Shh! This is Northern California’s best secret swimming spot

Leave a comment’s Getaways names the Yuba River in Nevada County as “Northern California’s best secret swimming spot.” Of course, we knew that all along!

“Shh! This is Northern California’s best secret swimming spot

“18 August 2015

“Who doesn’t love a good secret swim spot? There’s something extra magical about it: the cool, fresh water, the peace and quiet of the woods, the bubbling waterfalls and smooth pools… plus you don’t have to worry about getting splashed by pesky kids hopped up on sugary Popsicles doing cannonballs into the deep end. It’s how nature intended swimming to be: relaxing and refreshing. You can find them hidden in forests and parks all across America, and one of the country’s coolest is located in South Yuba River State Park.

“Of course, like most good hidden swimming holes, you’ll have to do a little work to get there, but the hike through the river is worth it– and kind of fun in its own right. The stream is strewn with boulders that make the hike an exciting challenge. These boulders and rocks are what make the swimming holes as well. Even though the park is a local favorite, especially as the dog days of summer hit, there are so many secluded spots, nooks, crannies, and coves, that you’ll feel like you discovered the place yourself!

“A few tips for hiking up the river: The best time is summer and early fall– the water will be really high and running very fast in the spring and early summer, making the hike more difficult and potentially more dangerous. Wear sturdy waterproof shoes. You’re going to be trekking through the river and up, down, over, under, and around rocks, and the right footwear can help make the hike more pleasant. You’ll also want to pack water, snacks, and sunblock, since there’s not a ton of shade along the river. And if you’re bringing a picnic, a camera, or anything else you need to keep dry, make sure to bring a waterproof bag. Also, pack as light as possible! You might find yourself regretting bringing along a huge cooler halfway through the hike. And remember to leave yourself plenty of time to hike to a good location, relax a bit, and hike back.

To see more photos and read the full article, click here.

(Source: Anna Hider,; Photos: Suzanne LaGasa/Flickr, Rick Cooper/Flickr)

Wine and food tasting abounds in Nevada County this summer

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For savory eats and award-winning wines, these festivals offer eclectic tastings, hands-on cooking demos with imaginative chefs, and breathtaking venues:


A premier wine tasting experience from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on “roads less traveled” in Nevada and Placer Counties. The trail includes wineries that are relatively near one another, reducing the driving time. The wineries are offering gourmet food pairings to go with their wines and music.

Sierra Vintners are situated between Sacramento and Reno with easy access off I-80.

The wineries on the July 18 wine trail are near Grass Valley and Nevada City: Double Oak Vineyards & Winery, Katoa Cellars, Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery, Nevada City Winery, Smith Vineyard and Solune Winegrowers.

The vintners on the September 26 wine trail are in South Nevada County or North Auburn: Bear River Winery, Fawnridge Winery, Lone Buffalo Vineyards & Winery, Mt. Vernon Winery, Naggiar Vineyards, Sierra Knolls Vineyards & Winery and Viña Castellano Winery.

The wineries are in picturesque settings, where you can see wildflowers, coveys of quail and other wildlife. Sierra Vintners produce a wide variety of vines, with over 45 planted varietals, ranging from Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon to Cabernet Franc, Barbera, Sangiovese and Tempranillo.

For tickets and more information, visit


Uncorked is a walk-about-town style format from 1-4 p.m. that includes 20 venues throughout downtown. Each location, whether it is a retail shop, restaurant, winery or tasting room, will includewine tasting and food sampling.

This year’s event features a farm-to-table theme between the local farmers and participating restaurants and caterers who will transform the fresh products into signature dishes. The wineries will highlight their newest release of the season in celebration of the upcoming harvest.

For tickets and information, visit


Now in its 12th year, The Downtown Truckee Wine, Walk & Shop is one of Truckee’s preeminent events. This annual favorite from noon-4 p.m. brings nearly 1,000 locals and tourists to historic downtown Truckee to sip wine, taste food samples and enjoy shopping.

Attendees will receive a commemorative wine glass to sample wine at more than 30 locations, food tickets and a program with a map to all participating locations.

For more information, visit


Nevada City named one of the most beautiful towns on the West Coast

Leave a comment just named Nevada City to its “10 Most Beautiful Towns on the West Coast” list.

“Diverse landscapes and towns brimming with charm can be found throughout the West Coast states. From coastal gems to inland beauties, we’ve put together a list of some of the most beautiful smaller towns waiting to be photographed and explored.

