5 Aug 2015
Perhaps the west shore’s most unique neighborhood is Alpine Peaks. It’s a four mile drive from Sunnyside Lodge to the top of Ward Canyon, where you find this uniquely secluded neighborhood next to the Sherwood chairlift on the back side of Alpine Meadows. While there are some 100 homes in the development, it’s surrounded by miles of national forest land. The Pacific Crest Trail, the Tahoe Rim Trail, and Page Meadows are all nearby, and if you walk out your door, you are walking in the woods in 30 seconds or less. While the quiet and the views of Twin Peaks are the primary attraction, if you look down the canyon you also get to see a snippet of Lake Tahoe.
I spent 20 years living in Alpine Peaks enjoying the amazing hiking and mountain biking opportunities right out the door. There is Page Meadows, just a hop, skip and a jump away from the hood with tons of wildflowers in the spring, waves of caterpillars that scatter as you ride by in the summer, deep yellow and gold of the leaves changing in the fall, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. The Tahoe Rim Trail runs through Page, and after crossing Ward Creek Blvd. climbs up to the top of Twin Peaks, finding wildflowers, lush forest and a water fall on the way. Keep going and you will reach the Pacific Crest Trail at the border of the Granite Chief Wilderness.
At the end of the road, you can walk under the Sherwood Chair on the maintenance road to the top of the chairlift, and then hike further along the narrow ridgeline to Ward Peak, home of sublime views. Just over the ridge from Ward is the PCT. Hang a left and head towards Mexico, or go right and begin a journey to Canada.
In other words, Alpine Peaks is surrounded by a hiking and mountain biking extravaganza. One fine summer morning seven years ago I left my Alpine Peaks home and from my driveway caught a use trail that brought me in short order to the Tahoe Rim Trail. Thirteen days and 165 miles of walking later, I climbed the last ascent back to the neighborhood and back to my Alpine Peaks home.