Skip to main content

U.S. Forest Service

Intermountain Region Viewing Area


Map of Dog Valley area.

Sierra Shooting star. Sierra Shooting star (Dodecatheon jeffreyi). Photo by Janel Johnson.

Dog Valley Ivesia. Dog Valley Ivesia (Ivesia aperta var. canina). Photo by Joanne Baggs.

meadow. Dog Valley Meadow. Photo by Janel Johnson.

Dog Valley

Forest: Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

District: Carson Ranger District

Description: Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Dog Valley provides excellent viewing of both wildflowers and flowering shrubs. Forest, meadows, and streams make up Dog Valley’s landscape, creating a cool and refreshing retreat for this popular recreation area. Dog Valley is also home to two rare plant species, Dog Valley ivesia and Webber’s ivesia. Dog Valley ivesia can only be found in Dog Valley. Other attractions include wildlife viewing and the Crystal Peak Mine, a popular spot for crystal-hounds.

Dog Valley offers a variety of opportunities to view wildflowers in the Jeffery pine forests and meadows. As you enter Dog Valley from Verdi, you will see the recovery from the 1994 Crystal Fire with displays of mahala mat, silvery lupine, and chokecherry. Explore the openings in the forest with extensive displays of mule’s ear, balsamroot, buckwheats, paintbrushes, yampah, bitterbrush, bare-stem desert parsley, and manzanita. Walking around, it is easy to enjoy the smaller, less visible flowers, including collomia, prairie star flower, and blue-eyed Mary. Wetter areas have displays of shooting stars, delphinium, and Rydberg’s penstemon.

Best Viewing Times: The best time to visit is June and July.

Safety First: Creeks and streams can cross the road. Be careful when crossing water and watch for washed-out portions of the road. The road can be very muddy. California OHV registration is required for all vehicles. Campfire permits are also required in California and can be obtained from the Carson District Office or the campground host.

Directions: Dog Valley is easily accessed from the west side of Reno off Interstate 80 by taking the Verdi exit. After exiting, follow the road for about 2.6 miles to Bridge Street. Turn right on Bridge Street and proceed up the hill. Cross the two narrow bridges that run over the river. As you pass over the second bridge, you will see Dog Valley Road on your right. Turn right and again proceed up the hill. About a mile up the road, you will see the Forest Service signs indicating you are entering the Forest. Follow the 002 Road to see the best displays of wildflowers. The road continues to Bordertown.

To access Dog Valley from the north, take exit 83 from Highway 395 at Bordertown. Turn south off Exit 83 and proceed to the stop sign. Turn right (northwest) at the stop sign and continue past the Bordertown parking lot to the next stop sign. After stopping, follow the paved road. You will cross over railroad tracks. Continue following the paved road south for about 0.4 miles. Here, the road turns to gravel and then starts to curve to the south paralleling the railroad tracks. You should see a Forest sign where the road forks. Stay to the right and follow the road the Forest boundary in about two miles.

Ownership and Management: The area is managed by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. If you continue to Henness Pass, you will enter the Tahoe National Forest.

Closest Town: Verdi, Nevada, which is about 15 miles west of Reno.

For Other Information: