Over 6-8 feet of new snow has fallen in the Lake Tahoe area in the past two weeks, making for perfect deep conditions for snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is a low-tech and easy way to see the backwoods and the nature areas around the lake without having to acquire any special skills. It’s great exercise too.
While snowshoeing in the Tahoe area, be sure to tell someone where you are going, bring warm clothing and some food and water and maybe some binoculars to peak at the views of the lake and the local birds.
Here are some of the best places to snowshoe around the lake.
The meadows of Blackwood Canyon are just off Highway 89 near Tahoe City. Follow the highway south from the city and park at the Kaspian Recreation Area.
The trailhead for the Meeks Meadows is off Highway 89 across from the Meeks Bay Fire Station. Look for a log cabin with red trim. While snowshoeing, follow the service road or meander around the meadows.
This park has over 10 miles of of marked trails. Two of them begin at the campground which is about nine miles south of Tahoe City. The red trails are for more experienced cross country skiers. Parking is available near the campground. The park also offers guided snowshoe tours including monthly full moon tours.
Just off of I-80, take Highway 89 south 3 miles then turn right on Cabin Creek Road. The unmarked trailhead is 1 mile from the highway. There is limited parking, but the trail is about 3-6 miles of old logging roads.
The 6-mile trail starts at the Emigrant Trail Museum, but you can snowshoe all around the park and the lake. Parking is $8.
This trail starts at the Castle Peak/Boreal interchange at the Donner Summit off of I-80. Take the Castle Peak exit and follow for a quarter mile to the intersection of the trailhead. The trailhead goes over Castle Pass and ends at the Peter Grubb Hut where you can stay overnight.
This summit off of Highway 267 is between Northstar-at-Tahoe and Kings Beach.
One of the most popular and extensive places to snowshoe at the lake. The Tahoe Meadows, near the Mt. Rose summit has great views of the lake. Take Highway 431 from Incline Village until you almost reach the summit. You will see cars parked on the side of the road. You can snowshoe on either the right or the left side of the highway.
This old road runs along the forest and into several meadows. Take Highway 89 south from Tahoe City and then turn right at Pine Avenue and right on Tahoe Park Heights Road. At the crest of the hill, take the middle fork which is Big Pine Road, then a left on Silver Tip. The parking area is at the top of the road.
Great for the beginning snowshoer, this series of trails is flat and great for kids. Take Highway 89 south around Emerald Bay to the Fallen Leaf Lake area. Turn onto Cathedral Road and park at the Sno-Park.
Photo Courtesy of [mattymatt/Flickr]