Five Scenic Road Trips in the Reno-Tahoe Territory You Can Plan Now
Soaking in the sights of the Reno-Tahoe Territory from the safety of a vehicle may be the perfect hiatus wandering souls crave in the age of social distancing. While visitors patiently await the delights of the Reno-Tahoe Territory, taking to the open road becomes a journey through scenic northern Nevada.
To safely enjoy all Reno-Tahoe Territory has to offer, here are some road traveler pro tips:
- Pre-plan rest stops, restroom breaks and refueling according to current hours of operation and keeping in mind cleanliness and personal protection measures.
- Many businesses through the Reno-Tahoe Territory are offering curb-side meal pickup. Plan ahead and keep menus bookmarked on your phone or device.
- Park and stop in designated areas only, respect increased parking restrictions, do your part to reduce crowding and always maintain a distance of 6 feet or more.
- Make the most of sunrise splendor or golden hour glow by planning your day trip early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid crowding.
Lake Tahoe Loop
A driving tour around “the jewel of the Sierra Nevada” bestows day-trippers with panoramas of Lake Tahoe’s pure blue waters, surrounded by snow-capped peaks. The 72-mile loop puts the magnitude of the U.S.’s second deepest lake into perspective. Explore the diversity of scenes from North Lake Tahoe to South Lake Tahoe taking in the easy going “Nevada side.” For more information about the Lake Tahoe Loop, visit online.
Pyramid Lake Scenic Byway
Pyramid Lake is a sparkling blue-green oasis in northern Nevada’s high desert landscape, located approximately 40 miles outside Reno-Sparks by way of route NV-445, or the Pyramid Highway. The lake is an impressive destination and a sight to behold with its turquoise blue waters contrasted by the stark desert landscape. It is full of natural wonder as well as geological and historical significance. Pyramid-like limestone formations jet out of the lake’s eastern shore, giving the lake its namesake. Pyramid Lake is a sink for the Great Basin, the largest contiguous span of watersheds in North America. The lake is the last remaining remnant of the ancient Lake Lahontan and is part of the native Paiute Indian Reservation. For more information about Pyramid Lake, visit online.
A drive to Virginia City, one of the country’s largest historic landmark districts, is a self-guided step back in time. Virginia City made a name for itself in 1859 when eager prospectors struck it rich and the Comstock Lode was born. What was a small mining camp quickly became the largest city west of Denver. Today, the 900-resident town may be a fraction of its once booming 25,000 population, yet Virginia City remains rich in historical sites, landmarks, charm and scenes. Virginia City is located a short 30-minute drive from Reno on U.S. Highway 395 South to the junction of State Route 341. Sights include the restored Presbyterian Church, the only structure to survive the great fire of 1875; Piper’s Opera House, a once-cultural epicenter of the West; The Virginia & Truckee Railroad, the most famous of all American Short Line railroads; and the Historic Fourth Ward School Museum, an impressive 4-story mansard-roofed former public school building. For more information about Virginia City and a list of open establishments, visit online.
Topaz Lake is a desert gem along scenic U.S. Highway 395. Topaz Lake Park is a scenic treasure backdropped by the Sierra Nevada to the west and the high desert to the east and is encompassed by the Toiyabe and Eldorado national forests. While Topaz Lake is typically an angler’s and bird watcher’s treasure, day trippers can explore the day use areas, numerous photo opportunities and wildlife sightings. The Topaz Lodge general store and gas are open. For more information on Topaz Lake Park, visit online.
Kit Carson Trail in the Capital City
Carson City, Nevada’s historic capital, is full of historical sights, buildings and charm. The Kit Carson Trail is a path through the heart of Carson City’s historic district making a perfect stroll or drive through the town’s historic landmarks. The Kit Carson Trail tells the story of the state’s capital featuring more than 60 landmarks including 1800s-era Victorian-style homes, museums and churches. For more information on Carson City and the Kit Carson Trail, including a virtual highlight of the tour, visit online.
Please be sure to check on all state or local travel advisories or updates. The expression ‘separated by nature’ has never been more true. Let’s all enjoy the spectacular wonders within our region in a responsible fashion.