There is a distinct change in North Lake Tahoe come fall. With the summer crowds gone, the region loses its hustle and bustle and instead encourages visitors to enjoy the area at a more leisurely pace.
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in all things Tahoe fall is to get in the thick of it – literally. Hiking and mountain biking trails twist and turn through forests adorned with changing foliage that boasts the full spectrum of yellows from apens trees that make a striking contract against the reigon’s pines.
Visitors can embrace the fall solitude on several of Tahoe’s trails, but a favorite is the famed Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165-mile trail that loops around Lake Tahoe, specifically the Mt. Rose’s Trail off Highway 267. This five to six-mile, roundtrip trail is rated medium in difficutly and has hikers climbing a sandy slope, meandering past a waterfall and wrapping up with picturesque views of the entire Tahoe Basin.
The guided Donner Party Hike, October 13-14, is steeped in foliage and history. Hikers walk the trails of early pioneers and learn about the success of the Stephens Party, the tragic events of the Donner Party and the importance of the transcontinental railroad.
But the changing leaves is just one of many ways to celebrate autumn in North Lake Tahoe. Also gaining steam are a steady stream of festivals geared for all ages.
The Village at Squaw Valley transforms into a miniature Bavaria for the 11th Annual Oktoberfest September 29 with its Bratwurst Toss and plenty of authentic German beer for tasting. Guests can indulge without guilt by participating in the Oktoberfest Run to Squaw, held prior to the event, a 7.9-mile course that travels along the scenic Truckee River from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley.
The Resort at Squaw Creek will host its 2nd Annual Harvest Festival October 5-14 in Olympic Valley. The event features bluegrass music, hayrides, pumpkin painting, pie-eating contest, pumpkin bowling, glow ball golf, autumn-themed spa treatments, a beer garden, live music and a fall artisan craft faire. The property’s Six Peaks Grille keeps with the season by providing a bounty of fall harvest cuisine that includes pumpkin pie and caramel apple martinis along with scallops with pumpkin ravioli.
Lake Tahoe Restaurant Week, October 7-14, also takes advantage of the seasonal produce and offers organic three-course lunches and dinners for $20, $30 or $40/person at historic eateries throughout the region. No copuons or tickets are required to take part.
The Tahoe City Downtown Association hosts the 8th Annual Tahoe City Harvest Festival October 6-20 with a traditional Cobblestone Oktoberfest along with an Uncorked! German Wine Tasting (October 6), Scarecrow Sprint & Stroll with its 5K and 10K runs (October 13), Zombie Pub Craw (October 13), Gatekeeper’s Ghost Walk (October 18) and the Felt-A-Pumpkin Workshp for arts and crafts lovers (October 20).
In Incline Village, the Oktoberfest and Community Fair, October 13, is a perfect occasion for families to get into the fall spirit. Attendees indulge in grilled brats, peruse arts and craft vendor booths and rock out to live music – all at the Village Center.
Spirits of days gone by are summoned to haunt the streets of historic Truckee during the adults-only Historical Haunted Tour October 18-19. The walking tour attracts more than 300 attendees and 60 volunteers and features tales of yore with a memorable and entertaining twist at Truckee’s historic gems and watering holes. The spooky event begins with a glass of wine, interesting characters and a prize-packed raffle at Moody’s.
In Incline Village, the Trails of Treats and Terror, a special event geared for kids, is October 25. Costumed guests follow a trail to different locations that are rated by “fright factor.” In the past, there has been a graveyard gala, pumpkin photos and ghoulish games, dark theatre and haunted halls.
For more information about fall foliage trails, as well as autumnal events in North Lake Tahoe, as well as get connected via social media channels, click to the North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus’ website at www.GoTahoeNorth.com. The site’s Cool Deals tab is updated daily with deals and savings on lodging and activities.
North Lake Tahoe is a 45-minute drive from the Reno Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento International Airport and just over three hours from San Francisco International Airport. Visitor information centers are located at 100 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City and 969 Tahoe Boulevard in Incline Village. The North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus, the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau and the North Lake Tahoe Chamber/CVB/Resort Association, work together to promote North Lake Tahoe as a premier, year-round destination.
Snow beneath whose chilly softness
Some that never lay
Make their first Repose this Winter
I admonish Thee
Photo: Jeff Dow
Slush, crust, powder, ice, and crud! What are they? Ingredients? Not exactly,but close.They are textures of snow.They are names of the different kinds of snow. And though snow is a gentle white heaven, it behooves you to know what kind of snow you are on if you are planning to play on the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains of Lake Tahoe. For all you dreamers, be prepared because you will be skiing on sacred mountains, belonging to a truly original, unequalled environment. They come with their great adventure, challenges, and legacy.
What is snow? We know they are beautiful flakes, no two alike in the universe.
