|Lake Tahoe from the Tahoe Rim Trail|
Lake Tahoe has so much to offer in any season and Fall may be my new favorite time to be there. (Apologies to my husband who I'm sure wishes ski season was my favorite). If you are in search of a peaceful, relaxing escape in nature this month, head to Tahoe where the crowds are sparse, rooms are relatively cheap and the weather is perfect.
We attempted one hike to Ellis Peak that we couldn't get to because the road had too much snow. If you do head to the Sierras right now, activities at lower elevations will be easier to accomplish. Keep reading for two hikes that are good options for this time of year.
Fall Hikes near Tahoe City & Squaw Valley
Tahoe Rim Trail
Tahoe Rim Trail is a 165-mile multi-purpose trail around Lake Tahoe. There are many entry points and plenty of good day hiking along portions of the trail. The views are majestic and the hike from Tahoe City on the Northwest side of the lake has great spots for picnics and scenic views.
You can easily access this portion of the trail from Tahoe City. If you are staying in Tahoe City you could even walk to access the trail head. If driving into Tahoe City going east on Highway 89, turn left on Fairway Drive right before the Chevron station and the intersection of Highway 28. You will see the trail head on the left about .25 miles up. There is parking along the road and a small lot across the street. Day hiking on the trail is free and dogs are allowed on leash. Permits are required for any overnight backpacking and camping in the Desolation Wilderness.
The trail isn't terribly steep and once you get to the rim, you can continue hiking for as long as your legs will take you. Plan for the out and back portions to take about the same amount of time. Bring a picnic, the views from up here are incredibly breathtaking. You will want to linger.
|Rock formations with Lake Tahoe in the background|
These views and this hike reminded me a lot of the time I spent in Bariloche, Argentina. If you love Lake Tahoe, you may love Bariloche and the surrounding ski towns more...
Shirley Lake in Squaw Valley
|Where to start!|
|The trail markers that saved us|
Start the hike at the end of Squaw Peak Road, which heads directly back from the Cable Car. Once you start hiking, you'll soon come to realize that the trail really isn't marked. Your biggest clue is to keep the creek on your right going up and on your left going down. Luckily for us, someone had just gone through and marked boulders with trail markers. We would have had a really hard time making it up in the snow without their help. Thank you random person for marking the trail!
|Aim for the leaning tree|
The view at the top looks directly down on all of Squaw Valley. It was worth the climb and I wish we could have made it to the lake. Next time.
Wear hiking shoes with good tread on this hike. You'll need it as you head down the steeper portions of the rocks. Bring plenty of water and stock up on necessities in the shops at Squaw Valley before heading out. Parking is free in the lots in the village and dogs are allowed on the trail.
|One of the waterfalls|
|View of Squaw from the top|
All in all, an adventure filled Fall weekend in Lake Tahoe. If you go, check online or call the local resorts for any last minute hotel room deals. And don't forget your hats, gloves and fleeces. It's cold up there at night!