Whether you’re looking to take a break from winter’s cold weather or want to experience the sun-kissed warmth of the season, there are a number of reasons why visiting Lake Tahoe is an ideal choice. While you’re there, you can take in the sights of Emerald Bay State Park, explore the rugged landscape of Lake Tahoe, or enjoy the many ski resorts and beaches that adorn the lake.
During the winter, Lake Tahoe is one of the coolest outdoor playgrounds in the world. It offers a variety of activities that are perfect for all ages.
One of the coolest winter activities in Tahoe is driving around the lake. The entire drive around the lake is around 72 miles long, and it’s easy to start and finish anywhere along the lake.
There are also a variety of ski resorts that offer skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities. Some of the most popular are Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar California Resort.
The North Tahoe ski resorts are forecasted to receive 6 inches of snow over the weekend. Heavenly and Kirkwood are both set to open on December 4. The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS) is hosting their annual Christmas Bird Count on Monday, December 14. This is a fun way to learn about the local wildlife and take part in a community event.
During the shoulder season, Lake Tahoe is more quiet and peaceful. Compared to the rest of the year, there are fewer visitors and the prices at hotels, campgrounds, and other accommodations are lower. However, the weather can change drastically. The lake can also be cold, especially at night.
Shoulder season is ideal for paddlers, as it’s a great time to enjoy the lake without the massive crowds. However, Lake Tahoe is still a popular destination, especially for winter sports.
When visiting Lake Tahoe during the shoulder season, you’ll need to pack extra layers. You can also bring a waterproof camera. During the shoulder season, there is a chance for snow. However, you should be prepared for any weather conditions. If the weather forecast says it will be cold, you can pack an extra layer or two.
North vs south
Whether you’re visiting Lake Tahoe for the first time or the millionth time, you might be asking yourself which side of the lake is best. While they both offer fantastic views, there are differences between the two. One side is better for skiing and the other has more attractions.
South Lake Tahoe is known as the “Las Vegas of Tahoe” and is an entertainment mecca. It boasts casinos, nightlife and a buzzworthy social scene. During the summer, visitors can enjoy a variety of water activities, while the winter is the best time to go skiing.
North Lake Tahoe has an eclectic mix of downhill ski terrain. It’s also home to expansive cross-country skiing areas, as well as a wide variety of scenic hiking trails. Although the lake is smaller, North Lake Tahoe offers less crowds and a more serene and nature-oriented experience.
Emerald Bay State Park
Located on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay is a National Natural Landmark. It is one of the most scenic spots on the lake, and has many attractions to explore. It is a popular location for hiking and swimming.
The park’s crown jewel is the Emerald Bay Lookout. This scenic viewpoint is located off Highway 89, and offers great views of the lake. It is a drive-up lookout, and there are paved walkways.
The park’s other attractions include Vikingsholm Castle, the Underwater Park, and the Maritime Heritage Underwater Trail. This trail showcases historic Lake Tahoe watercraft. You can take a boat or paddle board from any point on the Lake to Emerald Bay.
Fans of Scandinavian architecture will love the Vikingsholm Castle, which is a 38 room mansion. Built in 1929 by Lora Knight, it is considered one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States. The mansion offers daily tours.
Homewood Mountain Resort
Located near Lake Tahoe’s west shore, Homewood Mountain Resort is a great spot to ski in the Lake Tahoe area. Its 1260 acres of skiable terrain and spectacular lake views make it a great place to ski. It is also home to 67 runs, mountain biking trails, and hiking trails.
The Backcountry Experience combines a full day of powder turns on more than 3,000 acres of private terrain with luxury lakefront lodging at the West Shore Cafe & Inn. It also includes private instruction and specialized camp-style clinics.
The ski terrain at Homewood is primarily tree skiing, and trails are classified as beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The average snowfall at Homewood is 450 inches, which is enough to make for excellent skiing. However, it is worth noting that the snow retention on most trails is somewhat less than other areas.