Top 4 Things To Do Outdoors In The Sierra Nevada Mountains

Winter just might be the ideal time to get outside in the Sierra Nevada. While deep snow is piling up for skiers and snowboarders at higher altitudes, if you keep an eye on the weather you can still mix up your outdoor pursuits beyond the lifts. Plus, the crowds of summer tourists chasing water sports have long since vamoosed. Here’s how to squeeze in some multisport fun when you aren’t shredding powder!

Snowmobile The Beautiful Mountains

“It’s too cold outside to go snowmobiling” said no one!

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or super experienced, the Explore Sierra Touring Company snowmobile tours are one of the top excursions in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Even if you have a family, they can sit as your passenger if they are under 16! The whole family will still be able to experience the gorgeous outdoors. If you are looking to spot some beautiful wildlife, then you are in luck. Riders typically see anywhere from 2-10 different animals, and the scenery is breath-taking. Snowmobile around Lake Davis with our expert tour guides, and experience the adventure of a lifetime!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “My husband and I toured with Scott on a snowmobile tour. He was so nice, took his time to show us how to ride and operate the controls. It was so peaceful touring through the snow and trees and incredibly beautiful. Scott was very professional and even when we almost dumped the snowmobile onto it’s side around a turn he was cool as a cucumber and helped us get it back on trail.” – Dale Z.

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Outdoor Adventure in the Winter in the Lake Tahoe Area

Bike the Sierra’s Gravel Roads

Want to get in an easy spin to let your ski legs recover?

Winter is the perfect time of year to ride some of the Lake Tahoe area’s lower-elevation gravel roads and trails on your mountain bike or gravel/adventure bike (essentially mountain/road hybrids). If there’s too much snow above 5,000 feet, a typical winter outing for Tom Giller, lead mechanic at High Sierra Cycling in Reno, and his brothers involves heading south to Carson City and linking a mix of pavement and packed farm roads. (Scope your route on But, for hero dirt wait for the snow below 6,000 feet along Highway 395 (to the north) to melt and then head out when the dirt refreezes. “It’s perfect frozen hardtack,” says Giller. “If you plan it correctly,” says Giller, “you’ll spend your time on ranch roads, gravel, and doubletrack.” Stop in at the shop for route advice. And don’t fear recent snow. “It gets mild quickly after storms,” says Giller. “We’ve had winters where we’ve ridden up high straight through February.”

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Bike the mountains in the winter

Run Donner Pass

The Donner Party? Getting lost in a storm and cannibalizing each other never seemed like much of a party to us. 

Better to head out on the same terrain for an hour-long winter run. The high-country running stays accessible longer than you might think—especially if you’re willing to run in studded “microspike” shoes or with Yaktrax (chains for your shoes). We have heard the Judah Loop is the best, and try to go way up high. It is the most fun! It’s about five to six miles, with views of Donner Lake, Castle Peak, and Sugar Bowl. If it’s too snowy, you can always head to lower-elevation meadows and run the boardwalks.

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Run Donner Pass in the winter in Lake Tahoe

Winter Fish For Golden Trout

Need to mix up the fishing between fly-casting and rod and reel to keep the family happy?

You’re not alone. And the Sierra has you covered. After November 15, most of the golden trout fisheries are closed for the season, but sections of the Kern River (it flows out of Sequoia National Park in the southern Sierra) remain open year round for catch and release (with barbless hooks only.) The kids can fish nearby reservoirs all year long. High Sierra Outfitters in Lone Pine will set you up with the right knowledge and gear for both. On the Western slope of the Sierra, the Kern River—just minutes away from Bakersfield and the parched Central Valley if you can believe that—breaks up into a trio of outstanding fisheries much like the East Walker. The South Fork and Lower Kern River give anglers a chance at a rare grand slam, while the North Fork Kern River gives anglers a shot at whopper rainbows above Kernville.

