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Hiking and Fishing on the Carson River, Markleeville Airport

March, 2009

I had visited some remote hot springs along the East Fork of the Carson River many moons ago on a kayaking trip.   It looked like a fairly long hike from the Alpine county airport, but I thought I’d give it a try.   It is pretty far at about 10 or 12 miles roundtrip, but it turned out to be a nice cross country hike, in an area that is forested but open enough that you really don’t need trails to hike.   A GPS was VERY helpful, and don’t drop down to the river until you arrive right at the springs, or you will just have to hike back up when you get around the next bend (I know).  It is a very long hike (5 miles cross country feels much further than 5 miles on a trail) so be prepared.

The only disappointment is that I did it in the winter (sections of the river were frozen over), so I was looking forward to getting in the hot springs.  Which I did because they felt hot to my cold hands, but when I got in they turned out to be luke-warm springs.  Ug.  I found out that there are actually two or three different springs, so I should have kept hiking around the bend to the other ones.  I still don’t know if there are HOT springs there or not.

You can also just hike two miles down to the river from the airport for a hike or to fish.  You don’t have to do the long hike to the luke-warm springs, which no one will probably ever do since I’ve told that story.  Below is a map you can click on to enlarge.  It shows an old trail (red line) that goes down to the river.  I’ve heard of other that start from other end of the airport and just head down.  To reach the hot springs, head northeast up to the ridge, descend into the river drainage and just make your way downstream.

By the way, there are commercial hot springs in Markleeville at Grover Hot Springs State Park, which you could easily road bike to from the airport.

Topo of Alpine Airport and Carson River

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