Do you hear that? The snow is melting and winter is moving on. You never know when spring is really going to hit in Lake Tahoe, but after another record-breaking winter on the books, I think everyone is tired of the early morning ice scraping and ready for sunny spring days. Mother nature has fought off winter enough that it seems safe to say spring is here. While Tahoe’s various surrounding streams and lakes are filling to the brim, a new Tahoe is awakening.
Eagle Falls at Emerald Bay | Photo: @jennifer_hadley_photography
It can be an odd time of year. Will it be too chilly? Are my favorite hobbies ready for me? Well, how muddy are you willing to get? Finally, we can start to take advantage of a much larger portion of the activities that make Tahoe an unrivaled outdoor destination.
If you’re not ready to part ways with the slopes, the spring skiing is sure to be incredible and Heavenly Resort extended their season through Memorial Day Weekend. If you’re satisfied with your goggle-tan and eager for what’s next, South Lake Tahoe is the place to be, bet on it.
It’s a great time to get back to nature. If you start on the south shore and head south on Highway 50, you’ll follow the perfect route for any day no matter the season, but especially spring since it starts to become more accessible earlier on than many spots the further you venture out. Keep reading for some potential outings that you’ll come across – you can reach any of these destinations in under an hour (and most much quicker) if starting in Tahoe South.
Head toward Fallen Leaf Lake and the Lower Glen Alpine Falls will be roaring at this point. From this trailhead, you can get warmed up for the season with numerous short hikes through the trees and some great scenery to match. If you prefer, you can set out for much longer treks around Fallen Leaf Lake and of course the esteemed Mt. Tallac (also accessible from this trailhead). It’s incredible to see the other snow-capped peaks from the summit of Tallac, but you will definitely need some proper boots for the snow.
Instead of taking Emerald Bay road toward Fallen Leaf Lake, if you continue straight on Lake Tahoe Blvd. and begin to actually exit the Lake Tahoe area your world opens up to many more options. It’s starting to become dry enough that you can bust out the bike again, and spring is an incredible season for mountain biking. Experienced riders know that the riding is often preferable when the ground is a little damp because your tires can really grab and grip. Tahoe Mountain (shortly after you pass Sawmill Rd., off Tahoe Mountain Rd.) is one of the most classic spots on the south side known for access to multiple trails for all skill levels.
The trail to echo lake/flagpole peak | Photo: @tahoeadventuresblog
If you continue on Highway 50 you’ll eventually hit Echo Lake where you can hike the PCT and/or Tahoe Rim Trail out to Flagpole & Echo Peaks. If you skip the peaks, you could take the Tahoe Rim Trail from here all the way to Desolation Wilderness and the astounding Lake Aloha. This is, in my opinion, one of the coolest lakes you can visit in the area, and easily a favorite spot for pitching a hammock and relaxing with a sandwich. These can be fairly challenging trails for the humble hiker and you will want to be properly fueled up with plenty of water and proper shoes.
If you were to continue past Echo Lake, past Sierra at Tahoe, you’ll come to the Pyramid Creek Trailhead in Twin Bridges, CA which will bring you to one of the most scenic waterfalls around, Horsetail Falls. Although a bit strenuous as you approach the last leg, the views at the top are incredible and you’ll be graced with the view of Avalanche Lake looking over Desolation Wilderness and Lake Tahoe.
Horsetail Falls | Photo: @thebucketlistadventurer
Let’s backtrack a little bit. Instead of following Highway 50 in the above route I’ve detailed, you could turn off on Highway 89 towards Luther Pass for even more adventures within a similar driving distance.
For something a little more low-key, Hope Valley is, of course, incredible spring or fall if you want to view the colorful wildflower bloom. The striking views continue as you approach Meiss Meadows, a piece of the watershed of the upper Truckee River, thus rich with wildflowers when the snow is clear.
Meiss Meadows | Photo: @tahoejenn
Continue on the Carson Pass for more breathtaking hikes without the crowds. If the snow is clear enough (or you’re properly equipped) the trek to Showers Lake, in particular, is spectacular. Just beyond that is a really fun hike to Elephant’s Back which offers great views and wildflowers throughout. Make it a day and keep hiking passed Elephant’s Back all the way to Round Top Lake.
Remember that the woods are just beginning to clear out. In some spots, you’ll need to be prepared for snow if you really want to take advantage of it all, as you should. It’s easy to be content in Lake Tahoe because you don’t have to go far for a top-notch adventure, but even if you just barely venture south out of Lake Tahoe a whole new world opens up, and it’s all worth exploring.
