Carson City's California Trail Features Stunning Views

March 06, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

The California Trail goes through what is left of Lompa Ranch, which was one of the largest ranches in Carson City, before development has engulfed much of the city. It offers stunning views.

What is surprising (and this has nothing to do with the Lompa family) is how little space the city has chosen to purchase to set aside within the city proper. A tax measure was passed for the purchase of land on the outskirts of the city.

Within the city, Mills Park remains the largest city park, but it is infested with drug and alcohol issues, and I've heard more than one call about perverts at the park on my police scanner. I have yet to visit it, after visiting Carson City for 30 years and living here for three (and I walk and hike 5 to 20 miles a day, when weather and health allow).

The remaining part of Lompa Ranch that is used for cattle ranching would be a perfect park, should the family that owns it ever sells it. It would be much better as a park than more housing. The amount of housing possible on the acreage is minimal, so it wouldn't really hurt the amount of housing that is needed.

The California Trail that parallels this portion of the ranch offers stunning views of the Sierra Nevada, Slide Mountain and the foothills of Centennial Peak of the Virginia Mountain Range.

Carson Now has a little history about the ranch: "In 1936 Sam and Eva Lompa bought 820 acres and used it to raise sheep and cattle. Milk from their dairy farm went to creameries in the Carson Valley."

I took a spur to take these photos. The ranch has been divided between a variety of developments, including I-580 that runs through it now. I walked over the I-580 bridge and down East Fifth Street to take this photo. Can't do it when it snows, so I did it when I could.

While I'm critical of the city about several major issues, such as not being able to afford to properly pave its own streets despite allowing the city to develop like a mini-Los Angeles in terms of sprawl, I am not critical of the Lompa family and/or whomever owns the land now. Some of the ranchland was donated, including land to build Carson High School. That is to the family's credit. And, land is needed to house more families. That is obvious.

My criticism is with the city and the Board of Supervisors for successive generations that has not seen fit to create another park the size of Mills Park, even as the city has exponentially increased in size, as it looks more and more like the over-development that plagues Reno, Las Vegas and many areas of California.

My wife is a native of Carson City and her family is here. They've seen the changes through the years. While I cannot speak for them, it is obvious that haphazard development in Carson City reflects a lack of vision in many respects.


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