East Fork of the Carson River

There are three segments of the East Fork of the Carson River, located in Alpine County, California that have been determined eligible for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Collectively, all three segments total approx. 4.5 miles.

Find out more about other wild and scenic rivers on the State National Conservation Lands page or on the wild and scenic rivers program page.

Outstandingly Remarkable Values


This stretch of the East Fork of the Carson River supports rafting, kayaking and canoeing though two of the segments contain premium white water, used by commercial and private rafters. All segments attract fly fishers as it is a popular wild and hatchery raised trout fishery.


The scenery along the river traverses a variety of ecosystems. There is pristine scenery as the river descends the east slope of the Sierra through a granite canyon and coniferous forests to sagebrush covered foothills and desert canyons. The inventory team evaluated the area and assigned the scenic quality classification of “A”.


The gorge of the East Fork of the Carson River was formed by an 18-mile long glacier at the base of 11,500 foot Sonora Peak that scoured the canyon, leaving behind riverine terraces with round boulders as it melted. Caves, formed by volcanic lava tubes are located on the west side of the river.


Lahontan cutthroat trout, a federally threatened fish species, are found here. These segments are within a stretch of the river which has been designated by the California Fish and Game Commission as Wild Trout Waters.  This designation provides anglers an opportunity to fish in aesthetically pleasing and environmentally productive waters with trout populations whose numbers or sizes are largely unaffected by the angling process. The segment supports both wild and hatchery stocked populations of Lahontan cutthroat trout, coastal rainbow trout and brown trout.


  • Length: 4.5 miles
  • Classification: Eligible
  • These segments have been identified as eligible in the draft BLM Carson City Resource Management Plan.

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Carson District Office
5665 Morgan Mill Road,
Carson City, NV 89701