Fallen Leaf Lake is one of my favorite places to go at this time of year; it is like a different world, so peaceful and calm.
The lake is three miles around and a mile wide, and cute summer homes are on most of the lake’s edge with private docks. There is also a campground only a short walk away from the lake, which is perfect for families!
Fallen Leaf Lake | Photo: @terrybglad
The waterfall that flows into the lake is pretty spectacular. Glen Alpine Falls is shorter than other waterfalls around Lake Tahoe, but wider and the water flows all over what I call the Sierra Slate. We sat and listened to the birds chirping and the water flowing for almost an hour. The flow of water is my favorite thing to listen to… it clears my mind.
Lower Glen Alpine Falls
If you haven’t been to Fallen Leaf Lake before I encourage you to check it out! To get there, turn onto Fallen Leaf Road from Highway 89. It is a two-lane road until the campground and then becomes a one-lane road with pullouts for oncoming traffic. Please drive slowly and be courteous to other drivers on the road – this means pulling over if there’s room to let cars pass, and waving as they pull over for you. To drive to the falls, continue past the general store on the right and past a fire station on your left onto another one lane road. You’ll go up a half mile or so and hear the falls roaring; parking is limited and difficult as there are no designated spots. Make sure to watch your little ones, as there is no gate or fence that keeps you from the falls.
The snow is melting quickly, and waterfalls around Tahoe will not be full for long. Between now and late June will be the best times to see them. So get out there and explore!
There’re few figures in history more intertwined with Lake Tahoe than Samuel Clemens… or as we know him, Mark Twain. His words about this topaz-colored lake are infamous! As he once stated, it’s “the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” What better way to honor his writing than by exploring some of the places Mark Twain visited in Lake Tahoe & the surrounding area.
The Flume Trail
View from the Tunnel Creek Lake Tahoe | Photo: @laurawesttravels
Ever wonder where Mark Twain got inspired to write the following quote about Lake Tahoe?
“As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.”
It was when Samuel Clemens moved out West with Orion in 1861 to the Nevada territory. On a hike from Carson City, he came upon the legendary view overlooking the crystal-clear waters of Tahoe.
To get to the site & see this beautiful imagery for yourself, park at the Tunnel Creek Café and walk up the Tunnel Creek trail about 1.3 miles. Here you’ll experience the view Mark Twain recounts. For those that don’t trust their GPS, don’t worry. There’s an interpretive panel marking the spot.
As Mark Twain battled a terrible cold sometime in 1863, he spent time at what he referred to as the “Lake House.” Here, he was issued a “sheet bath,” requiring him to stand in or adjacent to the lake at midnight & get wrapped in a sheet soaked in the “frosty” waters. Many mistakenly think the Lake House was the Lake Shore House in Glenbrook. But the reality is it was a house in South Lake Tahoe. Even though it’s no longer standing, you can still sense what it must’ve felt like back in the 1860s.
To access the site from US Highway 50, follow San Francisco Ave until it ends. Park where legal and enter the meadow through the gate at the end of the street. Continue following the trail to the lake where the Lake House was approximately located.
David Walley’s Resort
David Walley’s Resort | Photo: @1862davidwalleys
While it may not be in Lake Tahoe, this hot spring resort was a bastion for Mark Twain. Flanked by the rugged Sierra Nevada mountain range, this one particular hot spring just outside the first settlement in Nevada has been attracting weary travelers for over 150 years. Suffering from a bit of sickness when Twain visited in the spring of 1887, he remarked I “was relieved of pain and gained in spirit.”
Mark Twain will be forever tightly linked to the Mighty Mississippi. But, his words about Lake Tahoe tell you that he left a piece of his heart in the Tahoe Basin. So, the next time you visit Tahoe South, be sure to give a nod to the legendary American writer, lecturer, and satirist.
May is when the many various parts of Tahoe come alive again. It’s a time where you can experience all four seasons in just one month, convenient to enjoy each of your favorite outdoor activities. What this really means is that not only can we now enjoy this vast outdoor playground again, but even our local events, gatherings, and community happenings will be back outside, finally. The town is busy still as you’d expect, but with more buzz.
Nevada Beach Lake Tahoe Nevada
Regardless of your winter hobbies, many people feel restricted during the winter, and after being cooped up for months we’re all itchin’ to get outside. Get ready for outdoor music, outdoor barbecues, outdoor parties and Tahoe tomfoolery from the village to the beaches and mountains.
We start the month with an event that not only locals, but the many fans of Tahoe should be elated to hear about, the Tahoe Climbing Coalition Kick-Off Party. The Tahoe Climbing Coalition is a brand new organization dedicated to providing access, stewardship, and advocation of rock climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
I’m so excited for this group because Tahoe clearly has some world class climbing that will finally have a larger platform. When the locals come together like this to pioneer something, amazing things happen – TAMBA comes to mind, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for these guys. Join them for a fun and informative launch from 6pm-10pm at South Lake Brewing Company where esteemed climber Ethan Pringle will join the festivities as a guest speaker.
The first weekend also falls on Cinco De Mayo, which needs no introduction. South Lake Tahoe is home to a diverse body of people, many with Mexican roots, and the town is showing out to join the festivities. Don’t miss the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and Margarita Contest Heavenly Village Lake Tahoe May 4th and 5th. Frozen or on the rocks? Are you the salt on the rim type? Doesn’t matter because this weekend you’re going to love them all.
Also starting back up this weekend are the South Lake Tahoe Flea Markets and what a fun way to get back and involved with the Tahoe community. You can just about guarantee you’ll walk away with something, whether a thrifty score or some homemade Tahoe treasure. Start your weekend here and head out for more fun, the flea markets continue on every weekend until the end of September.
Brunch at Edgewood Tahoe
Bring your mother to Tahoe South for Mother’s Day weekend and she’ll probably ask for it to be the new tradition. The Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch at Edgewood Tahoe is easily one of the tastiest ways to start the day, but continue on to their spa to treat mom to some ultimate relaxation. Later, hit the shops at Heavenly Village and follow your nose to the Baked Bear for a custom ice cream sandwich. You don’t need to go far to have a day full of fun memories, but it’s nice to know that once you’re here there’s an adventure right around the corner if that’s the way the day plays out.
2019 Men's Stage 2 | Amgen Tour of California - YouTube
Amgen is back and the hype is here! What an incredible event it was to be a part of last year, what an incredible feeling to be right there at the finish line where emotions are running high. This year will be the longest and most challenging in its 14-year history, with the Men’s Stage 2 finish from Rancho Cordova to South Lake Tahoe on May 13. The community is invited to Heavenly’s California Base Lodge to cheer on these super-athletes, take the opportunity to watch the current and future stars of this sport.
Good Sam Safe Ride Car Show Heavenly Village
The month ends with Memorial Day weekend, another big weekend for Tahoe as many places open for the summer if they haven’t already. Heavenly Resort will be back with the Summer Kick Off Car and Bike Show May 24th-27th and continuing until winter. It’s free to walk around and always very cool to see what car owners and collectors will bring out each year.
At the same time, they’ll start up the Heavenly Village Concert Series. Apart from being Lake Tahoe’s largest free summer concert series, what also sets the Heavenly Village events apart from other seasonal entertainment is its family-friendly environment. Concerts are held either between Gunbarrel Tavern and Fire + Ice or in front of Azul Latin Kitchen.
Lake Tahoe AleWorX Summer Concert Series - YouTube
Speaking of music, the Lake Tahoe Aleworx Summer Music Series is so much fun, and the guys over at either of the AleWorX locations are all about great food paired with a great atmosphere. Take it from the owner – “Our goal as a company is to provide the very best food and beverage experience for our locals and visitors throughout the upcoming summer of 2019. From Memorial to Labor Day Weekend we plan to host live entertainment EVERY evening with an intention to host performances ALL DAY LONG every weekend (Fri-Sun). With both our Y and Stateline locations, we are in a unique position to be able to cater to two of the major niche markets within our Tahoe South community.”
One last thing I’d like to mention that I’m so glad is returning is the Stream Profile Chamber at Taylor Creek. Due to a large crack deeming the area unsafe last year, the Stream Profile Chamber never opened. The impact was felt – during the average school year, Taylor Creek Visitor Center hosts over 150 students per day to connect classroom curriculum with direct experience with the local aquatic life, and of course the highlight is the Stream Profile Chamber experience which allows visitors to get an up-close underwater view of the spawning Kokanee salmon.
When they requested assistance from the Tahoe Fund for the repair, the nonprofit stepped in to solve the problem with support from Tahoe Blue Vodka. As of now, their hope is to bring back this beloved feature to the south shore with the opening of the Taylor Creek Recreation Area Memorial Day Weekend.
Picture it: Tahoe South; springtime; the snow melting away; the Sierras skirted with fresh shades of green and yellow and crystal-clear waters for miles. It’s one of the country’s most scenic natural playgrounds, and your meeting attendees get to explore it all.
Check out these top outdoor spring activities to add to your meeting in Tahoe South.
1. Waterfall Hikes
Spring is the best time to get outside and onto a hiking trail here. The water flows rapidly as the snow melts during spring runoff, which means epic (and Insta-memorable) waterfall views along some of Tahoe’s best trails! Your group will find hikes for every skill level in and around Tahoe South. Here’s a list of our five favorite waterfalls.
2. Clear Kayak Tours
Take a guided tour of the lake on a transparent kayak! This luxury experience lets your group glide over the second deepest lake in the U.S. and experience incredible views all day long. If you’re planning for meetings all day, no problem. Your group can still experience the lake at night on an LED glow tour or LED stargazing tour.
3. Mountain Biking
Tahoe South has legendary mountain biking trails for those in your group looking to explore some new terrain. They’ll take in views of the famed Emerald Bay while biking along the 72 miles of scenic trails on the Lake Tahoe loop. Our town is a bike-friendly community, so you’ll find plenty of locally owned bike shops to help with all of your rentals and biking needs. From advanced trails such as the Flume Trail to relaxing rides on the lake basin, you’ll find no shortage of mountain biking activities. Here are the six most popular bike trails.
4. Lake Cruises
There’s no better chaser to a day (or few days) of business than one of Tahoe South’s unforgettable lake cruises. Attendees can relax and unwind as they breathe in the fresh Lake Tahoe breeze. There are cruises to fit every schedule, so whether you’re enjoying the sunshine, watching the sunset over Emerald Bay and Vikingsholm Castle or grabbing dinner on an evening cruise, there’s never a wrong time to be out on the water here.
Before recreation sites can fully open to the public, the Forest Service must hire crews and staff to manage the sites, clean up from winter, remove safety hazards and wait for the danger of a freeze to pass before turning on water systems, according to the agency.
Forest visitors should exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings as they enjoy the outdoors. Hazards to watch for include trees that may have recently died and/or sustained damage over the winter.
While recreation area grounds are open year-round, but parking, trash removal and restroom facilities are not available during winter. The Forest Service instructs visitors to pack out all trash and until parking areas open, park your vehicle off the roadway, avoid parking on vegetation and do not block access gates.
Pets are not allowed on designated swim beaches. Only leashed, service dogs are allowed entry to developed beaches. The Forest Service reminds dog owners to always clean up after their animal, including properly disposing of pet waste bags.
Tahoe beaches are popular and parking areas tend to fill up quickly when weather conditions are good, per the Forest Service. Plan accordingly and carpool, take public transportation or develop alternate transportation solutions.
Click here for a complete list of planned opening dates.
For more information, contact the Forest Supervisor’s office at 530-543-2600, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Here is a guide to some of our favorite things to do in South Lake Tahoe this summer.
Kristin Rust / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Tahoe Rim Trail: This 165-mile hike around Lake Tahoe is the ultimate trek. Hike the entire thing or hike bits and pieces of the trail. The options are endless. You can choose to hike any of eight sections of the trail. Check out the Tahoe Rim Trail website to find more information, maps, and trail conditions.
Wildflower Hikes: Due to the heavy snow pack from this past winter, wildflower season this year is going to be fantastic. It is expected that wildflower peak will be in the middle of July at low-to-mid elevations, and at the beginning of August for mid-to-high elevations. One of the best places to see them around Lake Tahoe will be at Carson Pass which is south of the Lake Tahoe basin.
Mt. Tallac: The five mile one-way trek up Tahoe’s most iconic mountain, is nothing short of difficult. The views from the top are incredible and make for very good photographs. As of now, there is still too much snow on this trail to make it passable but, as the snow melts this becomes one of the best hikes in the Tahoe Basin. Park at the Mt. Tallac Trailhead, across from the entrance to Baldwin Beach.
Rubicon Trail: This trail goes along the lake’s West shore. Highlights of this trail are between D.L. Bliss and Emerald Bay, where you will pass coves, cliffs, panoramic views, and even an old lighthouse.
