Tahoe Outside

Lake Tahoe is a recreational gem. In the Tahoe Basin and in the counties that surround it, the depth and width of outdoor wonder are stunning. El Dorado County, Placer County, Nevada County, Alpine County, and Douglas County on the Nevada side, all contribute to the vast and varied outdoor recreational possibilities that are enjoyed by all who choose to get outside.



Mt. Tallac!

 Outside Today

Sorensen’s Resort Changes Ownership

Sorensen’s Resort has changed ownership. John and Patty Brissenden retired. John Flannigan and Chet Pipken are the new owners. Check out the Press Release from Danielle Logan of Wagstaff Marketing:


The California retreat reimagines Sorensen’s Resort within the Sierra Nevada mountains

(HOPE VALLEY, CA; June 16, 2020)—Wylder Hope Valley, an iconic, 165-acre resort in the Sierra Nevada, opens. Situated 25 minutes from South Lake Tahoe and three hours from the Bay Area, the all-season destination welcomes visitors to an outdoor escape designed with relaxation and adventure in mind.

Previously recognized as the celebrated Sorensen’s Resort, this instant classic was acquired by Wylder Hotels. Hope Valley is the second hotel in the growing portfolio (Wylder Tilghman Island) focused on all-season escapes in unexpected destinations. The portfolio is committed to preserving each property’s historical magic with added modern trappings for today’s guests.

We’re ecstatic to share Wylder Hope Valley’s arrival to this treasured region and welcome guests safely to our remote escape,” says Wylder Hotels’ Founder and CEO John Flannigan. “We like to think of nature as wellness. We have expansive grounds with endless recreational activities to explore as well as a variety of private cabins, yurts, and scenic campgrounds. There’s a vacation experience for everyone’s pace.”

Thirty refurbished cabins, thoughtfully built over the past 100 years, feature the best of its storied past with upgraded amenities that enhance its natural beauty. The design integrates sustainable materials including oak, pine, redwood, and slate. Dog-friendly cabins are distinctively named, ranging from cabins for two, to homesteads for groups of eight. Amenities include freestanding bathtubs, new kitchens, restored fireplaces, king size beds, custom-made wood furniture, and Belkin technology.

Seven custom yurts at Wylder’s campground offer 360-degree vistas of mountain landscapes and the West Fork Carson River, from 20- to 24-foot yurts with full bathrooms, to one 16-foot off-grid yurt on a cliffside with incredible views. Amenities feature oak floors, fireplaces, king size beds, and oversized soaking tubs. Additional accommodations include a fully restored 1951 riverfront vintage Spartan trailer and 13 tent and RV sites.

Sorensen’s Café, an all-day restaurant, pays homage to its cherished past with a Beef Burgundy Stew served all day and Classic Berry Cobbler—alongside fresh, new favorites. A newly restored General Store offers baked goods, beer, wine, cocktails, select groceries, and ready-made items to enjoy on picnic tables, cook on a campfire or private cabin kitchen.

Nestled atop 7,000 feet on the eastern edge of Carson Pass, Hope Valley is a year-round sanctuary. On-property recreation includes hiking, mountain biking, laying in a hammock creekside, snowshoeing, and sitting by the fire enjoying hot cocoa or wine. Off-property adventures await with kayaking, fishing, skiing at Kirkwood Mountain, and swimming at Grover Hot Springs State Park.

For more information or to book, visit www.wylderhotels.com/hope-valley, call 530.694.2203, or follow on Instagram @wylderhotelhv.


Eldorado National Forest announces forest openings

Eldorado National Forest begins reopening developed day use recreation sites

PLACERVILLE, Calif. – The Eldorado National Forest is increasing access to the public by providing additional developed day use recreational opportunities with limited services. Restroom facilities will open as soon as personnel can mobilize and safety and cleaning supplies are obtained. We encourage visitors to check our website and social media pages for the most up-to-date information on what is open so that you can plan your visit. You can also call your local ranger station during normal business hours Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
We continue to recommend that you recreate locally. All visitors should practice self-sufficiency during your visits to national forests. Recreating responsibly will help ensure that expanded access to recreational facilities, services, and opportunities continues. Responsible recreation practices should be maintained at all times, including:
• Maintaining at least six feet distancing from others.
• Do not gather in groups and please follow the latest guidance from officials.
• Communicate with others as you pass. Alert trail users of your presence and step aside to let others pass.
• Pack out your trash and leave with everything you bring in and use.
• All services may not be available, particularly restrooms and trash removal, so please plan accordingly.
The following developed recreation sites will reopen on the Eldorado National Forest beginning Saturday, May 16, 2020:
·      Alder Creek Day Use Area
·      Capps Crossing Day Use Area
·      Traverse Creek Day Use Area
·      East Slab Creek Reservoir Day Use Area
·      Cedar Park Trailhead
·      Fleming Meadow Trailhead
·      Pony Express Corral Trailhead
·      Slippery Ford Trailhead
·      Mt. Ralston Trailhead
·      Sayles Canyon/Bryan Meadow Trailhead
·      Meiss Trailhead
·      Lumberyard Picnic Area
·      Indian Spring Picnic Area
·      Eagle Rock Picnic Area
·      42 Milestone Picnic Area
·      Big Hill Overlook
·      Echo Lake Parking Area
·      Iron Mountain Parking Area
·      Hell Hole Vista
·      Hell Hole Boat Ramp
·      Ice House Boat Ramp
·      West Point Boat Ramp
·      Stumpy Meadows Boat Ramp & Picnic Area
Please note that higher elevation sites, generally above 6,500 feet are still under snow.
For more information, please visit the Eldorado National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado . Updates on recreation will also be posted on the Facebook and Twitter sites at www.facebook.com/eldoradonf and www.twitter.com/eldoradonf .

From The Tahoe Fund

“According to the US Watermaster’s Office, Tahoe’s lake level is predicted to peak at 6,228′ on June 3rd. That is about a month earlier than average. The current lake level is at 6,227.76’ elevation. The US Watermaster’s office uses runoff, temperature, solar radiation and other factors in order to create a forecast that helps determine their predictions. Obviously, any late season snow or rain will change things, but right now it is looking like Lake Tahoe will remain about a foot below the legal maximum limit of 6,229.1′ elevation this year.”

Lakes all over are filling up and spilling over, not just in Tahoe. When we are able to get out and about, it should be a great time around the lakes. Check out Sly Park/Jenkinson lake in Pollock Pines.

Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association

TAMBA has announced that the 2020 Mountain Bike Festival will, hopefully, take place July 25 to July 26. Check it out. 

 Forest Service shuts recreation sites in South Shore

USFS Lake Tahoe Management Unit

The Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit has temporarily closed all national forest recreation sites and areas in the South Shore Recreation Corridor.  According to a press release from the USFS Lake Tahoe Management Unit,  “In alignment with federal, state and local guidance for social distancing and safety of its employees, visitors and volunteers, the sites will be closed through April 30.”

Map of South Shore Recreation Area closures


California Death Ride/Tour of the California Alps cancelled for 2020


Due to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to reschedule the Resurgence Tour to July 17, 2021. Registration will reopen in the near future.  For Death Ride fans this probably isn’t news. We’ve all known that many activities across the board have been cancelled outright or postponed. We all need to stay focused on staying healthy for the duration. Ride, but ride with all the guidelines in place. 

From the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce:

“Based on current health forecasts, we do not feel it is in the best interest of the cycling community nor the health of our families, friends, and neighbors, to hold the event on July 11,” the Chamber board of directors wrote on the Death Ride website. “Given the health crisis that we are in, to further task our limited local resources with an event of this magnitude could exasperate our community’s health concerns. We have made the difficult decision to postpone the 40th Anniversary Ride to 2021. This is a decision that we realize impacts many: You – our loyal customers, our community nonprofits who receive a portion of our proceeds, our business members, and of course our own ability to continue to promote and support the business prosperity and well being of this Alpine community that we share with you every year.” 

