Carson River Watershed

The Carson River is our lifeline connecting our communities.  Its precious water supports our Watershed’s environment, economy, and quality of life. The Carson River meanders 184 miles from the snow pack in California’s high Sierra through green alpine meadows, wide valleys, rock-lined canyons, cottonwood galleries, and high desert sage brush plateaus to the intermittent lake beds and wetlands in Nevada’s Carson Sink. The river basin’s natural resources have always attracted human settlement.  This is evidenced by the several rural and urban communities, tribal lands, irrigated agricultural areas, historic sites, parks, open space and recreation areas the river travels through and near.

A walk through the watershed

Carson River Watershed Map

There are approximately 3,965 square miles of land from which water drains into the river creating the Carson River Watershed. The river itself is terminal or endorheic, meaning it is one of a few rivers in the world that do not flow to an ocean.

Clear Creek Sub-Watershed Map

The Clear Creek Watershed is an area of about 13.5 square miles located east of Lake Tahoe and south of Carson City. It begins in the Carson Range near Spooner Summit at 8,780 feet elevation and flows along Highway 50, through the Carson City Fairgrounds and Fuji Park, and into the Carson River at 4,639 feet elevation. Clear Creek is a tributary to the Carson River and flows year round.  Click here for more information.