With the plethora of ski areas surrounding Lake Tahoe, snowboarding and skiing are favored pastimes for those who live and visit the basin in winter and spring.
But what is a person to do if combining gravity and speed together on a cold, slick surface doesn’t sound like much fun?
A fantastic option for anyone who wants to experience the splendor of a winter wonderland without the fear of falling down a ski slope, snowshoeing is a great option.
Lake Tahoe has a great assortment of snowshoe excursions that will make you glad you left the house. Here are my top nine favorites.
- Mt. Rose: Mt. Rose has different areas that allow for snowshoeing fun. The first area to check out is Tahoe Meadows. Although located slightly off Mt. Rose Highway, the space is fantastic for enjoying your times outside without being run down by crowds. Another area to explore is Chickadee Ridge, which is a descendant of Tahoe Meadows. Located on the west end of the Meadows, it's a spectacular place to watch the chickadees flitter and flutter about with the coming of spring.
- Spooner Lake: A fantastic aspect to Lake Tahoe Nevada State Parks is the Spooner Backcountry area that includes both Spooner Lake and Marlette Lake. By wandering up North Canyon Road, snowshoers can enjoy lovely views of Marlette Lake while experiencing the solitude of this precious forest.
- Donner Pass: There is a huge spectrum of places to play around on snowshoes in the Donner Pass area. Just find a legal parking area and just go for a cruise. It’s that simple. If you want to plan your trip out a bit more, try for the Peter Grubb Hut via Round Valley. Also a favorite for backcountry skiers, it makes for great entertainment while enjoying the scenery.
- Carson Pass: This area for snowshoeing is exceptional for the fact that it offers some of the most spectacular views in the area. For the best vistas, try for Little Round Top. Although this is a bit more of a drive for anyone on the North Shore of the lake, it is well worth it.
- Camp Richardson: This is one of the most frequented snowshoeing areas in the Lake Tahoe area. There are more than 6 miles of designated trails to discover, many of which offer incredible views of the lake. Mountain Sports Center, located within Camp Richardson, offers rentals and lessons, making the day a breeze.
- Northstar Resort: Although Northstar is known for its manicured groomed trails and high-class service, they also have an exceptional cross-country, telemark and snowshoe center. Located at mid-mountain, the area has more than 40 miles of trails and offers something for all abilities. To make the day even sweeter, you can get hot drinks in the wilderness warming huts along the way. If you want to take your snowshoeing to the dark side, Northstar offers an amazing star-gazing snowshoeing excursion.
- Sierra-at-Tahoe: For those who enjoy the south side of Lake Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe offers your best bang for your buck. The small snowshoeing arena offers rentals and 3 miles of groomed trails. Along the journey there is interesting and educational signage to explain the flora and fauna.
- Alpine Meadows: Sister to Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows offers a fantastic way to experience a true winter wilderness. In partnership with the Tahoe National Forest Service, their snowshoeing is wandering of trails through stunning old-growth forests and open snow glades.
- Kirkwood: Kirkwood’s snowshoeing is interlaced with their cross-country skiing. With trails that meander through hilly slopes and forested meadows, there are nearly 50 miles of trails available as well as the ski area itself to enjoy.