Sierra Nevada GEotourism

In partnership with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and National Geographic, Sierra Nevada Geotourism exists to help travelers experience the Sierra through the eyes of a local, learn about responsible recreation, and foster tourism-based economies in gateway communities. 

The Sierra Nevada Geotourism Project celebrates the Sierra Nevada’s status as a world-class destination, contributing to the economic health of the region by promoting sustainable tourism, capturing the history and heritage of the Sierra Nevada Region through an interactive website with nearly 2,000 destinations. 

Sierra Nevada Geotourism and COVID-19

The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis have magnified the challenges associated with recreation and tourism in the Sierra Nevada. Sierra Nevada Geotourism has a unique opportunity to respond and balance these complex issues by increasing equitable access to the outdoors, providing education on responsible recreation and Leave No Trace principles, reducing the ecological impact of increased users, and empowering the fragile economies of recreation gateway communities. Outdoor recreation and travel offers the chance to promote experience-based, sustainable tourism to a new and growing audience. It is vital that we capture this moment for the economic well-being of off the beaten path communities, for the sustainable stewardship of our destinations, and to make equitable access to the Sierra available to all.

Sierra Business Council is actively seeking sponsorship of this program to address issues of equity and access, overcrowding, increased human impact on the environment, and other recreation impacts in tourism-dependent communities of the Sierra. To sponsor our work or get involved, contact Jill Sanford at 

What is Geotourism?

Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents. Geotourism incorporates the concept of sustainable tourism—that destinations should remain unspoiled for future generations—while allowing for ways to protect a place’s character. Geotourism also takes a principle from its ecotourism cousin—that tourism revenue should promote conservation—and extends it to culture and history as well, that is, all distinctive assets of a place.

Geotourism FAQs


Join Us In Creating A More Resilient Sierra.

To learn more about this program, contact: