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!

Friday, December 15, 2023

Outside Guide: "Snowshoeing Shenanigans: A Hilarious Guide for Beginners in Northern Nevada"

Welcome, aspiring snowshoe enthusiasts, to the wacky world of winter wonderland exploration in Northern Nevada! If you're tired of slipping on icy sidewalks and yearn for an adventure that involves strapping tennis rackets to your feet (metaphorically speaking), then snowshoeing is your ticket to frozen fun. And where better to embark on this frosty frolic than the snow-laden landscapes around Elko, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, and Eureka? Buckle up, or rather, strap in your snowshoes, as we embark on a laughter-packed journey into the heart of snowshoeing madness.

Before you dive headfirst into the frosty fray, it's essential to gear up properly. Forget about the latest fashion trends; in the world of snowshoeing, it's all about function over fashion. Picture this: you, decked out in layers that rival the Michelin Man, with snowshoes that make you look like a human spider trying to moonwalk. It's a look. Trust me.

Start with the basics: warm layers, waterproof boots, and of course, the pièce de résistance - the snowshoes themselves. Size matters here, so don't be shy about getting the most gigantic ones you can find. Embrace the clunkiness; it's your new best friend.

Now that you're suited up and ready to roll, let's talk about the pristine snowshoeing paradises waiting for you in the wide open spaces of Nevada. Elko, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, and Eureka may sound like towns straight out of a spaghetti western, but these places transform into winter wonderlands perfect for snowshoeing escapades.

Elko, known for its cowboy culture, embraces a different kind of Wild West in the winter. Picture yourself gliding through the Ruby Mountains on snowshoes, the snow-capped peaks serving as a majestic backdrop to your clumsy yet determined strides. Pro tip: Practice your best cowboy swagger while wearing snowshoes for an added touch of flair.

Winnemucca may be famous for its Basque culture, but in winter, it's all about that snowshoe swag. Embark on a trail and channel your inner sheepherder – minus the actual sheep, of course. Just be prepared to explain to bewildered onlookers why you're herding invisible animals in the snow. Bonus points if you can incorporate a sheepish grin.

Battle Mountain isn't just a name; it's a testament to the epic snowshoe battles waiting to be waged. Engage in a friendly snowball fight with fellow snowshoers or challenge the elements in a dramatic duel against the wind. Just remember, the wind always wins, but the key is to go down with style.

In Eureka, where lead-silver mining once ruled, consider snowshoeing your new pursuit. Navigate the snow-covered hills with the determination of a prospector seeking the motherlode. And if you happen to find a snow-covered nugget, remember – it's probably just a rock.

Now that you're acquainted with the prime snowshoeing spots, let's explore the art of walking on snow with tennis rackets strapped to your feet. It's an important outdoor skill to learn, trust me.

*Lesson 1: The Stance*

Picture yourself as a penguin. Not just any penguin, but a penguin with snowshoes. Adopt a wide stance to avoid tripping over your own oversized footwear. Don't worry about looking awkward; in the world of snowshoeing, awkward is the new cool.

*Lesson 2: The Waddle*

Embrace the waddle. Walk with purpose, but let the snowshoes dictate your swagger. You're not going for grace here; you're going for survival. Plus, a good waddle makes for excellent Instagram content.

*Lesson 3: The Snowshoe Shimmy*

When faced with uneven terrain, channel your inner snow dance. The snowshoe shimmy involves a combination of side steps, twirls, and, if necessary, interpretive dance moves. It may not get you anywhere faster, but it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Nevada Outdoor School (NOS), nestled in the heart of Northern Nevada in Winnemucca, offers a haven for snowshoeing enthusiasts. Join their guided snowshoe hikes led by NOS Staff and AmeriCorps Outdoor Educators, who are more than willing to share their experiences on navigating the snowy terrain. As a beginner, you'll find comfort in the limited number of snowshoes available for use, ensuring you won't have to wrestle a herd of Yeti enthusiasts for a pair.

