Loading...

Follow Tahoe South | Hiking on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

The resort’s Epic Discovery Summer Season has kicked off and it is, well… epic!

We’re spoiled by the incredible Heavenly winter ski season, it’s only fitting that we get an epic summer to match. Heavenly Resort’s Epic Discovery summer season is packed with exhilarating activities that’ll have you happy the snow is gone and stoked for a lengthy summer. Featuring a mountain coaster, climbing walls, ropes courses, zip lines, tubing, and even hiking tours (also plenty of free hiking), you can’t go wrong spending a day or a whole week on the hill.

As if the impressive views over Lake Tahoe weren’t enough, you’ve got plenty of other reasons to go and some tough decisions to make on how to fit it all in. You’ll want a camera for the Gondola stop at the observation deck and you’ll want to make sure you stop at the Tamarack Lodge to fuel up for round 2 (or 20). There’s something for everyone, younger children can even play while learning about the local Tahoe wildlife and environment.

ZipLine Tours – Opening June 15th & 23rd

The Skyway Zip Line Tour is a guided multi-hour tour set among the pines surrounding the mid-station observation deck of Heavenly’s Gondola. This will immerse you in the Tahoe trees with a spectacular mountain backdrop while cruising on an array of zip lines and aerial bridges.

The Silver Rush Zip Line Tour overlooks the high desert of the Carson Valley and will have you flying through the mountain at 40mph! Stay tuned for June 23rd.

Watch this quick video to get warmed up, and then go see for yourself why this is one of the most popular attractions.

Silver Rush Zipline | Epic Discovery | Heavenly - YouTube

Red Tail Flyer Zip line – Opening June 15th

This children’s zip line is 15 feet off the ground and 100 feet long, providing a great introduction into zip lining for children.

Mountain Coaster – Opening tentatively June 30th

The Mountain Coaster is back (or will be very soon!) and better than ever. What could be better than a rollercoaster set in the amusement park that is beautiful Lake Tahoe forest? This gravity-powered alpine coaster is a one of a kind thrill for the whole family as it coasts through the trees and rocky cliffs like a real rollercoaster, only more fun. The views are worth the ride alone, grab another rider if you want and experience this awesome thrill ride.

Epic Discovery - Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster - "This is Awesome!" - YouTube

Ropes Courses – Opening June 15th & 23rd

Heavenly is home to a variety of courses and obstacles for all ages and abilities. Get warmed up with an introduction course, take on the high ropes courses, or challenge yourself to send it through the trees! This video will show you how it’s done.

Epic Discovery - Black Bear Ropes Course and Granite Peak Climbing - YouTube

Tubing – Opening July 15th

Yes, in the summer. Glide down a 500 ft long hill in your t-shirt free of snow or water! If you’re not smiling ear to ear, you’re not doing it right. Get a closer look here:

Summer Tubing at Heavenly - YouTube

Granite Peak Climbing Wall – Opening June 15th

The climbing wall is an exhilarating rock wall inspired by the iconic rock formations and world-class climbing you’ll find throughout the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The auto-belay setup is 25 feet tall with 15 defined climbing routes ranging in difficulty, so there is a route for everyone. This is the best view you’ve ever had climbing a man-made wall.

Epic Discovery - Black Bear Ropes Course and Granite Peak Climbing - YouTube

Gemstone Panning

Gemstone Panning is an interactive activity that mimics the gold panning experienced in the historical gold rush back in the 1800s. This activity gives a great historical context for the kids and a fascinating way to learn hands-on – you may find a great souvenir.

The Scenic Gondola

Last but not least, the Heavenly Gondola is one of the greatest ways to see Lake Tahoe. With over 4,800 acres of off-the-grid terrain and the most incredible views, you can go big and forge your own path or simply ride it out as you take it all in.

Don’t forget, you can always hike the mountain for free!

The post Heavenly Resort’s Epic Summer is Here! appeared first on Tahoe South.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

When describing the nature of Lake Tahoe, one of the things we are asked most often is, “What kind of trees are these?”

