Summer in Tahoe

An archive of blog posts on things to see and do in Lake Tahoe. Book with Hauserman Rental Group today for the perfect getaway!

By Tim Hauserman

Have you spent a fun week in Tahoe rafting, mountain biking and hanging out on the beach and are now itching to get on your road bike? Drive 25 miles north of Truckee to the Sierra Valley, one of the best places to road bike in these parts. If it’s the flats that you want you can pedal through bird sanctuary’s and ranch country on lightly used country roads. It will be no surprise that the popular metric century ride based in Sierraville every June is called the Tour De Manure. You could also get in some climbing by riding over the forested Yuba Pass and then down the gently winding descent to Bassets, where you can climb again up the Gold Lake highway past the astoundingly awesome Sierra Buttes and a series of charming little lakes. Or how about heading up the steep pull out of Portola to Lake Davis, or through a narrow canyon of lofty volcanic crags to Frenchman’s Reservoir? It’s all good riding any time, but if you have to pick a day, go Friday.

Last Friday I joined a Tahoe-Truckee based road biking group in the Sierra Valley. The Sierra Valley Farmers Market, is held at Gary Romano’s Farm every summer Friday between 10:30 and 2 pm, just a mile south of Beckworth. Our group parked near the market at 9 am, then rode 40 miles over the two hefty climbs up Gold Mountain and to Davis Lake. We arrived back at the market at 12:30, famished and tired. We found delicious peaches, succulent multi-colored peppers, tomatoes that melt in your mouth, and the always refreshing Tahoe Teas. Unfortunately, what we didn’t find were any of the sumptuous sandwiches prepared by a local bakery that I’d been dreaming about for the last ten miles of the ride, because those puppies were all sold out by the time we showed up. So ride harder or shorter if you do not want this calamity to happen to you.

Once you’ve fallen in love with the good riding to be had in the Sierra Valley, you can come back for much more by signing up for the Sierra Valley Gran Fondo to be held on September 21st. There are four different ride lengths from 33 miles to 160 miles. For information or to register go to svgf.org

By Tim Hauserman

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August 8th was Tahoe City’s 150th Anniversary. In true, small town fashion the community presented a low key celebration in honor of the event. It began with a parade on the Lakeside Trail from the Safeway Shopping Center to the Commons Beach. There was a motorized horse, several golf carts carrying long time locals, a dry land kayak drill team and a small tree with a sign that said Big Tree in honor of the Big Tree that was once the symbol of Tahoe City. After the parade, most of those assembled adjourned to the Tahoe City Golf Course for music, food and libations.

This was just the warm-up for a series of events to honor the 150th Anniversary of Tahoe City that will be held over the Labor Day holiday. On August 30th there will be a Speakeasy Pub Crawl, with a kick-off reception at the Heritage Plaza. On August 31st, you can be part of a 150th Anniversary Gala with a tour of the Truckee River Dam, followed by dining, cocktails and a presentation on the history of the area by a cast of local characters. Then September 1st, you can spend your day on the Commons. Join a group paddle as part of the Judge Vernon Honeymoon Paddle Tour, followed up by the town photo at 2, and a concert on the beach in the evening.

For more information and the complete calendar of events go to www.tahoecity150.com

With summer winding down and the beautiful Lake Tahoe sun still shining, families should be jumping for joy with all of the amazing activities that will entertain restless kids until school starts. Whether on a last minute vacation for a few days or in town for the rest of the summer, finding fun things to do in Lake Tahoe to distract antsy children can be necessary for sanity. With all of the pristine forest and sparkling bodies of water in Tahoe, why not take this time to strap on the hiking boots and get outside? The kids will love it and with all of the adventuring, parents will be sure to sleep like babies at night!

Dust off those Fishing Poles

There is nothing better than getting out there in nature, casting a line, and spending some time with little fishermen (and women!)-to-be. The Sawmill Pond in South Lake Tahoe is the perfect place for kids to try their luck at fishing, while parents sit back and watch the show.

