Get in touch with the Silver State's rustic side
Smith Valley is a rural farm and ranch community that's conveniently close to Carson City and Reno but is isolated enough to allow for solitude in nature. It's an ideal destination for anyone seeking to get in touch with Nevada's rustic side.
A great place to start is Wellington, a small, enchanting village at the southern end of Smith Valley that consists of stunning countryside that's dotted with barns, farmhouses and cottonwood trees. The rolling hills on the horizon are often topped with puffy, silver-white clouds. This quaint settlement was founded in the 1860s when the main highway from Carson City to Aurora was built. At the time, mostly stagecoaches and freight wagons bustled through the region. By the end of the 19th century, Wellington had quickly become an agricultural community, with much of Smith Valley boasting some highly productive farmland.
In town, you'll find a delicious homemade lunch at the Wellington Mercantile . Grab a scrumptious coffee drink at CG Café, or check out the nearby Heyday Ranch Inn, which, over the years, served as a schoolhouse, post office and the competitor to the Wellington Station.
Also, check out the ruggedly beautiful, Wilson Canyon. This uniquely structured canyon is known for its scenic rocky canyon walls and is also home to various wildlife, including chukar, bobcats, mule deer, and bighorn sheep. This canyon also boasts excellent trout fishing for those anglers looking to fish in a lovely natural environment.
An old ghost town, Ludwig, Nevada, is 11 miles north of the Walker River Resort and features 250-feet-deep mining shafts, relics of old processing machinery, and what is left of its foundations. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended, but not required, to make the trek out to the town site.
To learn the local history of this gorgeous region, visit the Lyon County Museum and Visitors Center in Yerington. Exhibits inform visitors about the world-famous "sack race," where men carry a hefty 100-pound sack of grain for over five miles. Check out the exhibits on Wovoka, an Indian medicine man who's earned a place in Lyon County's history.
Within 65 miles of the Walker Resort is Lake Tahoe and the many exciting attractions that surround this stunning body of water. Between the untouched "Lake Tahoe State Park" on the east side of the lake and the excellent gaming and entertainment that South Lake Tahoe has to offer, this day trip is sure to dazzle. During the summer, you can enjoy a peaceful day on the lake; in the winter, you'll want to hit the slopes for unparalleled snowboarding and skiing at one of the many resorts in town. Take the gondola up to the top of Heavenly Ski Resort for unparalleled views.
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