Here are some of the most common trees at Lake Tahoe:

Jeffrey Pine

The Jeffrey Pine is the most common tree in the Lake Tahoe Basin. It has longer needles than any other pine in the Basin (7-11” long). Its bark is distinctive from all other pines because of strong resins which give the bark a vanilla or pineapple odor. If you think you’re looking at a Jeffrey, put your nose right up to the bark and take a sniff!

Ponderosa Pine

Dcrjsr via Wikimedia Commons / (CC BY-SA 3.0)

This tree is very similar to the Jeffrey Pine but not as common to the area. One way to tell the two apart is by their cones. The cones on the Ponderosa have prickles which stick out and make the cones difficult to hold. The Jeffrey’s cones have prickles that point inward. A good way to remember the difference is “prickly Ponderosa” and “gentle Jeffrey.”

Sugar Pine

Laura Camp via Flickr / (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Sugar Pine is the tallest, largest and most magnificent of all the pines. This 5-needled pine is easily recognized at a distance by the long, pendulous cones that hang down from the tips of the higher branches. It has longer cones than any other conifer species (up to 12” or more!).

White Fir

Dayene Oliveira via Wikimedia Commons / (CC BY 2.0)

The White Fir is the second most common tree in Lake Tahoe. Old trees make excellent wildlife refuges because of large cavities that often form in White Fir. White Fir cones break apart at the top of the tree, so are rarely found on the ground.

Quaking Aspen

Dcrjsr via Wikimedia Commons / (CC BY-SA 3.0)

This tree derives its name from leaf stems that quiver with just the slightest breeze. In autumn, the Aspen cloaks the Tahoe Basin in a golden-yellow blaze of color. Aspen root systems are completely interconnected and new trees typically sprout from the roots rather than seeds. Aspens are technically considered the largest living organism in the world because each grove with interconnected roots is considered one living system.

What types of trees have you seen on your travels around Lake Tahoe?

Sources:
  • “Trees of the Lake Tahoe Basin” United States Department of Agriculture/US Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit publication
  • Tree ID Tip Sheets, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
Additional Reading:

The post Know your forest: Lake Tahoe Trees appeared first on Tahoe South.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Come to Lake Tahoe, bring your dog, please. We love ‘em. How are you going to just ditch the favorite child at home? You don’t have to, the days of leaving our four-legged friends behind are over. In Tahoe South, it ain’t no fun if the dog can’t have none.

If you think you’ll love Tahoe (you will), just imagine how much your dog will. From dining out to treks around the lake, you’ll quickly realize that this lake town was built with man’s best friend in mind. If you don’t have a dog, I am sorry to hear that, but continue reading anyway and you’ll know where you can go live vicariously through others. Maybe even sneak some fetch in.

Bijou Dog Park

First things first – the dog park. The Bijou Community Park has two fenced off areas specifically for dogs – one with plenty of room to run wild, and one with obstacles and different agility course features for dog training. Let them loose off leash for a while and take advantage of the rest of this awesome local park featuring a basketball court, a bike park/track, volleyball courts, a concrete skateboard park, an incredible disc golf course (with over 30 holes), and even a gazebo area perfect for hanging out for the day.

Dog-Friendly Beaches

When it comes to dog-friendly beaches, Kiva Beach is where you want to be. Not only will you have a wide open beach to roam, but this spot offers some seriously astounding views where the marsh meets the lake looking right up at the majestic Mount Tallac.

Kiva Beach Photo credit: Tahoe Public Beaches

Another great beach North Zephyr Cove Beach, just be sure that you are not on the resort’s private beach. For more dog-friendly beaches or just general beach info, check out the Tahoe Beaches app.

Dog-Friendly Hikes

For the best views of the whole lake, the Mt. Tallac hike offers the most stunning scenery, hands down. This is one of the longer, more challenging trails at over 10 miles even taking the shortest possible trip. You and your dog will need plenty of water for the strenuous journey to the top, however, there’s no greater feeling than being up there in the clouds towering over the beautiful city of South Lake below.

If you’re looking for those great views but something less intense, head to Van Sickle Bi-State Park. The Van Sickle Trail eventually connects with the Tahoe Rim Trail allowing you to access much more but has scenic views within the first mile of the hike. Hike up to the waterfall or continue up for some bouldering with a stellar view. This park is great for dogs of all sizes.