Gather at the trailhead, perhaps in Water Canyon, meet fellow snowshoers, and embark on an adventure where awkward stances and waddles are not only accepted but encouraged. The guides will patiently lead you through the paces, ensuring you shimmy through the snow-covered hills with both finesse and laughter.

Elko, not to be outdone, is home to another outpost of the Nevada Outdoor School. Prepare for a winter wonderland experience with guided snowshoe hikes that cater to beginners. Limited snowshoes are available for use, making this the perfect opportunity to try out your newfound waddling skills.

As you navigate the snowy trails of Lamoille Canyon or Southfork Meadows, take in the beauty of the surrounding landscape while bonding with fellow snowshoers over shared stumbles and triumphant waddles. The guides at Nevada Outdoor School aren’t “experts” in snowshoeing, but they are masters of turning a snowy outing into a memorable escapade filled with laughter and camaraderie.

For a unique snowshoeing experience with a touch of history, head to the California Trail Interpretive Center near Elko. Immerse yourself in the stories of the pioneers while enjoying a guided snowshoe hike through the snow-covered trails. With a limited number of snowshoes available for beginners, you'll be in good company as you explore both the historical and snowy landscapes.

The knowledgeable guides at the Trail Center will not only help you strap on your snowshoes but will also regale you with tales of the intrepid souls who traversed these very trails during the westward expansion. It's like taking a step back in time, only with more layers and fewer covered wagons.

After your guided snowshoe adventures, it's time to unwind and share your triumphs and snowshoeing escapades. Whether you're in Elko, Winnemucca, Eureka, Lovelock, Battle Mountain, Tuscarora, or anywhere throughout our great state, make sure to visit local establishments to warm up and exchange stories.

Head to a cozy café or a welcoming pub, and swap tales with fellow snowshoers over a cup of hot cocoa or a well-earned craft beer. Relive the moments of your snowy odyssey, from the quirky encounters on the trail to the triumphant waddle across pristine landscapes.

In the heart of Northern Nevada, snowshoeing isn't just a winter activity; it's a community affair. Whether you choose to navigate the snowy hills with Nevada Outdoor School in Elko or Winnemucca or delve into history at the California Trail Interpretive Center, your snowshoeing journey is bound to be filled with laughter, camaraderie, and a newfound appreciation for the wintry landscapes of this unique region. So, strap on those snowshoes, join a guided adventure, and let the snowy trails of Northern Nevada become your canvas for winter wonder. Happy snowshoeing, intrepid beginners! May your trails be guided, your snowshoes be shared, and your laughter echo through the snowy hills.  ~ Nevada Outdoor School

The Outside Guide: “Preserving the Past: Exploring Nevada's Historical and Archaeological Sites”

Nestled in the heart of the American West, Northern Nevada is a region rich in history and home to countless archaeological treasures. From ancient petroglyphs to mining relics, these historical artifacts offer us a glimpse into the past and provide a valuable link to our heritage. 

Nevada is a land of contrasts, where sprawling deserts meet towering mountains, and the past is intertwined with the present. The region's history is an eclectic mix of Native American cultures, pioneers, miners, and ranchers, all of whom have left their mark on the land. In doing so, they've created a treasure trove of historical and archaeological sites that reveal the stories of those who came before us.

The indigenous peoples of Northern Nevada, including the Northern and Southern Paiute, Washoe, Goshute, Shoshone, and Western Shoshone, have a deep connection to the land. The region is dotted with rock writings (petroglyphs and pictographs), bearing witness to their rich cultural heritage. Sites like Grimes Point and Hidden Cave, Hickinson Petroglyphs, and the Mt. Irish Archeological District give us insights into the daily lives, beliefs, and expressions of these ancient communities.

The discovery of silver and gold in the 19th century led to a mining boom that reshaped the landscape and brought waves of fortune seekers to the region. Ghost towns like Virginia City, Belmont, and Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park stand as eerie reminders of the mining era, with well-preserved buildings, equipment, and even the fossilized remains of ancient marine reptiles.

