Gorgeous Lake Tahoe is just over the hill from our current home base in Carson City, NV. You can drive 72 miles around the entire lake, making it a perfect long day trip for us...especially since we have a rental car this week (might as well put the miles on someone else's car).
It had been at least 40 years since Hans visited Lake Tahoe and probably 20 years for me. We were both a little disappointed at how built up it is (commercial and private properties) and how hard it was to find FREE places to stop and enjoy the lake. This is also a year-round tourist destination so the only solitude to be found is probably deep in the boonies away from the lake.
|Pretty Emerald Bay.|
|River cruise boat leaving Emerald Bay and entering Lake Tahoe.|
After driving about three quarters of the way around the lake we decided to head inland for a hike. The Glen Alpine trail head
, near Fallen Leaf Lake, gives access to miles of trails in the Tahoe back country. The drive to the trail head was neat, turns out there are many private homes along Fallen Leaf Lake, once past them, the road follows lovely Glen Alpine Creek and even has a spectacular waterfall.
We parked at the trail head next to pretty Lilly Lake and headed two miles up a much worn gravel road to the site of the former Glen Alpine Springs
. In 1863 a "Soda Spring" was discovered and turned into a fancy resort with curative mineral springs. The scenery along this short stretch of "trail" was gorgeous and we wished we had more time to explore further into the Desolation Wilderness.
|My favorite kind of scenery!|
|We even surprised this snake in the water...we never knew snakes would swim in super cold water!|
|Beavers are active here!|
|We saw these strange fungi-looking plants in a couple of places around Lake Tahoe.|
|Turns out they are Sarcodes.|
|The dining hall at Glen Alpine Springs.|
|We're in marmot country and this guy came very close hoping for a handout.|
|There were many waterfalls along Glen Alpine Creek, this was the largest we saw right along the road.|
For us, Lake Tahoe's greatest charms are in the back country, further from the crowds. It's hard to imagine what it's like around here during ski season or over a summer holiday weekend. If we return we will seek out the trails on the edges and hope we arrive early enough to find a parking space!
I've heard the same thing about Tahoe, that it's nearly impossible to find public access to the lake and when you do it's wall to wall people. But you definitely found a great hike. Thanks for the beautiful pictures.ReplyDelete
You know I hate to say that a place is too crowded for my tastes, but it's the truth!Delete
Beautiful as it is, the only way I'd return is with a specific destination in mind and a very direct route to it...not around the lake!
That is one beautiful place! We have never been ...ReplyDelete
Your camera takes great photos. What kind is it?ReplyDelete
It's an old Panasonic Lumix. I also have a Panasonic Lumix ZS25 that I got from Costco. I loved the extreme zoom capability of it but have had to send it in for repairs twice. Pretty disappointed about that...Delete
We were last there 30 years ago. What a shame it's so built up but still looks absolutely beautiful.ReplyDelete
Yep, it's still beautiful! Especially in the back country!Delete
We've avoided Tahoe for exactly the reasons you describe -- but it looks as though you found a gorgeous place to hike. That marmot is so cute!ReplyDelete
The lake is gorgeous. I remember our first view from high above on the motorcycle. It was quite a wonderful surprise to see. But you are right about the crowd...stay in the wilds:)ReplyDelete
Back in our snow skiing days, we spent many happy days in the Tahoe area and have always considered it one of the prettiest places in the country. The lake view from the top of Heavenly is awesome. Glad you are enjoying it.ReplyDelete
I agree with you Lisa, and the only time we go there (its only two hour drive from where we used to live) is when there is a wedding. Too crowded and too commercialize.ReplyDelete
Glad you found some backcountry to enjoy the lake.
We did the same as the two of you, took a day trip from Carson City, then headed into the back country. It was our first visit and didn't know what to expect. Like so many popular places, it did seem quite commercialized but still lovely.ReplyDelete
I live about an hour from Tahoe. There is so much gorgeous hiking in these mountains with beautiful alpine lakes that are a dream to kayak on. Tahoe is always fun and there are areas to spread out somewhat. But I prefer to spend my time out on the trails where I can be as remote as I want! When we head out fulltime later this summer, I will definitely miss the Sierras. I especially love the area along Hwy 88, Hope Valley.ReplyDelete
Once you are fulltime you can always come back to visit! Plus, you'll get to find so many new and amazing places! I hope we see you on the trail some time!Delete