We hope you enjoy staying outdoors! It is so gorgeous, and there is no reason not to enjoy it! ❄️

Thank You from Explore Sierra Touring Company

What To Wear On An ATV Tour

Did you just book an ATV Tour, or are considering going on an ATV tour? Congrats! But, what should you wear while riding? Are you in a cold climate, or a warm climate? The easy answer is to wear what makes you feel comfortable, but there are some pros and cons to your wardrobe decisions. We think comfort should always be the number one thing to look for when riding ATVs, meaning that a pair of shorts, a cotton t-shirt or tabk top, and comfortable sneakers may be the perfect fit.  At Explore! Sierra, we do require that you wear a helmet. But, have you always wanted to look like a “Pro”, there are certain pieces that can make sure that you are protected, and looking good!

ATV Casual Clothing vs. ATV “Pro-Gear”

Pros of wearing Casual clothing when riding:

  • Clothing is generally super comfy which allows you to focus on what’s ahead
  • You do not need to buy anything because you already have the stuff to wear
  • Might be a necessity if you find that track clothing is way too hot for your body

What do I wear on an ATV Tour

Cons of wearing casual clothing when riding:

  • Unless you have a shirt made from special fabrics with sweat absorption, casual clothing is inferior when it comes to perspiration and ventilation control
  • Provides inferior protection and materials which are either too heavy (jeans) or too light (undershirts) for an optimal riding experience
  • You may get home and realize that your favorite cotton Tee is now forever dirt stained (the trails can kick up mud and lots of dust)

Pros of wearing ATV riding gear when riding:

  • Superior protection from bumps, dirt, branches, sun, you name it. Having ATV boots, goggles, and helmet(which we provide) will always ensure that you are safer in case of an accident
  • If you have the “need for speed”, a riding chest protector is never a bad idea! Some of these vests are fairly inexpensive, and also look great
  • For youth, controlling internal temp is as important as staying hydrated; we love the simple moisture-wicking shirts by O’Neil
  • ATV gear or clothing might be mandatory if you live in colder climates; nobody wants to be caught riding at 16C wearing a pair of flip-flops and some sweatpants

Should I wear professional clothing on my ATV Tour

Cons of wearing ATV riding gear when riding:

  • If you go above and beyond with your Pro ATV gear purchases, then it may not be worth it unless you will be riding an ATV more than once a year
  • If you are going on a ride in a hot climate, some of the gear may feel heavy and hot
  • If you do not have access to a local outdoor shop, you may have to return items purchased online many times until you find the right fit

What NOT To Wear When Riding ATVs

We recommend not wearing anything too bulky because that may get in the way of your ability to quickly maneuver on the trails. We also do not recommend wearing belts, they can get very uncomfortable during a two or three hour ATV Tour. You CAN wear flip flops, but we do not recommend it. It is much more comfortable to wear a pair of sneakers, and not to mention cleaner for your feet! Lastly, please make sure that you are not wearing any clothing that is too tight, or doesn’t fit. Your Dad or husbands oversize sweatshirt will not fair well because it is too loose.

Recommended Riding Clothing And Gear When Riding ATVs

We highly recommend wearing long pants, and a breathable long sleeve shirt. This will defend your skin against sun damage, tree branches, and dirt and mud. You must wear a helmet (don’t worry we provide one), and we also provide a bandanna because there is a fair amount of dust that kicks up.

Wear a bandanna on your ATV Tour

Here is a quick list of “what you should wear” on your ATV Tour:

  • Closed Toe Shoes
  • Jeans or Long Pants
  • Long-Sleeved Shirt
  • Gloves
  • Sunscreen

Feel comfortable with your wardrobe needs? Request your ATV Tour Date now!

History of the Four Wheeler

From Wikipedia…Four-Wheelers

Suzuki was a leader in the development of four-wheeled ATVs. It sold the first model, the 1982 QuadRunner LT125, which was a recreational machine for beginners. Suzuki sold the first four-wheeled mini ATV, the LT50, from 1984 to 1987. After the LT50, Suzuki sold the first ATV with a CVT transmission, the LT80, from 1987 to 2006.

