Protecting the headwaters of the Carson River
The headwaters of the West Fork of the Carson River form in the canyons east of Carson Pass and flow through Hope Valley before joining the river’s eastern fork in Carson Valley. Hope Valley’s stunning scenery and myriad of recreational opportunities make it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. For many years, Hope Valley’s close proximity to Lake Tahoe also put the Valley at immediate risk of inappropriate development and made it a top priority for conservationists.
The Conservation of Hope Valley
Between the late 1980s and 2000, the Trust for Public Land and Friends of Hope Valley teamed up to conserve nearly 25,000 acres in and around Hope Valley to protect sensitive habitat, maintain water quality, and expand opportunities for the public to enjoy this incredible landscape.
Stewardship and Recreation
Most of the land conserved in Hope Valley is now managed by the US Forest Service and the California Department of Fish & Game. That land includes high elevation wet meadow, montane chaparral, Jeffrey pine forest, and aspen-lodgepole pine forest communities. Wildlife species commonly seen here include mule deer, black bear, bobcat, blue grouse, northern goshawk, Clark’s nutcracker, and white-headed woodpecker. The West Fork of the Carson River also supports beaver and the occasional Sierra willow flycatcher, and is ideal habitat for Lahontan cutthroat trout.
Recreational opportunities abound in Hope Valley. During winter, the valley is a popular destination for backcountry and cross-country skiing. In the summer, the valley is known for excellent fly fishing, hiking, and birding. In fall, the impressive aspen groves that surround Hope Valley put on a stunning display.
Directions from Truckee
- Travel around Lake Tahoe to the intersection of Highway 50 and Highway 89 in South Lake Tahoe.
- Follow Highway 89 west and south, being careful to turn left (south) at Meyers.
- Hope Valley lies at the intersection of Highway 89 and Highway 88, approximately 14 miles south of Meyers.