Table Of Contents

    • Exploring the Dark Skys of Nevada
    • Three Summer Scenic Routes You Must try
    • Be Dareful in Tuolumne County


    Anyone who has traveled through Nevada knows that it is one of wide open spaces, quiet solitude, and miles upon miles of uninterrupted views. Because the American public owns so much of this wide open landscape, you won’t find “No Trespassing” signs or private developments, and you certainly won’t find a lot of lights. There are very few places left in the country, and in the world for that matter, where there is so little artificial light that you can literally see right through the Milky Way to the next galaxy with the naked eye… but you can right here in Nevada. From Great Basin National Park to Massacre Rim Wilderness Study Area to the most remote stretches of Highway 6, Nevada is home to some of the most spectacular night skies in the world.

    Places to Enjoy Nevada’s Starry Skies

    Massacre Rim Wilderness Study Area/Dark Sky Sanctuary
    Massacre Rim Wilderness Study Area was certified as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary on March 18, 2019. Located in northern Washoe county, the Sanctuary sits in the middle of one of the darkest regions in the United States.

    Tonopah Star Trails and Star ParkOptions abound to see the stars around Tonopah, which was rated the #1 Stargazing Destination in America by USA Today.  In town you can visit the Clair Blackburn Memorial Stargazing Park with its cement pads designed for telescopes. Or download the Tonopah Star Trails Map at www.tonopahnevada.com so you can explore the extensive paved and unpaved options to see central Nevada’s night skies.  

    Ely’s Great Basin Star Train
    Hop on a steam-powered locomotive in Ely for an educational and inspiring program featuring the National Park Service’s “Dark Rangers” and eastern Nevada’s breathtaking Dark Skies.  Great Basin Star Train runs Spring/Summer. For details and schedule, visit the Nevada Northern Railway site at NNRY.com.

    Gerlach, Nevada
    Visit America’s Darkest Town, as named by FiveThirtyEight in 2017.  Enjoy a Picon Punch Cocktail at local watering hole Bruno’s Country Club & Motel.  If the Black Rock Playa is dry, you can walk onto one of the largest, flattest surfaces in the world to get an expansive view of northern Nevada’s starry skies.  Don’t forget to stop by the Empire Store on the way.

     Desert Overlook Trail
    See the stars over a sweeping view of southern Nevada’s Sheep Range Proposed Wilderness from this trail in the Spring Mountains.  This half-mile, paved trail is accessible and has a parking area, making it an ideal star-watching spot for all Nevadans.  

    Great Basin National Park
    “Half the park is after dark!” As a designated Dark Sky Park, Great Basin’s Night Sky Program highlights include guided full moon hikes, seasonal ranger-led astronomy talks, and telescope viewings at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.  The Park also hosts an annual astronomy festival every autumn.  

    Astronomy Festival – September 17 – 19, 2020. (Check for current updates on the event times and safety precautions)

    Great Basin National Park will be hosting its annual Astronomy Festival. Enjoy three days and nights of astronomy-themed events, including the famous ranger talent show and stargazing through over 20 different telescopes!  September 17th – 19th, 2020. Check times with Lehman Visitor Center.

    ** Feature image www.modernartphotograph.com Portland Photographer Robert Knapp, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    Visit Visalia’s top picks for road tripping travelers on the westside of the Sierra

    Visalia, Calif. (June 11, 2021) – Visit Visalia is gearing up for an influx of visitors as Covid restrictions are lifted and California opens back up. Anticipating increased summertime travel, Visit Visalia is ready with travel tips and suggestions, and offering their top picks for three scenic drives that will have visitors exploring the local foothills and the national parks in Visalia’s backyard for a classic summer road trip.

    Road Trip #1: Drive the General’s Highway in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

    Sequoia and Kings Canyon are two of the most unique in the park system! They are adjacent parks that are linked by the General’s Highway which makes for a perfect day drive that spans from the Ash Mountain gate in Sequoia National Park to the Big Stump gate in Kings Canyon. These nearby national parks are filled with scenic vistas and majestic sequoia trees that appear around each turn as you drive through the parks. For travelers who want to see these amazing parks but don’t have time for a deep exploration, a road trip through the parks is a great solution. And only one entry fee is required.

    Yokohl Valley

    Road Trip #2: Yokohl Valley to Balch Park and Springville

    Skirting the southwestern edge of Sequoia National Park (though not accessible), the trip through Yokohl Valley is along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. This route winds past orange groves, cattle ranches and rolling hills dotted with barns and pastures providing a relaxing drive and lots of photo ops.