In 1985 Suzuki introduced to the industry the first high-performance four-wheel ATV, the Suzuki LT250R QuadRacer. This machine was in production for the 1985-1992 model years. During its production run it underwent three major engineering makeovers. However, the core features were retained. These were: a sophisticated long-travel suspension, a liquid-cooled two-stroke motor and a fully manual five-speed transmission for 1985–1986 models and a six-speed transmission for the 87–92 models. It was a machine exclusively designed for racing by highly skilled riders.

Honda responded a year later with the FourTrax TRX250R—a machine that has not been replicated until recently. It currently remains a trophy winner and competitor to big-bore ATVs. Kawasaki Heavy Industries responded with its Tecate-4 250.

In 1987, Yamaha Motor Company introduced a different type of high-performance machine, the Banshee 350, which featured a twin-cylinder liquid-cooled two-stroke motor from the RD350LC street motorcycle. Heavier and more difficult to ride in the dirt than the 250s, the Banshee became a popular machine with sand dune riders thanks to its unique power delivery. The Banshee remains popular, but 2006 is the last year it was available in the U.S. (due to EPA emissions regulations); it is still available in Canada, however.

Shortly after the introduction of the Banshee in 1987, Suzuki released the LT500R QuadRacer. This unique quad was powered by a 500 cc liquid cooled two stroke engine with a five-speed transmission. This ATV earned the nickname “Quadzilla” with its remarkable amount of speed and size. While there are claims of 100+ mph stock Quadzillas, it was officially recorded by 3&4 Wheel Action magazine as reaching a top speed of over 79 mph (127 km/h) in a high speed shootout in its 1988 June issue, making it the fastest production ATV ever produced. Suzuki discontinued the production of the LT500R in 1990 after just four years.

At the same time, development of utility ATVs was rapidly escalating. The 1986 Honda FourTrax TRX350 4×4 ushered in the era of four-wheel drive ATVs. Other manufacturers quickly followed suit, and 4x4s have remained the most popular type of ATV ever since. These machines are popular with hunters, farmers, ranchers and workers at construction sites.

Four-Wheel Drive ATV

Safety issues with three-wheel ATVs caused all ATV manufacturers to upgrade to four-wheel models in the late 1980s, and three-wheel models ended production in 1987, due to consent decrees between the major manufacturers and the Consumer Product Safety Commission—the result of legal battles over safety issues among consumer groups, the manufacturers and CPSC. The lighter weight of the three-wheel models made them popular with some expert riders. Cornering is more challenging than with a four-wheeled machine because leaning into the turn is even more important. Operators may roll over if caution isn’t used. The front end of three-wheelers obviously has a single wheel, making it lighter, and flipping backwards is a potential hazard, especially when climbing hills. Rollovers may also occur when traveling down a steep incline. The consent decrees expired in 1997, allowing manufacturers to, once again, make and market three-wheel models, though there are none marketed today. Recently the CPSC has succeeded in finally banning three-wheeled ATV’s with attachments to bill HR4040. Many believe this is in response to Chinese manufacturers trying to import three-wheeled ATV’s. The Japanese manufacturers were also behind this legislation, as they have been held responsible for years to provide ATV Safety training and to apply special labels and safety equipment to their ATVs while Chinese manufacturers did not.

Models continue, today, to be divided into the sport and utility markets. Sport models are generally small, light, two-wheel drive vehicles that accelerate quickly, have a manual transmission and run at speeds up to approximately 80 mph (130 km/h). Utility models are generally bigger four-wheel drive vehicles with a maximum speed of up to approximately 70 mph (110 km/h). They have the ability to haul small loads on attached racks or small dump beds. They may also tow small trailers. Due to the different weights, each has advantages on different types of terrain.

