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As we all can attest, the Coronavirus pandemic is having a profound effect not just on our daily lives but in everything we look forward to. And that includes trips to places like the High Sierra. Now more than ever, we need to remind ourselves that even through these difficult times, this too shall pass. Since 1983, Congress has created National Travel & Tourism Week to showcase the importance of travel. Although we’re most likely going to have some sort of restrictions in place, here’s a few ideas on how you can still honor the #SpiritOfTravel to California’s High Sierra from afar.

Donate To A Food Shelter In Your Favorite Mountain Town

Downtown Bishop
Downtown Bishop – Image appears courtesy – Visit Bishop

From Lake Tahoe to Visalia, the entire length of the Sierra Nevada is home to a vast assortment of food banks that are doing what they do best – feeding people in need within their communities. With schools closed and businesses shuttered, each of the local food banks are rapidly mobilizing to keep meals on the table for seniors, children, and families across our mountain range. Although food is a great idea, these non-profit organizations have a network to maximize their purchases where $1 donated can provide enough food for up to 4 meals.

Help Truckee: COVID-19 Emergency Funds & Resources (including contacts for local food pantries)

Mammoth Lakes Community Food Bank

Inya & Mono County Food Banks

In South Lake Tahoe – Bread & Broth, Christmas Cheer All Year, Northern NV Food Bank at American Legion, Phoenix Pantry at Tahoe Wellness Center

Pick Up A Gift Certificate From A Local Business You Plan On Visiting

Most of the cozy hamlets in the High Sierra are supported primarily from tourism. This makes the shelter-in-place order that much more painful to them. Is there a spa that you’re thinking about going to? How about a bakery or even a hotel? This is the perfect time to “pay it forward” and help these communities by picking up a gift certificate from your local businesses. For locals or for those trying to support from afar here are a few pages that you can visit:

List of Truckee businesses that you can support online

List of Bishop area businesses that you can support online

Downtown Visalia is offering a unique giftcard that you can use at any of the retailers on Main Street. To learn more go here.

Supporting small businesses in North Lake Tahoe has never been easier either they’ve recently launched a gift card program on 

Don’t Cancel… Postpone Instead

california-high-sierra-calavaras-utica-union-reservoir-3This is a stressful time for all of us. And while it might be easy to cancel reservations, we hope you consider postponing instead. It may not feel right to even think about traveling right now, but nearly 10 percent of the world works in tourism, and it’s MUCH higher in the High Sierra. Right now, most of those tour guides, bartenders, and concierge employees have lost their jobs without notice. As lovers of travel, the best thing we can do is to show sensitivity and support by not canceling but rather deferring that trip.

When the time is right, we can’t wait to welcome you back with open arms. Until then, we hope you will join us in honoring the “SPIRIT OF TRAVEL” during National Travel & Tourism Week by expressing it in one of these ways, or at a minimum, just providing a few words of encouragement that you’ll be back!

Author: Alex Silgalis

Alex Silgalis is an outdoors travel writer who enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, or having a cold one from a local mountain brewery. See more of Alex’s work at

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