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

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