Northern Nevada played a vital role in the westward expansion of the United States. The California Trail, part of the larger Emigrant Trail system, passed through the area, leaving behind traces of wagon ruts and historical markers.

As we explore Nevada's historical and archaeological sites, it is essential to follow the principles of "Tread Lightly!" and "Leave No Trace." These guiding principles promote responsible outdoor recreation and help preserve the fragile and irreplaceable heritage of the region.

Tread Lightly! encourages responsible off-roading and outdoor activities while minimizing the impact on the environment and historical sites. It promotes practices like staying on designated trails, respecting boundaries, and preserving the integrity of archaeological sites.

Leave No Trace is a set of guidelines that advocates for the protection of the natural and cultural landscape by minimizing human impact. The principles include disposing of waste properly, leaving what you find, and respecting historical and archaeological artifacts. This not only safeguards the past but also ensures that future generations can experience the same sense of wonder and discovery.

Nevada Outdoor School (NOS) is an organization dedicated to fostering a love for the outdoors and promoting responsible outdoor recreation. With a mission to "connect Nevadans to the outdoors," NOS offers a variety of programs designed to engage people of all ages in meaningful experiences in Northern Nevada's unique landscapes.

NOS provides outdoor education programs that teach students and adults about the natural world and the importance of preserving it. These programs often include visits to historical and archaeological sites, where participants learn about the rich history of the region and the need to protect these places.

NOS also provides training and awareness information for individuals and groups who want to explore Northern Nevada responsibly. They teach essential skills for minimizing environmental impact, respecting cultural heritage, and practicing safety in the outdoors. For more information regarding formal trainings or awareness workshops visit .

Nevadans for Cultural Preservation (NVFCP) is an organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of Nevada's cultural sites. Their mission is to ensure that the rich history of the state is passed down to future generations. NVFCP is actively involved in a variety of preservation efforts across the state.

NVFCP collaborates with local, state, and federal authorities and partners with other organizations, volunteers, and local communities to ensure audiences receive targeted archaeological preservation education and to provide restoration and conservation services for cultural sites. 

 “We cannot expect people to care about things they know nothing about, follow laws they've never heard of, or protect things they cannot identify.”

The organization provides opportunities for the public to learn about the significance of our heritage sites and the importance of responsible exploration. They encourage everyone “EXPLORE Nevada, REPORT damages, and PROTECT our cultural sites.” Damage reports can be made online on their website anytime. They work with the State Historic Preservation Office to ensure the reports make it to the correct public land management personnel. NVFCP even created an OHV Preservation Ambassador Program with a quick online training course. More information about Nevadans for Cultural Preservation may be found on their website: .  To report damage you find at a cultural site on public lands in Nevada go to:

Nevada's historical and archaeological sites are windows into the past, offering a chance to connect with the rich tapestry of human history that has unfolded in this region. However, with this privilege comes a responsibility to protect and preserve these sites for the future. By adhering to principles like "Tread Lightly!" and "Leave No Trace," engaging with organizations like the Nevada Outdoor School, and supporting the efforts of Nevadans for Cultural Preservation, we can ensure that these valuable remnants of the past continue to inspire and educate generations to come. Remember, the actions we take today will shape the history of tomorrow, so let's , Tread Lightly!, Leave No Trace,  and safeguard Nevada’s historical and archaeological treasures. Get outside, explore, and respect Nevada’s historical sites. It’s good for everyone.

Photo Credit: Nevadans For Cultural Preservation.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The Outside Guide - “2024: A New Year of Outdoor Resolutions"

Stepping into the optimistic expanse of 2024, our collective gaze turns towards resolutions that breathe vitality into our existence. Amidst the myriad of aspirations, a universal yearning for a profound connection with nature resonates globally. The new year unfurls before us like an untouched canvas, an opportune moment to embark on a journey that beckons us to spend more time outdoors, immersing ourselves in the serenity and majesty of the natural world. In this exploration of inspiration, we'll dive into a rich tapestry of a thousand words, unraveling resolutions that promise not only to enrich our lives but also to nurture a sense of responsibility towards the environment.