Glen Alpine Falls

A personal favorite for this time of year is to venture out to any of the numerous waterfall hikes (excluding Lower Eagle Falls), especially Glen Alpine Falls (lower or upper). The nice part about starting at the trailhead is that you’ll have the option to connect to a number of different hikes that all lead to or loop around lakes, streams, and even pass some cool historic spots.

Most trails around the Tahoe Basin allow dogs as long as they are leashed. Anywhere along the Tahoe Rim Trail will make for an exceptional option with views, and since it spans around the entire lake you won’t have trouble accessing from wherever you are. Although we love our dogs here, this is not the type of place where you’ll see disposable bags at every trail or beach, so always remember to be prepared and treat our home like it’s your own.

I try to be on my phone as little as possible, but if you’re looking for more ideas download the All Trails App. You can search for trails by city, park, trail name, you can see exactly how long the trail is, where you will climb or descend, see an actual map of everything around you, record your trip… I could go on but check it out for yourself.

A MUST Stop

Whether it’s before you head out for the day or on your way back from an adventure, you need to make it to Dog.Dog.Cat. This ‘Petique’ is a dog’s dream come true with TONS of natural foods, toys, and gear. There’s so much to look at you might enjoy it just as much as your dog, stop in for everything you’d need to keep your dog stylish and equipped for whatever the day calls for.

One Last Note

If you are ever unsure of where and what you are or aren’t allowed to do, it can’t hurt to visit the USDA Forest Service site for up to date information regarding tips and rules for enjoying our parks and nature.

The sultry dog days of summer are still months away, but any day is a great day to be a dog in Tahoe South.

The post Tahoe South: A Dog’s Paradise appeared first on Tahoe South.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Cave Rock was created over 3 million years ago and is located on the southeastern shore of Lake Tahoe. You can see the rock structure from almost any point on the lake. It’s still considered sacred to the Washoe Indians and is what they call “The Lady of the Lake” because from the water you can see the profile of a woman’s face in the rock structure, the “Lady”. The hike is very short and only takes about 15 minutes if that.

It was mid-morning when we arrived at the trailhead off of Cave Rock Drive. There is not much room for parking, but because the hike is so short there is quick turnover. You can just park on the side of the road so it’s free. You’ll start on a dirt path slightly up that parallels Highway 50. You can see the Lake from the path the whole way until you actually reach Cave Rock. You can climb to the top or just hang at the base of the rock. I decided to go up while Mariel stayed with the pup, Jillian, at the base. Then we swapped. The views are breathtaking. If you decide to climb up, it is a pretty steep scramble up the rock so be careful.

To get to the trailhead from South Lake Tahoe go towards Nevada on Highway 50. Pass Zephyr Cove and you’ll see the tunnel. Just prior to the tunnel, make a right onto Cave Rock Drive. Drive up a little ways and you’ll see the trailhead on your left.

This is a great, short hike with spectacular views. It’s perfect if you don’t have much time. It’s pretty easy, until the scramble up so you can bring your pup and the family. The views from the top of Cave Rock not only look amazing, but seeing the formation from the water is also incredible. If you haven’t done this hike, I’d suggesting getting up there and doing it. Why not it only takes at most 15 minutes!  Have you hiked to the top of Cave Rock? Leave a comment below.

Check out Cave Rock on Instagram

The post Cave Rock: A Short Hike with Beautiful Views appeared first on Tahoe South.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Fallen Leaf is a beautiful spot to visit and get out on the water or enjoy excellent trails for an easy walk, strenuous hike or trail run, all with the reward of incredible views!

From Highway 89 (near Camp Richardson Resort), turn onto Fallen Leaf Road and access the easier trails just past the campground.  Several spots on the shoulder are available for parking.  The lake will be off to your right, and a 15-minute walk on fairly level ground (just one short climb up and over a short ridge) will get you to the water. This is my favorite place to run and part of the Kokanee Salmon trail runs held every fall.

Happy to See You Soon | Photo by Christian Arballo via Flickr

To access the more strenuous hiking trails, you need to continue driving a few miles down Fallen Leaf Road, and park near the fire station.  A fun loop is to head up to Angora Ridge from just behind the Chapel on the Angora Lake Trail.