This fishing spot is designed for kids only, so while parents can help, only fishermen and women younger than 15 can reel em’ in! The pond is stocked during the summer, so patience is rewarded and kids will feel the success with the fish biting. Pack a picnic and enjoy the sunshine while the little ones try their hand at catching dinner.

Lace up the Hiking Boots

The beauty of Lake Tahoe begs for some outdoor time, and kids will love feeling like mountaineers while romping through family friendly trails. The Spooner Lake Trail, located on the northeast shore, is a 2.1 mile loop that is well maintained and perfect for a family hike.

The trail is not difficult, so grab the kids and bring those hiking sticks! Enjoy a day exploring this incredible area with a light and easy stroll that is perfect for visitors traveling with the whole pack. Make it fun and see who can spot the most birds on this wonderful loop trail.

Let Out the Sails

Summertime in Lake Tahoe isn’t complete without spending some time out on the lake. Feel the wind in your hair and enjoy the water with a rented sailboat. Bring little captains and see faces light up with the joy of sailing! If you would rather not risk capsizing, renting a powerboat is another fun option. Get the kids out on a tube and watch as they fly through the sky behind you. Taking the kids out on the lake is always a great outdoor activity and will have everybody telling stories for days to come.

Bike Around the Lake

Ditch those car keys and take a spin on a bike! With many rental options around Lake Tahoe, renting a bike with the kids is a hassle-free way to spend the day. Rent a tandem bike on a sunny day and feel carefree. Plus kids will love tandem biking with mom or dad!

With many options for biking trails around Lake Tahoe, kids will find endless exploring and get an exercise at the same time. Whether you and your family are mountain biking pros, or would just like a fun ride around town, renting a bike is always a perfect way to explore the area. If you are traveling to Lake Tahoe with kids, adventuring around the area on two wheels is a must-do.

Lindsey Skinner, the editor of TahoesBest.com, has the complete know-how when it comes to planning a vacation in Lake Tahoe. She loves outdoor activities, cooking, and playing in the summer sun!

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By Tim Hauserman

In mid-July I was able to cross Yellowstone National Park and Wyoming off my bucket list. In doing so I discovered new things to love about Tahoe, and a new appreciation for what it means to be a tourist visiting a beautiful place for the first time.

Yellowstone has roaming herds of bison and elk, with the world’s largest collection of spectacular geysers, mud pots and colorful hotsprings. There are the famous touristy attractions such as Old Faithful, and hidden hideaways where the folks in the know find true bliss. And it has gobs of tourists from every state in the union who are excited by the opportunity to experience new things and expand their minds and hearts.

I loved seeing it all…but it also confirmed once again the untold specialness of Lake Tahoe. While Yellowstone’s forests are composed primarily of the rather bland lodgepole pine, at Tahoe we get to ponder 16 inch cones hanging from majestic sugar pines, deep green hemlocks thickly perched on north facing slopes, and towering cedars with their flaky red bark and bulging biceps. Yellowstone has a lake that covers more terrain than Tahoe, but it can’t quite hold a candle to our deep blue baby, where towering mountains reach right to the shore. And while it is exceptionally cool to see all those bison and elk, and intriguing that running into a grizzly or moose upon the trail is a possibility-there is something to be said for being able to hike without fear or bear spray. In Tahoe our bears are only dangerous if you dress up like a garbage can or forgot to lock the front door.

I learned two lessons on my trip: First, it’s a great big beautiful world, and was well worth the effort to visit the nations first national park, but Tahoe still shines brightly no matter where you go. And secondly, those of us who live and work in our little piece of paradise need to venture out now and then not only to appreciate all the world has to offer, but to understand what it is to be a tourist in a beautiful place. When you visit a place for the first time, you don’t know anything and feel out of place, but you remember forever what you experience with a fresh set of eyes. Hopefully those of us who introduce our piece of paradise to first timers will always keep that in mind.

