5 Activities Beyond Snow in Lake Tahoe
Welcome to June-uary. That's what folks around Tahoe are calling this snowless time of year. And with the paucity of powder -- more than six weeks and counting -- and the endless sunshiny days, many outdoor enthusiasts are eschewing their skis and snowboards and snowshoes for toys more typically seen in the summer.
Mountain bikers have been seen out on their favorite trails, and on this Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Max Jones is conducting a shuttle service for those who wish to ride the famed Flume Trail on Tahoe's east side. For $15, Jones will shuttle riders and their bikes hourly from 9 a.m. to noon from Incline Village to the trailhead at Spooner Lake. Reservations are a must and can be made via e-mail or by texting (775) 450-1945.
Hikers have been taking advantage of the dearth of snow and heading out to their favorite trails, particularly those that face south and southwest which are generally free and clear of the white stuff. The parking areas for the Tahoe Rim Trail trailheads near Brockway Summit on Highway 267 and Big Meadow on Highway 89 just north of Luther Pass have been popular gathering places. The short treks up Shirley Canyon at Squaw Valley and to the Five Lakes Basin between Squaw and Alpine Meadows are beautiful.
Speaking of Five Lakes, that has been a popular destination for ice skaters. With the frigid nighttime temperatures and lack of snow, the ponds and small lakes around Tahoe have seen people channelling their inner Hans Brinker. Prosser and Boca reservoirs near Truckee, Baron Lake and Sawmill Pond in South Lake and Caples Lake near Kirkwood are being glided upon.
Golfers who don't mind wicked bounces on frozen-turf fairways and not-very-true rolls on the greens can get some rounds in at the Old Brockway 9-hole course in Kings Beach and at the par-58 Mountain Course in Incline Village.
Rock climbers are taking advantage of snow-free approaches and routes in the Donner Pass area and at Lovers Leap near Echo Summit. Also, the Pie Shop bouldering area in South Lake is a good option.