Saturday, October 11, 2014

Just a Little Nevada

We spent a couple of nights in Reno, NV taking care of miscellaneous stuff one needs a larger city for and managed to get in a nice hike, in fact a repeat of one we did in May. The Tahoe Rim Trail is easily accessible from Reno via the Mt Rose trail. We hiked the Tahoe Rim/Mt Rose six mile loop, this time free of snow, but with lovely patches of fall color.

Tahoe Meadow in the foreground, Lake Tahoe in the distance.

Waterfall, meadow and Mt Rose at the high point of the loop trail.

Stopped for road construction on the Mt Rose highway.

We continued on down 395 to Topaz Lake, NV for a couple of nights, staying at Topaz Lodge RV Park. It's a nice little full hookup park, $25/night, associated with the lodge and casino, right on the edge of the Nevada/California border. We had an excellent breakfast at the cafe inside the casino. We aren't normally steak and eggs breakfast people but we both tried it, being the special, and really, really enjoyed it.

Site 20 has a great view of the surrounding mountains and has a large grassy area adjacent to it.

We were surprised and happy to have a brief visit from Hans' brother and sister in law, Norm and Valerie, as they passed through on a road trip vacation. We love these chance meetups!

Brothers and their best friends!

Our exploration of the area took us up CA highway 89 over Monitor Pass in search of views and fall color. First we stopped right off the highway and walked up the road a mile and a half to Leviathan Peak. At 8,980 feet we enjoyed fantastic views into the Sierras and Carson Valley.

Pockets of color in the high valley below Leviathan Peak.
The Sierra mountains in the distance held very, very little snow.

The Carson Valley is just beyond this colorful valley in the foreground.

In the valley below us I thought I saw big deer ears...I stood there so long the deer freaked out
and turned out to be part of a group of six that took off across the chaparral!

After our little leg stretcher hike we continued on highway 89 stopping at little Heenan Lake for more gorgeous fall color. Turns out Heenan Lake has a very brief trout season (catch and release, barbless hooks only) and fishing is only allowed Friday - Sunday so on a Friday the place was pretty busy.

The yellow was so brilliant here it practically hurt your eyes!

Aspen patches flowed down ravines in rivers of color.

After another short hike we continued on to the tiny town of Markleeville. It's a cute little place with several cafes and a couple of small inns and we learned at the visitor center of a disc golf course just down the road. Turtle Rock Disc Golf Course turned out to be an unexpected gem. Set in a county park with a small campground, tennis courts and horseshoe pits, the course had the best signage we have ever seen and was well laid out among large Ponderosa Pines.

Very nice tee pads, at least one bench at each tee, excellent signs describing the location of each basket/hole,
and prominent number signs directing you to the next tee near each basket.

Hans caught a shot of me and my totally unprofessional throwing technique!  :-)

Topaz Lake turned out to be a pleasant and convenient place to stay for a couple of nights and, via our drive up CA89, opened up another area worthy of future exploration. Today we head on down the road to Lee Vining, CA, more adventures to come!

A happy Rosie in her element.


  1. Sounds like the perfect place to stop. Nice site:) I bet Rosie really appreciates the privacy and grass.

    Traveling in the west this time of year is made even more beautiful with the aspens. They do hurt your eyes at times.

    How cool that the brothers got to meet up with their best friends:)

  2. Wonderful fall color photos! Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  3. Beautiful fall color and hikes Lisa! How cool for you to meet up with Hans brother and SIL. The picture of you home at Topez Lodge is so pretty...nice lighting!

  4. The aspens are absolutely gorgeous -- definitely one of my favorite things about autumn in the West. Looks like you find a lot of places to play disc golf (and you certainly seem to be having a lot of fun!). Eric was a pro golfer in a previous life -- we might have to give it a try. :-)

  5. Beautiful fall colors and how fun to have a chance meeting with family :-)

  6. Ahhh, Markleeville in the Fall! I'm sure the last time I was there they had not heard of disc golf, but good to see they've caught on and done a nice job on the course. Do take your time coming south....although the forecast is to finally get below 90 for the whole week, I hear predictions of at least one more rise after that :-( Of course it could snow in Bishop at the same time so you know the dance :-)

    1. Well, we are on a schedule with consecutive months booked at certain places starting later this month so we have no choice right now but to continue steadily South. I do believe we'll end up with some heat for a bit, but that's just the way it is this year...!

  7. When you were at Markleeville did you check out Grover Hot Springs? One of our favorite soaks and campgrounds.

    1. No, we saved that for next time we're in the area! Good to know it's a worthwhile stop!

  8. Loving those golden aspens! It appears we have totally bypassed fall this year, so I will have to live through your photos :)

  9. How wonderful to have a chance meeting with family. Love the fall colors this year. Those aspens are breathtaking. :)