8 outdoor things to do in Reno/Tahoe this summer
Each summer, Reno/Tahoe becomes an action-packed paradise of outdoor adventures. While deciding on your own seasonal escapades, gather some stimulus at these human-powered sporting celebrations taking place now through Labor Day. Whether you spectate or participate, the physical strength exerted at these events is awe-inspiring.
A buckin’ good time
Between June 14-23, the Reno Rodeo will honor its 99th year of bringing bucking broncos, lassos, mutton bustin’, 10-gallon hats and the wild west to, well, this slightly more tamed corner of the west. For those wanting to tap into their inner cowpoke, there’s a cattle drive to join, though spots are limited, plus a special Kid’s Rodeo and Day for families. Otherwise, watch the pros wrangle hefty beasts over a beer with friends.
Down Dog, Up High
Sun salutations may be best at high elevation, when you’re closest to that which you’re saluting. Like at the Wanderlust Festival in Squaw Valley USA, July 19-22 -- where yoga is practiced, along with hikes, biking excursions, meditations and more -- at 8,200 feet elevation. Learn new techniques, like yoga using hula-hoops or on SUPs, or try slacklining. Musical headliners and speakers entertain, and the venue is fully stocked with outfitters plus food and drink vendors to peruse.
Toughest of Tahoe
Northstar California will host the mud-born battle royale on June 9-10, when Tough Mudder returns. Bragging rights are a feat to earn here, with 10 mud-covered miles strewn with more than 20 harsh obstacles like carrying what’s left of a tree through mud, or scaling a slanted 10-foot wall.
From June 15-24, Adventure Sports Week takes place in and around Tahoe City, featuring an off-road triathalon, plus competitive trail running and mountain biking events. Clinics, films, gear demos and concerts help the adrenaline wind down.
Get a taste of trail running in Tahoe at the third annual Broken Arrow Skyrace, June 15-17 at Squaw Valley USA. Four distances in three days comprise this experience, one for most levels of physicality. Skyrunning, a European-inspired sport, is characterized by scrambling over steep terrain with tremendous vertical gains and losses. This event is part of the national U.S. Skyrunning Series. Not for the faint of heart, there are also alpine ladders, snow-clad slopes, open exposures and bolted hand lines to tackle on the way up to conquer the mountain.
Wild and wet
For two days, the Sparks Marina turns into a rumbling, churning pool of adrenalin during the U.S. Open of Watercross, June 30-July 1. Picture motocross, but on water. Personal watercrafts with both amateurs and top world pros at their helms race up to 90 miles per hour through closed courses as they vie for victory in this first stop of the national tour. Families and friends are invited to bring a blanket to watch for free, or grab some seats in the grandstands.
Tahoe turns tropical
On Aug. 11-12 at King’s Beach State Park, the Ta’Hoe Nalu Paddle Festival brings a touch of Polynesia to Tahoe. This paddle-powered event, which touts itself as the longest running paddle race in the world, offers up several SUP races with a $10,000 prize, outriggers, live music on the beach, free demos and clinics, vendor exhibits, hula dancers and a festive welcome reception.
Try on a triathlon
A true off-road triathlon, on Aug. 19, XTERRA Lake Tahoe sends competitors on a 1,500-meter — or slightly less than a mile — swim from the north shore, followed by a 22-mile bike ride, then a six-mile run. If that’s a bit much for some folks, there are also a duathlon and a sprint, which still require some impressive physical prowess.