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Carson City District - Sierra Front Field Office

Silver Saddle Ranch

A little slice of old rural Nevada along the banks of the Carson River

Day Use Area Logo Hiking Logo Wildlife Viewing Logo

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) completed a land exchange with Perma-Built Homes and the American Land Conservancy in September 1997, to transfer the private Silver Saddle Ranch into public ownership. The ranch, located in the southeastern part of Carson City off Carson River Road, encompasses 702 acres that run along the east and west banks of the Carson River. The ranch now connects public lands on Prison Hill and the Pine Nut Mountains.

Once proposed as a location for residential development, the ranch is considered a key piece of property by Carson City residents and the BLM for maintaining open space and recreational and educational opportunities while preserving part of the natural Carson River environment. It is a great place to hike, bird-watch and soak up a rural experience that is fast disappearing in much of western Nevada.

Silver Saddle Ranch is now open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Motorized vehicle access is restricted to designated roads. Water and restrooms are available. A BLM caretaker lives on-site and closes the gates promptly at 5:00 p.m.

Silver Saddle Ranch (SSR) Information

General Rules Handout for Silver Saddle Ranch

Do You Need a Permit to Reserve SSR Facilities or to Conduct a Special Event, Meeting or Activity?

Event/Activity Questionaire to Attach to a Registration Application

Special Recreation Application and Permit (SF 1930-1)

The Friends of Silver Saddle Ranch (FOSSR), a volunteer group that conducts interpretive programs and restoration/maintenance projects throughout the year at Silver Saddle, welcomes new members.  They can be reached via e-mail at:

Is Silver Saddle Ranch Going to Transfer from the BLM to Carson City? 

Congress directed transfer of Silver Saddle Ranch and federal public lands along the Carson River, including the existing Prison Hill Recreation Area (approximately 3,604 acres), subject to the reservation of a conservation easement, to Carson City under the authority of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-11, Section 2601).

BLM, acting through the Secretary of the Interior and in consultation with Carson City and affected local interests, has reserved a perpetual conservation easement to protect, preserve and enhance the conservation values of the property, and to see that Carson City protects the Carson River, floodplain and surrounding uplands and wildlife habitat.  The conservation easement was signed on December 22, 2010.

Development of the conservation eastment was guided by the results of a planning and design charette completed in December 2008, entitled Creating a Community Vision: Silver Saddle Ranch and the Carson River.  

Though the actual transfer of these lands is not anticipated until sometime in 2011, when the transfer does occur Carson City may use the property for undeveloped open space, passive recreation, customary agricultural practices and wildlife protection.  Carson City may construct and maintain trails and trailhead facilities, conduct fuels reduction projects, maintain or reconstruct any improvements on the property that were in existence on March 31, 2009, and allow the use of motorized vehicles on designated roads, trails and areas in the south end of Prison Hill.

BLM and Carson City have mutually agreed that the conservation values also include protection of natural resources, preservation of the property for solitude and nature observation, maintaining the green irrigated pastures and hay fields of Silver Saddle Ranch, protecting scenic resources including the preservation of dark skies, protecting cultural resources including the historic structures at Silver Saddle Ranch, promoting environmental education and interpretation, allowing public access, promoting the quality of life, and safety and tourism.  

More information on the actual transfer of these lands to Carson City will be posted here as it becomes available.

Photo of the Red House at Silver Saddle Ranch.
The Red House at Silver Saddle Ranch is headquarters for this unique piece of public land within the boundaries of Carson City, Nevada. The site is popular for hiking, birding and picnicking.