Pro skater Bob Burnquist at Lake Tahoe
Myles McGuinness

Pro skater Bob Burnquist at Lake Tahoe

Pro skater Bob Burnquist at Lake Tahoe
Shredding Lake Tahoe

Once upon a time we came upon a photo of a floating skate ramp. We thought it was a totally cool idea, but when we did a little research, we discovered the image was a fake—someone’s Photoshopped fantasy. Bummer, we thought—but then we got inspired. “Let’s build our own,” we cried, “and let’s have pro skater Bob Burnquist skate on it—in Lake Tahoe!” Somehow our crazy idea seemed just fine to Bob, who had his own designers join us for four days to build this ramp “floating” above Lake Tahoe. Brazilian-born Bob loved the ramp so much he wants one just like it built at his waterfront home in his home country (only because his San Diego spread—where he has his own super-pipe—doesn’t have any waterfront). Cool fact: For our shoot, a wet-suited snorkeler was at the ready to dive for Bob’s skateboard every time it went over the edge and into the big blue.

 

Pro skater Bob Burnquist at Lake Tahoe
See how a dream became a reality.
Thomas H. Story/ Sunset Publishing

Northern California

Discover the High Sierra

11
June
Average (°C)
June - Aug
22°
High
5°
Low
Sept - Nov
18°
High
-4°
Low
June - Aug
22°
High
5°
Low
Mar - May
12°
High
-5°
Low

Snow-covered peaks in winter, gushing waterfalls in spring, wildflower meadows and glistening lakes in summer, vibrant colours in fall—this is a land of dramatic and wild beauty. World-class mountain resorts circling turquoise-blue Lake Tahoe, and at Mammoth Lakes cater to all, with scenic ski trails in winter and trails and vistas in summer.

Yosemite Valley…is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and gold and wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.”  --photographer Ansel Adams

Yosemite National Park, a World Heritage Site, is here, roughly 3½ hours east of San Francisco. Whether you hike a mountain, ski the steeps, or lounge in a hot tub beneath a canopy of stars, you’ll find your perfect getaway

At 14,505 ft. above sea level, Mt. Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States.
December

Enter Yosemite Valley to travel back in time to Christmas Past. Heraldic horns sound throughout Yosemite National Park's elegant Ahwahnee Hotel, calling guests to enter Bracebridge Hall. Come...

Lani Spicer
Amy Meredith/Flickr

Bass Lake

Visit a mini Tahoe south of Yosemite

Some think of Bass Lake, the pine-trimmed reservoir about a half-hour’s drive south of Yosemite National Park’s south entrance, as a smaller...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Family-friendly resorts, snowy escapes

High Sierra peaks, deep drifts on a Mammoth volcano, family-friendly resorts, snowy escapes on the edge of Yosemite and more—California has enough alpine destinations to keep any skier or boarder...

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Relax after a day on the slopes

Kicking back after you kick off your boots is a snow-country tradition, and there’s plenty of post-slopes fun at California’s top alpine resorts. Have a beer or warm up with an Irish coffee, dance...

Jeff Enegerbretson
Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.
Ansel Adams

Trip 6-7 days 10 stops

Sierra Adventure

Granite peaks, alpine valleys, towering trees-the High Sierra is nature's playground all year-round
Lake Tahoe

Blue as a topaz and circled by majestic peaks, this High Sierra gem straddling the California-Nevada border is a bucket-list staple, a place where the air is “very pure and fine...it is the same the angels breathe,” according to author Mark Twain. Lakefront towns dot the shoreline, each with...

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

On your way to this park, save time to visit the charming Gold Country town of Murphys (a great place for wine tasting and innovative dining along the town’s main street). Then continue north and east to discover peaceful groves of giant sequoias at this under-the-radar park. Established in 1931...

January-February

Experience one of California’s most magical settings, Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel in winter, during this intimate and outstanding event. Some of the best chefs in the country gather here to create...

Photo by DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc.
Alex Farnum

Spotlight: Lake Tahoe

Majestic Peaks, Bucket-List Essential

Blue as a topaz and circled by majestic peaks, this High Sierra gem straddling the California-Nevada border is a bucket-list essential. Where else...

Spotlight: Mammoth Lakes
Rebecca Garrett

Spotlight: Mammoth Lakes

Snowy winters, wildflower summers

Surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the west, folks in this laid-back mountain town know they’ve got a good thing going. It’s a land of...

As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.
Mark Twain (recalling his first sighting of Lake Tahoe)
Kodiak Greenwood

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve

Visit bizarre formations, cinder cones, and a super-salty lake

There are few places in California—and maybe on the planet—that can make you think you might just be on Mars. This is one of them. At this high-...

Bodie
Kodiak Greenwood

Bodie

Tour the eerie remnants of a former boomtown

There's something eerily appropriate about bumping down the dusty desert road that winds the final few miles into Bodie State Historic Park. Round...

Alex Farnum

Guided Adventures

Learn to climb, join a pack trip, and more

While there are plenty of ways to play on your own in the High Sierra, there’s a whole host of ways to learn a new activity, like how to catch and...

Bishop

Explore an outdoorsy adventure town with an artistic side

Bishop brims with outdoor activities. Situated at the north end of the Owens Valley, with close access to some of the Sierra’s most dramatic high...

Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Lucas Himovitz

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Look up at (and learn about) amazing giant sequoias

Established in 1931 to preserve a stunning stand of giant sequoias, this park offers one of the easiest places to see these towering trees. Head 4...

SPECIAL FEATURE
From Gold Rush history to 8th wonders of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the rich collection of natural treasures, fascinating...

Amy Meredith/Flickr
The General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park is the largest (by volume) tree in the world.
SPECIAL FEATURE
Gold Rush history, epic high-country landscapes, hidden wine country, and charming country towns

Granite monoliths, waterfalls, alpine meadows—it’s no secret that Yosemite delivery some seriously big wow moments. But what is a secret is the bounty of awesome things you can see and do on your...

Kodiak Greenwood
Manzanar National Historic Site
Mammoth Chambers of Commerce

Manzanar National Historic Site

Learn about a sobering time in U.S. history

During World War II, thousands of Japanese-Americans were moved from their homes throughout the West and brought to internment camps like Manzanar...

Jeff Mosers/ Flickr

Grover Hot Springs State Park

Soak in naturally heated mineral pools

Nestled in a notch of the High Sierra about an hour’s drive southeast of Lake Tahoe, mineral springs bubble up from the earth, a testament to the...