Daily Nature Walks:

Amid the complexity of life, the simplest resolutions often carry the most profound impact. Pledging to embark on a daily nature walk signifies a commitment to prioritize physical and mental well-being. Whether it's a leisurely stroll through a local park, an invigorating hike along a scenic trail, or a reflective amble along the shoreline, the daily inhalation of fresh air and immersion in natural surroundings invigorates the senses, creating a space for introspection and renewal.

Learn a New Outdoor Skill:

In the spirit of continuous growth, 2024 encourages us to challenge ourselves by acquiring a new outdoor skill. Mastery of the art of campfire cooking, the ability to identify local flora and fauna, or gaining basic survival skills—these pursuits not only deepen our connection with nature but also foster self-sufficiency. Attend workshops, join local clubs, or explore online resources to embark on a journey of perpetual learning and skill acquisition.

Cultivate a Garden:

Transforming a slice of your outdoor space into a thriving garden is a resolution that yields ongoing rewards. Gardening is not merely a pastime; it's a venture that provides a tangible sense of accomplishment and fosters a profound connection with the cycles of nature. Whether you possess a sprawling backyard or a modest balcony, cultivating a garden—be it a variety of plants or a collection of potted flora—allows you to witness the magic of growth and experience the joy of nurturing life.

Limit Screen Time Outdoors:

In an era dominated by digital interfaces, one of the most impactful resolutions is a conscious reduction of screen time when immersed in the great outdoors. Challenge yourself to disconnect from technology when picnicking in a park, hiking a mountain trail, or relaxing by the sea. This resolution not only enhances your connection with the environment but also encourages mindfulness, fostering an active presence in the moment.

Volunteer for Outdoor Conservation:

Elevate your commitment to nature by actively participating in outdoor conservation efforts. Join local environmental organizations, engage in tree-planting initiatives, or volunteer for trail maintenance programs. Contributing to the preservation of natural spaces ensures that future generations can revel in the beauty of the great outdoors, solidifying your role as a steward of the environment.

Embrace Sustainable Practices:

Make 2024 the year of eco-friendly living by adopting sustainable practices in your outdoor activities. Whether camping, hiking, or enjoying a day at the beach, prioritize reusable items, minimize waste, and adhere to the principles of "Leave No Trace." This resolution ensures that your outdoor adventures leave a minimal impact on the environment, fostering a symbiotic relationship with nature.

Explore Your Local Wilderness:

In our pursuit of grand adventures, we often overlook the hidden treasures in our own backyard. Resolve to explore your local wilderness in 2024. Discover nearby parks, nature reserves, and overlooked gems. This not only cultivates a deeper appreciation for the natural wonders close to home but also reduces your carbon footprint by minimizing travel.

Start a Nature Journal:

Capture the essence of the outdoors tangibly by initiating a nature journal. Whether you're an artist, a writer, or simply someone who loves to document experiences, a nature journal provides a creative outlet to express your connection with the natural world. Record observations, sketch landscapes, and jot down your thoughts as you traverse the diverse tapestry of nature.

Introduce Outdoor Activities to Friends and Family:

Share the joy of outdoor living by introducing friends and family to the wonders of nature. Organize group outings, plan weekend camping trips, or invite loved ones for a picnic in the park. Building a community that appreciates and values outdoor experiences not only strengthens relationships but also creates a support system for your collective journey towards a more nature-centric lifestyle.

Embrace the Changing Seasons:

Nature is an ever-changing masterpiece, with each season bringing its own unique charm. Resolve to embrace the changing seasons in 2024. Whether reveling in the vibrant hues of spring, basking in the warm embrace of summer, relishing the crisp air of autumn, or marveling at the serene beauty of winter, savor the distinct experiences that each season offers. This resolution encourages a deeper connection with the natural cycles that shape our world.

