Let’s Get Outside for Winter Fun

Contributed by Friends of the Ruby Mountains

There is still plenty of winter left and many opportunities for winter recreation before Spring arrives. Popular activities around Elko County include snowshoeing, photography, skiing, ice fishing, bird watching, and snowmobiling.

The ongoing pandemic may change some aspects of your outing, but getting outside for exercise, relaxation, and family fun can be enjoyable and safe. Here are a few tips to consider before you head out in February.

Outdoor Fun1. Health and safety – This should always be Priority #1 for you, your family, and your group when outdoors. In 2021 this also means paying attention to Covid-19 guidance and recommendations.

2. Be avalanche aware – Avoid avalanche prone areas unless you have avalanche training and the proper equipment.

3. Stay close to home and avoid high risk activities – Staying close to home can limit your exposure to Covid-19 and reduce the chance of virus spread. This year is not the time to try extreme activities given the current state of our health care systems. Consider saving those trips for next year and do your part to lessen the strain on our health care workers. 

4. Plan ahead – Check the weather, area closures, and road conditions so you only travel when it is safe to do so. 

5. Ensure your vehicle is road/trail ready – A well maintained vehicle will get you there and back with no troubles. Your tires need to be in good shape and rated for winter driving. It is always a good idea to have tire chains. Top off fluids and leave with a full tank of gas.

6. Wear proper clothing – Dress in layers so you can adjust to changing weather conditions and your body temperature.

7. Bring the necessary equipment, gear, food and water – Make sure you have what you need for the day along with enough supplies to stay overnight or if you encounter an accident. Headlamps, sleeping bags, extra clothes, space blankets, and heat sources are a few items you should have.

This list may sound like a lot of work to do, but once you get the hang of doing this planning it will be quicker and easier. I hope this list has got you excited about heading out for winter fun. 

Let’s wrap up with a few suggestions on where to go.

South Fork State Park
Offers winter camping, ice fishing, hiking, and bird watching. When there is good snow the trails are also great for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. 

Park Office 775-744-4346

Elko SnowBowl Ski & Bike Park
Open on weekends when the snow conditions allow. Close by for skiing, tubing, and sledding. The park is located 15 minutes north of Elko on North 5th Street. 

SnoBowl Hotline 775-777-7707