Hiking and Fishing on the Carson River, Markleeville Airport

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.  Just start from the south end of the campground and head down.  To reach the hot springs, head northeast up to the ridge from the runway, 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.  The challenge, is biking back after soaking in the hot springs!

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