As we step into 2024, let us make it a year of meaningful outdoor resolutions. These commitments promise not only personal growth and well-being but also contribute to a collective effort in preserving and cherishing the environment. Amidst the whirlwind of modern life, let the outdoors be our sanctuary—a realm of solace and inspiration. Through these resolutions, we embark on a transformative journey, reconnecting with nature and fostering a harmonious relationship that extends beyond the confines of the new year.  Don’t forget: “Get Outdoors! It’s great for everyone.”

The Outside Guide - “Holiday Buying Guide for Your ‘Outdoorsy’ People”

As we move through the holiday season, Nevada Outdoor School is counting every blessing! We deeply appreciate the support we have received from our community. It is a gift to serve and connect kids ages 0-99 with our natural world. Getting outside and exploring is a gift you can give yourself no matter the season! However, the holiday season is an excellent opportunity to give the outdoorsy people in your life the gift of being prepared for any outdoor adventure they might have.

The first principle of Leave No Trace is “Plan Ahead and Be Prepared”, making sure you are equipped with the right information and supplies to have a fun, safe and minimal impact outdoor adventure before you ever leave your house. The 10 Essentials, formalized by the Mountaineers (, outlines 10 essential systems needed for a successful and safe outdoor adventure whether you’re hiking 1 mile or 50 miles. It also serves as an excellent holiday shopping guide for the outdoor enthusiasts in your life!

You can easily remember the The Mountaineers Ten Essentials list with this fun limerick by Steve McClune:

To navigate, head for the sun

With first aid and knife on the run

Bring fire and shelter

Extra food is a helper

But water and clothes weigh a ton

Still wondering what specific gifts might do the trick? Here are some ideas:

1. Navigation — Tech savvy electronic devices like GPS units and smart phones offer knowledge to the unskilled navigator, however, failure and non-connectivity rates are high. For this reason, purchasing non-electronic tools like maps and compasses for your outdoor adventurer adds a level of safety.

2. Headlamp (Light) — Sometimes an adventure takes longer than planned. A light source like a headlamp or a flashlight allows your loved one to find their way back to the trailhead even after sunset. Reusable batteries and a battery charger to keep these light sources charged and working throughout the year is also a great gift idea.

3. Sun protection — Even in winter the sun is harsh. Sunscreen is a great stocking-stuffer. Fun, cool, and functional hats, sunglasses and UV protective clothes are usually a hit with outdoor enthusiasts.

4. First Aid — Allergic reactions, bee stings, and minor scrapes and falls are common occurrences. It’s important to be prepared to treat these ailments if you spend a lot of time in nature. Foot care products to help prevent blisters like moleskin, insect repellent and small First Aid kits are great stocking stuffers.

5. Knife (and Repair Kits) — A knife is helpful for first aid, food preparation and repairs. Even the best equipment eventually fails. Zippers break, chipmunks eat holes in your backpack, and pants rip. A small multi-tool or roll of duct tape are perfect for this!

6. Fire — Having a plan to start a fire in the case of an emergency is key. A lighter or other fire starter is a great gift idea. Looking for something a little bigger? Consider a camp stove or lightweight jet boil.

7. Shelter — The most common mistake people make is assuming they will be back as planned. Being prepared to bivouac (stay) through a storm or even overnight by having an emergency blanket or large plastic contractor bag is a good idea and could save a life.

8. Extra Food (Nutrition) — Dense calorie rich foods like energy bars or even candy bars are good stocking stuffers for your outdoor enthusiast to stick in their pack during their next trip outdoors. Does your loved one venture into bear country? Maybe consider a bear-proof food storage container.

9. Extra Water (Hydration) — Adults need a half liter of water per hour of nonstrenuous activity in regular conditions. A water bottle or bladder-system helps with this need. Another alternative is a water filter, assuming there is water available in the area.

10. Extra Clothes — Weather conditions can change over time, and sometimes quickly! The proper clothing and the availability of waterproof, windproof and insulating layers in a backpack can help your loved one adapt and continue having fun in any condition.

Wondering where to purchase these supplies? There are many reputable stores in our local area that stock these outdoor essentials. If the supply you desire is not available locally or you choose to shop online instead, consider using an online shopping platform such as or, to support non-profits.