By Tim Hauserman

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Ah August, the last hurrah of prime time Tahoe summer. And these days, kids are dragged kicking and screaming back to school well before Labor Day, so you need to take full advantage of the first few weeks of this glorious month. Fortunately, aside from the normal waterskiing, wakeboarding, hiking, biking, kayaking, paddleboarding, beachgoing, and anything else you can come up with, Tahoe City is putting out the welcome mat with a series of captivating events.

Concours d’Elegance. August 9-10th. Get your classic wooden boat fix at one of the best shows in North America. www.laketahoeconcours.com

Shakespeare at Sand Harbor. Watch a hilarious rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, whilst staring out at the lake. Free parking after 5 PM for those attending the show. Through August 25th. www.laketahoeshakespeare.com

Tahoe City’s Farmers Market. A peach just tastes better when you get it fresh from a farmer at a Farmers Market. Eat a peach or whatever else your heart desires at our local Farmers Market every Thursday from 8-1. It’s at the Tahoe Lake School on Grove Street most of August, returning to The Commons Beach from August 29th.

Movies and Music Oh My. Also on The Commons Beach in Tahoe City, you can watch a movie on Wednesday nights or join the throng of locals at a concert on Sunday night.

Tahoe City’s 150th Anniversary. Be there for the August 8th parade along Tahoe City’s Lakeside Trail or the party later that day, or attend a host of events over Labor Day weekend. On September 1st the Judge Vernon Honeymoon Paddle Tour is followed by a town photo and concert on the beach. Locations and details are still being worked out, so for the latest scoop go to www.tahoecity150.com

Lake Tahoe Dance Festival August 14-16th. Live outdoor dance performances at the Gatekeepers Cabin in Tahoe City on Thursday August 15th and Friday, August 16th at 6 pm. The festival organized by the Tahoe City based Tahoe Youth Ballet will also include workshops and classes for students. www.laketahoedancefestival.com

So now then, I don’t want to hear anymore of that “There is nothing to do” coming from the back seat. Get out there and enjoy.

Trails and Vistas 10

The unique art and nature experience known as Trails and Vistas celebrates it’s ten year anniversary on September 7th and 8th atop Donner Summit along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Trails and Vistas combines music, storytelling, dancing and no shortage of whimsy to create a one of a kind experience.

If you haven’t attended a Trails and Vista event you are in for a treat. It’s a slow hike through beautiful natural terrain, with frequent breaks at amazing backdrops, where you watch a dancer perform, a piece of music being played, or marvel at an interesting piece of art. Then you quietly walk on, wondering what interesting and surprising offering you will encounter around the next corner.

Artists this year include Angelika, who sings songs and performs healing chants in ancient Sanskrit and Ian Ethan Case, who plays the double-neck guitar and African Kalimba. Among the host of other dancers and performers, is the Truckee based Inner Rhythms dance group.

The hikes begin every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 and 8. Specialty hikes include family hikes for those with children, meditative hikes for those wanting an especially quiet and spiritual connection (adults only) and leisurely hikes for those who prefer or need a slower pace. Advance purchase is highly recommended (the event has sold out every year). Tickets cost $30 for adults and $10 for children. The art-hike lasts approximately 3 hours.

This year in honor of their 10th Anniversary, Trails and Vistas will also include an evening concert at the Truckee Amphitheatre. Performers include award-winning flutist Ann Licater, double-neck guitarist Ian Ethan Case, the Japanese Drum Group Reno Taiko Tsurunokai, and the forty- piece San Jose State University Symphony Orchestra. Gates open at 5 p.m. and music starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 7. Art hike attendees can take advantage of a 50% discount ($10) for the concert when purchasing art hike and concert tickets together online. For tickets go to trailsandvistas.org.

Or better yet, by reading all the way to the bottom of this blog…you can win two tickets to the 10th Anniversary Concert. Just be one of the first twenty folks to email me at writeonrex@yahoo.comby July 17th saying, ‘I want those tickets’ to enter the contest, and I will randomly select a winner.

Sunshine and warm weather worshipers can finally rejoice now that the snow has melted in Tahoe and the summer’s unofficially begun!

