The Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau worked with National Geographic’s Digital Nomad, Robert Reid, on a feature of Yosemite Gold Country this autumn using Yosemite National Park’s milestone anniversary as a news peg. Robert Reid, an award-winning travel writer who is a member of National Geographic Travel’s Editorial Council as well as a contributing Digital Nomad columnist, spent eight days crisscrossing the county in late October to get a feel of the size, scope and one-of-a-kind destinations and scenery available. Courtney Aviation provided an aerial introduction of the county.
Along his tour, he visited the ancient Bennett Juniper Tree (considered to be 4,000 years old, with its own caretaker) as well as the Columns of the Giants and Trail of the Gargoyles, which piqued Reid’s interest while researching the trip, calling the area names a “possible episode out of the Walking Dead series.”
He hiked and fly-fished with Yosemite Outfitters in the Pinecrest area and camped in Yosemite back country camping with YExplore. He poked around the picturesque towns of Sonora, Jamestown and Groveland, and went back in time in the late 1800’s in the state historic parks of Railtown 1987 and Columbia State Park. Along with a videographer assigned from National Geographic for inclusion in another series on Road Trips, Reid also caught the local festival scene, stayed in a variety of lodging, toured Highway 108 and then revisited Yosemite National Park on his own.
Promotions for Tuolumne County in November included five Facebook posts (3.6 million), eight Twitter posts (2.2 million) and one Instagram photo reaching an audience of 6.6 million). Reid shared his inspiring and authoritative digital content on the county via Digital Nomad, an editorial platform on NationalGeographic.com that includes major social media promotions from @natgeotravel to 11 million fans. NationalGeographic.com reaches about 24 million monthly visitors throughout the world and 12 million in the United States.
Reid’s photo of Yosemite from the Highway 120 entrance, posted on National Geographic’s Instagram had 91,000 likes the first day. The entire coverage can be viewed at: http://digitalnomad.nationalgeographic.com/ The county’s website, www.yosemitegoldcountry.com will also feature the articles and photos. In addition, Tuolumne County ran an accompanying ad campaign on the Digital Nomad platform in November reaching users in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, as well as throughout California and Oregon.
Tuolumne County, located 133 miles east of San Francisco, is a pristine, scenic expanse reaching into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Gold was discovered in Tuolumne County in 1848, setting off the major gold rush of 1849. The main highways leading to the picturesque drive from the San Francisco and East Bay Area are Highways 108 and 120 from the west and Highway 49 from the north. The State Highway 120 entrance to Yosemite National Park is considered the “front door” of the park for the San Francisco Greater Bay Area. The Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park, and other surrounding areas provide natural vistas and settings for hiking, water skiing, horseback riding, rafting, camping, snowmobiling, boating, snow skiing, fishing and other outdoor activities.