The Top 10 Active NorCal Stories from 2021

Another great year here at Active NorCal! The New Year brings new vitality at the Active NorCal office as we plan to ramp up our content schedule and may even have a fun announcement coming soon.

It’s always fun to go through the past year to see what our most popular articles were. In 2021, there was unfortunately a lot of news surrounding the drought and its impact on the outdoors of NorCal. Fortunately, we’ve already began the water year by making a huge dent in our water shortage.

For this year’s list, we are going through the top-read articles written in 2021. I excluded a few viral wildfire and weather articles, since I didn’t want the entire list to be negative. I think the result paints an interesting picture of the year we had in NorCal in 2021.

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Active NorCal Stories from 2021:

10. Giant Rainbow Trout Caught on the Feather River was Likely the Largest Ever Caught in California

A monster rainbow trout was caught on the Thermalito Diversion Pool recently, just below the Oroville Dam on the Feather River. The fish would have likely shattered the California record for largest rainbow trout caught in the state, but the fisherman instead chose to release it back into the water.

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9. Are There Frozen Bodies at the Bottom of Lake Tahoe?

It’s said that French Explorer Jacques Cousteau did a deepwater dive into Lake Tahoe in the 1970’s, only to emerge with no documentation or photography. It is said that Cousteau emerged from the dive and claimed â€œthe world isn’t ready for what was down there.”

On top of the legends of Tahoe Tessie, much like the Loch Ness Monster, Lake Tahoe holds a ton of human history dating at least 6,000 years back with the Washoe Tribe. With Lake Tahoe being one of the most fascinating lakes on the planet, we had to answer the question we receive all the time… Are There Frozen Dead Bodies in Lake Tahoe?

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8. Lake Tahoe Tourist Shoots Charging Bear in Vacation Rental

Photo by Marion hobbs

A man visiting the Lake Tahoe area returned to his vacation rental after dining out to find it had been broken into by a large black bear. According to the man, the bear charged at him, forcing him to shoot and kill the animal. The incident illustrates the issues with growing bear populations in the Tahoe region.

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7. The Redwood Route Rail Bikes Might be the Most Unique Adventure in Northern California

Photo by Benjamin Bateman

There’s no place on the planet like the giant redwoods of Northern California. Towering high above the ground, these ancient trees are a testament to the power of nature and provide onlookers views of the largest trees on the planet. And there’s a way to enjoy these redwoods up-close-and-personal with the most unique adventure in Northern California.

The Skunk Train started out as a crucial operation of the Union Lumber Company in Fort Bragg, California in the 1800’s to transport families and workers of the lumber company. Today, the train operates as a historic and scenic experience in Mendocino County, and if you want to enjoy the fresh air of the famous train line, the Skunk Train offers Rail Bike tours along its Redwood Route.

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6. Low Water Levels Allow Kayakers to Paddle Through Historic Train Tunnel on Shasta Lake

California’s historic drought brings plenty of negative impacts on the region, including water shortage and an already historic wildfire season. With low water levels plaguing Northern California waterways, we are beginning to find structures from our past that can bring a silver lining to this bad situation.

When the Sacramento River was flooded with the building of the Shasta Dam in 1945, water covered the town of Tennant and put nearby highways and railroads underwater. Now, as Shasta Lake reaches incredibly low water levels, we can see some of the areas that have been underwater for so many years.

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5. Webcam Footage Shows Caldor Fire Burning Through Sierra-at-Tahoe

The Caldor Fire continues its destructive path through the Sierra, quickly moving east towards South Lake Tahoe. The fire has destroyed hundreds of structures on its way to 156,000 acres burned, but its devastation might just be getting started.

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4. How a Tech Billionaire Lost $128 Million Buying a Lake Tahoe Vacation Home

Lake Tahoe has become a refuge for tech billionaires to vacation away from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley. The famed outdoor destination in Northern California is a vacation destination for people like Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Ellison, becoming one of the hottest real estate markets on the planet.

Recently, one tech billionaire revealed how he lost a whopping $128 million on a Tahoe home, and it’s probably not how you think.

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3. Behind the Photo: Capturing Historic Structures at a Drought-Ridden Shasta Lake

With another drought causing low water levels in Northern California, we wanted to revisit a unique story of historic structures seen on Shasta Lake. Below is a story from our print magazine in 2015 about the awesome photo above.

A dentist through the week and a photographer on weekends, Chris Nelson finds solace in the outdoors equipped with his camera. Nelson’s captured this stunning image (above) of an adventurer resting on a hammock on the rarely seen beams of a lost bridge, only showing itself during extreme drought on Shasta Lake. In his own words, Nelson tells the story behind the photo:

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2. Man Claims to Have Recently Visited Lemurians in Mount Shasta

The location of the portal to Telos. Via

Since diving deep into the legends of Lemurians in Mount Shasta (and posting my findings on this website), I have heard from thousands of people around the world with questions and stories about these beings dwelling in the depths of our beloved mountain in Northern California. Of the thousands of people who have reached out to me, this one might be the most interesting.

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1. Storm Approaching Northern California Has Been Classified as a ‘Bomb Cyclone’. Here’s What That Means.

Northern California is in for a rare weather event in the middle of October this weekend. This significant storm is expected to bring up to 5 feet of snow to the mountains and potentially a foot of rain at the epicenter of its atmospheric river. The storm, which is forecast to hit Sunday and last through Monday, has been classified as a bombogenisis or “bomb cyclone,” meaning we’re in for a wild ride.

We hear about “atmospheric rivers” in the Pacific Ocean all the time, but rarely a “bomb cyclone” or “bombogenesis.” So what the heck is a bomb cyclone?

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Looking forward to another wonderful year in Northern California in 2022!

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


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