When you sign up for any of these online charity programs you can select your charity of choice. If you do not have another local favorite, Nevada Outdoor School will happily accept your donation via shopping. Gear up and get outside, it is good for humans everywhere.

 First Published Elko Daily Free Press 11-26-2021

Monday, October 23, 2023

What's New at NOS- September 2023

Now that Summer is over we are jumping back into road shows and in-class education. And not only that but we had our last golf tournament for the year in September! In this months What's New at NOS you can see that we are always in the outdoor community inspiring exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat and dedication to community!

Fire and Ice Golf Tournament (Winnemucca), September 9th

A great big THANK YOU! to all of the sponsors and participants in Nevada Outdoor School’s 1st Annual Winnemucca Fire and Ice Golf Scramble Fundraiser last Saturday, September 9th at the Winnemucca Golf Course. The day was full of beautiful weather, great golf shots, and lucky winners!

NDOW Kids Fishing Day (Winnemucca), September 16th 

On September 16th Nevada Outdoor School assisted NDOW (Nevada Department Of Wildlife) with their Kids Fishing Day. There was one NOS staff member and one AmeriCorps member running an outreach booth as well as assisting participants with any fishing related questions or problems. The turnout was amazing.

NVORA OHV Summit, September 20th- September 22nd 

The Nevada Off Road Association (NVORA) held its 2023 OHV Summit in Tonopah, NV September 20th through September 22nd. The 3-day OHV Summit is designed to bring all stakeholders in motorized outdoor recreation together to share the concerns of all offroaders.

Hunter Education (Winnemucca), September 30th

On the rainy morning of September 30th, our two hunter education instructors taught their first Winnemucca Hunter Ed course at the Humboldt County Shooting Range. There were 6 participants plus a few parents who spent the day learning all about hunter safety and ethics.

Conservation Film Festival, September 30th

The Wild and Scenic Conservation Film Festival was hosted by the California Trail Interpretive Center and the Southern Nevada Conservancy at the Northeastern Nevada Museum. This festival showcased films that inspire environmental activism and help festival attendees learn what they can do to help protect and save our planet.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The Outside Guide: “Embrace the Chill: Preparing for Fall and Winter Outdoor Adventures”

 As the vibrant colors of autumn leaves begin to paint the landscape, and the whispers of winter's impending arrival dance in the chilly breeze, outdoor enthusiasts have a unique opportunity to embrace the changing seasons. Fall and winter bring a magical transformation to the great outdoors, offering fresh experiences and a chance to connect with nature in new ways. So, grab your warmest gear and a thermos of hot cocoa as we embark on a journey of preparing for fall and winter outdoor adventures.  Nevada Outdoor School includes Leave No Trace principles in its outdoor programs. One of the principles of Leave No Trace is “Plan Ahead and Prepare”. 

Ah, fall—the season of pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, and the earthy aroma of fallen leaves. It's also an excellent time to explore the outdoors before the winter chill sets in. Fall foliage is a sight to behold, with trees donning their vibrant red, orange, and yellow attire. Plan a hike or a scenic drive to witness this annual spectacle of nature. Don't forget your camera to capture the kaleidoscope of colors! Fall weather can be unpredictable, with cool mornings, warm afternoons, and crisp evenings. Dressing in layers is the key to staying safe and comfortable. Begin with a moisture-wicking base layer, add an insulating mid-layer, and finish off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer. Nothing beats the chill quite like a warm drink. Pack a thermos filled with your favorite hot beverage—whether it's herbal tea, mulled cider, or that classic hot cocoa with marshmallows. Sipping a warm drink while gazing at the autumn scenery is pure bliss. If you're camping in the fall, a campfire is a must. Roast marshmallows for s'mores, share stories, and let the crackling flames warm your soul. Remember to check local fire regulations and always practice fire safety. Fall is a bountiful season for foraging. Hunt for wild mushrooms, nuts, and edible plants. Just make sure you're knowledgeable about what's safe to eat, or better yet, join a guided foraging tour led by experts.

