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FREE Guided Hikes around Lake Tahoe

Hiking season has arrived and Reno Tahoe is home to one of the most pristine trails in the world – the Tahoe Rim Trail. And there’s no better way to explore the wonders of the 165-mile route than to join the Tahoe Rim Trail Association on a FREE guided tour. With hikes ranging from 2 miles to 16-mile overnight excursions, there’s something for everybody, no matter your experience. Discover this fun and easy way to exercise, socialize and visit beautiful vistas overlooking Lake Tahoe.

runnerThursday, June 28 & Saturday, July 21 – Deuter and Tahoe Mountain Sports Pack Testing Trek (6.5 miles) – Are you in the market for a new pack? Deuter and Tahoe Mountain Sports are sponsoring this fun gear-testing trek. Demo packs of all shapes and sizes; from small, light hydration haulers to daypacks and expedition size packs. Travel from the Mt. Rose trailhead to Galena Falls where the wildflowers are in full bloom and enjoy a sponsored snack, pack fitting discussion and photo opportunities before returning to the trailhead. All participants will receive a cool piece of gear from Deuter and Tahoe Mountain Sports!

Friday, July 6 – Van Sickle Family Friday Hike (2.2 miles) – The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS) and the Tahoe Rim Trail Association are sponsoring this fun, family friendly interpretive hike each Friday in July. Participants will enjoy interesting facts about the history, flora and fauna of Van Sickle State Park and Tahoe. This is the perfect hike for families.

Additional hikes are scheduled for:

  • July 13
  • July 20
  • July 27

Friday, July 6 – Tahoe Mountain Sports Leave No Trace Sunset Family Hike (3 miles) – Tahoe Mountain Sports, the Leave No Trace Center for Ethics and the Tahoe Rim Trail Association are teaming up for a fun and educational hike that will include interactive Leave No Trace activities, night hike games and prizes for the entire family. Tahoe Mountain Sports will also provide a variety of headlamps to demo. Bring your dinner for a sunset picnic on a ridge overlooking lovely Lake Tahoe!

Tuesday, July 17 – Hawley Grade History Hike (6 miles) – Journey into the past and explore a portion of the original trans-Sierra emigrant route and Pony Express trail through the Sierra.  Learn a little of the history of the early settlers as you hike from the Tahoe Valley floor near Meyers and climb to the junction with the Tahoe Rim Trail just past Echo Pass.

Saturday, July 21 – Big Meadow to Echo Summit Backpack (about 8 miles/day) – Complete a beautiful segment of the Tahoe Rim Trail on this overnight backpack trip led by experienced guides. Beginning at Big Meadow trailhead, this hike will follow a scenic journey through wildflower covered meadows and past the shady shores of Round Lake. Participants will enjoy an overnight camp at picture perfect Showers Lake. Hikers must be in very good physical shape and able to carry a backpack weighing 25-35lbs plus some group supplies.

Monday, July 30 – PCT Travels the TRT (7 miles) – The Tahoe Rim Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail share more than 20 miles in Desolation Wilderness. Hike the rocky terrain of both trails to Lake Aloha from the Upper Echo Lake, where you will ride a water taxi. Lake Aloha has a unique landscape with windblown trees and small flat, rock islands. Enjoy snacks and lunch on the rocky shores of Lake Aloha before returning to the Echo Chalet. Fees: $20 cash for water taxi/person, as well as cash for ice cream and a cold drink at Echo Chalet after the hike.

Be sure to register in advance for these summer hikes. Online registration is now required for all TRTA programs and can be completed on the TRTA website at www.tahoerimtrail.org. For more information call 775-298-0012 or email Jaime at jaimes@tahoerimtrail.org.

For more summer adventures on the endless trails in Reno Tahoe, check out our hiking page.

7 Reasons Visitors are Rushing to Visit Reno Tahoe’s Outdoors BEFORE a Snowstorm Hits

We’ve all heard it… Pray For Snow, Pray for Snow, Pray For Snow. And we’ll be the first ones to admit some snow would be nice (hence our Snow Dance Competition where we’re giving away a 2-Night Ski Vacation to the best snow dance in order to increase the frequency of snow… Mother Nature, are you watching?), but we must share the numerous upsides for a delayed ski season that have been compelling visitors to come before snow coats our mountains for the remainder of winter. 

2350526924_309d26f1ce[1]Last weekend a visitor told us they skied, mountain biked and golfed in the same day – that’s pretty awesome. 

