Hoof it with wild horses and get eagle-eyed over bald eagles.

By Jason Lopez

The Sierra is home to a vast array of wildlife, both in the sky and on land. And winter is prime time for wildlife viewing in Reno/Tahoe and beyond.

JT Humphrey
JT Humphrey

On land

One of your best bets for seeing wild horses in the U.S. is right here! You probably didn’t know the majority of wild horses in America live in Nevada, and the Virginia Mountain range, or “Virginia Range,” is where most of those mustangs roam free. A tour into the high desert environs of Nevada guided by Wild Horses of Nevada Photography in the Carson Valley and Dayton or Sonny Boy Tours in Reno is the way to go if you want an experience replete with expert knowledge of Nevada’s mustangs and the native ecosystem. wildhorsesofnevadaphoto.com; renowildhorsetours.com

You probably didn’t know the majority of wild horses in America live in Nevada.

January to April is a fantastic time to see Nevada’s wild horses because it’s cooler and the desert environment won’t bake you. If you’re venturing out without a guide, you have two solid options. Option 1: From Reno, take Interstate 80 eastbound to exit 22 at Lockwood and turn right onto Canyon Way. Mustangs frequent this road and the vicinity. Option 2: From Reno or Carson City, take Interstate 580 to State Route 341 towards Virginia City. For the next several miles and all the way to the Old West town of Virginia City, mustangs can be seen near the road and in the distance.

Wild Horse (Jason Lopez)
Wild Horse (Jason Lopez)

Wild horse and western landscape art lovers may find that special piece at Prism Photographics, located in Carson Valley. The gallery showcases art by world-renowned artist and local resident Joyce Pike. The rugged beauty of the local scenery and wild horses are main subject matter featured in Pike’s artwork. Another fine place to score beautiful Western art pieces is Wild Horse Gallery in Virginia City … you may even spot a wild horse, or two, around town. prismphotographics.com; facebook@wildhorsewesterndecor

In the sky

Carson Valley Eagles and Agriculture
Carson Valley Eagles and Agriculture

Have you ever seen a bald eagle in the wild? If not, the entire region offers chances to see this national emblem — especially during the winter months when they soar at lower elevations. The best place to get an eyeful of these majestic creatures is at the 18th annual Eagles & Agriculture event January 23 – 26, when bald eagles descend upon the Carson Valley to feed on the afterbirth produced during calving season at the area’s cattle ranches.

Have you ever seen a bald eagle in the wild? If not, the entire region offers chances to see this national emblem.

Take a guided tour with local photographer John T. Humphrey who specializes in wildlife imagery of eagles, wild horses, bears, wildcats and raptors. What an amazing way to capture the majestic beauty of a memorable trip in the Sierra. If you’re wanting to go explore on your own, head to historic Genoa. In Genoa, hop onto Genoa Lane/State Route 758 and take a drive heading east. In winter months, mainly late January to early February, bald eagles are often spotted in pastures along Genoa Lane. Don’t forget your camera! akawolf.zenfolio.com; carsonvalleynv.org

JT Humphrey
JT Humphrey

There’s no shortage of options for experiencing the exciting plethora of wildlife around Reno/Tahoe, so get roaming!

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