There is a beauty in keeping the past alive, and if there is one county in Nevada that truly knows how to do this, it is none other than Carson Valley. Carson Valley, located about a hour south of Reno, 30 minutes from Lake Tahoe and 6 1/2 hours North of Las Vegas is often coined with having the “heart” of Nevada.
And how exactly do they preserve their history? One such way is through the V&T Railroad (Virginia and Truckee.) You can board the railroad from Carson City, Nevada and take a one way ticket to Virginia City, or vice versus. You can also do what we did in which we took a round trip way from Carson City to Virginia City leaving us a few hours to explore in Virginia City before heading back to Carson City for the evening.
Upon arriving to the boarding station, we went inside to receive our tickets and were met by this lovely lady:
Who was there to answer any questions we may have had about the experience, where to get our tickets, or any questions about Virginia and Truckee Railroad.
I knew, from this alone, that we were in for a one of a kind experience on the V&T Railroad. As you can see, they were very much dressing the part.
The 24 Mile Trip would take us approximately 1 1/2 hours to get from Carson City, Nevada to Virginia City, Nevada. Along the way you enter tunnels, see the remains from the mining eras, and much more, if you look closely all while the history is being narrated for you.
Once they began boarding, they would stamp our tickets one by one then we would choose our seats inside. The seats could switch back from one way to another so you could easily face each other if you were a family of 4 or more on the train. Suitcases and pictures decorated the train cars inside.
Once the train began moving we were even given a newspaper to read while we enjoyed the journey around us as they narrated the history of the mining towns.
By the time you arrive in Virginia City, you will already feel as if you’ve been taken back in time by the Railroad ride. 24 miles in 1 1/2 hours as you overlook the mining that happened all around the town.
Then you can truly begin to explore all that Virginia City has to offer and enjoy going back in time to America’s West. From taking in a live gun fight show for just a few dollars to having lunch by the bbq pit, or taking in a tour at Piper’s Opera House, or the Way it Was Museum. There’s a little something for everyone.
Or buy yourself some candy cigarettes at the local candy store or an ice cream cone treat as you browse through the various Wild West shops throughout the town.
Growing up in the Midwest, I knew a little bit about the American West, but to be able to experience first hand in Virginia City was a lot of fun. It was time to let go, and just be, and let the past revive you, for just the day. And that’s exactly what the ride on the V&T Railroad and the stop in Virginia City did for me.
After a few hours in Virginia City, we got back onto our railroad and headed back towards Carson City.
The schedule for the V&T Railroad runs through Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays:
Sisters in History Route: 24 Miles in 1 1/2 Hours
SCHEDULE: May 24 – October 19. Roundtrip: departs Carson City 10 am, arrives Virginia City 11:30 am; departs Virginia City 3 pm, arrives Carson City 4:20 pm
|Steam Sat and Sunday||Diesel Fridays|
|Child (12 and younger)||$32.00||$21.00||$22.00||$22.00|
One way trips- you must provide your own return transportation.
Jamie is a born and raised Minnesota Girl who has landed herself in California. She writes over at http://mngirlinla.com where she explores all things food, travel and wine.
Disclosure: I was invited out for a weekend to experience Carson Valley and V&T Railroad. All opinions and stories are my own.