Nevada City

“Brimming with charm, Nevada City is a historical gem and California gold rush town found in the idyllic setting of the Sierra Nevada Mountains’ foothills, which also makes it a great destination for outdoor lovers. Local residents are proud of their town and have taken every step to preserve the century-old Victorian buildings that dot the land. To explore this town’s narrow streets, it’s best to park the car and stroll along by foot to discover all the great finds, including beautiful art, handmade jewelry, clothes, books, other fantastic gifts, plus delicious restaurants. Must-see events take place throughout the year as well, including the Nevada City Bicycle Classic, First Friday Art Walks, and Victorian Christmas to name but a few.

Nevada City, CA, USA

To read the full article, click here. To learn more about Nevada City, click here.

(Source:; Photo: Ken Lund/Flickr)

Nevada County ranks #28 of 3,111 counties nationally

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The Washington Post published an article that ranks every county in America by scenery and climate, and Nevada County ranked #28 out of the 3,111 counties.

“Nevada County, CA: This county has extremely high natural amenities. Rank: 28 out of 3,111 counties.

“In the late 1990s the federal government devised a measure of the best and worst places to live in America, from the standpoint of scenery and climate,” the article said. “The ‘natural amenities index’ is intended as ‘a measure of the physical characteristics of a county area that enhance the location as a place to live.’

“The index combines ‘six measures of climate, topography, and water area that reflect environmental qualities most people prefer.’ Those qualities, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, include mild, sunny winters, temperate summers, low humidity, topographic variation, and access to a body of water.

“These ‘natural aspects of attractiveness,’ as the USDA describes them, are intended to be constant and relatively immutable. They’re not expected to change much over time, so the USDA hasn’t updated its data beyond the initial 1999 scoring. “Natural amenities pertain to the physical rather than the social or economic environment,” the USDA writes. Things like plants, animals or the human environment are excluded by definition.

“We can measure the basic ingredients, not how these ingredients have been shaped by nature and man.” I stumbled on these numbers after reading about a recent study linking natural amenities to religiosity. (U.S. counties with nicer weather and surroundings tend to have less religious residents.)

“I’ve mapped all the counties above according to where they rank on the natural amenities index — mouse over to check out how desirable (or not) your own county is.

“You’ll see that Sun Belt counties fare pretty well — especially ones in California and Colorado. In fact, every single one of the 10 highest-ranked counties is located in California. After Ventura County, Humboldt, Santa Barbara, Mendocino and Del Norte counties round out the top five.”

To read the full article and view the maps, click here.

(Source: Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post; Photo: Michael Weissenborn)

41st Truckee Pro Rodeo this coming weekend

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Join in on the fun and celebrate the 41st year of the Truckee Professional Rodeo on August 22 and 23, 2015 at McIver Arena in Truckee, California. Here’s this year’s schedule:

Kid’s Day at the Rodeo
Friday, August 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us for an afternoon of fun and FREE rodeo themed activities! Kids can learn to rope, have stick horse races, take a pony ride, have a chance to brush a horse, learn about rodeo from our rodeo queens, watch a performance by the Truckee Donner Junior Horsemen Drill Team, and enjoy a free barbeque lunch courtesy of the Truckee Donner Junior Horsemen Association. You can learn more about the Junior Horsemen and what they do here!

Team Penning and Dinner
Friday, August 21 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Come join us for dinner and watch some team penning! The event is free to attend and dinner tickets are $20. Rodeo sponsors receive free dinner tickets based on their sponsorship level, but are welcome to purchase additional tickets for family and friends. The dinner is also open to the public, so if you would like to watch some team penning as you enjoy a delicious dinner please come by! Dinner will be catered by a local restaurant (TBA) and tickets can be purchased at the gate. It is sure to be a great time with great food! If you would like to participate by riding in a team in team penning, please contact us at (530) 205-6275 or to express your interest. Teams are 3 people, cost is $60 per team.

Rodeo Performance
Saturday, August 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. (gates open at 3 p.m.)

In addition to the traditional rodeo events, we will also have a “boot race” for the kids, mutton bustin’, calf dressing, and a specialty act! You won’ want to miss out on the fun! We ask that you please refrain from bringing coolers into the rodeo venue, we will have libations and food available for purchase.

Rodeo Performance
Sunday, August 23 from 1 to 3 p.m. (gates open at 11 a.m.)

This will be our second rodeo performance, it will also feature the “boot race”, muton bustin’, calf dressing, and our specialty act. It is sure to be just as fun! We ask that you please refrain from bringing coolers into the rodeo venue, we will have libations and food available for purchase.

2015 Ticket Information:

Discounted presale tickets can be purchased online here or at several businesses in Truckee. Premier seating is $45; general admission is $12 for Adult, $7 for Kids 6-12 and free for kids 5 and under.