    Kings Canyon CC BY-SA 3.0

    Road Trip #3: Kings Canyon Scenic Byway

    California’s scenic byways offer some of the most dramatic views in the state. The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway is no exception. It begins just north of Visalia, along highway 180 that winds into the national park and ends fittingly at Road’s End deep inside the canyon. Along the way, it climbs in elevation to where the majestic giant sequoia trees grow before heading down into the canyon, one of the deepest in north America, following the roaring Kings River.

    These three drives let visitors explore the scenic views around Visalia and the Sierra Nevada mountains for a fun summer getaway. The itineraries with details are available on the Visit Visalia website along with other suggestions and travel information. As California lifts Covid restrictions and families finally head out on their summertime vacation, Visit Visalia is ready with tips, information and travel deals to maximize their holiday. Currently, travelers can receive a free $50 gas card or an annual pass to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks when they book their stay in Visalia. But this limited offer* is set to expire June 30 so travelers need to make their travel plans soon.

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks do not require reservations to visit this summer unlike nearby Yosemite National Park. Park entry fee is $35 per car and is good for 7 consecutive days.

    Visalia is known for having the famous Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in its backyard, but natural charm, welcoming locals and abundance of experiences are why this Central California city is much more than a gateway to the great outdoors. Along with great outdoor experiences, Visalia’s local food scene, from thriving food truck culture to fine dining, offers foodie lovers even more to explore. We look forward to greeting travelers this summer.

    For more information or to book your stay, go to www.visitvisalia.com.  All images Courtesy of Vistvisalia.com

    Hold Your Own Summer Olympics in California


    Sierra Rec Magazine – Summer 2021 edition – Tuolumne County is a pristine, scenic expanse reaching into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Stanislaus National ForestYosemite National Park and other surrounding areas provide natural vistas and settings for hiking, water skiing, horseback riding and other summer sports.

    As we get set for the Summer Olympics we feature ways families can have their own Olympic style adventure in California communiites in the sierra.

    Embark on a guided horseback ride

    A guided horseback ride from May-October with Kennedy Meadows Resort and Pack Station or Aspen Meadow Pack Station.

    Rent a kayak

    Rent a kayak at one of the marinas at Lake Don Pedro or Pinecrest Lake or a paddle board from Heidi’s Ski Shop.

    Whitewater Rafting

    Try whitewater rafting on the Tuolumne River outside of Yosemite with one of Tuolumne County’s Outfitters.

    Start Climbing

    One of the best kept Tuolumne County secrets is that it is home to world class rock climbing. From bouldering in Columbia to trad in Yosemite, there is something for every climber.

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    Iconic Hasbro brand KOOSH to become the presenting partner for Tough Mudder Kids in 2021

    BOSTON, Mass. (June 10, 2021) – Tough Mudder, the global experiential fitness entertainment brand announces that the Original KOOSH, the iconic Hasbro brand licensed to Playmonster will become the presenting sponsor of Tough Mudder Kids. Tough Mudder Kids presented by KOOSH will kick-off on July 10th and run through the end of the season. This adventure inspired obstacle course is open to youth Mudders ages 5 – 12 and encourages teamwork to overcome obstacles both in and out of the mud.

    A reimagined and enhanced teamwork experience, each Tough Mudder Kids event weekend will offer both a Mighty Mudder and a Mini Mudder event open to kids of all abilities. The Mighty Mudder course is designed for kids 8-12, featuring a one-mile course with 15 obstacles, while Mini Mudder is designed for kids aged 5-7, offering a ½ mile course and 10 obstacles. Participants in both age groups will receive a finisher shirt, an adult spectator ticket, finisher’s headband and post-event refreshments.

    “The Tough Mudder event is a perfect fit with our KOOSH brand initiative,” said Tim Kilpin, President at PlayMonster. “Creating fun ways for kids to stay active and have a positive play experience is something KOOSH and PlayMonster strives for with every product we create.”

    Koosh will kick off their partnership experience at the Tough Mudder Kids event in Indiana on July 31st, featuring the re-launched Original KOOSH product and showcasing the different ways to play and engage with the suite of soft active toys. With this partnership, the KOOSH brand will sponsor the Polar Plunge obstacle on course. This icy challenge will test the participants’ mental grit as they dunk their bodies into an ice bath filled with water and KOOSH balls.

    “We are excited to partner with an innovative brand and household favorite like KOOSH for our reimagined Tough Mudder Kids experience. Our mission is to empower kids to develop a positive relationship with physical activity by providing them an experience to use their teamwork skills, face their fears and get pretty muddy along the way,” said Kyle McLaughlin, CEO of Tough Mudder.

    Tough Mudder Kids presented by KOOSH is also announcing the details of their grant program for the 2021 season; providing a bank of free entries at each event for youth organizations that serve kids aged 5-12 in high need communities. More details on the grant program and consideration criteria can be found here.

    “The Tough Mudder community is rooted in inclusion, including accessibility for communities that don’t have the means to purchase an entry fee, particularly for our youth events. Our mission with our grant program is to provide kids the lifelong benefit of a positive relationship with physical activity and greater self-esteem through teamwork and fun. A day in the mud can change a kid’s life and we want to be able to support that opportunity for any child who wants that,” said McLaughlin.

    The 2021 North American Tough Mudder event series will feature more than 125,000 annual participants, and more than 20 event weekends across the continent this year. For more information and to register for Tough Mudder visit: toughmudder.com. You can also find Tough Mudder at @tough_mudder on Instagram, @toughmudder on Facebook and @ToughMudder on Twitter.

    Tough Mudder and its local partners are following all local public health guidelines and have developed extensive protocols to provide a safe racing environment, including limiting capacity at events.

    About Tough Mudder –
    Founded in 2010 with the launch of the Tough Mudder obstacle course event series, Tough Mudder is a leading global sports and active lifestyle brand. With more than 6 million participants, the company hosts more than 130 challenges (Tough Mudder Kids, Tough Mudder 5K and Tough Mudder Classic) and endurance (Tougher Mudder, Toughest Mudder and World’s Toughest Mudder) events annually in 19 countries. The company’s content studio provides millions of engaged online brand enthusiasts with wellness, nutrition and inspiring content delivered daily across social and digital platforms. Tough Mudder’s brand of teamwork-based challenge events and digital fitness experiences are unique in the endurance and obstacle course industries, and over 500,000 new participants are welcomed to the global Tough Mudder community every year. For more information visit www.toughmudder.com.

    About PlayMonster

    PlayMonster, a leading international toy and game company, believes in the power of play to make a positive difference in people’s lives, and strives to keep play alive for all ages by delivering great play value through designing, manufacturing and marketing innovative and fun toys, games and activities. PlayMonster’s diversified portfolio includes popular brands and products such as “TOTY Game of the Year” Yeti in My Spaghetti®, plus THINGS…®, 5 Second Rule®, Relative Insanity®, Farkle, SET®, Five Crowns®,  Spirograph®, Colorforms, My Fairy Garden®, Face Paintoos™, Fashion Plates®, Latchkits®, and Snap Ships®.

    About Hasbro

    Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global play and entertainment company committed to making the world a better place for all children, fans and families. Hasbro delivers immersive brand experiences for global audiences through consumer products, including toys and games; entertainment through eOne, its independent studio; and gaming, led by the team at Wizards of the Coast, an award-winning developer of tabletop and digital games best known for fantasy franchises MAGIC: THE GATHERING and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS.

    The company’s unparalleled portfolio of approximately 1,500 brands includes MAGIC: THE GATHERING, NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, BABY ALIVE, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, POWER RANGERS, PEPPA PIG and PJ MASKS, as well as premier partner brands. For the past decade, Hasbro has been consistently recognized for its corporate citizenship, including being named one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by 3BL Media and one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute. Important business and brand updates are routinely shared on our Investor Relations website, Newsroom and social channels (@Hasbro on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.)

    Free, family-friendly outdoor concerts will feature a feast of musical talents in Carson City

    The Levitt AMP Carson City Music Series presented by The Change Companies will return for our fifth season on Saturday, July 10 and run every Saturday night through August 28.  So grab your family, friends and neighbors and get ready to experience the power of free, live music to bring our community together!

    Sponsored in part by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a national funder of creative placemaking that empowers communities to inject new life into underused public spaces through free, outdoor concerts, the Levitt AMP Carson City Music Series will present 8 free, family-friendly concerts to the public this summer at The Change Companies stage at the Brewery Arts Center. Additionally, we will present two Flatbed Concerts on June 19 and 26, driving musicians through specific neighborhoods in Carson City as a part of the Levitt AMP Carson City experience. We added this element again for this year after the success of 2020’s Flatbed Concerts where we were able to bring live music directly to the people as they sheltered at home during the pandemic.