Twenty-one Recreation Activities, hundreds of Central Sierra Nevada opportunities
Within Sierra Outdoor Recreation's backyard, over 225 recreation trails thread through the Central Sierra Nevada of California. Hikers clamor over footpaths to hundreds of high-mountain lakes or follow awesome canyons ever deeper into the heart of the backcountry. Mountain biking fanatics have chosen their favorite trails. So have equestrian trail riders. Devoted off-road vehicle fans explore every primitive road and have adopted dozens of designated routes. Scenic drives, popular with families, follow highways and secondary roads. Over 135 campgrounds and picnic sites are spread throughout the region and provide cherished camping locations close at hand to hundreds of recreational opportunities.
Winters can be hot in the Central Sierra Nevada. We're not just talking about sipping a mug of hot chocolate in front of a crackling fire after a day of winter activities. Not even hot buttered rum. We're talking snow - lots of it: Skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, snowmobiling-snow.
The original downhill ski development in the Sierra Nevada began here over 60 years ago. North America's largest cross-country ski resort is only minutes from there. The Central Sierra Nevada now sports the greatest concentration of ski resorts in California.
Commercial ski resorts number in the dozens. The skiable terrain blankets thousands of acres.
"Groomed snowmobile trails in the back-country stretch over two hundred miles."
Ski-able public lands numbers in the hundreds of thousands of acres. Groomed snowmobile trails in the back-country stretch over two hundred miles. Thousands more miles beckon as they follow the unbroken snow of roads awaiting the adventurous skier, snowshoer, or snowmobiler. Over half of California's Sno-Parks that provide snow-cleared parking areas in the heart of the Sierra Nevada's high country are here within the Central Sierra.
Mother Nature looks great in white. Favorite mountain peaks draw summer enthusiasts. They become winter favorites too: Sierra Buttes, Mount Lola, Basin Peak, Castle Peak, Mount Anderson as well as their brothers and sisters take on a whole new mystique. From afar they are inspiring. For the most avid winter enthusiasts they are a challenge that can only be experienced up close. Extremely close.
This is California country for fishing hundreds of crystalline lakes or dropping a hand-tied fly into a quiet pool resting between frothy white rapids loved by whitewater thrill seekers. Dozens of reservoirs are treasured by boating buffs for the rush of water skiing, windsailing, or angling for trophy-sized fish, and seeking tranquil retreats for flatwater paddling with canoes or sleekly designed kayaks -- even underwater diving. The granitic and volcanic backbone of the Sierra Nevada offers hundreds of rock climbing routes renowned by climbing enthusiasts.
Historic sites, dotted across the landscape, tell the story of our love of this area. Gold panning is still popular long after California's Gold Rush and areas have been set aside for recreational prospecting. Hunting is a way of life for many devotees who know this is the area for deer, bear, and wild turkeys.
Hiking, mountain biking, equestrian trail riding and off-road vehicle (especially motorized trail bikes) activities can occur year around: high-country in summer and fall, foothills and lower canyon country during winter and spring. Family hikes, interpretive trails, American Disability Act rated trails suitable for wheelchairs, as well as extremely challenging trails are all detailed in Sierra Outdoor Recreation.
Whitewater rafting and kayaking is best in late winter and spring when snow melt is at its highest. Canoeing and flatwater kayak paddling is just the opposite: summer and fall. Late summer and fall drawdown in the reservoirs discourages many paddling and motor boat opportunities.
Fishing the high-country lakes is best in spring just after ice break or again in the fall, but summer days can be fantastic, too. Rivers and streams are best when waters are cool in the spring and fall. The North Yuba and upper North Fork American Rivers are affected less by summer warming.
Deer hunting are fall days designated by the California Department of Fish and Game.
Gold Panning is best after spring runoff diminishes. Underwater diving is preferred once the lakes clear after spring runoff and through fall. Rock climbing enthusiasts enjoy their sport early summer through fall. Scenic driving on the four routes is limited by snow with the exception of the Yuba-Donner Scenic Byway, which remains open year around.
"...for the rush of water skiing, windsailing, or angling for trophy-sized fish, and seeking tranquil retreats..."
When we're looking for comfortable or plush accommodations, home cookin' or fine dining, basic services or equipment or repairs, we know local towns are eager to help us. We frequent the communities of Nevada City, Grass Valley, Downieville, Sierra City, Sierraville, Loyalton, Graeagele, Truckee, and Auburn as well as numerous smaller towns that enjoy vying for playing host to visitors' needs.