Welcome back to another season of Exploring Our Backyard, brought to you by Sprad's RV.
To kick things off this summer, we're taking a trip on railbike through the Carson Canyon with Carson Canyon Railbike Tours and Freedom Rail. The attraction opened in August 2020 and reopened for the season in April. It will run through October.
"This is an amazingly unique experience to Northern Nevada," spokesperson Molly Ellery said. "Right now, there are other rail bike operations throughout the nation, but I don't think there's one as unique and historic as this one. Not only do you get to appreciate the amazing Nevada landscapes, you might see some wild horses on the way, but you get to utilize the railroads that have been under-utilized for many years in an amazing way."
So you may be wondering what a railbike is. It's pretty much a normal bicycle but instead of sitting, holding on and pedaling, you're sitting down with your feet, extended pedaling and using the railroad tracks to guide you. The Freedom Rail bikes seat four people and a tour guide will ride behind you in a separate bike. The ride is suitable for ages 4 and older who are capable of pedaling for an extended period of time since the ride is 70 -90 minutes long. There is a motor on the bike (thankfully), which helped when coming out of the canyon since there's a bit of grade. Otherwise, I thought it was fairly easy to pedal with just two other riders with me.
It was neat exploring this hidden deserted area in the Carson City region and to take a ride through the desert in such a unique way. We stopped halfway through at the historic Eureka Mill and you can see the Carson River flowing through the area. On the way back, you'll go over Highway 50 and turn around at the Halfway House, which is another historic landmark along the V&T railroad. Growing up in Southern Nevada, it's always amazing to me seeing some of the hidden gems in our state and that it's more than just a bunch of desert and tumbleweed.
During the summer, tours operate Wednesday-Sunday at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm. It's recommended to book ahead of time. At $45 per person, it's a great way to spend an afternoon with the family or a large group. To get tickets, click here.