Fallen Leaf Lake | Photo by Jeff Moser via Flickr

A few hundred yards up the trail, you’re rewarded with a beautiful view of Fallen Leaf and Lake Tahoe. At the top of the ridge, follow the trail forward to Angora Road, turn right and continue on the road to Angora Lakes. In the summer, make sure you have money to buy fresh squeezed lemonade at the Angora Lakes store, a refreshing reward for your hiking efforts! You can return on the Church Trail or continue further down Angora Road to meet up with the Clark Trail, located behind the fire lookout. The Clark Trail will bring you back down just across from the store and marina.

Waterskiier on Fallen Leaf Lake | Photo by Filosoph via Flickr

From Memorial Day through October 1, the Fallen Leaf Store and Marina are open. The store includes a café that serves burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken and fries during lunchtime. If you’re a water person, rent a paddle boat, kayak, or my preferred watercraft, a stand up paddle board and get out on the water! Often in the fall, the water stays calm and glassy through the morning, so I’ll take a lunchtime paddle break.

A quiet Fallen Leaf Lake Marina | Photo by Alexia Boulot via Flickr

You can reach the store at 530-544-5323 and the marina at 530-544-BOAT.

The post Get Outside – Truly Appreciate Fallen Leaf Lake appeared first on Tahoe South.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Cave Rock was created over 3 million years ago, and is located on the southeastern shore of Lake Tahoe. You can see the rock structure from almost any point on the lake. It’s still considered sacred to the Washoe Indians and is what they call “The Lady of the Lake” because from the water you can see the profile of a woman’s face in the rock structure, the “Lady”. The hike is very short and only takes about 15 minutes, if that.

It was mid-morning when we arrived at the trailhead off of Cave Rock Drive. There is not much room for parking, but because the hike is so short there is quick turnover. You can just park on the side of the road so it’s free. You’ll start on a dirt path slightly up that parallels Highway 50. You can see the Lake from the path the whole way until you actually reach Cave Rock. You can climb to the top or just hang at the base of the rock. I decided to go up while Mariel stayed with the pup, Jillian, at the base. Then we swapped. The views are breathtaking. If you decide to climb up, it is a pretty steep scramble up the rock so be careful.

To get to the trailhead from South Lake Tahoe go towards Nevada on Highway 50. Pass Zephyr Cove and you’ll see the tunnel. Just prior to the tunnel, make a right onto Cave Rock Drive. Drive up a little ways and you’ll see the trailhead on your left.

This is a great, short hike with spectacular views. It’s perfect if you don’t have much time. It’s pretty easy, until the scramble up so you can bring your pup and the family. The views from the top of Cave Rock not only look amazing, but seeing the formation from the water is also incredible. If you haven’t done this hike, I’d suggesting getting up there and doing it. Why not it only takes at most 15 minutes!  Have you hiked to the top of Cave Rock? Leave a comment below.

Check out Cave Rock on Instagram

The post Cave Rock: A Short Hike with Beautiful Views appeared first on Tahoe South.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Miracle March was one of the biggest we’ve seen in awhile. With lots of snow still in the mountains, the waterfalls around Lake Tahoe will be flowing strong this summer! Here are our top recommendations for waterfalls at Lake Tahoe:

Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls by Ray Bouknight via Flickr

Cascade is probably one of the best short hikes you can do in the Emerald Bay area. It is only 1.5 miles round trip from the Bayview Campground. Stepped out along the rocks, the trail will lead you to the top of the falls with great views of Cascade Lake and, of course, Lake Tahoe! The waterfall is about 200 feet and is very impressive. This is one of the most popular in the area, so parking will be difficult. Take Hwy 89 north from the Hwy 50 junction for 7.5 miles to the Bayview Campground. Parking is in the back past the campsites.

