After returning home from my first trip to Tahoe I mentioned to my parents how beautiful it was. Since they were planning to visit me anyway, we decided to take a trip to Lake Tahoe while they were here, leaving John at home to work.
After much route planning, we decided to do the reverse of my previous trip: lunch and sightseeing in Sacramento and a stop in Truckee to break up the journey on the way there, and a stop to visit family friends on the way back. We hadn’t booked accommodation before departing, and lucked out with a room with a view in Tahoe City, up at the North end of the lake.
The morning of our first full day there Mom opted to explore the cafes and art galleries in Tahoe City while Dad and I climbed Ellis Peak. Only a 6 mile out and back trail, there was plenty of elevation gain which meant spectacular views over the lake. A definite highlight was taking a side trip to Ellis Lake, small but beautiful, on our way to the peak. We managed to miss the trail slightly on our descent and had a stressful 10 minutes where we thought we were lost, but some solid problem-solving led us back to the trail.
After reconvening with Mom late that afternoon, we enjoyed a walk along the lake shore and a meal at the delicious Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company.
The next day the plan was to pack up, circumnavigate the lake, and spend our final night in South Lake Tahoe. The weather was gorgeous and warm, and we stopped at a local market to pick up picnic supplies. Stopping at each and every viewpoint along the way, we slowly made our way around the lake, eating our picnic at Sand Harbor beach and taking a walk at Spooner Lake.
We arrived in South Lake Tahoe, booked into a motel, and the drove straight back out to Emerald Bay. After stopping for photographs (and for Dad to sketch) we returned to South Lake Tahoe for dinner. While the North end of Tahoe is remote and outdoorsy, South Lake Tahoe is (and feels like) a ski resort. Big casinos on the Nevada side, expensive resort restaurants on the California side, we all agreed that we much preferred the North end of the lake. Still, we had a delicious dinner at a local Mexican restaurant, retired for the night, and were on our way back home early the next morning.
While we had colder weather and rain on my first trip to Tahoe, this trip was hot and sunny. It was beautiful in both conditions, and I’d love to go back in the winter.
Lakeside view in Tahoe City
View from Ellis Peak