The designers of Zip Yosemite, Experience Based Learning, focuses on adventure and safety in building their courses, but they also take care to look after the environment. The company uses Professional Ropes Course Association–accredited builders, who anchor single cables to trees using the Eco-Wrap system, a bolt-free method that doesn't pierce the tree and invite criticism from its grandparents. Using this system, the company can string six ziplines up to 1,000 feet long at heights of up to 80 feet through the aromatic canopies of incense cedars and ponderosa pine trees. Guides take visitors darting down these single-cable paths and across three suspension bridges. Then, they rappel toward the forest floor at one of two rappelling stations. As visitors glide through the forest, they can catch glimpses of wildlife as well as the Fresno Dome and other natural rock formations.
At 6,200 feet above sea level, Sailing Ventures' certified captains lead small groups into Lake Tahoe's waters, teaching them the skills needed to navigate their own aquatic adventures. The instructors can ferry students from beginner to advanced levels, with lessons catered to everyone from families to seasoned sailors wanting to make practical use of their anchor tattoos. Alternatively, the crew charters yachts into the lake, leaving passengers to enjoy the scenery.
Carved by glaciers, Lake Tahoe's bays and coastline set the perfect backdrop for Sailing Ventures' expeditions. Snow-capped mountains and dense forests paint the horizon as boats float atop waters clearer than the windows at a dermatologist's office.
At eFit & Sports, working out and playing games are combined into a single pastime. The center encourages kids to develop healthy habits with a roster of more than 150 heart-healthy activities, which range from Exergaming—a blend of mental and physical challenges—to circuit training and floor games. The team rounds out its offerings with more academic programs, such as after-school tutoring and nutrition education.
Scuba Mood introduces certified divers to the aquatic wonders of Lake Tahoe’s crisp turquoise waters via altitude-diving trips and full-day private charters. Certified instructors and dive masters lead aqueous explorers of all experience levels through two tank dives, careening through the freshwater to depths of up to 7,000 feet with 100-foot visibility and infinite feet of Loch Ness Monster. Divers may float past sunken wrecks and Viking china, before surfacing for a sun-bathing session and lunch. The 26-foot Fish Rite Dive Custom provides underwater astronauts with heaters, a restroom, and cabin seating, and dances across the sun-sparkling waters at the expert direction of a U.S. Coast Guard–licensed captain. Those who opt for the private charter can engage in their choice of watery activities, including diving, snorkeling, swimming, or fishing.
A lone runner emerges on the horizon, covered completely in mud that falls from his arms in chunks. He soldiers up a hill, stopping only briefly before throwing himself between hanging car tires swaying from ropes. He’s smiling a big, goofy grin as he’s battered by the tires and exhausted by the distance—but he wouldn’t be here if he wasn't up for the challenge. Sierra Recon’s muddy courses traverse 4-, 7-, and 11-mile stretches with walls, beams, nets, and ice awaiting runners between the starting line and the after party. The race, which boasts at least two such creative obstacles each mile, attracts both daredevils and their enthusiastic entourages, who holler their encouragement from a dry deck with views of the course. Runners can choose both their difficulty and distance for the race, though all routes promise mud and creative obstacles built by licensed contractors.
If you?ve ever wanted to go back in time, but didn?t have access to a wormhole, Valhalla Renaissance Faire is your next best bet. This annual festival showcases a reimagined Renaissance, complete with Queen Elizabeth I and her court, Master Shakespeare, princesses, fairies, a hard-hitting armored joust, and a town full of colorful characters. To experience every nook and cranny of this vast fair, guests can eat ye olde turkey legs and shop for leather wears and carved tankards. Live shows take place on three stages and feature the Naughty Minstrels, Captain Jack, and the Universe According to Galileo. And no visit to Elizabethan England is complete without seeing the queen, who may also make the occasional appearance to knight a brave warrior or banish a dragon from the realm.