Glen Alpine Falls

Lower Glen Alpine Falls by Steve Dunleavy via Flickr

This is a great destination that is a little off the beaten path. Both the upper and lower falls here offer an up-close experience with the rushing water. The upper falls is a one mile, round trip hike where the falls drop about 30 feet. The trail heads up the backside of Mt. Tallac and into Desolation Wilderness, but hang left once you see the falls and the trail will take you up to the top. The lower falls are more impressive, plummeting about 60 feet down the step-like rocks. The best part of the lower falls is that there is virtually no hike to get there. Simply park and stroll down to the already visible rushing waters. Take Hwy 89 north from the Hwy 50 junction for about 3 miles. You will see Fallen Leaf Road on your left. Take Fallen Leaf Road about 5 miles and continue left upon seeing the marina and signs for the falls. Continue straight past the firehouse and parking for the lower falls is along the right side of the road. Continue further and you’ll arrive at the parking lot for Desolation Wilderness and the upper falls.

Upper Eagle Falls

The trail up to Eagle Lake gives you two rewards – Upper Eagle Falls, and a new view of Emerald Bay. Photo by Mike Frye, from above Upper Eagle Falls.

This easy, half-mile round-trip hike is one of the most popular in the area and excellent for any level of hiker. The falls themselves are only about 25 feet, however, rewarding nonetheless. Get there as soon as possible as the parking lot fills quickly. Take Hwy 89 north from the Hwy 50 junction for 8.5 miles to the Eagle Falls Picnic area. (Fee required)

Lower Eagle Falls

A slightly more difficult hike than the upper falls, but a much bigger reward! A moderate, 2.1 mile round trip hike will bring you down to the water level of Emerald Bay on a well-maintained trail. The water here cascades down about 150 feet and is really impressive. Check out the Vikingsholm Castle while down there, too. The return hike can be difficult so be careful, as it is a steep climb back up the path. Take Hwy 89 north from the Hwy 50 junction for 9 miles to the Emerald Bay/Vikingsholm State Park lot. (Fee required)

Fontanillis Lake Falls

This one is reserved for the more experienced of hikers. There are two different routes to get here, both which are just over 10 miles round trip and link with the Tahoe Rim Trail and PCT before hitting the falls. The waterfall is beautiful, sliding down the rocks 150 feet into Upper Velma Lake with a glimpse of Tahoe from the top. This hike has a lot of elevation change and sun exposure, so it is advised to start early, bring plenty of water/food/sunscreen and know your route. The first route is via the Eagle Falls trailhead. This way will take you past Eagle Falls, Eagle Lake then Lower, Middle and Upper Velma Lakes. The second route is a bit more difficult, as you summit South Maggie’s Peak along the way, and is via the Bayview Trailhead. Head right at the start as the left takes you to Cascade Falls. From there you will pass Granite Lake before hitting the Maggie’s Peak, which gives a great look out into Desolation Wilderness. Continuing on brings you down the saddle of the peak towards Lower and Upper Velma Lakes before arriving at the falls. Dick’s Lake is also a great side trip from this route.  For the Bayview route, refer to Cascade Falls. For the Eagle Falls route, refer to Upper Eagle Falls.

Horsetail Falls

Horsetail Falls (top cascade) by Steve Dunleavy via Flickr

Horsetail is a bit out of the way, but a great half day trip from Tahoe. The hike is pretty difficult as the trail is not all that clear at times and the rocks can be slippery. It is about 3 miles round trip but can take some time. Keeping the creek to your right and the falls straight ahead will lead you up just fine. On your way, look to the ridge on the right for other, smaller falls if it is early enough in the season. The falls themselves are massive, cascading nearly 500 feet! A Desolation Wilderness day pass is required and can be found at the trailhead. Take Hwy 50 West from South Lake Tahoe towards Twin Bridges. The trailhead is located on the right side after some switchback, steep downhill turns. Keep an eye out as you can easily see the falls from the highway. (Fee required)

Tahoe South: Waterfall Season - YouTube

If you’re hiking with your dog, note that dogs are allowed (on leash) on each of these trails, except Lower Eagle Falls. Please be safe – water can flow fairly rapidly in early spring and summer in Tahoe.

Check out Tahoe South Waterfalls on Instagram

The post Tahoe South Waterfall Guide appeared first on Tahoe South.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The roaring that you hear isn’t bears waking up after their winter hibernation. Nope. It’s the incredible waterfalls that grace our area. The water is cascading over shelves of ancient stone and granite at incredible velocity, due to the abundant spring runoff.

