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California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones
The professional snowboarder’s biggest conundrum is deciding which Sierra Nevada adventure to tackle next

As a pioneer of big mountain snowboarding, professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones has climbed treacherous backcountry peaks all over the world just for the thrill of the free ride down. Beyond his extreme mountain adventures, Jones is also the founder of Jones Snowboards and leader of Protect Our Winters, a nonprofit focused on combating the effects of climate change. In 2012, National Geographic magazine nominated Jones for Adventurer of the Year based on his achievements in exploration, conservation, humanitarianism, and adventure sports.

As a Truckee resident, Jones is always trying to solve his “wonderful problem” of deciding which peak to climb, mountain to ride, or lake to paddle in in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Where do you live? Truckee, California.

Why there? It’s the combination of incredible winters with amazing mountains and awesome summers filled with lake time. It’s the best of both worlds! The coast is just a few hours away so I can surf too. Having mountains for snowboarding and waves for surfing in a condensed area makes California one of the most unique places in the world—and that’s why I ended up here!

Who or what is your greatest California love? The Sierra Nevada mountain range. The more time I spend in those mountains, the more special it becomes to me. I’ve been snowboarding for 20 years in the Sierras and I can ride a different mountain every day. I call it the “wonderful problem”—every time I climb a peak I’ve wanted to climb, I look out and see 20 more that I want to climb. It seems like there is an infinite amount of backcountry to explore in the Sierras!

What is the biggest misperception about Californians? That it’s really crowded and that there is this “Cali cool” attitude. It’s really easy to get into some beautiful remote wilderness areas and experience nature or explore some backwoods towns with a cool old vibe.

What is the stereotype that most holds true? That the weather is amazing. There is no mud season or off-season, we go for months without clouds, and come winter it is either snowing or sunny.

What is your favorite Golden State splurge? Going to the farmers’ market. Every time I go I end up with five times more food than I need just because of how amazing everything is. California has the best farmers’ markets. I leave with bags of fruits, nuts, veggies, salmon…you name it.

Time for a road trip—where are you going? My ideal road trip is spending plenty of time in the eastern Sierras, camping in Yosemite, and then camping on the coast somewhere. The key is getting that incredible California diversity all in on one trip!

If you could decree an official state culinary experience, what would it be? My favorite California food is definitely wild-caught salmon. I love fish and I’ve had it all over the world, but Cali-caught salmon is still my favorite!

Best California song? Jerry Garcia sums up the vibe of California—at least the California that I’m into. His music embodies the freedom and beauty that surrounds you. It makes the perfect soundtrack on my road trips. A close second is Neil Young. Especially “The Old Laughing Lady.”

How would your California dream day unfold? Recently my friends and family and I have been getting into linking up a bunch of different sports. I’ve done like eight different sports in one day! But the ultimate would be to wake up before the sun rises, snowboard some remote peak and then end my day paddleboarding on a lake or even surfing on the coast. It all comes down to the best of both worlds all in one day. This is what makes California so unique, and why I’ve ended up calling this place home…and I have no plans to leave!

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones VC_ClifBarVide_Still1_1280x640_0
Clif Bar Presents: Dream Day
Watch as four incredible athletes, Jeremy Jones, Hilaree O’Neill, Matt Hunter, and Greg Long, join forces to create the ultimate adventure in “Dream Day.”
California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones VCW_D_HS_Hero_packtrip_Sunset-TS_1280x642_sized
Thomas H. Story/ Sunset Publishing

Northern California

Discover the High Sierra

Snow-covered peaks in winter, gushing waterfalls in spring, wildflower meadows and glistening lakes in summer, vibrant colors 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. 

Mono Lake
Credit: Deb Snelson/Getty Images

Highway 395 Road Trip

Cruise through mind-boggling beauty on this desert-and-mountain drive

On the Sierra Nevada’s eastern side, U.S. Highway 395 skirts the intersection of arid desert and alpine mountains, their chiseled summits soaring...

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones VC_LonePine_ST_RF_722224619_1280x640
Room/Getty Images

Lone Pine

Discover the natural beauty and another side of California in a historic Owens Valley small town

Head to Lone Pine to see a different side of California—one that is less connected to...

Find whitewater rafting fun for all—from newbies to nerves-of-steel experts

Think of a river, and chances are you’ve got your own daydream. Maybe you want to float on inner tubes, or maybe your style is to careen through raucous rapids in an eight-person inflatable raft....

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Groveb/Getty Images
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John Dickey/


The El Capitan free-solo rock climber explains his love for Yosemite and more California favorites

On June 3, 2017, Honnold became the first person to ever ascend El Capitan, the 3,000-foot granite wall in...

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones VC_Yosemite.in_.Winter_Stock_RF_GettyImages-562479397
In Yosemite Valley, the Merced River drops over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, creating what is known as the Giant Staircase.
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At 14,505 ft. above sea level, Mt. Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States.
A Wine-Seller's Storefront in Truckee, California
Toni Zernik


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This charming mountain town is the central hub for North Shore destinations

Up and over the hill from Lake Tahoe’s north shore, Truckee offers an easy base for an...

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...

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones KTBaseBar_JeffEnegerbretson_SquawValley_preview_686x885
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

Sierra Adventure

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones sierraadventure_stop1_laketahoe_rf_136930569_0

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 is the same the angels breathe,” according to author Mark Twain. Lakefront towns dot the shoreline, each with...

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Rebecca Garrett

Spotlight: Mammoth Lakes

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones vca_maps_highsierra
Discover high-alpine beauty and all-seasons adventure in this laidback mountain enclave

Surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the West, residents of this Eastern Sierra town know they’ve got a good thing going. It’s a place that...

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)
July - August

With a pine-and-peak alpine setting and a relaxed and friendly ambiance, this appealing event in Bear Valley, roughly halfway between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, includes performances by outstanding...

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones BearValleyMusic_preview_686x885
Courtesy of Bear Valley Music Festival
California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones vca_maps_highsierra
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
Steve Calderaro

Spotlight: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones vca_maps_highsierra
Side-by-side national parks celebrate the largest trees on earth, the highest point in the lower 48, and one of North America’s deepest canyons

Famous for their giant sequoias, soaring mountains, deep canyons, and roaring rivers, this tandem set of parks abound with astounding sights, but...

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones BassLake_AmyMeredith_flickr_1280x642
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...

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones VCW_D_HS_T5_Mono Lake_VCL_HS_Mono_Kayakers_KG
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-...

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones VCW_D_HS_T6_Bodie cars_VCL_HS_Bodie_KG-sized
Kodiak Greenwood


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...

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones Bishop_HighSierra_1280x642_downsized


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...

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones VCW_D_HS_T7_Tahoe_MtnBike_Farnum
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...

From Gold Rush history to the 8th wonder 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...

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones McWayFalls_JPB_SP_preview_686x885
Amy Meredith/Flickr
California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones High_Sierra_Trees
The General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park is the largest (by volume) tree in the world.
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...

California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones VCW_SI_Hero_HS_Yosemite_UpperFalls_KG_preview_686x885
Kodiak Greenwood
California Questionnaire: Jeremy Jones Manzanar_sized
Courtesy of 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...