For those of us who are summer lovers, we are nearing our breaking point with all this cold! The short days, intensified by the common cloud cover this time of year, can make some of us grumpy and groggy. We appreciate those who love winter and relish the opportunity to ski, snowshoe, ice fish, and snowmobile, more power to your brave and warm souls and thank you for reminding us that there is good to be found in this dark and cold season.
One of the greatest things about living in northeastern Nevada is that year round there are things to be done outside. Between our mountains, reservoirs, and miles of open spaces, we have many choices and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
This year snow on the valley floor continues to elude us, but when the white-stuff does fly, Elko Snobowl Ski and Bike Park at the top of 5th Street, about 5-miles out of town, offers 700 vertical feet of skiing, with 100-acres of open bowl skiing. There is a rope tow and a double chair lift. Snobowl caters to beginners and intermediates, but anyone can get out and enjoy what it has to offer. Check out their Facebook page for the latest information. For those who are more experienced and like to head into the mountains, reports from Ruby Mountains Heli-Experience website indicate that skiing is happening, with early conditions. Skiing is a great way to get out with your family and make some memories.
Because skiing can be an expensive sport with gear and ticket prices, snowshoeing offers another solid family outdoor adventure at much less of a cost. For fun family adventures one does not need to invest in high-dollar snowshoes, most any pair will do. Poles are recommended as balance can be a challenge when on potentially slippery surfaces, and you do walk a bit different. Most any hiking trail quickly converts into a snowshoe location, and if and when the snow is deep enough, going off trail may be acceptable. There is a sense of awe knowing you are walking where the boulders and sage are in the summer.
For the serious angler, having ice fishing options must be a slice of heaven. Everything Elko just published a story titled Ice Fishing Elko County, so check that out everythingelko.com/2020/12/29/ice-fishing-elko-county to learn more about this winter activity. Another great resource for information about ice fishing is the Nevada Department of Wildlife at 777-2300 or ndow.org. Ice fishing tends to be more relaxing and social than other fishing, and you can still bring home “the big one” either in story form, or in real life.
Around Elko County it is fun to watch trucks don their winter-wear in the form of snowmobile sled haulers or sled decks. Like skiing, snowmobiling requires a financial investment, but it does afford the opportunity to explore places in the winter than may usually remain untouched. The Elko area was voted as one of the “Top 10” snowmobiling destinations in the world by Super Trax Magazine. There are rules and regulations when snowmobiling, more information can be found at exploreelko.com/recreation/winter/snowmobiling.php.
For all these winter activities it is important that you plan ahead and prepare by dressing appropriately, while always remembering that weather can change quickly. Likewise, having extra food and water is always a good idea when adventuring out, in summer or winter. If you are a summer-lover, maybe this is the year you connect with a snow-dude or -dudette and discover a new hobby that will help pass the time. Plus, by remaining active, when summer does finally arrive your swimsuit body is already in full swing. It may be cold outside, but get out there anyways, being outside is good for humans everywhere.