A little science before we boot up and choose our trails. Snow is often thought of as frozen water. It’s much more intricate. One snowflake consists of up to 100 snow crystals clumped together. When they are connected, they look puffy, somewhat like small cotton balls. I was once told that if I knew what kind of surface I was on, I could get down any mountain. Sometimes, you do find yourself on the wrong trail. After the panorama and panic, stop and check your snow. This is the only lesson I impart. Then you can read about the trails, restaurants, casinos, bars, and all the nightlife you will need.
Powder is the superior snow surface for all snow lovers. You are quite safe skiing in deep powder because it slows you down, and if you go down,it’s gentle..It’s also the best for snow angels just for fun. Downside, it may cover rock, tree stumps, and crevices, so as my dad always said, “stay alert.”
Crud has a bad reputation, but it’s simply packed down powder making it more uneven. Crust is formed when the sun and wind melt the top layer of powder, and then the cold air temperature makes it freeze into solid again. It can get nasty, and it’s all about edges while riding over those icy patches. It’s challenging and requires aggressive skiiling or boarding. Be bold.
Slush is caused by warming temperatures melting the snow into a watery mess. Wet snow is heavy to traverse so you will notice how the turns in slush are harder than on softer snow. It’s tiring because there is so much resistance to a smooth ride. If snow is perfect, then ice is imperfect. It is hated by boarders and skiers alike. It’s called ice though it’s not true ice. Suffice it to say, it hurts like ice, and it’s very fast like ice. If you can keep your edge, you will maximize your grip, thus preventing injury.
Always go towards snow to slow you down. Remember this.
Snow lovers are always in a hurry to meet the first snow. By fall, they are already checking out the resorts, some of which do have good snow already.They will find a variety of surfaces suited to snowshoeing,and telemark skiing.
For the uninitiated, telemark skiing or free heel skiing, is fluid and dynamic. It employs modern equipment, similar to downhill skiing - short, waisted skis, stiff plastic boots, and beefy, rigid-metal bindings. As a skier wedges the leading ski forward and the trailing ski slightly backward, with the heel raised off the rear ski, the mechanics of the equipment and the turn combine to produce an endorphin-fueled high: the free-heel feeling. A skiing high!
It's a classy, infectious act that is hard to resist, mainly because it is beautiful to watch. It's a soulful, skin-tingling groove with the exact feeling hard to describe; yet it consumes so many. The sensation of longboard surfing has been used to describe the sensation of telemarking.
The North Lake Tahoe dining scene continues to evolve with several new establishments opening.
It’s aloha in downtown Tahoe City where the recently opened North Shore Hawaiian Grill is offering authentic island cuisine, with recipes handed down for generations. Plate lunches and dinners are served with traditional sticky white rice and island style macaroni salad. Guests choose from chicken marinated in homemade shoyu-ginger sauce and Korean-cut short ribs marinated in a sweet Portuguese-style sauce.
Just steps away from the North Shore Hawaiian Grill lies Uncorked Tahoe City. Formerly known as Corkscrews, the place is a sister establishment to the popular Uncorked Squaw Valley. The revitalized wine bar gets rave reviews from Lake Tahoe locals for its contemporary wine experience without the snobbery, and with bottles ranging in price for every budget. Guests can sample the daily wine-by-the-glass menu or take part in winemaker events held throughout the year.
Sitting just 100 feet above the shorelines of Lake Tahoe, Christy Hill has been a Tahoe City dining icon for more than 25 years. Recently, the establishment changed hands and with it comes an outstanding menu offering a hearty seafood chowder, pan roasted gnocchi with duck confit, grilled grass-fed filet mignon and amaretti ravioli with poached pears. Christy Hill is now also open for lunch and has a happy hour menu.
Two new shops offering delectable frozen goodies have also opened in Tahoe City. Poppy’s Frozen Yogurt, which opened July 1, serves six daily flavors of frozen yogurt and provides a variety of toppings, such as fresh fruit. They also serve espresso. Tootsie’s is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor located in the Lighthouse Shopping Center and provides sundaes, ice cream sodas and milkshakes. Tootsie's also offers a hot dog bar where people can select from veggie, all-beef, chicken sausage or Polish dogs.
The greatroom at the Lone Eagle Grille In Incline Village, the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino recently underwent a $400,000 renovation to its iconic Lone Eagle Grille, which focuses on the lounge and includes new furnishings, color scheme and structural changes, increasing seating to approximately 58 with an additional seating for 14 at the bar.
Truckee welcomed the eco-friendly Coffeebar on Jibboom Street in October. This Italian coffee shop offers dishes not usually found in traditional java spots, including tasty gelato, strudel and light fluffy crepes filled with fresh vegetables.
Squaw Valley USA has upgraded their dining offerings with a remodel of the mountain’s legendary Olympic House base lodge and hired a new director of culinary services who has added new items on the menu, such as hand-tossed salads, gourmet pizza and Asian stir-fry bowls – all served with an abundance of fresh and local ingredients. There has also been a remodel of Olympic House’s Bar One, Squaw Valley’s original bar, which now boasts a refurbished fireplace, extensive bar and enhanced mountain views.