Tahoe South: Waterfall Season - YouTube

Waterfalls of South Lake Tahoe

Grab your shoes, pack a lunch, bring a camera and be prepared for some impressive falls. Here are some of my favorite spots:

  1. Cascade Creek Falls
    A must see, Cascade Creek Falls Trail offers a moderate mile-long path with lavish ferns and wildflowers along the way. The Trailhead is off of Highway 89 at Emerald Bay from the Bayview Campground across from Inspiration Point.
  2. Eagle Falls
    This gorgeous waterfall is set against the backdrop of iconic Emerald Bay. There are the lower or upper falls – both equally beautiful. Lower Eagle Falls is about a mile walk down with drops in two large cascades of 60 and 90 feet. It’s an easy to moderate hike and takes about 20-30 minutes. Pack your water bottles and lunch for a quick bite at the picnic area. From the picnic area, continue a quarter of a mile up to see the Upper Eagle Falls.
  3. Glen Alpine Falls
    With 65 feet of layered drops, the stair-step, snow-fed stream setting of Glen Alpine Falls above Fallen Leaf Lake is perfect for pictures. It’s easily accessible from Highway 89 north, approximately three miles from Highway 50. (Look for Fallen Leaf Lake Road.) Continue until you see the trailhead sign and turn left. Parking is across from Lily Lake. The best time to view is now through the end of May.
  4. Horsetail Falls
    If you’ve ever taken Highway 50 to South Lake Tahoe, then chances are you’ve seen a magnificent crashing waterfall to the north just as you’re approaching Twin Bridges. This is Horsetail Falls, created by Pyramid Creek flowing down the steep glacier carved granite faces of Desolation Wilderness. Its 800-foot drop makes it the largest waterfall in the Tahoe area and a wonder to be witnessed. From Tahoe South take Highway 50 west about seven miles from Echo Summit and park in the well-developed parking area near Twin Bridges and the Pyramid Creek Trail.
  5. Fontanillis Lake Falls
    It might be five miles to reach the waterfall with a 150-foot cascade that drops from Fontanillis Lake to Upper Velma Lake.  This is a must see in spring and early summer months. You will need to obtain a wilderness permit at the Eagle Falls trailhead for this day-long hike and you won’t want to forget a lunch, a camera, and stamina.

If you do take your pooch on the hike, be safe! Water can flow fairly rapidly in early spring and summer in Tahoe. Please note: Waterfall levels change seasonally, and gradually lessen through the summer months.
Related Articles:

Check out Tahoe South Waterfalls on Instagram

The post Top 5 Waterfalls Around South Lake Tahoe appeared first on Tahoe South.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
There are many bird species found in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The following are a few of the ones often seen by visitors.

Information via the US Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

Dark-Eyed Junco
These small birds have solid black heads and white stripes on either side of their tails and are often seen eating seeds on the forest floor.

“Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)” by C.V. Vick, via Flickr | Licensed under CC BY 2.0


Yellow-Headed Blackbird
This bird is often found in cattail and tule marshes. No other Lake Tahoe Basin bird has such a distinctive yellow head and black body. It is generally spotted in the Pope Marsh area during early spring.

“Yellow-headed Blackbird” by Len Blumin via Flickr | Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Mallard
This type of duck typically prefers shallow water such as creeks, ponds, and marshes. The male Mallard is easy to spot because of his glossy green head and narrow white collar. Usually you can see the ducks flying south in formation for the winter.

Mallard at Taylor Creek. Photo credit: Merick Rickman

Mountain Chickadee
The most common bird in the Tahoe Basin is the Mountain Chickadee. These small plump birds have a black cap, black bib under their chin and a white line over each eye. Chickadees are very acrobatic, swinging from the tips and undersides of branches as they hunt for insects and seeds. They have a very distinctive three note whistle, and are commonly referred to as “cheeseburger birds.”

“Mountain Chickadee” by Billtacular, via Flickr | Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Steller’s Jay
Almost anyone who spends time in the forest will meet the noisy Steller’s Jay. This pigeon-sized bird with deep blue wings, tail, and breast, is hard to miss. Often this jay becomes quite bold, sometimes stealing bread crusts from tables where people are picnicking.