Tickets purchased at the gate are $50 for premiere seating (space limited); $15 for Adult, $11 for Students (ID required), $10 for Kids 6-12; and free for kids 5 and under.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

- Truckee Pro Rodeo Association

(Photo: Truckee Pro Rodeo Association)

New video of the 2015 Nevada County Fair

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The Nevada County Fair continues through this Sunday. Watch a video from this year’s fair, here:

(Video: Nevada County Fairgrounds)

It’s Fair time and there’s something for everyone!

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This year’s Nevada County Fair features a full line up of excitement and loud, crazy fun in the arena each night. Wednesday and Thursday night features the Flying U Extreme Rodeo, Friday and Saturday night features Tuff Trucks and Monsters Trucks, and Sunday night is the return of Rotary’s Destruction Derby.

The Flying U Extreme Rodeo, produced by Cotton Rosser and Flying U Rodeo, returns to the arena on Wednesday and Thursday night with cowboys, bull riding, wild horse races, motorcycle riding, and a parachutist. Mutton Bustin, where young cowboys and cowgirls get the chance to hop on a trusty sheep and head for the thrill of their young lives, is scheduled during the event on both nights. If you have children interested in participating in Mutton Bustin, please visit the Fair Office. New this year, on both nights, will be a Coin Dig. Sponsored by A to Z Supply, the Coin Dig, features 100 gold coins buried in the arena, and children 10 years and younger in the audience will be invited down to the arena to dig for the coins. The cost to attend the Flying U Extreme Rodeo is $6.

On Thursday and Friday night, it’s Tuff Trucks and Monster Trucks, produced by S. Miller Paving, Inc. Loud trucks, racing, and car jumping make up for this fun evening. Ticket price also includes a Meet and Greet from 5:30 to 6:30 on both nights, so you can go visit the arena floor and meet the drivers. The cost to attend the Tuff Truck and Monster Truck show is $12 for adults, and $8 for kids 12 and under.

On Sunday, it’s the crowd-favorite Destruction Derby. The popular Derby is locally produced by five of Nevada County’s Rotary Clubs – The Rotary Club of Nevada City, Rotary Club of Nevada County South, 49er Breakfast Rotary of Nevada City, Penn Valley Rotary, and Rotary Club of Grass Valley. Watch as drivers put their cars to the ultimate test and crash, smash, and ram other vehicles while trying to keep their own vehicle running! It’s demolition at its best. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for kids 12 and under.

All arena events start at 7 p.m. For tickets to the Fair’s arena events, visit This year’s Nevada County Fair is August 12 through 16, 2015.

- Nevada County Fair

Video of the Nevada County Fair

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The 2015 Nevada County Fair begins tomorrow! Check out this cool video courtesy of

120th Miners Picnic is August 29

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Pack your picnic basket. Grab a blanket and chairs – and seize the chance to picnic on our glorious grounds. The annual Miners Picnic on August 29, from 11 a.m-4 p.m, is a summer celebration of our colorful, gold mining history.

The first Miners Picnic was held 1895 to raise money for miners’ widows and orphans, as well as injured and out-of-work miners. Today, it’s an action-packed day of fun, food, gold history, and lasting memories.

A nail-biting mine rescue reenactment at high noon is a must. Will help arrive in time to save the injured miners? Witness the event in the Mineyard, and cheer the rescue team on.

The prices are: $7 for 17 & over, $3 children 6-16, free for children under 6.

You’re also welcome to visit the old Blacksmith Shop. Our popular “smithies” always have old-west tales to tell. There is Living History at Empire Cottage – with docents portraying many of the characters who shaped our history, such as the Bourn Family, the Starrs – and chatty housekeeper, Katie Moriarty. They’ll be glad to tell you what life was like in the early 1900s.

You’ll also enjoy:

The choice of bringing your own lunch or purchasing food, drinks
and ice cream from local vendors (including the traditional miners’
favorite, Cornish pasties)
-Vintage cars
-Lavish, period costumes
-Challenging games and entertainment for children
-Learning how to pan for gold
-An old-fashioned cake walk
-Equipment exhibits
-Live music by popular, local band Rush Creek, as well as strolling musicians & entertainers
-A first-time raffle for a valuable piece of gold

(Text and photo: Empire Mine)

Hiking trails in Nevada County CA

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Nevada County is ranked #47 in the nation for America’s 50 best counties for outdoor activities, and ranked #6 for California’s best counties in outdoor activities, according to a 2015 survey by Niche. We have hiking trails for all levels of abilities and interests.

Choose your trail from more than 50 trails listed on our updated Hiking page, including Sugarloaf Mountain Trail, Condon Park Trails, and Penn Valley Bike Trail. Grab your hiking boots and check them out!

The Bear Yuba Land Trust is also a great resource for all things hiking including photos from all of their listed trails.

(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt magazine)