1.       Learn to ski. Let’s face it, if you’re a first-timer, you aren’t going to be dropping 10-foot lips that require a snow pillow for landing, and you aren’t skiing in waist deep powder through the trees. The freshly groomed runs paired with endless blue skies create the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing day on the slopes.  Plus, January is National Learn to Ski Month so resorts are offering massive discounts to first-timers!

2.       Golf. Our courses pride themselves on being open all year long, so hit them up! We have 50 within 90 minutes of downtown Reno, most of which are inside 15 minutes.

3.       Hike. It’s a rare occasion that our trails are hikeable this time of year without strapping on snowshoes.  See what’s usually hiding underneath all that snow!

4.       Rock climb. Climbers know their grips are easier to hold when it’s cold out. So what are you waiting for?

6033352153_1136b13bee[1]5.       Mountain bike. The trail conditions are excellent right now, so grab a friend and escape into the towering pines in the Sierra Mountains. 

6.       Ice skate. Enjoy this chilly wintertime activity, without the chill.

7.       Perfect road conditions. No moisture, no snow, no ice, no sliding. It’s faster and easier than ever to get here!

Nevada Magazine: Reno-Tahoe Territory Special Edition

The newest issue of Nevada Magazine features the one and only, Reno Tahoe! We couldn’t help but share these breath-taking images and well written articles on our favorite destination. Features in the magazine include the area’s top ski resorts (including the largest ski resort in the US!), the Black Rock Desert beyond Burning Man (their photos will wow you), lakes, parks, towns, venues…. everything you’d want to know!

Want your own copy? Take advantage of Groupon’s 50% off deal through 10/22! http://www.groupon.com/deals/nevada-magazine-2 .

For all those who simply want to read the articles without flipping through the virtual magazine, you can check them out here http://www.nevadamagazine.com/issues/.

FIVE FUN WAYS TO DISCOVER RENO

For some, Reno, Nevada is known for the same vibrant nightlife and gambling outlets as Las Vegas – but on a smaller and more intimate scale. Obvious tourist attractions include shopping, restaurants, singers, comedians and magic shows. But beyond the slot machines and flashing lights, there is a plethora of family-fun activities available.

Go just a short distance out of town though and you will find a treasure trove of non-gambling alternatives that are great for all ages. Here are five family-friendly activities you may want to consider for your next vacation to Reno, Nevada.

Lake Activitieslake tahoe

Anglers prize the Reno area for some of the best fly-fishing territory around. You can visit one of the many tackle shops in the area for maps of private and public lakes and river access areas. If you are interested in having a true fisherman’s experience, consider taking a class or attending one of the fly tying clinics and tie your own. There is nothing like catching that two-pound trout on a bumblebee you created with your own two hands.

Only 40 miles from Reno is famous Lake Tahoe, which offers spectacular views, clear mountain air and ample fishing holes for privacy or group activities. Guides are available, or you can pack a picnic basket, quilt and fishing gear and head off on your own for an adventurous day on the water. If you have always wanted “to land that BIG one,” consider visiting Pyramid Lake. This lake proudly boasts they have the largest Cutthroat Trout.

Whether you choose Pyramid Lake, Truckee River, Lake Tahoe or one of the other streams, lakes and rivers near Reno, prepare yourself for a day filled with awesome scenery and relaxing outdoor fun.

Hiking and Trailsclimbing

Many people think you have to go to Lake Tahoe to enjoy hiking trails that offer hikers challenging terrain. Not true! There are numerous trails in Reno parks and just on the outskirts of the city.  Hikers and trail watchers can find easy, moderate and challenging trails to test their skills and that will suit a variety of levels of physical fitness. You will find short trails that start at about 600 feet and have a gentle slope and more challenging trails that test your endurance.

About eight miles out of town in the gorgeous Sierra Mountains that surround Reno, Nevada, you will find the Tahoe Rim Trail in Galena Regional Park. This trail offers a loop that is just over 9 miles of moderate to mostly steep climbing. Hikers can expect to see desert terrain covered with sage, pine, juniper bushes and the occasional waterfall. Bring lots of film or extra chips for the camera. The views are breathtaking. And remember to pack plenty of water and a few energy bars or a lunch.

Golfgolf

If golf is your game–Reno, Nevada is your destination. There are over 50 golf courses within 90 miles of Reno proper. The PGA stops in Reno for the Reno-Tahoe Open, so you know the greens are great. No matter what your level of expertise, you will be able to find a course to fit your skill. Private lessons are available at most of the courses through resident pros and through guest pass arrangements. Since the high altitude gives golfers a natural advantage, you can expect to hit the ball further with every stroke. Get ready to play the lowest score of your life. If you’re a family with younger kids that aren’t ready for the big green yet, check out the many mini-golf options in the area.