Steller’s Jay near Ski Run Marina. Photo credit: Steve Hunter

Looking for more birds of the Lake Tahoe Basin? Visit the US Forest Service – Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

Which birds have you seen when visiting Lake Tahoe?

The post Birds of the Lake Tahoe basin appeared first on Tahoe South.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Hiking South Lake Tahoe

In honor of National Trails Day, it seemed appropriate to talk about the best Lake Tahoe hikes in South Lake Tahoe. Hiking is one of my favorite ways to explore the topography and terrain surrounding the lake. That, and it keeps me in shape for winter, is an added bonus. With so many terrific hikes here, it’s hard to get bored. Below are a few to get you started:

Skyline Trail Hike

Play the day away at Heavenly Mountain Resort | Photo by Jesse Starr / Heavenly Mountain Resort

Lift accessed hiking is almost as fun as lift accessed skiing, allowing you to access high elevation trails without all that pesky effort. Explore Heavenly’s varied options at the top of the Gondola. One favorite is to take the Tamarack Express chairlift for expansive views of Lake Tahoe. Once at the top, hike along Skyline Trail for more scenic views of the Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe. Approximately 2 miles round trip.

Fallen Leaf Lake Hike

Mt Tallac Mirrored on Fallen Leaf Lake | Photo by Garrett Kushner via Flickr

Need a family-friendly hike? Fallen Leaf has you covered. Numerous gentle trails contour around the lake, Taylor Creek, and the nearby campground, with views of Mt. Tallac and the Desolation Wilderness. It’s a great hike to find wildflowers in the spring, and the aspens along Taylor Creek are beautiful in the fall. Approximately 1-3 miles round trip.

Cascade Falls Hike

Supergirl, Cascade Falls 2014 | Photo by Ray Bouknight via Flickr

This short hike near Emerald Bay is best enjoyed in the spring, when Cascade Falls is at its peak. The trail contours along a mountain overlooking Cascade Lake, with views of Lake Tahoe and Desolation Wilderness.  Ambitious hikers can head back to the Bayview trailhead and hike up to Maggie’s Saddle into the Desolation Wilderness. Approximately 2 miles round trip.

Van Sickle Trail Hike

View of Lake Tahoe from the Van Sickle Trail

Located just behind the Heavenly Village, the Van Sickle Bi-State Park is Tahoe South’s newest park. The park’s premier trail, the Van Sickle Trail, connects Stateline to the Tahoe Rim Trail, delivering terrific views within the first mile of the hike. Hike up to the waterfall (0.75 mile one-way), or continue up to the junction of the Tahoe Rim Trail (3.6 miles one way). This is best done as an out and back so you can savor the views on the descent.

Rubicon Trail Hike

Lake Tahoe’s azure blue waters, enjoyed during a trail run on the Rubicon Trail | Photo by Joan Wharton via Flickr

This scenic trail hike along the shores of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe’s west shore boasts terrific panoramas of the lake along a moderate, undulating trail that takes you past cliffs, coves, wildflowers, waterfalls and even an old lighthouse. Park at either D.L. Bliss State Park or Emerald Bay, or both if you wish to hike it point-to-point. Approximately 6.6 miles one way, 13.2 miles round trip.

Mt. Tallac Hike

Panoramic view of Lake Tahoe from Mt Tallac | Photo by Joan Wharton via Flickr

One of the most challenging hikes at Lake Tahoe, this trail takes you to the summit of the tallest mountain in the Tahoe basin (9,735’). While it takes effort (admittedly a lot of effort), the views from the top are well worth it. This hike is approximately 10 miles roundtrip, with an elevation change of 3,255  feet. Note: a hiking permit is required for this trail, and can be obtained at the trailhead.

Whether you’re a former Girl Scout (like I am) or not, it’s important to be prepared when hiking. No matter how long I plan to be out on the trail, I always carry a backpack that contains the following:

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Map
  • A light waterproof jacket
  • Sunblock & lip balm
  • Bug spray
  • Small first aid kit (including emergency blanket)
  • Small pocket knife
  • A hat
  • A warmer layer (depending on the time of year)
  • Camera
  • Small headlamp
Check out hikes on Tahoe South’s Instagram:

The post Six Great Hikes in Tahoe South appeared first on Tahoe South.

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview