All-terrain and off-highway thrills are around every corner in Virginia City, Nevada 

The story of Virginia City’s boomtown history is an exciting tale of risk takers, bandits and daring opportunists. Today’s Virginia City is marked with historic charm, but the adventure-seeking spirit still lives in the hills – and a new gold mine of trails and tracks that provide for all-terrain off-road excursions.

Located 22 miles (35 km) from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Virginia City and surrounding Gold Hill, Silver City and Dayton, are connected by old stagecoach roads, trails and expansive public lands. The mountainous high desert setting and open space is a playground for dirt biking, OHVs (Off Highway Vehicles), four-wheeling and off-road cycling.

50 Years of Full-Throttle Racing Heritage

The 50th annual Virginia City Grand Prix returns October 23 - 24, 2021 (photo courtesy of the Grand Prix)
The 50th annual Virginia City Grand Prix returns October 23 – 24, 2021 (photo courtesy of the Grand Prix)

The Virginia City Grand Prix is one of the largest and most competitive off-road motorcycles races in the west. The annual two-day event draws racers to the Comstock to battle the canyons and hills for glory and bragging rights. “Dust on the Comstock”documents Virginia City’s racing heritage, the difficult landscape and the challenge racers face each year. The 50th annual Virginia City Grand Prix returns October 23 – 24, 2021. More information can be found at VCGP.com.

When not lining up for guts and glory at the Grand Prix, riders are welcomed to test their skills on Virginia City’s fabled terrain, including steep drop-offs and climbs, technical trails and makeshift motocross tracks. Popular areas include Seven Mile Canyon, Jumbo Grade and Lousetown Road.

Off-Road to Historic Sites and Ancient Petroglyphs

The Lagomarsino Petroglyph site features more than 2,200 petroglyph panels tucked into rock faces.
The Lagomarsino Petroglyph site features more than 2,200 petroglyph panels tucked into rock faces.

There’s no better history lesson than roaring in the path of ancestors that traveled the land. Virginia City’s OHV roads were once stagecoach and mining trails that webbed throughout the famed Comstock Lode territory and 150-year-old trails. The pinnacle off-road history experience is an excursion to the ancient Lagomarsino Petroglyphs rock art site, one of Nevada’s largest petroglyph sites. Reno’s UTV Addiction offers guided tours to the site. Lagomarsino Canyon can also be enjoyed by personal OHVs or off-road vehicles, mountain bikes or on foot.

Earn Your Adventure

Virginia City is a cyclist’s hub for those in pursuit of self-powered journeys. Geiger Grade is a popular road cycling route that carries riders over a consistent grade from Reno to Virginia City. Once in Virginia City, cyclists can enjoy expansive views of the Carson Range, a pedal down historic C Street and stop at one of Virginia City’s many cafes and lunch spots.

Gravel and mountain bike riders can enjoy the same expansive OHV trails for an immersive off-road ride back in time. It’s easy for adventure cyclists to seek the road less traveled, discover cultural sites and witness mining artifacts; all while being comfortably close to the amenities of the nearby town. For more information on off-road cycling routes, visit online.

Virginia City is situated in a mountainous high desert climate. Off-roaders find abundant sunshine, and ideal trail conditions in the spring, summer and fall. Public lands span the area and offer endless opportunities for adventurous route planning, each with tales of Nevada’s statehood beginnings.

Source: Virginia City Tourism Commission

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