NOS Mission

Nevada Outdoor School inspires exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat and dedication to community.
This is the spot for us to share stories, fun ideas or general musings. When you aren't in here, we hope to see you out there!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Spring in Nevada!

April showers bring May flowers… or at least that’s what they say.  Spring has officially sprung, and I personally am looking forward to spending some time outdoors and enjoying all that spring in Nevada has to offer. Weather you like to hike, ride, or camp, springtime in Nevada is sure to deliver some fantastic outdoor recreational opportunities.   One of my favorite spring activities is to head to the Santa Rosa Mountains. Within an hour’s drive from Winnemucca, the Santa Rosa’s offer a variety of hikes, beautiful established campgrounds at Lye creek, and roads for OHV recreation. In the spring, the hillsides come to life with blooming wildflowers. Water Canyon is another great destination in the spring, however, be prepared for high creek crossings. 

While there are plenty of fantastic areas to enjoy here in Northern Nevada, this Spring I will be traveling south to visit Valley of Fire State Park. Valley of Fire is named after the vibrant red sandstone formations which, when caught in the right light, can look like they are actually catching fire.  

I am looking forward to the opportunity to see the unique sandstone formations within the park such as Elephant Rock and Windstone Arch. One of the other features of Valley of Fire that I am excited to experience are the petroglyphs, which can be found at various sites throughout the park. The reason for my trip to Valley of Fire is because I will be assisting with a Leave No Trace Trainer course. This is especially exciting because not only will I get to explore the beauty of Valley of Fire State park myself, but also I will get to share that experience with people who are committed to doing their part to ensure that beautiful outdoor spaces stay beautiful for years to come. 

Happy Trails!

-Space Jam

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Black Rock Desert LNT Trainer Course

This past weekend I worked with Friends of Black Rock-High Rock to host a Leave No Trace trainer course in the Black Rock Desert.  The goal of this course was for participants to learn about, practice and leave prepared to teach others about Leave No Trace (LNT).  This course also focused on how LNT applies to the nature walks Friends of Black Rock-High Rock is leading at Fly Ranch as well as how they apply to Burning Man.  It was the largest course I have ever run with eighteen participants!  

Due to the unpredictability of springtime in the desert, we made the decision ahead of time for this course to be camping optional, which turned out to be a good thing because it rained all day Friday making the playa impassable and surrounding areas wet and muddy.  Thankfully, the rain subsided by Saturday morning, but we had sustained winds of about 30 mph for most of the day (you know, typical Nevada) which made it a little hard to hear and effectively teach in our preferred outdoor setting.  We did however make it out to Fly Ranch on Saturday and were able to explore the property and discuss how Leave No Trace principles apply there.  

On Sunday, we hiked down Guru Road and back, learning about LNT as well as some Gerlach history.  It was a beautiful day and we were able to spend the day outside in the sunshine.  We wrapped up the course back at the Friends office discussing how to use the Authority of the Resource technique to approach and teach other people about responsible recreation.

Overall, it was a very good course with a wonderful group of people.
If you are interested in taking a course like this is the Black Rock Desert, we have another one scheduled for June 9th and 10th.  To register contact Sarah at

To learn more about Leave No Trace or how to get involved in spreading the message of responsible recreation in the state of Nevada, email:

Happy Trails!


Monday, April 2, 2018

Nevada Outdoor School attends Spring Banquets and Fundraisers to say THANK YOU!

NOS’s Summer Camp Programs are coming up soon and we could not provide these excellent opportunities for northern Nevada youth without the financial support of our local outdoor enthusiast and conservation groups like Nevada Muleys, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Nevada Chukar Foundation and Nevada Bighorns Unlimited – Midas Chapter.  

Thanks to the generous financial contributions these organizations make to NOS, we are able to take our Summer Camp participants to some of Nevada’s greatest treasures and natural resources.  This summer, our youngest adventure campers will spend the night in Water Canyon and explore the Sonoma Range while our older students will have the opportunity go to farther from home summer camp locations including the Santa Rosas, the Pine Forest Range, the majestic Sierras, Lamoille Canyon in the Rubies and new this year...Lassen Volcano Park in northern California!

Our mission aligns well with the mission of these groups and offers a strong outdoor education partner to help promote and expand their purposes and goals as NOS is the leading provider of conservation education in rural Nevada.  We are consistently seeking to expand the role that hands-on experiential and outdoor learning opportunities play in the overall education of youth.  It is our belief that our Summer Camp programming and overnight camp-outs will encourage youth to take a greater interest in the natural world and develop critical thinking skills necessary to make educated decisions regarding conservation and habitat management and to become “responsible stewards of their habitat”.  Additionally, studies have indicated that outdoor and environmental learning programs can increase the overall academic performance and social skills. 

So, if you participate in these fundraising banquets, be sure and look for Executive Director, Melanie Erquiaga at the next one and stop by her NOS table so she can thank you for your support!

Happy Trails!