When the world transforms into a winter wonderland, outdoor adventurers can't resist the allure of snow-covered landscapes. To enjoy winter to the fullest, invest in quality snow gear. Snowshoes, cross-country skis, and snowboards are your tickets to exploring snowy trails and slopes. Don't forget a warm, insulated jacket, waterproof pants, and insulated boots. If you plan to venture into avalanche-prone areas, equip yourself with the knowledge and gear for avalanche safety. Avalanche beacons, shovels, and probes are essential tools, but taking an avalanche safety course is equally important. Winter offers unique recreational opportunities, such as ice skating on frozen lakes and ice fishing in serene solitude. Bring your ice skates or rent them locally and try your hand at drilling a hole through the ice to catch fish. For a memorable winter experience, book a stay in a cozy cabin or try winter camping. Imagine waking up to the soft hush of falling snowflakes and sipping hot coffee while wrapped in a blanket of tranquility. Winter nights are perfect for stargazing and, if you're lucky, witnessing the awe-inspiring Northern Lights. Bundle up, bring a telescope or binoculars, and head to a dark, remote location for a celestial spectacle.

As the days grow shorter and the temperatures continue to drop, transitioning from fall to winter adventures requires a few extra considerations. Keep a close eye on weather forecasts, as conditions can change rapidly during this transitional period. Knowing the expected temperatures and precipitation will help you plan appropriately. If you've been using your gear throughout the fall, make sure it's in good shape for winter. Check for wear and tear, replace worn-out items, and ensure everything is clean and well-maintained. With fewer daylight hours, plan your adventures accordingly. Start early in the day and carry reliable lighting sources, such as headlamps or flashlights, just in case you find yourself out after dark. In colder weather, it's easy to forget to stay hydrated. But staying well-hydrated is just as crucial in the winter as it is in the summer. Drink water regularly, even if you don't feel as thirsty. One of the joys of venturing outdoors in the fall and winter is the serenity and solitude. Embrace the peace and quiet and let the stillness of nature wash over you.  

Nevada Outdoor School is an Accredited Youth Program of Leave No Trace and can provide awareness workshops and training to groups, clubs, and organizations. 

As the seasons transition from fall to winter, outdoor adventurers have a world of beauty and excitement awaiting them. Whether you're hiking through colorful forests or skiing down snowy slopes, embracing the chill can lead to some of the most memorable and enchanting outdoor experiences. So, gear up, bundle up, and get ready to create your own stories amidst the changing seasons of the great outdoors, because “It’s Great For Everyone!” – Nevada Outdoor School

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Destination Recreation – Salmon River in Idaho

Idaho’s Salmon River originates from and flows through the mountains of central and eastern Idaho and cuts through the heart of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, the largest designated Wilderness area in the lower 48 states. 

The most massive river in Idaho and one of the largest in North America, the Salmon wends its way through the second deepest canyon on the continent, with its neighbor, Hells Canyon being the deepest. It passes through 85 miles of remote wilderness, and is a popular for river adventures, catering to all levels of river runners. This river is not dammed, like many others, so the water flow depends on the snowmelt and can be very high in early summer and very low in the fall. Whether rafting with a guide, or on your own, planning ahead and checking on water levels and accessibility to launch sites is very important. Sometimes high water can be treacherous on certain rapids and sometimes low water on other rapids can also pose dangers. Always wear a properly fitted life jacket whenever you are floating on the water in a boat. If you get tossed out of the boat in a wild rapid, the life jacket can save your life and help make your trip memorable for all the good reasons.   

There are three trips to choose from to float the Salmon River – the Main Salmon launching at Corn Creek Campground, the Middle Fork which launches from Boundary Creek or Indian Creek, and the Lower Salmon that launches at Vinegar Creek. To float the Main Salmon and Middle Fork, you must apply for a lottery permit at between December 1st and January 31st and the lucky winners will find out around February 15th. Floating the Lower Salmon does not require a permit and you can launch a trip most any day during the summer, but be aware, it may get crowded, especially on the weekends. 

