Things to Do in Lake Tahoe in the Winter

By Tim Hauserman

While skiers and snowboarders would prefer more snow, there are still plenty of fun things to do in Tahoe the rest of February. Here are ten suggestions:

Alpenglow Winter Mountain Festival: Nine days of activities centered on human powered winter recreation. February 17-25. The full calendar of events includes backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, educational programs such as avalanche training and community gatherings including films and presentations. alpenglowsports.com

Olympic watch parties will be held throughout the rest of the Winter Olympics at several Squaw Valley locations, and a Winter Fireworks show will light up the Squaw Valley sky on February 17th.

Crystal Bay Club is the place for music shows every weekend including The Motets and the Monophones, Cascade Cresendo and Hirie with Indubious. crystalbaycasino.com

Just above the Crystal Bay Club is the Stateline Lookout. It’s only about a mile and a half hike out and back to one of the most glorious views of Lake Tahoe to be found anywhere. Be sure to catch both views. One looks right over the casinos to much of Lake Tahoe, and the other, which is about 100 feet to the west, is where the lookout used to stand. From there you get a stunning vista towards Kings Beach.

On a calm day, get yourself down to the shoreline at Sugar Pine Point State Park. There, enjoy the incredible peace of Lake Tahoe without a boat to be seen, while keeping your eyes peeled for a bald eagle or osprey.

Another great way to see Lake Tahoe is a stroll along the lake in Tahoe City. Start at Fanny Bridge and the Lake Tahoe Dam and follow the trail to the Commons Beach and then on to the Lake Tahoe Recreation Area. Then head back up to North Lake Blvd. and check out the shops and restaurants of Tahoe City.

Ride your bike along the Truckee River between Tahoe City and Squaw Valley. The bike path has been kept clear this winter, so have at it. Along the way, check out the new bridge across the Truckee River that is being built to access the new Tahoe City bypass road.

Go for a climb: Check out the indoor climbing options at High Altitude Fitness in Incline or Mesa Rim in Reno.

Head to Kings Beach for Get More S’More Saturday February 24th when local businesses provide all sorts of special deals and treats. And if you play your cards right, there will be smores. northtahoebusiness.org.

Drive around the lake. Usually a drive around the lake in the winter is a challenge, this winter (if you time it right) it’s a breeze. Check out the views of Emerald Bay, Cave Rock and Sand Harbor. Don’t forget to get out and take a few short hikes along the way.

by Tim Hauserman

The North Tahoe Fire Protection District moved out of it’s lakeside fire station above the Commons Beach in Tahoe City in 2011. Since that time the large gray building has remained unoccupied. Several attempts have been made over the years to focus in on what would be the best use of the site. In the past year, Placer County has initiated a process to locate a private or semi-private entity to turn the old firehouse and the adjacent Tahoe Community Center next door into a vibrant part of downtown Tahoe City.

“Our goal is to find the best use for the site that will facilitate improvement to Tahoe City’s community, environment and economy,” said Jennifer Merchant, Placer County’s deputy county executive officer for Lake Tahoe. “We’re really excited to work with stakeholders and the community to find the right fit.”

A proposal is being prepared for the site by Siren Arts, a small grass roots organization founded by three locals with backgrounds in arts and event management: Renee Koijane, Abigail Gallup, and Christin Hanna. In addition, a growing list of folks are joining on to support the proposal, which is currently being prepared to meet Placer County’s deadline of the end of February.

Siren Arts proposes a multi-use space centered around a flexible community center that could be used for everything from dance performances to theater to corporate meetings to weddings. The facility would also include artists studios, a public art gallery, and smaller meeting spaces. The organization would avail themselves of the services of Artspace, which according to its website “is a national leader in the field of developing affordable space that meets the needs of artists through the adaptive reuse of historic buildings and new construction.”

