Explore Lake Tahoe on bicycle, or strap on snowshoes. Either way, you’re in for a ride.
Photo courtesy of Mercury News
Start your journey off in and around Camp Richardson, a beautiful spot on the road to Emerald Bay. Riding a bike or snowshoeing around the lake is a mellow and low-key way to get an up-close-and-personal view of the Jewel of the Sierra.
Grab your handlebars and cruise up the Camp Richardson Bike Path from the retro General Store all the way up to the Tallac Historic Site. There you can visit lavish bygone estates, a museum and Washoe gardens all with stunning natural vistas to paint the backdrop. Right now, the groves of aspen trees are alight with fall colors in stunning oranges, greens and golds.
No matter the time of year, do not miss the incredibly scenic Rainbow Trail. Follow along the boardwalk until you reach the Steam Profile Chamber, which allows visitors to peep beneath the creak for an aquarium like view of the regional flora and fauna. In the autumn, the creek is teeming with schools of wild salmon as they force their way upstream in an animated fashion.
The flat, paved National Forest Bike Trail goes for miles along the edge of Lake Tahoe. Rent a bike from one of the many stops around the lake, or bring your own. The Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition has handy maps in PDF form to help you plan your journey.
Once the snow begins to fall, you can blaze a trail on snowshoes all your own or follow the tracks of others are more popular spots. Snowshoeing is basically walking on snow and you can go anywhere on snowshoes that your ability and stamina will take you.
Page Meadows is one of the easiest places to go snowshoeing, especially on nights with a full moon. A series of open meadows is located just a short walk from parking at the end of Silver Tip Dr. in Talmont Estates. Just take Highway 89 a few miles south of Tahoe City and drive 1 mile through the development via a steep road to parking. Walking to the west of the parking lot for about 100 yards will land you at the first of these beautiful meadows. We guarantee you haven’t seen brighter stars!
One of the most popular places in North Tahoe, Tahoe Meadows has something for everyone. The meadow is large and open, with areas to climb up through the trees and steal views of the lake. If you end up at Chickadee Ridge, hold some bird seed in your open hand and watch the tiny chickadees come and eat from your palm. Keep climbing even higher to the top of the ridgeline for those infamous panoramic lake views and a vista of Mount Rose. Find the trailhead on Mt. Rose Highway 431 just 7 miles north of Incline Village.
Blackwood Canyon is a hidden gem, with views of Twin Peaks and the canyon itself. The road is heavily used by snowmobiles, which makes for an easier trek on the packed snow. A Sno-Park is located at the bottom of Blackwood Canyon Road, just 4.4 miles south of Tahoe City off of Highway 89. For nearly 2 miles, follow the road to Barker Pass to where it crosses Blackwood Creek.
Another option for those that are just getting into snowshoeing, or don’t have time for some back-country adventuring is to start at a cross-country ski area. This is also a great idea if there are some members of your group who would rather cross-country ski – then everyone can enjoy! Any of the 18 ski resorts located in and around Lake Tahoe will also provide guided snowshoe treks. Happy adventuring!
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