Graeagle (pronounced Gray Eagle) is a quaint stop for shopping in the town’s signature red buildings and a bite to eat at a variety of restaurants. Once a company town centered around logging, hence the little red houses, Graeagle now comes to life in the summer around outdoor recreation. The town’s population of less than a thousand and more than 500, swells for the Fourth of July fireworks and parade in the center of town. A focal point of Graeagle is the Mill Pond with family friendly fun like fishing, swimming, BBQing, and playing on the large lawn next to the water.
The vast Sierra Valley is one of North America’s largest alpine valleys. In fact, back in the day — way, way back — the valley formed the bottom of a lake larger than Lake Tahoe. Things have, obviously, changed since the dinosaur days, but the Sierra Valley is nonetheless spectacular today. Along with great road cycling and visiting generational ranches and farms during the Sierra Valley Art & Ag Trail, the valley hosts the greatest diversity of birds in the entire Sierra Nevada — more than 230 species — and is a key stopover on the Pacific Flyway north-south migration route. A popular stopover for humans is the Sierra Hot Springs Resort and Retreat Center just outside Sierraville. At the “top” of the valley, the annual Vinton Cowboy Poetry & Music Show is an event you don’t want to miss.