New Hiking Trail Near Carson City Opens to the Public - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

New Hiking Trail Near Carson City Opens to the Public

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The waterfall area in Kings Canyon in Carson City is extremely popular with hikers. 

"It's really unique that it's a year-round free flowing waterfall and here we are in the driest state in the country and it's the only waterfall in Carson City. It's a beautiful place, great destination,” says Roger Moellendorf, Director of Carson City Parks and Recreation.

But increased visits to the open space have degraded the land and jeopardized the city's water supply.

Rit Palmer, Water Operations Supervisor for Carson City Public Works explains, "The trail used to be literally on top of the creek, walking right alongside it and above it and there's a lot of rock and loose dirt and all that was falling into the water and creating a lot of turbidity in there."

So, the Parks and Rec. Department joined forces with dozens of government agencies, businesses and volunteers to build a new trail and safeguard the waterfall. Protected, the water is so pure it requires very little processing before it is delivered to the residents of Carson City.

"You know when this was the old west, part of the Quill Ranch, there was just a reservoir and back then, before there was treatment processes, the water was just drank directly, it was that clean- and it still is," says Palmer.

At the trailhead stands a memorial to firefighters who lost their lives there during the Kings Canyon Fire in 1976. For Nevada Division of Forestry Fire Captain Emory Paul, it holds memories of time spent with his dad, also a firefighter.  "He used to take me up here when I was a child, as far back as I can remember and actually his two best friends were killed out here, that's John Ivins and Kenny Carvin," says Paul.

A more recent fire maybe what most people remember, says  Moellendorf: "Also this was near the ignition point of the 2004 Waterfall Fire, so it has a history of fire, a history of fire that has impacted our community." 

All the more reason to take extra precautions and when hiking or camping in the area say the experts. 

The Kings Canyon/Waterfall Trailhead  is located just outside of Carson City's downtown, where West King Street turns into Kings Canyon Road. It is now open to the public.
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