to seek out the region’s most photo-worthy sites, locations, and subjects.


To capture historical anecdotes, full of texture and century-old stories, visitors can explore the Carson Valley community of Genoa. Genoa is home to Nevada’s first permanent settlement and home to the Genoa Bar, Nevada’s oldest thirst parlor. Architectural photographers will appreciate the scenes at the JT Basque Bar & Dining Room in Gardnerville. The historic building and delicious food have deep roots in the region’s rich Basque history. Still, life photographers will marvel at the photo opportunities at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park. A fascinating collection of artifacts and historical ranching scenes can be shot as well as the haven it provides for raptors and owls.

Carson ValleyLandscapes

Landscape photographers will appreciate the scenes along the Carson River at River Fork Ranch, an 800-acre preserve owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy. With the Carson Range of the Sierra Nevada rising to the west and its banks flanked by key wetland, meadow, and riparian habitats, the Carson River displays landscape splendor all year round. Known as the desert gem, Topaz Lake is a picture window to eastern Sierra Nevada landforms. It is equally beautiful with each changing season. Photographers in pursuit of solitude will find the Pine Nut Mountains captivating with its rock formations. There is diverse geology, and desert geography in a remote setting.


Perhaps the most rewarding subjects in Carson Valley are the flora and fauna that call northern Nevada home. The region has an abundance of raptors, migratory birds, reptiles, mountain lions, lynx, rare wildflowers, unique vegetation, wild mustangs, and bears. Local photographers delight in getting acquainted with their wild subjects and learning to honor their habitat and open space.

Each winter in the months of December, January, and February, wildlife photographers find plentiful bald and golden eagles and other raptors to capture. The birds of prey descend on the Valley’s cattle ranches in pursuit of the high protein nutrients provided by the afterbirth during the calving season. Exclusive access to the ranches and photography workshops are available during the Eagles & Agriculture event, held annually in January. In the spring, hikers with cameras in hand find the wildflower blooms quite visible from the valley’s expansive trail networks. Throughout the year, horse lovers view mustang bands as they graze, play, and roam at the Fish Springs Habitat and Pine Nut Mountain Range outside Gardnerville. Extra care, distance, respect, and safety is encouraged when entering the range or photographing any wildlife.

For a complete gallery of the Photographer Spotlight Series, visit online. More amazing photos can be found on Instagram and at the Visit Carson Valley website. As beautiful as each photographer’s shots are, nothing is better than capturing one’s own moment in time.

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Carson Valley, Nevada a Photo-Worthy Destination