Summer in Lake Tahoe means you can spend every day hiking, boating, biking, and water skiing, but there are also a ton of other exciting things to do in Lake Tahoe this summer as well, from laughing out loud at the mod-inspired take on the classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream to finding the best spot to watch fireworks displays this Fourth of July.

Marvel at the Shakespeare Summer Festival

Visit Sand Harbor this summer for an enthralling performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream from July 12 through August 25. The entire family will love this modernized version of the classic, which takes place in 1960’s London, but includes all of the original mistaken identities, mispaired couples, and of course, mischievous fairies.

Catch a big one in the Lake

Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or first-time fisher, Lake Tahoe offers a prime spot to release a line and reel in a big one. Because it’s the largest alpine lake in the US, Lake Tahoe is full of plenty of fish! From Mackinaw to Rainbow fish, you’re almost certain to bring home a tasty catch for dinner. Bring your own boat or join a fishing charter for a nautical adventure on the water.

Before casting your lines, just make sure to read up on all of the rules and regulations associated with fishing in Lake Tahoe.

“Oh” and “ah” at the 4th of July firework shows

Few can choose a better place to watch fireworks then with a light show shooting above serene Lake Tahoe.

For some early firework action, head over to Kings Beach for fireworks and a beach party on July 3. Then on July 4, Tahoe City will celebrate 66 years of firework displays at Common Beach, while on July 4-6, Incline Village will host its three day Traditional Red, White, and Tahoe Blue festival with a firework show off of Incline Beach. Or for a real crowd pleaser, check out Tahoe South’s Lights on the Lake Fireworks on July 4, which the American Pyrotechnics Association has rated as one of the “top five firework displays” in the US.

Test your balance

The sport of paddleboarding is becoming ever popular, so join in on the balancing act and try your luck at floating along the lake. Once you get the hang of shifting your weight, the rest is smooth sailing. Tahoe offers various spots to rent paddles and boards, but guests can also book paddle boarding tours to receive some tips and find out where the best spots are to glide.

And for those who have really mastered the art of paddle boarding, challenge yourselves to a paddle board yoga class in Tahoe!

Sing along at Harvey’s 2013 Summer Concert Series

Some of the hottest musical acts are gracing the stages in Tahoe all summer long. Throw on your cowboy boots and straw hat for country performances by Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, and Brad Paisley at Harvey’s outdoor arena. Or if you’re looking for some more variety, rock out to Phish, Tegan and Sara, and the Dave Matthews Band, which are just a few of the various musicians who will shake up Tahoe this summer.

Search for Tahoe Tessie

Bask on the shores or hike the trails around Lake Tahoe, but don’t forget your binoculars! Legends dating back to the Paiute and Washoe tribes reveal the tale of a creature named Tessie who supposedly lives in the lake. To this day, witnesses still allegedly report sightings of the serpent-like creature, so why not join in on the fun and hope for glimpse of the mythical being?

By Tim Hauserman

It sneaks up on us Tahoe locals. We are just barely coming to the realization that it is summer when it is Fourth of July, and crowds of folks head to Tahoe to escape the 1000 degree temperatures in the valley…Ok, 100 degrees, but for a mountain boy like me it sure feels like 1000, and a quick dip in our crisp cool lake is just what the doctor ordered.

So what to do over the 4th?

Beach it-Tahoe’s beaches have a wonderful festive air on the 4th of July. The popular state park beaches like Sand Harbor and Bliss while exceptionally beautiful, tend to fill up early and it’s a bummer to drive all the way to one and not be able to park. So find a place closer to your cabin, and enjoy the lake. I can assure you that any beach that is located on the lake, will be looking at the same lake.

Raft it-A few years ago after an excess amount of drunken shenanigans on the Truckee River, the powers that be passed an alcohol ban for rafters around the 4th of July. This year it’s in effect from July 1st to the 7th. Which means take the family, have a beautiful float, save the drinks for later, and enjoy the happy crowd. Perhaps a burger at River Ranch would be just the 4th of July treat you deserve.