Alpine Meadows Ski Resort is offering what may be the ultimate winter dining experience. Guests, groups up to 20, travel in a snow cat to the mountain’s secluded mid-mountain restaurant for a private, four-course dinner and an evening of stargazing as part of the resort’s Mountainside Dining Experience. Menu samples include fig and goat cheese bruschetta, pumpkin coconut soup and bacon wrapped quail.
Down the road from the West Shore Café, they are cooking homemade brown sugar pepper bacon – and lots of it. Obexer’s General Store in Homewood recently came back into the Obexer family and with the transition comes a completely renovated grocery, cafe and deli. Chefs here cook up pounds of their special bacon daily for their scrumptious sandwiches named after five generations of Obexers, many of which helped establish the West Shore back in Lake Tahoe’s heyday dating back to 1911. Locals recommend the Edna’s BLAT, named after the West Shore matriarch, served on sliced bread or a roll and a giant cookie, baked from scratch, for a filling lunch. A large espresso bar also gives plenty of fuel before hitting the slopes in the morning.
In downtown Kings Beach, Tradewinds reopened over the summer with a new name and ownership. Now The Grid Bar and Grill, a tribute to the Kings Beach neighborhood north of Highway 28 and known by locals as “The Grid,” the hip establishment boasts a lip-smacking menu and plenty of events from football Sundays to karaoke contests. A must-try is the Keep Tahoe Bleu Burger with its crumbled bleu cheese, along with shoestring fries and jalapeno poppers.
One of the best ways to take advantage of North Lake Tahoe’s fall and winter savings is by clicking. The North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus have created a clearinghouse of special offers and deals on their official website, which is updated daily, at www.GoTahoeNorth.com. Just hit the Cool Deals tab and start saving on lodging, dining and activities.
North Lake Tahoe is a 45-minute drive from the Reno Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento International Airport and just over three hours from San Francisco International Airport. For lodging reservations, recreation and event details, call North Lake Tahoe at 1-877-949-3296 or visit TripAdvisor.. Visitor information centers are located at 380 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City and 969 Tahoe Boulevard in Incline Village. The North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus, Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, work together to promote North Lake Tahoe as a premier, year-round destination.
Do you love the magnificence of nature? Have you ever spent time in a perfectly beautiful natural environment? A place free of plans, deadlines, and noisy tours? Do you want to try something you’ve never done before? There’s a place, and it shines brightly in summer, with comfortable temperatures and crisp mountain air. Mountain air that is intoxicating. Each inhalation, rejuventating and relaxing. Mark Twain said, “the air was pure enough for angels.” Welcome to Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe is America’s treasure. The entire setting is stunning in its pure beauty, with the lake itself, the centerpiece, which speaks to all of Lake Tahoe, the majestic voice in the Sierra Nevada mountains. It is the largest Alpine Lake in North America and the 16th deepest lake in the world. It’s 22 miles long and 12 miles wide. At its deepest point, it is 1,645 feet, which is also the reason it never freezes.The lake is mesmerizing, hypnotic, and famous for its sparkling clear water, as well as its kaleidocscope of colors, absorbed from the surrounding mountain peaks. As the seasons change, the lake reflects the forever changing colors identifying each season. The lake tells nature’s story. It is no surprise that Twain upon seeing the lake for his first time declared it “the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” The blues of the lake are astonishing. They have been described as sapphire, turquoise, cobalt, azure, and many other shades of deep blue.
Nevada Bed and Breakfast
By: John Slater
Nevada is a state known for its tourist attractions but casinos and shows are not all that the great state of Nevada has to offer. Throughout the state there is spectacular scenery, rich history, and one of a kind plant life and wildlife. From the Black Rock Desert to the Shoshone Mountains to Lake Mead there is so much more for visitors to explore than many realize. But of course the Las Vegas Strip has much excitement and fun to offer as well, it all depends on what kind of vacation you want to take and what attractions you enjoy but one thing is for sure, you are sure to find what you’re looking for in the state of Nevada.
One reason for all the visitors to the state of Nevada each year is the rich history that is evidenced throughout the state. In 1830 the state was part of the Old Spanish Trail that led many out west during the Gold Rush that began in 1849. The California Trail ran through Nevada as well and is connected to the famed Oregon Trail which both also led many during the Gold Rush. The history involved with these three countries alone is enough to intrigue even the most sincere of history buffs. Another area of history that is well sought out in the state of Nevada is the many old mining towns that can be found throughout the state. Visitors can get a true taste of the Old West by touring such towns as Carson City, Austin, Pioche, Genoa, and Virginia City. Nevada is truly a state for history buffs to explore and the history is great for children of all ages is well so whether your taking a vacation alone or with the family you will be sure to enjoy exploring this great state.