Story Ideas

Take a Hike

Miles of trails crossing tall-pine forests, rocky-river canyons, sun-filled meadows and countless vista points create a spectacular collection of outdoor places to stay active and explore Nevada County. For hikers and walkers, short hikes are found near the historic downtowns of Grass Valley, Nevada City and Truckee. Adventure seekers can find a detailed listing of trails for hiking, biking, running, horseback riding, skiing, snowshoeing, or guided historic outings at the Bear Yuba Land Trust online trails portal, www.bylt.org/trails/.

Embrace the Arts

Nevada County contains two of California’s official Cultural Arts Districts; in fact, we are the only two rural areas of the 14 such districts in the state. Concerts, including top name entertainment, are offered year round, and there are dramatic performances on several stages. Galleries and festivals showcase the finest art in the Sierra.

In Grass Valley, Music in the Mountains, one of the finest classical music associations in Northern California, performs Spring, Summer and Winter music festivals. InConcert Sierra and the Nevada County Concert Band are other regional favorites. The Center for the Arts, currently in the middle of a huge renovation to improve the facilities, hosts a year-around program of concerts and dance events.

Truckee area concert goers enjoy the Lake Tahoe Summer Music Festival.

Nevada City musical and dramatic performances are centered at the historic Nevada Theatre and the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. Performing arts groups include Off Broadstreet, Legacy Productions, Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS), and Sierra Stages.

For more information about the arts in Nevada County, visit Nevada County Arts Council.

Wine Tours and Tastings

Let your wine tour experience begin on the back roads of Nevada County, where you’ll find small, family-owned wineries that produce premium hand-crafted, award-winning wines. Be sure not to miss the unique tasting rooms in the historic downtowns of Grass Valley and Nevada City all offered by Sierra Vintners.

Fall Colors

Nevada County offers some of the best fall colors this side of New England. The warm fall days and cool nights in the mountains and foothills can lead to some spectacular viewing.

The higher elevations are painted yellow by the changing groves of aspens. In the foothills, century-old maple trees planted by pioneers cast bright tones of red and orange over the Victorian neighborhoods of Grass Valley and Nevada City.

In Truckee visitors can tour the changing colors by bike or on foot by heading down to the Legacy Trail, accessed through River View Park. The Legacy Trail and its adjacent single track parallel the rushing waters of the Truckee River, extending eastward with willows, aspens and cottonwoods dotting the landscape. For a historical perspective of the area, hikers immerse themselves in fall colors on interpretive tours via the Donner Party Hikes in October, departing from the Sugar Bowl Lodge on Donner Summit.

Outdoor Adventure

World-class ski resorts, deep blue mountain lakes, sparkling trout streams, from one end to the other, Nevada County is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are some of our most popular activities:

Skiing/Snowboarding – Downhill and cross-country skiers and snowboarders will find a dozen fine resorts in the Truckee-North Lake Tahoe area, ranging from small family ski areas to internationally-known resorts such as Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Northstar California.

Lakes/Rivers – The Wild & Scenic South Yuba River runs through the canyons and forests of Nevada County, attracting hikers, swimmers and whitewater enthusiasts. In the high country, the Truckee River is known for great fly fishing and its popular raft rides that begin at the Lake Tahoe outlet.

Camping/Backpacking – From the Pacific Crest Trail along the Sierra crest to the lakes and forests of the foothills, Nevada County offers outdoor opportunities for the camper. Backpackers explore the high country terrain near Donner Summit and the Grouse Ridge Lakes Basin. Tent and motorhome campers will find lake and river side retreats across the county. Camping opportunities range from primitive sites to in town glamping.

Hiking/Biking – Climb a mountain, amble along a riverside trail or ride your mountain bike along forest and single track trails. Road bike through the scenic beauty of the Sierra! Pick up hiking and hiking trail brochures from one of Nevada County’s Chamber of Commerce Visitor Centers. For a comprehensive overview of mountain bike trails visit the Mountain Bikers of Nevada County.

Golf – The Truckee area has grown into a golfing mecca, with several upscale public and private golf courses. Some of the best known are Old Greenwood, Grey’s Crossing, Coyote Moon and Northstar California. While golf is seasonal in the high country, year-around play is the rule in the Grass Valley-Nevada City area which offers four public courses and two private golf communities, including Darkhorse, voted #1 in the Sierra Nevada, by the Western Golf Alliance.

Swimming – Between the many high Sierra lakes and the clean and clear water of the South Yuba River, Nevada County boasts some of the best swimming holes in the state.