Placer County’s goals for a proposal is that it will bring people together, provide economic benefit to the community and enhance Tahoe City’s sense of place. They are also looking for a proposal that garners a great deal of public support. Go to sirenarts.org to find out more about the proposal and if it sounds like something you would like to see in Tahoe City, add your name to the list of supporters.

By Tim Hauserman

We were having one of those winters. No, not one of those winters like last year where we had so much snow we didn’t know what to do with it. More like one of THOSE winters from three years ago, when it seemed like the snow would never arrive…and then finally, a good storm brought close to a foot of light powder at lake level. Whew, while I was enjoying the bike riding and hiking that was going on, January is time for skiing.

For those of us in the cross country ski world it was insta winter. Tahoe XC opened for business, children again could be heard laughing as they kept busy skiing around on the trails with their Strider Glider buddies, and I had to get off my article and blog writing posterior and get on my skis and attempt to get in shape.

My first ski of the year at Tahoe XC was with a group of 3rd-5th graders. The snow was cold and still softly coming down, the trees were covered in thick layers of white frosting, and I realized once again that skate skiing is my favorite sport in the whole world. The gentle rhythm of legs and arms, core, and every other body part having to move together to make you glide peacefully over snow cannot be beat. For me, it is instant therapy. And since we had to wait so long for the snow to arrive, everybody who was out skiing had a monster smile on their face.

This morning, I remembered another part of cross country skate skiing. It’s a real workout. There was a great deal of creaking and moaning going on when I got out of bed. But I also was so happy to be skiing again, and chomping at the bit to get out skiing, even if it was a challenge to reach all the way down to the top of my boots to put them on. And then before I knew it (well actually I knew, because it was a big climb) I was at this view at the top of the Lakeview Trail. Yeah, baby. It doesn’t get any better.

I will say this. Given how much snow we received and the forecast for warm temperatures later in the week I would carpe diem and get out skiing today, because there are no guarantees how long that snow will be hanging on. Enjoy!

 

By Tim Hauserman

While the snow is still deep in the high country, many ski areas are winding down with closing dates either the middle or end of April. With too much snow to hike and mountain bike in many places, but the ski areas closing, now what do you do?

Snowshoe

The spring is a great time to go for a snowshoe. The snow is usually firm so you won’t sink too much as you walk, and with fewer crowds you can experience nature quietly. You can head out from Tahoe Meadows to Chickadee Ridge and enjoy an awesome view of Lake Tahoe and birds that are quiet friendly, or find yourself tromping through Page Meadows to catch a glimpse of Twin Peaks. Wherever you go, snowshoeing is just like walking with large feet.

Fly through the air

Check out the Tahoe Treetop Adventure locations at Granlibakken in Tahoe City and at the North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista. Tree top parks include zip lines and series of wobbly bridges that take you high above the ground between the pines, firs and cedars of a Tahoe forest. Don’t worry, while it is exhilarating, you are secure in a harness. northtahoeadventures.com

Take a hike

While many trails are still under lots of snow, or face swollen stream crossings, two popular hiking trails are most likely hikeable now. In Emerald Bay you can take the Vikingsholm trail down one mile to the shore of Lake Tahoe, or the Stateline Fire Lookout trail in Crystal Bay, which in less than a mile brings you to two different panoramas of the lake just a stone’s throw from each other. While both trails are most likely not yet snow free, they’ve been packed down by lots of previous walkers and should be easy walking for those with a sturdy pair of hiking boots once this current storm passes.
Take a stroll around Tahoe City or Kings Beach.

Both towns provide great shopping and dining opportunities, and each comes with its own unique flair and vibe. Each has a lovely beach on the shore of Lake Tahoe. In Tahoe City, be sure and check out the Tahoe City dam to witness all that water roaring into the Truckee River.
Go see a film

The Tahoe Art Haus and Cinema in The Cobblestone in Tahoe City serves beer and special popcorn along with unique film presentations, music and dance performances, and first run movies. tahoearthauscinema.com