Ken-Smith Owner of Explore Sierra Touring Company

Hi, I’m Ken! I like to think I’m a fun, adventurous tour guide. I was put on this earth to help you experience the outdoors, smile (laugh), and bring you places you’ve only dreamed!

A Short Recollection Of How This Crazy Business Got Started!

“I’d been doing automotive repair for about 30 years, and a lot of that time was with my own shop. Around 2006, I received a phone call one day from my Dad, and he said “I think I am ready to retire and call it quits running the ranch, and the rock plant” ( which is on the ranch). He was looking for me to come and “take over show”. I talked to my partner at the automotive shop, and within a short period of time, I sold my half of the business.

I worked in construction for about a year waiting for things to transition at the rock plant at the ranch. Around 2007, I tool over the rock plant, and because the ranch manager. I did that for quite awhile…but after long, I got a little bored. I had run my own business for so many years, and this was not the “challenge” I needed. I needed to find something that brought me pure joy and happiness.

I took time to think about everything I love to do…and being outdoors was at the top of my list, along with barbequing, and being around people (the fact that it was just me and the dog and I ….you know…after a while the dog didn’t have a whole lot of conversation left in him so it was getting pretty boring)!

We had ATVs on the ranch for years as work vehicles, but often I would go “play” with them.

I came up with this crazy idea that maybe I could start a business where we would take customers down to the river at the steel bridge, drop canoes in the water, and canoe for about an hour down river, then come back to the ranch. From there,  we would get out of the canoes, get on bicycles, and ride mountain bikes back to the ranch. Upon returning to the ranch, we would hop on ATVs and ride throughout the 1500 acres of the property. When we were done with our full day of adventuring, we would have a big BBQ! It was a “wow!” that would be a lot of fun, but then reality set in when I started thinking about all the logistics it would take to make that happen.

I thought some more, and figured it out! I was going to start a business with a few ATVs and a few trails…and see how it goes.

In January of 2008 ,I got all of my licensing, and purchased a few more quads.  My wife Kathy was okay with this entire venture, and I was off and running! Built a few trails, did some marketing…and at the time, I didn’t really know a lot about digital marketing, and online business branding. But, we got started, and people started to hear about us! Starting from a few tours a month, we grew to doing 100s of tours a year, 60 ATVs, and 40 Snowmobiles!

Fast forward to 2019, 11 years later, we have morphed into this crazy business where we’ve got the Diamond S. Ranch, 27 miles of ATV purpose-built trails, and halfway through the ride (if you want to), you can stop and do some trap shooting! I made a trap range with 3 stations, and we can now handle a group of 40 pretty easily! I didn’t forget my love of cooking, so at the end of your ATV Tour, we have an “add-on” Maria-Style Tri-Tip BBQ!

Today, I’m really busy taking care of ATVs, our wonderful customers, amazing employees, cooking some great barbecue, meeting with people, and just having a blast!

We’ve been fortunate…we get people from all over the world! You’re meeting somebody new every day, and it’s been a blessing.

In a nutshell that’s how it all got going!” – Founder, Ken Smith




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An ATV Tour 3 Years In...

Join “Mike’s Road Trip” as he takes you on an ATV ride from 2011! The views are just as beautiful today (we have just added some more “toys” to the lineup)!