If riders have already entered, their registration will be locked in for 2021. From the Chamber:  

Stay Home

Due to the recent restrictions enacted by the National Forests and California State Parks, and the shelter in place order from the Governor, visitors from outside the area, which is to say if you don’t live here, are asked to please stay home. Find a place in your area to hike, bike etc. Stay 6 feet away from others, and stay home if you are ill or think you may be. It is important to know that all the facilities in the National Forests and State Parks are closed till further notice. We all have to do our part. It’s up to us to make this work.

Coronavirus precautions

The snow we’ve all been waiting for blew in with gusto, finally. Unfortunately, so did the coronavirus.

The result is that all the ski resorts, downhill and cross country, are closed. It is likely they are done for this season. It’s all for the greater good, which is to stay healthy and avoid anything that will spread the virus among us.

Does this mean the cross country, Telemark, and snowshoe season is over? All that snow and you can’t be on it? That depends on a few things, all of which involve common sense.

While the Governor has issued a shelter in place order, there are exceptions to staying hunkered down in your home. Exercise is one of them. The covid-19 precautions are still extremely important to practice though. It’s common sense and common courtesy, even in the backcountry.

If you are a cross country skier, snowshoer, or Telemark enthusiast, it is very important that you go out only with your partner, spouse, or immediate family. Stay away from other people while you’re out there, which isn’t very difficult to do considering the nature of the backcountry and xc skiing and snowshoeing.

You will have to consider where you will head out into the snow. Most of the places that we would normally stop at for a coffee or lunch and a bathroom break are either closed, allow a very limited number of people to enter at any time, or have only curbside service.

Over on SR 88, Hope Valley area up to Carson pass, nothing is open. Hope Valley Cafe, Sorensen’s, Hope Valley Outdoors, Kirkwood Inn and all the rest of Kirkwood, are closed. Carson pass has parking areas on the north and south sides that have vault toilets in the SnoPark lots. I do not know if they are open though.

Up in the Crystal Basin there are no services of any kind at this time of year. The Loon Lake Chalet is the only place up there during the snow season that has facilities. I do not know if that is open at this time either.

You’ll need to bring all of your own food, water, coffee, chocolate covered peanut M&M’s, hygiene supplies, and the rest of the normal gear you take out there. As always, you’re on your own in the backcountry. In addition, you’re on your own while you’re travelling now as well.

The last storms added several feet of snow to the mountains. The Sierra Avalanche Center (https://www.sierraavalanchecenter.org/) keeps tabs on avalanche conditions in the high country. It is even more important now to check their advisories before you head to the backcountry. Know before you go is even more critical now due to the pandemic.

Pay attention to the advisories. There’s a lot of snow, you can always go on a different day when conditions are better. If you’re in doubt about either the conditions or your health, stay home.

It’s up to all of us to keep all of us healthy. We all need to do our part, and yes, everyone doing so is critical. Social distancing, going out only for the essentials, staying home if you are feeling sick, keeping your hands away from your face, using soap and water to constantly wash your hands, and somehow making sure your children are paying attention as well, will shorten the duration of this mess we’re in

We are in it together. We all need to take care. No one is immune to this. A lot of common sense is obviously needed.

Get your gear. Cautiously and responsibly get outside.



Places to Explore

Ski Resorts

HEAVENLY: 775-586-7000 www.skiheavenly.com

SIERRA AT TAHOE: 530-659-7475 www.sierraattahoe.com

HOPE VALLEY OUTDOORS: 530-721-2015 www.hopevalleyoutdoors.com

KIRKWOOd: 877-KIRKWOOD www.kirkwood.com

DIAMOND PEAK: 775-831-1177 www.diamondpeak.com

MT. ROSE SKI TAHOE: 800-SKIROSE www.skirose.com

 NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA: 530-562-1330 www.northstarcalifornia.com

