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Dirt Live Off-Road Expo kicks off Eldorado HDRA Reno 500 race week

The 3-day Dirt Live Off-Road Expo kicks off Wednesday in downtown Reno during Eldorado HDRA Reno 500 race week

Something new in one of Nevada’s oldest cities debuts Wednesday – Friday in the heart of Reno as the Dirt Live Off-Road Expo launches the Eldorado HDRA Reno 500 desert race week in Northern Nevada. Running from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Wednesday and 10 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, the inaugural Dirt Live Off-Road Expo will be the epicenter of Reno’s resort corridor. The Dirt Live Off-Road Expo will be a dazzling festival of desert racing with manufacturers, aftermarket companies, exotic race vehicles on display and food vendors mixing it up with racers, crews and fans amid the backdrop of the famed Virginia Street showcase of the “Biggest Little City in the World”. The surreal scene will be enhanced even more with the sounds of several styles of live music emanating from the Monster Energy Stage along with the sounds and sights of the Monster Energy LivFast Freestyle Mx and Ninja stunt teams performances on Thursday and Friday. Downtown Reno will come alive as HDRA Racetown USA when the Dirt Live Off-Road Expo brings together desert racers, off-road enthusiasts, and exhibitors for three exciting action-packed days.


Under the famous Virginia Street arch, the Dirt Live Off-Road Expo in the Northern Nevada gaming city will gather the competitors of the High Desert Racing Association, aficionados of desert racing, and enthusiasts of all kinds, in a summertime festival atmosphere around the Monster Energy Stage and in the BFGoodrich Tires Hospitality area.
The Dirt Live Off-Road Expo will combine the action and excitement of the Monster Energy Livfast Freestyle Motocross and two-wheel asphalt motorcycle stunt teams, and nationally known musical artists on the Monster Energy Stage, with award winning Eldorado Hotel Casino cuisine, famous Reno hospitality, contests, exhibits, and seminars for racers, fans, and enthusiasts.  There will also be celebrity/racer autograph sessions throughout the three days of the expo. Based in the Reno/Sparks area, the Monster Energy LivFast Freestyle Motorcycle stunt team will have four performances on both Thursday and Friday.


Event officials have announced that the hours on Wednesday at the expo on Virginia Street will be 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. while the extended hours on both Thursday and Friday will be 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Live coverage of the expo will also air on all three days on the Dirt LiveHD internet coverage broadcast at
Industry suppliers and manufacturers will be part of the Dirt Live Off-Road Expo’s unique brand engagement environment as the “Biggest Little City in the World” rolls out the red carpet for hardcore desert racers, motorcycle, rock crawling and other enthusiasts, from throughout northern California, Nevada, Arizona and the West. Helping the increase the enjoyment factor of the festivities for the three days will be a veritable truckload of photogenic Monster Energy Girls.


Additionally on Friday, the street will fill up with over 100 race trucks, race cars and race motorcycles as officials perform technical inspections for competition in the Eldorado HDRA Reno 500 desert race and the Reno Extreme AMA National Hare and Hound Series races the following day at the Tahoe Reno Motorplex.  The general public and race enthusiasts will mingle with racing officials, drivers, and teams to enjoy autograph sessions, photo opportunities, and more in the wide-open Virginia Street pit area.
A colorful addition to Friday’s contingency activities will be the Monster Energy HDRA Pit Crew Challenge to be held at 10:30 a.m. adjacent to the Monster Energy Stage at the intersection of 4th Street and Virginia Street.
Thursday and Friday, two short courses at the Tahoe Reno Motorplex will host enthusiasts, manufacturers, and suppliers, in continuous product and vehicle demonstrations, ride and drives and product reviews. Complimentary shuttle service between downtown Reno and the Tahoe Reno Motorplex will give the public and enthusiasts access as never before to the desert racing experience.


On the three days of the Expo both the Eldorado and Silver Legacy Hotels will have designated HDRA Pit Stop bars with beer and Monster Energy drink specials along with continuous video replay of the 2012 HDRA races.