Fishing is a fun thing to do in Lake Tahoe during the summer and in the rivers and smaller lakes in the region. With the water levels higher than normal this year, take caution when being near rivers as the water is very cold and moving very fast. Some ideas for fishing in Tahoe:
Lake Tahoe is a top notch destination for mountain biking. There are lots of bike trails, both paved and dirt, around Lake Tahoe to explore. Here are some of the more popular bike routes in the area. To discover more trails visit the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association website.
Flume Trail: This trail is approximately 14 miles one way, and averages between 7000’ and 8100’ elevation, sitting above Lake Tahoe’s North East shore. This trail is moderately difficult and offers sweeping views of the area. For more information on the Flume Trail, check out our blog post about mountain biking the Flume Trail.
Tahoe Rim Trail: While most of this trail is open to biking, some parts are restricted. Mountain biking is not allowed in the Desolation, Granite Chief, or Mount Rose Wilderness Areas. There are other small areas of the 165 mile trail that are restricted to biking. These can be found on the Tahoe Rim Trail Website.
Rachid Dahnoun / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
D.L. Bliss:Located on the West shore, just North of Emerald Bay, this state park, campground, and beach boast spectacular views of the lake. Turquoise water, towering cliffs, and coves set this beach apart from the others.
Baldwin Beach: Located between Camp Richardson and Emerald Bay, Baldwin is known its open and expansive sandy beach with stellar views of Mt. Tallac.
Kiva Beach:This large beach on the South shore sits at the mouth of Taylor Creek. This is one of the few beaches on the lake that has free parking and that is dog friendly. Enjoy Taylor Creek and the Taylor Creek Visitors Center which are both a short walk from the sand.
Pope Beach:Located just East of Kiva Beach, Pope Beach is known for its shallow and warmer water ( not actually warm just warm compared to other areas in Tahoe). This beach is very long, with easy access parking.
Regan Beach: Somewhat secluded in a neighborhood, Regan beach is one of Tahoe’s oldest. While it does not have a sandy beach, there is a nice grassy area making it perfect for picnicking with a view.
El Dorado Beach: Located right along the highway, in the center of the city of South Lake Tahoe, this beach is very popular in the summer, known for its easily accessible location, live music, barbecues, and availability of water activities.
Nevada Beach:This beach is quieter and compliments the Nevada Beach Campground which is tucked in the pines behind the beach. This beach is clean and offers views of Mt. Tallac which sits directly across the lake.
Zephyr Cove:This beach is the place to go when looking for activity. Very popular all summer, it is possible to rent boats, rent jet skis, go parasailing, kayak, dine, and take cruises out on Tahoe on boats like the M.S. Dixie II, which docks in the Zephyr Cove Marina.
Round Hill Pines: This beach sits in cove on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe and is perfect for laying on the beach, kayaking, and getting married.
Sand Harbor: Although this beach is located in Tahoe North, it is perhaps the most famous beach on the lake. Famous for its giant granite boulders, Caribbean color waters, and panoramic views of the mountains, there is no place in the world quite like Sand Harbor.
Rachid Dahnoun / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
This has become one of the most popular activities on Lake Tahoe. The waters and scenery at Tahoe make it one of the best ranked paddleboard destinations in all of the world. Our Summer Paddleboarding Guide has everything you need to know.
This is one of the most exhilarating activities at Lake Tahoe but, also one of the best views. The views while parasailing above the waters of Lake Tahoe are unmatched. You can try parasailing at three different locations in Tahoe South, Action Water Sports, Zephyr Cove Marina, and the Ski Run Boat Company.
Discover summer on Heavenly Mountain by doing ropes courses, riding zip lines, climbing rock walls, going tubing, and taking in the views from the Gondola. Visit the Heavenly website for information on how to spend your summer atop one of the largest ski resorts in America!
Golfing in Lake Tahoe comes with spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the waters of the lake.
Edgewood: Edgewood Tahoe is an 18 hold golf course located near Stateline, Nevada on the South Shore of the lake. Edgewood is an iconic golf setting, famous for its views of Tallac and its beachfront location. Edgewood hosts one of Lake Tahoe’s most famous summer events, the annual American Century Celebrity Golf Championship. Celebrities come to Tahoe this July 11th through the 16th to compete in an epic golf tournament, the most prestigious celebrity tournament in the sport.
Lake Tahoe Golf Course: This course sits in a meadow beneath the break taking Sierra Nevada mountains. The course is known for its amazing views, ample amounts of water, and trees.
