Genoa Nevada

Genoa Nevada: 10 Reasons to Visit

Tucked into the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Genoa, Nevada should be added to your road trip bucket list. As part of Carson Valley, Genoa is located near Minden and Gardernville, Nevada just south of the state’s capital of Carson City. 

Historic Genoa, Nevada was established by Mormon traders in 1851 and is the home of Nevada’s oldest thirst parlor. 

Genoa is full of rustic charm, vibrant scenery, living history, and an abundance of wildlife. This hidden gem hidden in the mountains offers the best escape from our busy lives. 

David Walley’s Hot Springs

There are plenty of reasons to visit Genoa, Nevada, and David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort tops the list. This amazing resort offer spacious accommodations for families of any size. You’ll also find daily activities, a walking trail, volleyball court, a children’s playground, a game room, and the 1862 Restaurant & Saloon. 

Accommodations range from standard rooms to large 2-bedroom villas with a full kitchen and jacuzzi tub. Premium villas include an in room sauna. David Walley’s Resort also offers cottages. 

Find the perfect accommodations at David Walley’s Resort

Of course the highlight of the resort is David Walley’s Hot Springs. These historic mineral springs come from under the mountains and fill pools at the resort. It may look like a hot tub, but the 5 pools are filled with water from the hot springs and range in temperature from 98 degrees to 104 degrees. The bath house has a dry sauna and a steam room for ultimate experience. 

David Walley’s has an outdoor pool available seasonally from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Book your next family getaway at David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort.

david walley's hot springs

Mormon Station State Park

Visit Mormon Station State Historic Park is a replica of the original trading post established in 1851 by Mormon settlers from Salt Lake City. This was the first permanent, non-native settle in Nevada.

The park’s lush grounds make for a perfect picnic, bird watching, a nature walk, and a glimpse of how Nevada began. 

The museum was constructed as a replica of the original trading post that John Reese built. Open seasonally, admission is $1 and children under the age of 12 years are admitted free. 

Mormon Station Historic State Park Museum Hours (Seasonal)

May – September: Open daily, 10am – 4pm

October – April: Open Thursday – Monday, 11am – 3pm

The grounds of the park are open year round for your enjoyment. There is a walking path around the park that features exhibits showcasing the history of Genoa, Nevada. 

Visitors can enjoy the half-miles walking trail and outdoor exhibits including the Campbell Homestead and the Blacksmith Shop (circa 1908).

genoa nevada mormon station

Genoa Courthouse Museum 

The Genoa Courthouse Museum showcases exhibits that give you a look into the history of Genoa and its surrounding areas. You’ll find exhibits including The Washoe Room, Snowshoe Thompson, The Pone Express, along with a Victorian tea room, and furniture dating back to Genoa’s beginning. 

The Genoa Courthouse Museum is open May – October and closed in the winter. 

Genoa Historic District

Genoa, Nevada is rich in history and full of things to do, but in size the town is small, making exploring the Genoa Historic District an easy afternoon walk. 

Located in the historic district you will find Nevada’s oldest bar, Mormon Station Historic State Park, the Genoa Courthouse Museum and plenty of local shops and restaurants. 

The Genoa General Store offers locally made ice cream from a creamery in Minden, Nevada, light bites, fun souvenirs, and a full bar. You don’t want to miss the antique shopping, a delicious Italian bakery, or the Pink House that specializes in charcuterie. 

Genoa Bar and Saloon 

Built in 1853 and originally named Livingston Exchange, the Genoa Bar and Saloon is the oldest “thirst parlor” in Nevada. 

Open 11 years before Nevada became a state, the saloon has seen its share of famous folks through the years including Clark Gable (swoon), Teddy Roosevelt, John Wayne, Johnny Cash, Lauren Bacall, and Willie Nelson. Look closely and you’ll find Raquel Welch’s bra hanging in the bar. 

The Genoa Bar and Saloon was able to stay open and survive prohibition under the guise of a soda fountain. Don’t miss the legendary Bloody Mary while you soak up the Old West.

Genoa Trail System 

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy more than 16 miles of trails in Genoa, Nevada. Open to hikers, horses, mountain bikers, and dogs, these beautiful trails offer a little escape and a lot of fresh air. 

Featured Trails in Genoa

Genoa Loop: Winds through Genoa Canyon with tight switchbacks and steep drop offs. This is an advanced level trail and hikers should be prepared before taking on this trail. This loop is just over 8 miles long.

Eagle Ridge Loop: This trail is a 6.2 mile loop, but hikers can choose different routes for a shorter journey. There is a 1.5 mile loop for those looking for an easier trip with beautiful views. 

Sierra Canyon Trail: A 10-mile hike will take you to the Tahoe Rim Trail. A round-trip hike is 20 miles and hikers should plan ahead for an all day expedition. This trail has steep hills and hikers will experience a 4,000 foot change in elevation during the trip.

Discovery Trail: A 10-mile (round trip) hike through Genoa. 

Genoa Vista Trail: This paved trail is just over 1 mile and runs between David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort and Historic Genoa. 

Designated parking areas are available at the Eagle Ridge, Sierra Canyon, and Genoa Canyon trailheads. 

River Fork Ranch 

Owned by The Nature Conservancy, River Fork Ranch offers a trail system that loops through beautiful wetlands along a river. Two trails allow you to experience the park at your leisure.

East Brockliss Loop: Less than one mile, flat surface, easy walk with narrow boardwalks. 

West Fork Trail: Enjoy this 2 mile trail along the Carson River. The trail is a dirt road but wheelchairs and strollers should be able to use this trail. 

River Fork Ranch does not permit dogs. The conservation area is home to native bird, turtles, and frogs that you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of during your walk. 

genoa nevada river fork ranch

The Kingsbury Grade

Don’t miss the opportunity to take a scenic drive on the Kingsbury Grade. Originally a path for the Washoe Tribe to reach this lake, this road winds through the mountains with some of the most breath-taking view of Carson Valley. 

Genoa Western Heritage Days

Held annually at the end of April, Genoa Western Heritage Days is a festival you should add to your Nevada Bucket List. 

Follow Sammy in the Sierra for details on Carson Valley events including Genoa Western Heritage Days. 

Genoa Candy Dance

The dance that brought lights to Genoa dates back to 1919, this historic festival is held each year in September, and is a can’t miss event. 

Genoa Candy Dance 2023
September 23 – 24

Back in 1919, Genoa, Nevada needed street lights and the local ladies decided to hold a fundraiser to light the town. More than 100 years later, this annual festival continues to support the town of Genoa.

The annual event features more than 300 vendors offering arts and crafts, food, and activities. More than 30,000 people visit Genoa for the two-day festival every year. 

genoa nevada

A special thanks to the Carson Valley Visitors Authority for this amazing family vacation.

Genoa, Nevada Fun Facts

Movies filmed in Genoa:
Misery with James Caan
Till the River Runs Dry with Ann-Margaret
Honky Tonk Man with Clint Eastwood

First capital of Nevada
Until 1861, Genoa was the capital of the Nevada Territory when it was moved to Carson City. 

Nevada Firsts
Genoa, Nevada had the first hotel , newspaper and court in Nevada. 

Infamous Visitors
Baby Face Nelson, an infamous bank robber in the 1930s, hid out at Walley’s Hot Springs with his gang for a month. 

900 residents