Day trip to Lake Tahoe; take the sunglasses and binoculars!

Six weeks into winter…Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra have almost no snow. The ski areas are surviving on man-made snow on selected runs, and motels, hotels and restaurants are running at reduced capacity. With no snow in the forecast, and days reaching into spring-time 65 degree temps, it’s a great place for a one-day road trip! Take your hiking shoes, bicycles and sunglasses!

Lake Tahoe from the Hwy 50 pass, looking east - almost no snow!

Emerald Bay, south east side of Lake Tahoe, in all its snow-less glory

Lake Tahoe from west shore, looking across at Heavenly Valley - note only snow visible is mostly manmade snow on selected ski runs


Granlibakken Resort, Tahoe's oldest ski resort just south of Tahoe City, offers sledding, tubing and skiing with decent snow coverage!

We were in search of ghosts of the 1960 Winter Olympics (more on that to come), and drove up Saturday on Highway 50 into South Lake Tahoe, bright with sunshine and light crowds. We turned north on Highway 89, trekking up the magnificent lake’s west shore, with only a few inches of snow on the ground – and only in the shade. We stopped at Camp Richardson’s The Beacon Restaurant for lunch, always a fine lake-front restaurant with views of the snowless Sierra across the lake.

Driving further north on 89, we passed Homewood Ski area, talked to a couple National Ski Patrollers lamenting their lack of snow (Homewood running at about 10% of normal, with few slopes open), then turned into Granlibakken Resort, Tahoe’s oldest ski area since 1922. With only a small ski and tubing hill, but facing north, they had good snow coverage and were home to a good crowd of tubers, sledders and young skiers.

But, we were searching for ghosts of the 1960 Winter Olympics, which took place on the lakes western shores (for cross-country and biathlon events) and at Squaw Valley for the balance.  You’ll see more on that in the next couple blog posts. Until then, happy “light travels”, get there soon for spring-time doings, and pray for snow so we will have water to fill our rivers and reservoirs come spring!


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