Tahoe Paradise Golf Course: Tucked among towering pines, this scenic 18-hole executive course features tree-lined fairways and good views. Located a few miles outside of town in Meyers, this course is both beautiful and relaxing.
Bijou Golf Course: This is a small, 9- hole course and belongs to the city of South Lake Tahoe. It is perfect for a quick game or for beginners.
Aramark / Rachid Dahnoun
Lake Tahoe has many old and historic estates dating back to the early 1900s. Exploring their properties is a must while visiting Lake Tahoe. Many of these properties were summer retreats for the richest families of San Francisco.
Tallac Historic Site: This site located on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe, is home to the Baldwin Estate, the Pope Estate, and the Valhalla Estate. The entire site is open during the summer months, the parking is free, and there are paths for walking winding across the whole property.
Vikingsholm: Considered one of the best examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States, this summer estate is a castle located in Emerald Bay. Open all summer , you can explore the grounds or book a paid tour to see the inside of the home.
Hellman-Ehrman Estate: This property is located on the West Shore of the lake, near Sugar Pine Point. This summer house was completed in 1903 and offers tours.
Thunderbird Lodge: This mansion located on the North Eastern shore of Lake Tahoe, near Incline Village, is one of the lake’s most famous properties. The Thunderbird Yacht, located at the property, is one of America’s most famous and most expensive wooden speedboats. Tours are available on their website.
Lauren Lindley / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Summer in Tahoe means outdoor music, with concerts at Lakeview Commons, Harvey’s and at the Heavenly Village.
Live at Lakeview Commons: Starting on June 20th, there will be weekly outdoor concerts on the bear at Lakeview Commons/ El Dorado Beach right in South Lake Tahoe. Music ranges from Afro-Funk to Rock n’ Roll. Check out their website for more information and for the 2019 schedule of events.
Harveys Summer Concert Series: Confirmed lineup. The Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys Lake Tahoe is the place to be to catch great live music by world famous artists. This years’ includes Tim McGraw, Comedian Trevor Noah, Pentatonix, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Steve Miller, Miranda Lambert, Jackson Browne, Lionel Richie and Dave Matthews.
Heavenly Village Summer Concert Series: The Heavenly Village Summer Concert Series The Shops at Heavenly Village will host free outdoor concerts every Friday and Saturday evening through Labor Day from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at their main stage. Concerts are held either between Gunbarrel Tavern and Fire + Ice or in front of Azul Latin Kitchen.
There are A LOT of options to explore the forests and peaks surrounding the Lake Tahoe Basin. As soon as you pull into Tahoe South, the first prominent feature you’ll notice is Mt. Tallac. Its iconic ridgeline stands above the glassy blue waters of Tahoe like no other peak can. Of course, it’s a great option for those that want a full day of adventure. But what if you only have an hour or two? Then Van Sickle Bi-State Park is a MUST if you come to Tahoe South.
National Geographic’s Top Ten Trail
Just opened in 2011, it might be a relative newcomer, but it’s sending shock waves through the outdoor community. Why? For starters, it’s a few minutes walking distance from the casino core in Stateline. Second, this trail network is open to all hikers, bikers, and equestrian riders. And finally, nearly every nook & cranny of this 575-acre park offers up one-of-a-kind views of big blue with only a bit of effort. It makes sense that National Geographic designated it as one of the ten best trails in the country!
What To See At Van Sickle Bi-State Park
Depending on where you start, there are a few different trails you can mix & match. Luckily, the trail intersections are very well marked, making it easy to navigate. For those wanting to see a meadow of Lupine in the late spring/early summer, be sure to hit up the Barn Trail. Looking for a jaw-dropping view? Check out the trail off the Vista Spur. The granite rock outcroppings jut out of the large canopy of conifers exposing you to breathtaking views of the lake as well as the casino cityscape. For those that have a bit more energy, persevere & continue up the Rim Trail Connector. The trail quickly pops out of the forest and meanders its way up an open hillside. The lack of tree cover also means plenty of gorgeous views of Lake Tahoe. After a short 1.3 miles & 600 feet of elevation gain, you’ll be rewarded with a pleasant waterfall.
New York’s Central Park might be a natural oasis in an urban jungle, but it pales in comparison to the transition of Tahoe South’s urban core to a high-quality natural experience you can have at Van Sickle. If you’re staying in the casino corridor and need a break from the crowds, we HIGHLY recommend you visit Van Sickle. You won’t regret it!