Six-wheel models often have a small dump bed, with an extra set of wheels at the back to increase the payload capacity. They can be either four-wheel drive (back wheels driving only), or six-wheel drive.

Ready To Ride Your Very Own Four-Wheel Drive ATV? Pick Your Tour Here!

The Top 10 Reasons To Go On An ATV Tour

For me, riding is like my therapy of sorts, a time to tune out negativity, release frustrations and anxieties and to focus on those tight, twisty turns, trees and gnarly obstacles that make life fun. If you’re anything like me (and I certainly hope you’re not), I thought I would infect you with some positive thinking to get you out of the house, on a quad and shedding off all your worries and cooped-up energy. Maybe you’ve had some valid excuses to not ride, such as your schedule is just too busy or you spend all of your weekends on a honey-do list or you’re simply too tired and lazy after a long week at work. No matter how many excuses you can scratch together, I can promise you that these are 10 irrefutable reasons why you should get out and ride. I know I will, and I promise that it will bring the choked-off excitement back into your life as quickly as your first ride. So put those excuses aside, and get out and ride.

Top 10 Reasons To Go On An ATV Tour:

1. Great Weather

“It’s too cold” is no longer a valid excuse for staying indoors. The temperatures are warm, the skies are clear and there will be plenty of bright and shiny days to spend outside for the next couple of months.

Top 10 Reasons To Go On An ATV Tour

2. Exercise

Pumping weights, running and doing crunches are great ways to exercise and obtain good health, but they can be oftentimes downright boring. Believe it or not, riding is a great way to work your heart, build muscle and even to release pent-up energy.

3. Stress Relief

After a long week of work, stress begins to eat away at you bit by bit. Pumping out some hard laps, whether it be on the track or deep in the woods, can quickly wipe away those worrisome anxieties.

4. Much-Needed Therapy

Who needs a shrink when you have an ATV? I always feel relieved and rejuvenated after a long day of riding. And it will probably save you quite a bit of cash in the long run. In the “screen-time” world we live, it is so important to put the phone down and “get outside”. Fresh air, exciting experiences, and adrenaline have been proven to boost moods, and stimulate productivity!
Throttle: “A device controlling the flow of fuel or power to an engine.”
Therapy: “Healing power or quality.”
Throttle Therapy: “The healing quality of controlling the flow of power to an engine!”

5. The Great Outdoors

Especially in the spring, summer and fall months, there’s a sense of renewing and peace when experiencing the outdoors. Don’t stay isolated in your house or office any longer; get out and experience the healing benefits that nature has to offer.

6. Get Inspired

When you’re lacking motivation, like I do at times, get out and ride. An enjoyable ride can lift inspiration blockers and clear your head of negativity, thereby making room for a fresh perspective. It works for me and maybe it’ll work wonders for you.

7. The Need For Speed

Most of us who ride quads have a need for speed that must be quenched on a regular basis. You can relieve this addiction by riding a roller coaster, sticking the pedal to the metal in a sports car or by pointing a bicycle downhill and hanging on for dear life. But I can’t think of a better way to satisfy this craving than by grabbing a handful of throttle and swiftly clicking through the gears on your quad.

The Need For Speed Is A Top Reason To Ride an ATV

8. Time With Family And Friends

I’m always trying to figure out ways to spend quality time with family and friends. What better way to accomplish this than a day at a riding area spent with your loved ones?

9. Adrenaline Fix

Adrenaline is a hormone produced by the body that stimulates heart rate and dilates blood vessels and air passages. It’s naturally produced when your body experiences physically exhilarating situations. So why store it and waste it when you can release and enjoy it? It’s a chemical cocktail that’s likely to occur many times while out riding.

10. Have Fun

The most important reason for riding is plain and simple: to have fun. It’s necessary to have regular doses of fun in our lives and it’s more than likely that a day or weekend out riding will end in a good ole time.

Ready To Book Your Ride? Pick Your Tour Here!