Carson Desert
Timothy H. O'Sullivan's portable studio in the Carson Desert in 1867.
Area2,150 sq mi (5,600 km2) [1]
CountryUnited States
Regioncentral Lahontan subregion of the Great Basin
Borders onN: Humboldt Basin
E: Central Nevada Desert Basins
S: Walker River Basin
W: Middle Carson Watershed
NW: northern Lahontan subregion
Coordinates39°58′48″N 118°50′28″W / 39.980°N 118.841°W / 39.980; -118.841

The Carson Desert is a desert in the Lahontan Basin and the desert valley of Churchill County, Nevada (U.S.), which receives an average 5 inches (130 mm) annual precipitation.[2] The desert is the low valley area (including the Carson Sink in the north of the valley) between the adjacent mountain ranges,[3] while the larger watershed includes the interior slopes of the demarcating ranges.[4] The desert was inundated by Lake Lahontan during the Pleistocene, and the watershed became part of Nevada's Conservation Security Program in 2005.[5]


  1. ^ "Boundary Descriptions and Names of Regions, Subregions, Accounting Units and Cataloging Units". Retrieved 2010-05-29. (EPA List of Huc Codes: Nevada)
  2. ^ "Best Places to Live in Churchill County, Nevada". Sperling's Best Places ( County, NV, gets...inches of rain per year Utah
  3. ^ "Carson Sink Basin". Surface Water Supply of the United States. 1907. p. 155. Retrieved 2010-11-29. Carson Sink lies in Churchill County, Nev., in the northern part of Carson Desert. ... In 1908 Carson Sink was mapped by the topographers of the United States Geological Survey as a permanent water body, 12 miles (19 km) long by 12 miles broad, receiving Carson River on the south. The drainage line from Humboldt Lake to the sink was marked as an intermittent river. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  4. ^ "Carson Desert Watershed". Surf Your Watershed. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2010-11-29. (Churhill County watersheds
  5. ^ "Rewarding the Best: Conservation Security Program Helps Nevada Agricultural Producers". Lahontan Valley Environmental Alliance ( Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2010-11-29. Nevada's designated CSP watersheds are the Carson Desert, Pine, Walker, and Warner Lakes.