Escapes: Yuba River, Oakland, Tahoe and more


Naturalist-led salmon tours

Imagine having access to a stretch of the Yuba River with scenic vistas while searching for fall-run salmon. With the help of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, you can. The department is offering free, naturalist-led salmon tours every Saturday in October near the spawning beds of the river, thanks to access provided by the University of California’s Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center.

Each fall, salmon return from the sea to spawn in the Yuba River, where they can be spotted throughout the scenic tour on the river. Wildlife experts will provide insight into the life cycle of salmon and the natural history of the area east of Marysville. Participants might even spot a few other critters lurking along the riverbed during the 90-minute tours, which depart at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Registration is limited to 30 people per tour. Directions are provided upon registration. For more about the tour, see Bring binoculars for best viewing.



What: Ever wonder what’s on a monkey’s mind? The Primate-wise! benefit offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the thoughts and actions of primates. Author Virginia Morell will share insights into these amazing mammals. The conservation-and-education event benefits efforts to protect populations of chimpanzees of Uganda’s Budongo Forest, where the zoo is involved in a snare-removal project.

When: 7:30-10 p.m. Thursday

Where: Oakland Zoo’s Marian Zimmer Auditorium, 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland

Cost: $30



Writer’s hike

What: At this Finding Words in Nature hike with experienced guide and Tahoe guidebook author Tim Hauserman, nature lovers and writers can figure out how to break through the writer’s block. Lunch is included in the six-hour outing.

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Cedar House Sport Hotel, 10918 Brockway Road, Truckee

Cost: $45

Information: (866) 582-5655; www.cedarhouses


Animal care 101

What: Young animal lovers can learn how the Lindsay Wildlife Museum’s animal keepers care for the museum’s animal ambassadors. Participants must be ages 6 through 15.

When: 9-11 a.m. Saturday

Where: Lindsay Wildlife Museum, 1931 First Ave. (adjacent to Larkey Park), Walnut Creek

Cost: $35 members, $45 nonmembers



Festival in the forest

What: At the 10th annual Fall Fest in Plumas National Forest you can make wooden tree cookies, roll seed balls for feeding birds or just sit and enjoy the entertainment. You can also learn about hiking, mountain biking and wildlife-watching. Food options include hamburgers sold by the Indian Valley Volunteer Fire Department and desserts from the Pioneer/Quincy Elementary School’s sixth-grade class.

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 5

Where: Moutt Hough Ranger District, 39696 Highway 70, Quincy

Cost: Free



Calaveras grape stomp

What: Get ready to stomp, squish, and get sticky at the Calaveras Grape Stomp. Teams of two compete for the title of champion as they try to stomp the most juice from the grapes. The 20th anniversary stomp is held in conjunction with the Gold Rush Street Faire.

When: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 5

Where: Murphys Park, Murphys

Cost: Free, $50 to stomp


— Brittany Torrez