TAHOE DONNER XC: 530-587-9484 www.skitahoedonner.com

BOREAL: 530-426-3666 www.rideboreal.com

SODA SPRINGS : 530-426-3901 www.skisodasprings.com

ROYAL GORGE XC: 530-426-3871 www.royalgorge.com

SUGAR BOWL SKI RESORT: 530-426-1111 www.sugarbowl.com

 DONNER SKI RANCH: 530-426-3635  www.donnerskiranch.com

HOMEWOOD: 530-525-2992. www.skihomewood.com

GRANLIBAKKEN RESORT: 530-581-7533 www.granlibakken.com

TAHOE XC CENTER:  530-583-5475 www.tahoexc.org

TAHOE CITY WINTER SPORTS PARK: 530-583-1516 www.wintersportspark.com

ALPINE MEADOWS: 530-581-8374 www.skialpine.com

SQUAW VALLEY: 530-452-4335 www.squaw.com

 MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN: 888-766-9778  www.mammothmountain.com

JUNE MOUNTAIN: 760-934-2224  www.junemountain.com

YOSEMITE / BADGER PASS: 209-372-1000 #5  www.yosemitepark.com/dailysnowreport.aspx

DODGE RIDGE: 209-536-5300  www.dodgeridge.com

BEAR VALLEY 209-753-2301 #2  www.bearvalley.com

BEAR VALLEY XC CENTER: 209-753-2834  www.bearvalleyxc.com

Resorts and Shops

Fat tire bike ride in the snow around Taylor Creek

Mountain Bikes in the Mountains

Mountain bikes in the mountains. What a combo! With summer in full roar, long days with more trail opening up as the snow melts, mountain bikes are riding just about everywhere possible. Here are some places to learn, to rent a bike, or just find out about local trails in and around Pollock Pines to Tahoe.




Kirkwood runs a mountain bike park in the summer. They run only on weekends. From 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday (July/August including Labor Day weekend). Rentals, lessons, lifts, thrills, and high altitude riding.

Northstar Califorina  runs their bike park 7 days a week. Hours are  from 10;00 am- 5:00 pm, Saturday to Thursday, and 10:00am to 7:00 pm on Fridays. Rentals, lessons, lifts, competition, group instruction.

Squaw Valley waits till the snow is gone to open the slopes up to bikes. Kinda hard to mountain bike among the skiers.

Bike shops  and rental outfits that can steer you to great rides:

Wattabike, 2933 Highway 50, Meyers, CA 96150, 530.544.7700

South Shore Bikes, 871 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.544.7433

Ski and Cycle Works, 3430 Lake Tahoe Blvd South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.541.7505    

Anderson’s Bike Rental, 645 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.541.0500

Camp Richardson Outdoor Sports1900 Jameson Beach Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.542.6584  

Sierra Ski and Cycle Works,  3430 Lake Tahoe Blvd. South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.541.7505

Tahoe Bike Company, 3131 Harrison Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.600.0267

Over the Edge Tahoe, 3665 Tamarack Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.600.3633

Olympic Bike Shop, 620 N Lake Blvd, Tahoe City, CA 96145, 530.581.2500

Flume Trail Bikes, 1115 Tunnel Creek Rd b, Incline Village, NV 89451,  775.298.2501

Factory Bikes, 3039 CA-89, Olympic Valley, CA 96146,  530.581.3399

Rufus Cycles, 484 Main Street #1, Diamond Springs, CA, (530) 303.3158

The Other Flume Trail

What other Flume Trail?  The one known as the Incline Flume Trail. Like the other one, the trail is on what used to be a flume that sent logs down to the Lake in the Comstock Era. It’s pretty family friendly, more flatish that its cousin simply known as The Flume Trail. The trail is an extensive project that involves the Tahoe Fund, Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association, the USFS, Friends of Incline Trails, the Forest Service, Nevada State Parks, Nevada Land Trust, Washoe County and Incline General Improvement District and others.

Read about the trail at the Tahoe Fund website. Get your gear on, pump up the tires and head over there for what is a fun ride with outrageous views of Lake Tahoe.