The Nature Conservancy's River Fork Ranch
Photo © Laura Crane
Located at the confluence of the East and West Forks of the Carson River in Nevada's verdant Carson Valley, The Nature Conservancy's River Fork Ranch is both a working cattle operation and a nature preserve. The 805 acre ranch is nestled against the dramatic east slope of the Sierra Nevada along the historic emigrant trail route near the town of Genoa. The ranch's patchwork of irrigated pastures, wet meadows, wetlands, uplands and riparian habitat is home to bald eagles, sandhill cranes, monarch butterflies, leopard frogs, pond turtles and mule deer.
Several miles of natural surface trails are open to the public for non-motorized use and quiet relaxation. The preserve is a popular birding, wildlife viewing and nature photography destination. Free public Star Parties are hosted by the Astronomical Society of Nevada the fourth Friday of each month. A nature center is open for school field trips and other scheduled events. Interpretive information is available on the center viewing deck and at the trailhead kiosk.
Trailhead parking and trails are open from dawn to dusk daily year around.
Fees: Trailhead parking and trails are available free of charge.
To protect ground dwelling wildlife, including leopard frogs, pond turtles and surface nesting birds, as well as the calves and lambs in the pastures, dogs are not permitted in the preserve.