Explore the Pastmuseum

For a relaxing day with some educational benefits, consider visiting one of the numerous museums in Reno. You can find museums dedicated to a variety of topics. An automobile museum, a museum dedicated to Disney and many others call Reno home. The Wilbur D. May museum is an adventure the entire family can enjoy. The artifacts and collectibles gleaned from years of traveling the world offer an exciting, eclectic blend. The indoor waterfall you’ll find there is always a big hit with kids and adults alike. Remember to check days and hours the museum is opened before planning your day. Some museums have limited hours.

Read, Paint, Write

Many artists enjoy the inspiration they absorb from the desert climate and surrounding rivers and mountains. Writers claim to feel the spirit of the nomadic American Indians. Artist carrying pallet and canvas attempt to capture the delicate yellow flower of the desert cactus in the early morning. Students from the college can be seen relaxing near the river as they search for answers to questions posed by Aristotle.

Visiting Reno is an opportunity to enjoy nature with your family, while having fun and learning, too. Enjoy.

This post was written by freelance writer Martha Keagan who is a full time mother, writer and part time real estate agent. Keagan has assisted hundreds of college students find housing and apartments in Reno for years. Reno is a great city, if you are looking to visit or even relocate to Reno, find a short term apartment to stay in before you decide to purchase a house.

FREE GUIDED HIKES THROUGH TAHOE’S BACKCOUNTRY

WildflowerMeadow (2)Mice_Meadows (2)Desolation 123 (2)Our late snow melt is providing impeccable hiking conditions all summer! Reno Tahoe has the perfect combo: spring’s rolling green hills with late blossoming flowers and summer’s warm weather.

This July, join the Tahoe Rim Trail Association for FREE guided hikes every week. There are hikes for all abilities so anyone can discover this fun and easy way to exercise, socialize and visit beautiful vistas during the summer months in the Tahoe Basin.

Saturday, July 9 – Grandma, Grandpa & Me Hikes

10am, at the Tahoe Meadows Trailhead

10am, at the Big Meadows Trailhead

Happening at two locations due to popular demand, kids will learn about neighboring animals, their habitat and wilderness safety on this unforgettable adventure.

Saturday, July 9 – Castle Rock

8am, at the Kingsbury Grade North Trailhead

Hike the awe-inspiring Tahoe Rim Trail over rolling terrain with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe along the way to Castle Rock.

Saturday, July 16 – Dardanelles Lake

8am, at the Big Meadows Trailhead

Passing through shallow creeks, strikingly beautiful cliffs and the Big Meadow, you’ll reach the Dardanelles Lakes.

Saturday, July 23 – Echo Lakes

8am, at Echo Summit North Trailhead

This 10.6 mile trek will pass spectacular granite formations, allowing you to enjoy the deep blue surface of Lower and Upper Echo Lakes.

Sunday, July 24 – Birds, Views and Falls

7am, at the Mount Rose Trailhead

Hike from the Mount Rose Trailhead to Galena Falls to enjoy the birds and soak in great views before arriving at Galena Falls and the surrounding alpine meadows. Possible avian participants are Green-tailed Towhee, Clark’s Nutcracker, Mountain Bluebird and MacGillivray’s Warbler.

Saturday, July 30 – Barker Pass

8am, at the Barker Pass Trailhead

Not only will you enjoy some great vistas and wildflowers on this hike, but you will also learn how TRTA Trail Builders build and maintain this incredible trail. Don’t worry, this is a “hands-off” trail building lesson.

THREE PEAKS IN THREE WEEKS

Friday, July 15 – Mt. Rose

7am, at the Mt. Rose Parking Plaza and Trailhead

Friday, July 22 – Freel Peak

6:30am, at the Big Meadows Trailhead

Friday, July 29 – Mt. Tallac

7am, at the Glenn Alpine Trailhead.

FULL MOON HIKES – TRTA Members Only

Friday, July 15

7:30pm, at the Tahoe Meadows Trailhead

Not a member of the TRTA? Join! Afterwards, enjoy a three mile moonlit tromp through the Tahoe Meadows up to the Tahoe Basin ridge. Expect casually paced hikes for all ages, while slowing down to enjoy the flora and fauna and to explore with your nighttime senses.

You must register in advance for these summer hikes. Online registration is now required for all TRTA programs and can be completed on the TRTA website at www.tahoerimtrail.org. For more information call 775-298-0012 or email Tom at programs@tahoerimtrail.org.

For more Lake Tahoe hiking trails click here.

HAPPY HIKING!

National Geographic Names Reno One of America’s Best Adventure Towns

River Fest BlogNational Geographic released its ultimate, state-by-state guide to the top outdoor hubs in the U.S., selecting only 100 towns. The criteria – the town must offer something for everyone. It’s no surprise Reno, Nevada was selected to be on the list with year-round special events, hiking, skiing, cycling, kayaking, climbing, snowboarding, fine dining…the list could go on. (And it does!)

In the words of NatGeo, “Reno’s hospitality jobs, a refurbished downtown, and a new $1.5 million white water park—all reasons enough to stick around for awhile.” We know that’s why we’re here!

Check out the interactive map to see which other cities and towns made the list. While you’re there, be sure to share your favorite restaurants, hotels and Reno Tahoe adventures with National Geographic!

Lake Tahoe and San Francisco Top the List of Best U.S. Destinations

TahoeTripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice 2010 placed San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in the top two spots for Best Destinations in the United States. TripAdvisor is home to over 30 million trusted traveler reviews and opinions.

Here is why TripAdvisor rated Lake Tahoe as the number two spot to visit in the entire country:

“Basking in its 300 days of sunshine, Lake Tahoe is a haven for outdoor fun in every season. Swimming, kayaking and windsurfing are popular in the summer months, while epic snowfall makes for spectacular skiing in winter. For those who prefer indoor fun, there’s plenty of that in Tahoe, too. With 24-hour casinos and a flashy nightlife scene, the area has a tangible Vegas vibe. A sprinkle of bling, if you will. Not surprising, since Lake Tahoe straddles the border between California and Nevada.”

Here is why TripAdvisor placed San Francisco in the number one spot:

“Who cares about a little fog (okay, a lot of fog) when there’s so much to do in San Francisco? By day, explore Fisherman’s Wharf and the Aquarium of the Bay, ride a cable car, and stroll around the Presidio; by night, have a fabulous dinner (at a Michelin-starred restaurant or a tiny place in Chinatown), then hit some of the best clubs on the West Coast.”

How luck are we? We have the option to live and play in #RenoTahoe or San Francisco, just a short drive from one another!

Bring on the Carbs! How to Prepare for your Big Event

Reno OdysseyIn Reno Tahoe USA, there is no shortage of events to get your adrenaline racing. Cyclists, runners and triathletes are gearing up for the area’s biggest athletic events this season:the Rock-n-River Half Marathon, the Reno Tahoe Odyssey, the Run Amuck fun run at the Reno River Festival , Moms on the Run, the multi-sport Sunchaser Challenge, America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride around Lake Tahoe, the Tour de Nez and the City of Sparks’ Father’s Day Half Marathon.

Clearly, you have no excuse to sit on the couch with over 300 days of sunshine and an abundance of options in the area.

Why Should You Pig Out on Carbs?

As athletes wrap up their physical and mental training, it’s time to fuel the body with carbohydrates. Carbo-loading is a strategy used by endurance athletes to maximize the storage of glycogen, or energy, in the muscles. Research suggests performing an exhaustive exercise 7 days before the event to deplete your energy stores. Then 3 to 4 days before the big day, eat a very high carb diet that will initiate a response from the muscles to take in as much glycogen from the carbohydrates.

And note to self, if you’re partaking in a pasta party the night before the run, avoid the salad and high-fat dressing! As one expert noted to Wendy Bumgardner of About.com, “Constipation is unknown among marathon participants.” You don’t want the extra weight in your digestive tract the next morning. You don’t want any roughage, such as from the salad. You don’t want the extra weight, period. If you have been eating a balanced diet the week before the marathon, you have already loaded your muscles with glycogen.”

The good news is most events have plenty of porta-potties.

The bad news is the stop will slice minutes from your run time.

Where to Grub!

Visitrenotahoe.com polled its Facebook fans on the best local places to load up on carbs. Here’s what they recommended:

Chris Delaberta likes Mongolian. You can try Toucan Charlie’s Buffet and Grill inside the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa or Genghis Grill at 121 Los Altos Pkwy, Sparks, Nevada.

Nico Aguilera recommends Pierino’s Ristorante-Pizzeria at 575 Keystone Avenue Reno, NV 89503-4337, (775) 322-3492.

