History – Art – Heritage
The route passes through the ancestral homeland of the Washoe people, the first inhabitants of this region. Washoe people currently living in northern Nevada are proud of their culture and heritage, and visitors can learn more about the Washoe experience by visiting the museums in Gardnerville and Carson City.
The Washoe way of life was changed forever when the 1849 California gold rush brought 40,000 foreigners through the pristine Carson Valley. The route follows the old California Trail and the Pony Express route as it passes through the picturesque town of Genoa (“Nevada’s Oldest Settlement”) and the state capitol, Carson City, home of the US Mint during the Comstock era.
In Reno, the culture has a unique flavor in the ArtTown District, where original art inhabits every street corner. The neon casino-culture is an experience that won’t be found on the cobblestone streets of Europe. But pilgrims can get a taste of Spain at one of the Basque restaurants in Gardnerville or Reno, or by attending the annual Basque Festival in Reno.