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Here is a list of some great activities to do around Kirkwood.
- Use the Kirkwood outdoor facilities:
- Tennis Court
- Playground (the kids can walk there from the house in two minutes)
- Go for a boat ride on Caples Lake
- Check out the other nearby lakes (Lake Kirkwood, Silver Lake)
- See the spectacular Potholes, next to Silver Lake
- Go 100 feet underground at the awesome Black Chasm Cave (National Monument site, run by National Park Service)
- You are in gold country- take the Sutter Gold Mine Tour
- Visit the Nevada State Museum in Carson City - check out the historic slot machines and ghost-town / mine exhibit
- Ride the V&T Railroad to Virginia City
- Just relax and enjoy the intense wildflowers and beauty of the Kirkwood valley
- Go to South Lake Tahoe
- Walk the local hiking trails
|Kirkwood Outdoor Facilities|
|Just across the street is a full set of tennis and basketball courts. Also, next to that is a very well equipped kids playground with swings, mini-rock climbing wall, bars, slides- enough to keep the kids busy in the summer. In the summer you can hike the trails on the national forest land right behind the house, or take the lifts up the mountain. You will find abundant wildflowers and many running creeks all summer long.|| |
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Caples Lake is one mile East of Kirkwood on HWY88. You can park at the dam and join the anglers for a morning of fishing.
Or rent a canoe or small outboard boat to check out the many small rocky islands.
- Boating information at capleslakeresort.com
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The Potholes is truly a highlight around Kirkwood! It is an easy hike along the American river, taking you
along a spectacular series of channels and small rapids carved by the river as it winds down from Silver Lake. There isn't a dull
moment to this walk - it is great for kids, but keep an eye on them near the rapids. It is about a mile walk to reach the highlight - a
stretch of deeply carved pot-holes dug into the granite rock by the river current.
Head West on Hwy 88 to Silver Lake. The path starts just before the sign marked Keyes Road on the right as you go West. Park near the boat launch next to Keyes Road, then carefully cross Hwy 88 at the Keyes Road sign. The hiking path begins to the right of the green barricade. First you walk part way down the hill towards the dam. Look for a walking path on the left before you reach the dam - then follow the path along the river and have a great time.
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|Black Chasm Cave|
This cave is packed with amazing mineral formations. You take a ranger guided tour down about 200 stairs into several
large rooms and through some narrow natural hallways. There is a bright blue lake at the bottom, although well below where visitors
can walk. The cave is exceptional for its anount of Helictite formations, tendril formations of calcite and aragonite which appear to defy
gravity as they twist off the walls. There is also a cool looking "zen" garden at ground level where hydraulic mining washed off the
soil from rock formations a century ago.
Black Chasm is located near the town of Volcano. It is about one hour West of Kirkwood down HWY88, between Pioneer and Pine Grove.
- Cave Information at http://www.caverntours.com
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|Sutter Gold Mine|
Sutter Gold Mine was a full scale gold mine operation. It has been out of production for some time, but they are trying to get a permit
to restart production. When you start the tour you have to put on a hardhat since you will get on a wide diesel transport vehicle for a
drive about 500 feet vertical into the mine. You will see the drilling tools used over the history of the mine, zones where quartz
veins have been blasted out to collect the gold and the underground emergency command room. It was cool! When you are back to the
surface you can pan for gold or mineral stones. [Note: in 2012 production has restarted, and tours are now not available.]
Sutter Gold Mine near the town of Sutter Creek. It is very close to Black Chasm, both about an hour drive west of Kirkwood. Sutter is very close to the town of Jackson on HWY88.
- Mine Information at http://www.caverntours.com
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|Nevada State Museum - Carson City|
Worth the hour drive to Carson City from Kirkwood. The ghost town and mine exhibit was fun and it evokes the real places.
There is a cool set of antique slot machines from the early days of one arm bandit gambling. There is a great collection of minerals
and rocks. The museum is housed in the building of the former US mint which converted tons of locally mined gold and silver into US coins.
Of course many of those coins are on display.
After you see the museum we recommend walking a few blocks down to 311 N Carson Street for The Basil, a Thai restaurant. For about $10 you can lunch on the very tasty Pad See Eew Noodles, or many other lunch specials. The NV State Museum is located at 600 North Carson Street. It is a few blocks north of the state capitol buildings and park which is nice to visit too.
- Museum Information at museums.nevadaculture.org
- Restaurant Information at www.thebasilrestaurant.com
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There is plenty of hiking around Kirkwood. You can walk out the door take a few steps up the hill and be in the El Dorado National Forest.
If you head past the playground you enter the Kirkwood Meadow. In the summer the creek runs gently, and you can scamper from rock to rock, taking
in the wildflowers. Or for more hiking pick one the of trails on the trail map below. Click the image to get the pdf file.
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