Voice Your Opinion On The Future
The Nevada Division of State Parks & the California Tahoe Conservancy is updating the vision plan for the recreation facilities at Van Sickle Bi-State Park. As part of this, they’re reaching out to the community to gather user (or potential user) feedback on what are the needs & desires for the future.
November in Tahoe – All The Beauty & Fun… All To Yourself!
November is arguably one of the most beautiful months around Lake Tahoe. It’s when the autumnal tapestry is disappearing and the highest reaches of the mountains surrounding the lake begin to frost over from the first snows. It’s a time for four-season fun. Here are some great activities and things to do in November.
Sunny Trails For You
Photo credit Rachid Dahnoun
The Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association (TAMBA) has been spearheading major new trails all across Tahoe South. One of the newer projects completed this past summer was the Angora Ridge Trail. Situated on top of a glacial moraine, it offers amazing views of Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe. A great option for both mountain bikers and hikers alike. At the end of your ride or hike, be sure to venture 50 yards up the road to the historic Angora Fire Lookout for sweeping views. As a backup plan if it’s a bit too chilly or there’s some snow on the ground, head over to the Mule Deer trail, located just to the west of the Angora Ridge Trail.
For those looking for a bit less adventure but still want to capture the essence of Lake Tahoe, a dinner cruise aboard the M.S. Dixie II is a must. As the paddle wheeler glides out of Zephyr Cove, you’ll be exposed to some of the best views of the region. The 500 person vessel is climate controlled for heating so even on the chilliest evening, you’ll be cozy too. The Dinner Cruise is complete with famous Tahoe sunsets, breathtaking views, local cuisine, and live music.
As you can see, Tahoe South offers a wide array of things you can do in November. With the holiday season fast approaching, use this time to relax and rest up. We guarantee you’ll go home more energized and ready to take on the world.
Glen Alpine Springs – A Hike into Lake Tahoe’s First Tourist Destination
Can you imagine a time when this deep blue lake was seen less as a jewel but rather a commodity? Beginning in the 1860’s, booming communities such as Virginia City needed lumber and lots of it for their mining operations. So, the deep forests surrounding the Lake Tahoe landscape were harvested to support that thirst for silver and gold. It wasn’t until a man by the name of Nathan Gilmore saw something others didn’t… a pure vacation destination.
Starting out as a farmer, Nathan Gilmore would drive his Angora sheep from their winter homes in El Dorado up to near Glen Alpine Springs to graze in the summer. That’s how locations such as Angora Ridge, Angora Peak, and Angora Lakes got their names. It’s assumed that when he was shepherding in 1863, he happened upon the springs.
Like many after him, Nathan fell in love with Fallen Leaf and the looming summit of Mt. Tallac just above it. He saw an opportunity to create a haven for people to get away from the city life and enjoy the cool clean mountain air as well as the “curing” properties of the mineral spring waters. And so, he built the “Gilmore Springs” resort in 1878.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck in 1880 with his wife dying. The fabled story is that when his wife died that year, he wanted some way to commemorate her. He remembered that she loved the poem Lady by the Lake by Sir Walter Scott, and so it was her love for the name that inspired the change to “Glen Alpine Springs”.
Walk Where John Muir Once Was
Over the years, Nathan expanded the plush resort to include over twenty-five buildings with such places as a hotel, dining room, kitchen, and even a post office. It was here in 1892 with John Muir present that they formed the first Sierra Club. The goal was to convince the U.S. to declare the Devil’s Canyon area as a Forest Preserve. Gilmore gave up his rights to that area (he owned 10,000 acres from Fallen Leaf Lake to Mt. Tallac) in 1899 for what was to become known as the Desolation Wilderness.
This isn’t just a bunch of abandoned buildings but rather a living museum you can experience in person. From Memorial Day through the fall season, a docent & staff are on duty giving guided tours at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays along with an interpretive center open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the summer months. For those REALLY looking for a one-of-a-kind venue for an event such as a rehearsal dinner or an anniversary, the kitchen is in full working order. For more, check out their website.
The Glen Alpine Trailhead is located off Highway 89, a few miles north of South Lake Tahoe, CA at Fallen Leaf Lake just to the west of Lake Tahoe. From there, it’s about a two mile out and back hike featuring a cascading snow-fed creek, the Glen Alpine waterfall, wildflowers and the last of the family resorts from this historical era.