The Dirt Live Expo will be groovin’ on Thursday and Friday at the Monster Energy Stage at the 4th street Plaza on Virginia Street with continuous high-energy musical entertainment. There will be Monster Energy DJs both days and four different bands will rock the house.
On Thursday, Weird Science will play from Noon to 3:30 p.m. followed by Steel Breeze from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday’s lineup will have Audio Box blaring from Noon to 3:30 p.m. followed by the intriguing sounds of the Unauthorized Rolling Stones from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


On Thursday the official HDRA Racetown USA pre-race party will be held at Rum Bullions inside the Silver Legacy from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. The party will include a live DJ, Monster Energy drink specials, the Monster Energy Girls and Monster Energy swag giveaways for a variety of prizes including a Wide Open Excursions-Reno two-person, half day off-road excursion.


Wide Open Reno Off-Road Driving Adventures - (4)On Saturday it’s down to serious business as a twinbill is slated for the Tahoe Reno Motorplex, located 20 minutes east of downtown Reno at exit 32 (USA Parkway exit) on Interstate-80 as Round 3 of the 2013 HDRA Desert Series and Round eight of the AMA National Hare and Hound motorcycle series will run simultaneously.
Over 60 entries from a dozen U.S. States as well as Columbia, Mexico and New Zealand entered in 15 classes for race cars and race trucks will be competing in the 2nd Annual Eldorado HDRA Reno 500 which will start at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday. The course will be open for 18 hours in the elapsed-time race, but the fastest vehicles are expected to finish in about seven hours.  Also at the Tahoe Reno Motorplex Saturday, starting at Noon will be motorcycles battling in the Reno Extreme, a six-hour endurance race.
While the race courses will be different, the spectator area on a elevated plateau overlooking start/finish with sight lines of more than 12 miles of the race course will make viewing safe and among the best in all of desert racing. The area will also have food and beverage vendors, a beer garden with Monster Energy drink specials, Monster Energy Girls and three performances by the Monster Energy LivFast Freestyle motorcycle stunt team. One-price admission to enjoy both races is $10 per person.
RV and camping facilities are also available at the Tahoe Reno Motorplex. Fee is $20 per night, per camp site with designated viewing areas.
The featured Trophy Truck racing division for high-tech, 850 horsepower unlimited production trucks along with the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars and Class 10 for limited-engine open-wheelers will hold a special qualifying session over a short-section of the course at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday to determine their respective starting positions, by class. The starting grid for the other classes was determined by Tuesday night’s live drawing at the Eldorado Hotel and Casino.


This year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500 (held June 1-2) and this weekend’s Eldorado HDRA Reno 500 are part of a special program where the combined best qualified car/truck finisher will receive a special entry packages into the 2014 Dakar Rally in South America. Regulations and other information on Dakar Challenge 2013 are available at


Seven new special events are being added to Reno Tahoe’s 2012 event lineup. Events include Symbiosis Gathering Pyramid Eclipse, Dancers Extreme Challenge, Sparks Xtreme Beach Sports Festival, Fireworks 500, Lake Tahoe SummerFest, Human Performance Project and Expedition Man. Reno Tahoe USA is a destination packed full of unique special events that draw in thousands of visitors each year, and these new adventures will add even more diversity to an already vast entertainment calendar.

1_symbiosis-logoSymbiosis Gathering Pyramid Eclipse features an epic lineup of artists, musicians and teachers, and invites the masses to gather on the remote desert shores of Pyramid Lake, where the central line of the annular solar eclipse will pass at 6:30 p.m. on May 20, 2012. The May 17-22 event honors the alignment of the Earth, Moon and Sun with a celebration; including, live music, guest speakers and workshops on an array of topics, such as yoga and neurology.

From June 21-24, pro, intermediate and beginner dancers from across the nation come together on the southwest shores of Pyramid Lake for Dancers Extreme Challenge. Featuring a 5,000 sq. ft. dance floor on the lake front, this complete, packaged experience includes: a Survivor style team competition, water volleyball, bon fires, and all-you-can eat breakfast, lunch and dinners.

Beach Sports FestivalSparks Marina is set to host the Sparks Xtreme Beach Sports Festival from June 30 – July 1, where the EVP Volleyball Tour and UWP Watercross Tour will combine for the first time on the west coast. Both events are the largest of their kind in country, featuring hundreds of All-American athletes going head-to-head in pro volley ball action on the beach and high-speed race action on the water.

Fireworks 500, July 1-8, features nine days of action packed events: qualifying races; performances by the Monster Freestyle MX Team, featuring X-Game and Ninja Stunt Team riders; race car displays; autograph signing; and, live entertainment. On July 7, racers take to the desert at the Reno Tahoe Motorplex, off Interstate-80 Exit 32, for a thrilling 500-mile race – the longest off-road race in the United States.

The inaugural Lake Tahoe SummerFest, July 30 – August 19, is a celebration of the arts. Masterpieces of classical music will be performed by instrumentalists from The New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic, with live theatre and fine art presented by The Nevada Museum of Art. This celebration art and culture will be enjoyed under the tall pines, and alongside the crystal blue water, of Tahoe’s North Shore.

Presenting hundreds of athletes competing in over 15 different sports, The Human Performance Project is the most diverse display of athletics in the country. Held at the Grand Sierra Resort from August 23-26, competitors face off in Olympic, mixed martial arts, bodybuilding, outdoor and action sport categories.

3177724639_fa1b91e0caExpedition Man, August 25, is Northern Nevada’s first Ultra Distance Triathlon, traversing a 194.2 mile course from South Lake Tahoe to the Legends at Sparks Marina. Participants begin with a brisk swim in beautiful Zephyr Cove Lake Tahoe, followed by a challenging bike course through Carson City into Reno, culminating with three fast out-and-backs around the Sparks Marina.

Reno Tahoe USA is home to more than 290-days of special events. For more information, see the full Special Events Calendar at

Stampede Bringing Horsepower to Reno This Weekend


The 2nd annual Torchmate Ultra4 Reno Stampede race will be held this week on September 10 and 11 at Exit 28 Motorsports just outside of Reno, Nevada. There will be multiple parties and events for fans and drivers throughout the week at both Exit 28 Motorsports and the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, NV. The unlimited 4 wheel drive vehicles known as Ultra4 cars have already begun descending upon Reno.  For those that haven’t seen an Ultra4 race in person, this is a great opportunity to see extreme horsepower at its finest. These cars are capable of speeds in excess of 100 MPH and are able to traverse some of the most treacherous rocky terrain, and this year’s race features a brand new short course section to watch these powerful vehicles soar through the air.

The Ultra4 Torchmate Reno Stampede was created by the founders of King of The Hammers, which is regularly referred to as “the hardest one day off-road race in the world.” With more than 120 miles of brutal course laid out and only 8 hours to finish, The Torchmate Reno Stampede will prove to be just as hard, if not harder than this year’s King of The Hammers. Only 19 of 50 cars finished The Stampede last year and this year’s race is nearly double the miles. This weekend’s race will definitely test the limits of both Ultra4 cars and their drivers.

Some of the biggest names in Ultra4 Racing will be on hand this weekend, including this year’s King of The Hammers winner and current Ultra4 Series leader, Monster Energy’s Shannon Campbell and Torchmate Racing’s JT Taylor and Jesse Haines. Last year’s King of the Hammers winner, Loren Healy,  and Aussie Ben Napier who is currently 2nd in the 2011 Ultra4 series will also be racing this weekend.

Spectators will have their choice of viewing areas. Exit 32’s spectator area offers a short course section, views of the valley for high-speed racing and live action in the pits and concession areas. Exit 28 offers the gnarly rock crawl section known as Giant’s Throne where many spectators saw tons of carnage and rollovers at last year’s event. Spectators are encouraged to bring camp chairs and binoculars and will be able to travel between the two spectator areas. Admission is free on Friday for qualifying rounds and $20 for adults, and $10 for children on Saturday.  Fans will be able to save $5 on admission if they purchase their tickets Friday during the qualifying rounds!4988256658_7689482a7f_o

The World’s Best Arenacross Racers Return this February

ArenacrossHigh intensity, bar-to-bar dirt-bike racing at its finest returns to Reno with the 2011 AMA Arenacross Series during its annual visit to the Livestock & Events Center Friday, February 18 and Saturday, February 19. Tickets for the longest-running round on the series that has affectionately become known as “ArenOcross” are on sale now at and the Livestock & Events Center box office beginning Monday, February 14.

Hundreds of the best Arenacross riders from around the globe will compete for their chance to be one of just 32 riders to make a pair of 16-rider main events in the AMA Arenacross and AMA Arenacross Lites classes. The national series travels throughout the country to several of the most renowned arenas in the United States, bringing in 150 truckloads of dirt to sculpt a man-made dirt battleground. Technical obstacles, close competition and impressive airtime combine to create one of the most unique spectacles in the sporting world.

Anything can and does happen in Arenacrossand the man left standing atop the podium at the end of the night with the coveted trophy will have earned his prize. Defending champion Josh Demuth leads a highly talented group of riders hungry to defeat him in his bid to claim a fourth AMA Arenacross Series title.

Last season at the Biggest Little City in the World, the AMA Arenacross Series’ two winningest riders of the 2010 season, Demuth and his Babbitt’s Monster Energy/TiLube Kawasaki and teammate Tyler Bowers, traded wins over two nights. The pair’s dominance at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center further establish the duo as the pair to beat for the coveted title. 

The AMA ArenacrossSeries is fun for the whole family! The always popular track walk and post-race autograph session gives an opportunity for fans of all ages to get up close and personal with the stars of Arenacross and get a coveted autograph from some of the best riders in the world.

 Don’t miss the chance to check out a truly memorable experience!

Kid’s seats are just $7! Adult admission is just $20!  Tickets are available at the Livestock & Events Center box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, and by phone at (800) 745-3000.

For more information on the AMA Arenacross Series log on to

-Brandon Short

Street Vibrations highlighted by world-record motorcycle jump attempt

The rumble of motorcycles has officially filled Reno Tahoe as 25,000 of the region’s friends on two wheels pour in for Street Vibrations, the area’s annual celebration of bikes, bikers and the people who love them. Throughout the weekend, there will be events, contests, cruises and tons of food and live music (events calendar), but the highlight may come Saturday evening at Grand Sierra Resort when daredevil rider Ryan Capes attempts to smash the world record for a ramp-to-ramp jump.

Capes, who was recently featured on the ESPN FMX blog in preview of the jump, said the jump harkens back to the glory days of motorcycling.

“Well, about three years ago at Evel Knievel Days, I went for the ramp-to-ramp world record and I jumped 246 feet — seven feet short of the record,” he told ESPN’s Ryan Leyba. “I would’ve broken it back then, but I didn’t due to the fact that the wind was whipping badly and I had to shut it down — so I’m coming back to Reno and I’m going for the record again. I’m on a bigger takeoff ramp and a bigger landing ramp, and I plan on being the first guy to jump 300 feet ramp-to-ramp. The record right now is 253 feet, set by Jason Rennie, and I will beat that.”

The attempt is no joke. Construction shows a take off ramp that stretchs more than 20 feet off the ground, and a huge landing ramp — the largest ever built according to Capes — that rises approximately 30 feet. The event is all part of the grand opening celebration of the Xtreme Sportsbar + Lounge at the hotel-casino. The evening will also feature a performance by MiniKiss, a Kiss tribute band headlined by the most rockin-est little people this side of the Rockies.

When: Saturday, Sept. 26

  • 6 p.m. Livfast freestyle demos and record-breaking attempt by rider Ryan Capes.
  • 8:30 – 9 p.m. Performance by MiniKiss in the Grand Sierra parking lot.
  • 10 p.m. Afterparty in Xtreme Sports Bar + Lounge with a special grand opening performance by Mini Kiss.

Where: Grand Sierra Resort parking lot, and inside the casino

Video: Capes’ previous world-record jump:

Four-by-four in Downtown Reno: Rock crawling comes to the Biggest Little City

Terrible’s Sands Regency Casino Hotel is bringing extreme rock crawling to downtown Reno. The W.E. Rock Western US Rock Crawling Nationals will take place as part of Reno Rocks 4× over Father’s Day weekend.

Two additional events scheduled for Reno Rocks 4× will give amateur drivers the unique opportunity to test their skills on the manmade W.E. Rock course, the Surplus City Jeep Parts High Sierra Rock Crawling Championship and Northern Nevada 4×4 Club Challenge Crawl.

Other Reno Rocks 4× highlights include a Wheelers for the Wounded Tour Stop, 4×4 Show & Shine and 4×4 Rough & Tough competitions, the Surplus City Jeep Parts Teeter Totter and Ramp Travel Index (RTI), a People’s Choice Team Tire Climb, Beauty and the 4×4 Beast Contest, New 4×4 Showcase, Military and Public Safety 4×4 Vehicle Displays, a Manufacturers Midway, a Friday night pool party with men’s and women’s swimsuit competitions, and free live music in the casino Friday and Saturday nights. For more information on any of the events taking place at Reno Rocks 4×, visit www.RenoRocks4× and follow the Forum links.

Spectator season passes for Reno Rocks are now available at Participant registration packages are also available.

Rock crawl: ‘Reno Rocks’ (4×4 event) set for Father’s Day weekend

we-rock-for-shauna-rwb-twisty-300Terrible’s Sands Regency Casino Hotel is bringing extreme rock crawling to downtown Reno. The W.E. Rock Western US Rock Crawling Nationals will take place as part of Reno Rocks 4× over Father’s Day weekend.

Two additional events scheduled for Reno Rocks 4× will give amateur drivers the unique opportunity to test their skills on the manmade W.E. Rock course, the Surplus City Jeep Parts High Sierra Rock Crawling Championship and Northern Nevada 4×4 Club Challenge Crawl.

Other Reno Rocks 4× highlights include a Wheelers for the Wounded Tour Stop, 4×4 Show & Shine and 4×4 Rough & Tough competitions, the Surplus City Jeep Parts Teeter Totter and Ramp Travel Index (RTI), a People’s Choice Team Tire Climb, Beauty and the 4×4 Beast Contest, New 4×4 Showcase, Military and Public Safety 4×4 Vehicle Displays, a Manufacturers Midway, a Friday night pool party with men’s and women’s swimsuit competitions, and free live music in the casino Friday and Saturday nights. For more information on any of the events taking place at Reno Rocks 4×, visit www.RenoRocks4× and follow the Forum links.

Spectator season passes for Reno Rocks are now available at Participant registration packages are also available.

Special discounted room rates for Reno Rocks 4× at the Sands Regency are $35 Sunday through Thursday, $60 Friday or Saturday (group code “ROCKS 09”) plus tax. For reservations or event ticket information, call the Sands Regency at 1-866 FUN STAY or e-mail

JayneHazard now High Sierra Jayne (LOL)

Late June, my friend Katie called me and asked me if I wanted to do an ATV tour in the Plumas Forest, half-hour north of Reno.  A friend of hers, Gairik, had been there and loved it, and had asked to see if Katie and Ken could wrangle some models and a movie crew up there to film, and then blog about it if we liked the experience.  Unconventional, but it seemed like a really cool idea, so I said yes right away.  But I had no idea how fabulous this trip would turn out to be.

On July 1, Sunday, I grabbed a couple of friends (Krystal and Zarah, both models I work with) and when we got out there at about 9:30 in the morning, I got the chance of a lifetime to view some of the most beautiful sites in the High Sierras.  We had the most awesome time.  I had never ridden an ATV before and was a little nervous but Jay, our tour guide, took us through the basics of the Arctic Cat ATVs and made us feel so at ease with everything.  Then we hit the road.  O my God it was amazing, NOT kidding!  We saw the most beautiful scenery, flowers and even some deer (unfortunately we didn’t get them on camera) but it was great.  On top of Crystal Peak, I felt on top of the world and the view was so peaceful and beautiful.  And all this paradise just 30 miles out of Reno!  We had some good laughs too — with Nino’s spectacular acrobatics hanging out of the back of his ATV trying to film us, Katie crawling through a ditch to hold out the boom mic, and Gairik (chicken!!!) wrapping himself in everything he could find (including my blue shirt) to keep the dust from blowing into his face.

Jay and Lisa of High Sierra ATV Tours treated us so well. Made sure we had plenty of sunscreen (which we definitely needed) and water, and bandanas, and so much more. After the video shoot they even fed the whole crew and made us feel really special. If they treat all their customers this well — I have no shame plugging their wilderness/adventure tours, and sending all my friends to them.

I have lived in Carson City for a few years now and had no idea there were things so cool to do within an hour’s drive. I really hope they decide to start snow-mobiling tours this winter, as they are planning to do. I will go back for sure. If you are ever in the mood to see the beautiful sites of the High Sierras with the excitement and fun of an ATV, I definitely recommend these guys. 

I hope you enjoy our little videos because we had a lot of fun making them.  I really appreciate the Reads (HighSierra ATV Tours), Katie, Ken & Nino (BarFlyProductions) and Gairik (Reno-Tahoe, America’s Adventure Placenow is that a cool gig or what???) for giving me the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing adventure. You guys ROCK! 

Monica Jayne Booth

Please don’t forget to see me and Krystal in spring 2008 starring in Bar Fly Productions and Sinnergy Entertainment’s production of “Pyramid Highway”.


        A few Saturdays back (the first time), I got a chance to spend some time exploring what has got to be one of the best outdoor adventures available in Reno-Tahoe, America’s Adventure Place! I signed on for an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle, a.k.a. Off-Road/Off-Highway Vehicle) tour, of a part of the Plumas National Forest, off the romantically named Last Chance Creek near Frenchman’s Lake. The 30-mile drive from Reno was an easy 35 minutes – north on US 395 past Stead, up to Hallelujah Junction, and then West on Hwy 70 to the tiny hamlet of Chilcoot (just before Vinton), which boasts a miniscule but massively cute Frosty Freeze burger-shop (straight out of an Andy Griffith episode).  I called Lisa and Jay, the owners/operators of "High Sierra ATV Tours" from there, and they gave me directions to their location. I was running a little early (I guess you could say I was a little excited) – otherwise they would have come over and picked me up. The drive to their place took about 6 minutes. Another group was already there, and we did the basic paperwork and put on our gear (a helmet, long pants [not shorts], closed-toe shoes and lots of sunscreen), plus about 5 minutes of instructions on how to drive our fully-automatic Arctic Cat ATVs – and then it was off into the Sierras on our Arctic Cats.  The equipment was all new, surprisingly clean, and astonishingly comfortable.  I chose to ride with Jay, the owner, so I could take a bunch of photos, and boy – was that a great idea or what!  Within ten minutes of leaving the starting point, we were high enough into the mountains that even in mid-June, it was fairly cool, and I was glad I had brought a jacket.

        We were climbing some pretty steep grades and the Arctic Cats negotiated the climb with real ease. The ground clearance was almost as good as the Hummer I’d driven out in from Reno, and the 650 CC engines delivered enough power that even the 35-40° grades and boulder-stacked trails did not slow us down.The landscape transformed rapidly from the dry and sun-drenched nether elevations to cool greens as our adventure threw us deeper and deeper into the hands of the hills. The vegetation quickly moved to tall Ponderosa pines, Cedars, and then lots of other more Alpine trees. The forest was so beautiful. And we did not encounter a single other soul. No, I take that back, we ran into two people on the way back, but that was everyone the entire ride. It is pretty much an undiscovered country – silent in its majesty, and breath-takingly beautiful.  We stopped on numerous occasions, to take pictures, splash about a little in the different (very cold) little creeks we crossed.  There was one little picnic spot that I absolutely fell in love with – it was a tiny little spring-and snow-fed lake called Snow Lake, that does not appear in the maps.  I could have stayed there forever.

        I could see that snow marks were still fresh here, and commented that this would be a perfect location for snow-mobiling in winter (something that Jay and Lisa are gearing up to provide in the coming winter seasons).  I was told that the area gets over 15 feet of snow on the ground many winters.  But it is unspoilt and hard to get to – unless you have a knowledgeable local guide.

        Jay was the Tour Guide, and that was what made this so great. If I had just rented or brought an ATV over and done this by myself, it would have been (a lot of fun still, but) nowhere close to such a wonderful experience. Jay knew just about every little inch of that wilderness (1.2 Million acres), and he knew just which way to go all of the time, even when there was no trail to follow.

        We got to see some great flora all along the way. I was particularly fascinated with the almost maroon-red ‘Snow Flowers’ that Jay pointed out. These grow for just a few weeks in the year, just as the snows leave the mountains, and are quite striking.  But while it’s so pretty now in summer, Jay pointed out that best time to visit these forests is the Fall, as the leaves turn from green to crimson to gold, in all their autumnal glory.

        Our trip was a pretty long one – we climbed to the top of Crystal Peak, got a glimpse of the spectacular, volcanic Lassen Peak in the distance and rode out to the overlook where we gazed at a stunning bird’s eye view of Frenchman’s Lake. I was surprised that even with such a long trip, I was not really physically exhausted. You DON’T have to be very athletic, young, or even particularly fit – to enjoy an adventure like this. The Arctic Cat ATVs, being fully automatic, are very easy to maneuver, easier than driving any automatic-shift car.  I wonder if I can get my dad to do this with me, if we could come here together. I mean, he has lived in big cities all his life, as I have, but I know he’d love it as much as I did this time. 

        One thing I was a little disappointed about was that we did not see much fauna – Jay tells me that there’s quite a bit of deer in those woods, but they generally don’t come out until twilight or early in the mornings. There are also some bears around (and Jay had shot one a couple of years ago), but they really shun human presence, so it is very hard to get to see one up close, though we did see some quite fresh bear-tracks along the way. 

        It was almost evening before we got back to the homestead, which incidentally is also Jay and Lisa’s home.They were very generous and allowed us to use the bathrooms at their home to wash and clean up, and since the Frosty Freeze (the only game in town for food) was certain to have closed for the evening – they even invited to me to join their family (plus a few guests they had that evening) for a weekend barbeque.  (Mind you, they probably do not do this for their customers in the normal course, but I must have looked more hungry than most, LOL.) 

        Jay showed off his skills (and that old boy’s got skillz in this dept) with some very juicy thick ribeye steaks on his ‘Cowboy Grill’ – a very interesting and useful contraption that doubles as a barbeque pit and a campfire centerpiece (that you can sit around, as you would around a campfire). (I just know I want to buy one of these — I found out that he’d bought his from the Hearth Patio Show at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center earlier in the year.)  The food was great, the company very friendly and cheerful, but the overall experience – stupendous. They invited me to come back again. And I know I will, and very soon. 

        I love the forest, the wilderness of the Wild Sierra around Reno-Tahoe. I love the whole adventure feel of Reno-Tahoe, you know, that story-book feel of the Wild Wild West not being all that far away or long ago.  There are not too many chances to experience that up close and personal – particularly if you are from the city. To me, that is the charm of Reno-Tahoe – the Wild Sierra is still untamed there, and it is just around the corner from a pretty big city (which feels like a much bigger city than it really is) with all the urban comforts, great hotels, superb nightlife, world-class headliners and an overall entertainment scene that puts most US and European metros to shame.

        I am so glad I went on this tour, and I sure as heck am going back!!!!

        And I am going to try and post a few of the photos soon here – as soon as I get a chance to catalog them and pick out the best ones.

P.S.: I went back next weekend with my friends Katie and Ken and their troupe, the cast and crew of a local indy film production company (BarFly Productions), and made a little movie about this place – check it out below.

    Feel free to share the love and leave a comment.

Gairik (HighSierraDogSledder)

For more …
High Sierra ATVTours

Videography by BarFly Productions (

Riding Near Stampede

Here is another guest entry from a dirt bike rider.

Today we tried to get out and get on our dirt bikes as early as possible, as it was going to be a hot day. After a short drive to Verdi, we parked at the base of the dirt road heading up through Toiyabe National Forest.

It’s basically a dirt road that we took down through the valley at the bottom of Crystal Mountain where there were lots of campers and off-roaders. We couldn’t figure out which trail to take to get to the top of Crystal Mountain but we found Crystal Mine. Not much to look at there so we headed up towards Stampede Reservoir.

The ride was mellow and nice which was good for checking out all of the beautiful wild flowers that are in bloom. There are tall purple ones, bright yellow ones, bushy red ones and delicate white ones – it’s so beautiful right now. Stampede Reservoir was alive with boaters, campers and people fishing. We stopped and ate lunch on the shore under a shade tree and took it all in. I loved that there were no houses or paved roads anywhere to be seen.

After lunch we headed up towards Verdi Peak, which was a smooth road for most of the way but turned rocky and a little narrow toward the top. By the time we reached the summit at 8,000 feet, I was pretty worn out but we climbed the stairs to the fire lookout and it was all worth it. Out one way I could see all of Reno and beyond, the other way was I-80 running alongside the Truckee River curving through the mountains and back up towards Lake Tahoe. Being that high up and seeing that much is an amazing feeling that’s hard to duplicate.