William LaBounty likes the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City.

Diane Zeni Klund likes Eclipse Pizza and Buenos Grill. (These two are neighbors, so you can go to both!)

Patti McQuerry Little is a fan of the Reno landmark, the Gold N Silver Inn which was recently featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

Ashley Anne Lawton recommends PJ & Co.

Awful AwfulIf you want a massive carbo-load, Ted Ryan suggests the infamous Awful Awful burger, the meal that’s bigger than your head! The address is listed as 233 North Virginia Street, Reno, but we recommend having a local guide you down the proper alley.

Virginia Jeffers says try Dish Café, who was also recently featured on the Food Network.

Loading up Gluten-Free

Reno resident Aimee Laca Eiguren lives gluten-free and helps to educate people on how to lead healthy, gluten-free lifestyles. La Vecchia now serves gluten-free Tinkyada pasta. Aimee says Cafe de Thai’s gluten-free Pad Thai is amazing, with lots of noodles. Whole Foods offers a few tasty frozen gluten-free pizzas that will do the trick before the big race and the Grill has delicious and safe mashed potatoes.

For more delicious gluten-free options in Reno, check out Aimee’s blog.

Photo of Pyramid Lake is Default Photo on the iPad

iPad PhotoOn April 3, 2010, 300,000 people in the U.S. were introduced to one of Northern Nevada’s hidden gems – and that number is still growing.

The photo “Pyramid Lake (at Night)” by Richard Misrach of Berkeley is the default background screen on Apple’s iPad.

The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Council was unaware of the photo, but hopes that its exposure will increase visitors to the region.

“We appreciate them recognizing the lake, or at least the landscape here,” Mervin Wright, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Council chairman, told the Reno Gazette Journal.

The photographer also was surprised.

According to a Jan. 28 blog post by Andrew M. Goldstein on Artinfo.com, Misrach didn’t know his photo would be featured on the iPad until it was revealed that same day by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Pyramid Lake is the largest remaining remnant of a lake system known as Lake Lahontan that covered much of the Great Basin at the end of the last ice age. The saltwater lake is a component of the National Scenic Byways Program and is the only byway in the nation entirely within a tribal reservation. This route takes the visitor 37 miles along the shore of one of the largest lakes in the world and provides a unique opportunity to learn more about the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribe.

A recreational paradise awaits you at Pyramid Lake where you’ll find boating, fishing, swimming, and hiking – not to mention sublime vistas – all only 30 minutes from Reno.

Men’s Journal Names Reno among Top 25 Places to Live

Mens Journal.jpgIf you live in Reno or have been lucky enough to visit, you know it’s a no-brainer. It’s a great getaway, let alone a fantastic place to reside. There’s never a dull moment in the Biggest Little City, from year-round entertainment, recreational options galore and all at an affordable cost. Men’s Journal Magazine recognizes Reno’s AAA Aces ballpark, the Riverwalk District, Artown and the city’s proximity to abundant outdoor recreations as several reasons why Reno had to be among the top 25 cities for “Best Places to Live 2010”, according to the April issue of Men’s Journal magazine.

The top 25 cities were included in various categories and determined by three variables including median home price, cost of living compared to the rest of the United States and number of sunny days per year.  Reno is featured as tops for “Ski and Climb Without the Crowds” listing Reno’s median home price as $274,670, its cost of living as 13 percent higher than the rest of the nation, and boasting 252 sunny days per year.

“Having Reno named one of the best places to live is a huge honor for our city and residents,” said Reno Mayor Bob Cashell.  “We all know why we love this place, but the national recognition helps build credibility for our city as a top place to live, work and raise a family.  It also gets the word out about what makes our city so special including our downtown baseball park, Artown and burgeoning downtown.”

“Reno making a top places to live list helps increase awareness nationwide that Reno Tahoe is a happening place where locals and visitors alike can enjoy all this area offers, from downtown fun to high altitude adventure.” said Ellen Oppenheim, Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) President and CEO.  “The recent investment in area hotel-casino properties, spas and restaurants are additional outstanding amenities locals and visitors can take advantage of.”

The April issue of Men’s Journal featuring the “Best Places to Live 2010” is on newsstands now or visit www.mensjournal.com.

Men’s Journal has previously ranked Reno’s historic Old Southwest as one of ‘The Best Neighborhoods in America’ in their June 2009 issue.

We’ve been tooting our own horn for a while. It’s nice to get some validation, though, dontcha think?