Hike it-While some hiking trails, like the Rubicon Trail between Bliss State Park and Emerald Bay, are bound to be crowded on the 4th of July, it’s actually a good day to hike because most folks are doing the BBQ, on the lake, hanging with friends at the cabin thing. I once hiked a 23 mile segment of the Tahoe Rim Trail on the 4th of July and didn’t see anyone until the last few miles. Try the Tahoe Rim Trail from Barker Pass to Twin Peaks, or the Tahoe Rim Trail out of Tahoe City.

Bike it-The bike trail between Tahoe City and Squaw Valley might be slightly zoo like, but mountain biking out of Tahoe City or Burton Creek State Park shouldn’t be too busy. Or just use your bike as your means of transportation and keep one more car off the road.

Firework it- Don’t miss one of our Fireworks Displays. Kings Beach on July 3rd, Tahoe City on July 4th. Get there early, and don’t plan on leaving until well after the show, as it usually takes an hour or more for traffic to clear out. Better yet, walk to the event, and bring your head lamp for a lovely walk back home.

By Tim Hauserman

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Recently my flight attendant daughter based in San Francisco sent me a text, “Hey Dad I’ve got tickets for a Giants game tomorrow, can you make it? ” I was pretty excited, since it had been a few years since I’d made it to AT&T Park to see my favorite team. And given my standby privileges on her airline I could catch the 9:30 flight and arrive at SFO in plenty of time to make it to first pitch.

The next morning I got up early, drove to Reno and arrived early at the gate, excited about my flight. Then I heard the announcement that the flight was delayed, with a new departure time of 12:15. This would bring me to the park, if I was lucky, in about the 6th inning. That wasn’t going to work. So I walked back out of the airport, tail firmly planted between my legs and drove the hour back home to Tahoe.

I arrived home just in time to watch the game on TV, but that meant watching crowds of smiling fans enjoying a beautiful sunny day at the ballpark and wondering where my daughter was seated. Well that wasn’t going to work, so I skipped the game and went for Plan B: A walk along the Truckee River and through Tahoe City.

About a half hour into my walk I rediscovered something: If you find yourself at Lake Tahoe on a breathtaking sunny afternoon, it’s all good. The lake was calm and blue, with pods of happy paddlers digging through the water. A few remaining patches of snow hung high on the mountains and chamber of commerce puffy clouds perched just above the highest peaks. There was a competition going on for who could look the most relaxed between the parents strolling their kids through town and the Truckee River rafters doing the gentle float down the river. There is no doubt about it, Lake Tahoe is a magnificent place to spend an hour, an afternoon or a lifetime. While it didn’t quite remove 100% of the sting of missing the game or the chance to spend a fun day with my daughter, I couldn’t think of a better Plan B.

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By Tim Hauserman

 

The elaborate network of single track and dirt roads above Tahoe City is a mountain biker’s paradise, with a trail for every level of ability. Beginner trails take you through meadows loaded with blooming mule ears and purple lupine, while the more advanced riders can fly on the fun rollers or go for an extended climb all the way up to the Tahoe Rim Trail. The trails can be accessed from a number of locations, but my favorite is at the Tahoe Cross-Country Ski Area parking lot in The Highlands, about two and a half miles north of Tahoe City.

Now you can even rent bikes right at the Tahoe Cross-Country trailhead. The folks at Tahoe XC have made available for rent a small fleet of bikes for all ages and sizes. In addition, the Free Heel Café, which provides food, drinks and free wifi, will be open for business. A retail shop will also be open where you can pick up that missing item for your ride.

“We are excited to be offering services out of the day lodge in the summer”, says Tahoe Cross-Country manager Kevin Murnane. “Customers can enjoy the convenience of finding what they need right at the trailhead, and a well-marked trail system that has terrain for all abilities. If you enjoy skiing here, you will love the biking and hiking just as much.

Tahoe Cross-Country is located at 925 Country Club Drive, in the Highlands. Phone is 530-583-5475. Website: www.tahoexc.org. Check the website for days and time of operation.