A trip on the Salmon can be exhilarating with giant rollercoaster rapids and wave trains and also relaxing with serene flatwater with deep green pools and rolling pillows to float over. For camping, there are beautiful and roomy white sand beaches with long, warm days perfect for swimming and playing in the water and cool nights to sleep peacefully under the night sky. The Salmon serves as the perfect opportunity to try rowing a raft, paddling an inflatable kayak, or stand-up paddle boarding for the first time. There are also plenty of opportunities to cast a rod to catch the next big fish or bring your binoculars and camera to spy on the variety of wildlife you come across. 

Why do they call it “The River of No Return”? It’s not as ominous as it sounds. For more than 105 years after the first European Americans came to the area, only one-way trips down the river were possible. The most commonly used boats were wooden scows, designed to carry heavy loads and withstand whitewater. They were then dismantled and used for lumber at the trip's conclusion. It was from these trips that the Salmon's nickname, "River of No Return," originated.

For anyone seeking to disconnect from the world for a few days and reconnect with nature and your closest friends and family, whitewater rafting on the Salmon River can be your next outdoor adventure.

For more information on rafting this river, as well as many others, visit: or

Friday, September 29, 2023

The Outside Guide: Exploring the Wonders of Nevada: Great Basin Basics Workshop

Ladies and gentlemen, grab your curiosity and your sense of adventure because the Great Basin Basics Workshop is just around the corner! Picture this: it's Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, and you find yourself in the captivating Powerhouse Picnic Area in the heart of Lamoille Canyon, Nevada. If you're wondering what's in store for you, let me spill the beans!

The Nevada Outdoor School (NOS) has teamed up with local experts to whisk you away on a whirlwind tour of the best that Nevada has to offer. Are you ready to dive headfirst into a day of discovery, learning, and unforgettable experiences? Of course, you are!

Rock 'n Roll: Geology of the Great Basin

Ever wanted to know what's beneath your feet? First up on our adventure itinerary, we have local geologists unraveling the secrets of the earth's crust. Get ready for a rocky adventure and learn about the geology of the Great Basin and its surroundings. 

A Blast from the Past: Local History Unearthed

If you're a history buff, prepare to be transported back in time. The California Trail Center and Northeastern Nevada Museum will regale you with tales of pioneers, gold rushes, and the wild west. History class just got a whole lot more exciting!

Botanical Beauty: Local Plants and Trees

Next, we'll delve into the green wonders of this region with none other than NOS. Discover the secrets of the local flora, from towering pines to delicate wildflowers. Your inner botanist is in for a treat!

The Wild Side of Nevada: Wildlife Galore

Are you ready for an encounter with the diverse wildlife that calls the Great Basin home? With the Nevada Department of Wildlife as our guides, you'll learn about the fascinating critters that roam these parts. Who knows, you might even spot a bobcat doing the cha-cha with a pronghorn!

Feeding Your Mind and Body

All this exploring and learning can work up quite an appetite. So, don't forget to pack a lunch to enjoy amidst the stunning Nevada landscape. Did you know that the Great Basin is home to some of the most diverse landscapes and ecosystems? Well, you're about to find out more at this FREE workshop!

Bundle Up and Bring the Kids

Since we're taking this show on the road, please dress warmly. We're in the great outdoors, after all! And if you're bringing along your little explorers, they'll need to be accompanied by an adult throughout the workshop. Safety first, adventurers!

Don't Miss Out, Register Today!

Oh, and here's the best part: registration is absolutely free! But you must call the Elko NOS office at (775) 777-0814 to secure your spot on this educational escapade. Trust us; you won't want to miss this opportunity to bask in the beauty and knowledge of the Great Basin.

So, mark your calendars for October 7, 2023, and get ready to embark on a journey that'll leave you with a deeper appreciation for the incredible world right outside your door. Nevada's Great Basin awaits your curiosity, so let's make this a day to remember! And don’t forget, get outside, it’s great for everyone.