In need of summer plans but don’t know what to do? Lower Carpenter Valley is the place to visit. It opened to the public in 2020 during the pandemic offering a new place for people to explore. The good news is that it’s still open. Below is information about the valley and what there is to do. Click here to go to the site and read the regulations before you visit.
Information About the Valley
Lower Carpenter Valley includes wet meadow, freshwater emergent wetland, riverine, red firs, lodgepole pine, and mixed-conifer forest. It supports wildlife species including black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, and various bird species, and is a summer range for the Loyalton-Truckee deer herd. Several special-status species are likely found in Carpenter Valley including willow flycatcher, wolverine, mountain yellow-legged frog, and Pacific fisher. (Source)
Given its size, healthy geomorphic condition, and hydrologic regime, Carpenter Valley retains a large quantity of runoff from the Sierra Crest. During the summer, the meadow feeds Prosser Creek with clean, cold water, which sustains high-quality aquatic habitat in Prosser Creek and the Truckee River. It is, in short, an example of how a subalpine Sierra meadow should work. Federal and state officials have identified the North Fork of Prosser Creek that bisects the meadow as ideal for the recovery of native Lahontan cutthroat trout. (Source)
What To Do in Lower Carpenter Valley
The 2.75-mile trail wanders above Prosser Creek on the edge of the forest and meadow, with long stretches of boardwalk to help protect the sensitive meadow habitat. Keep an eye out for beaver in the creek, many species of flowers and migrating birds in the meadow, and the always-impressive sandhill crane. The trail re-joins the dirt road for a short period of time to avoid private property. (Source)
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Photo and Article Credit: Land Trust, Truckee Donner. “Lower Carpenter Valley.” Truckee Donner Land Trust, https://www.truckeedonnerlandtrust.org/lower-carpenter-valley.