Lake Tahoe in 2 days help

Aug 6th, 2007, 07:54 PM
  #1  
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Lake Tahoe in 2 days help

Hi there,
I will be travelling to Lake Tahoe next weekend with my boyfriend for 2 days from San Francisco, and would love some advice. We should be getting there Friday afternoon, and probably leave Saturday night. I have researched some things, but am quite overwhelmed and can't really decide what to do. I'm not really sure what to do in such a short time, although I know that we'd like to do a day long hike for Saturday - probably on a Moderately difficult trail. Could anyone recommend one? Also, recommendations whether to stay in Tahoe City or the South side?
maxinkuaye is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 09:21 PM
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We just returned from Tahoe. The weather was gorgeous (although a bit hot). South Tahoe is pretty crazy with traffic, but you will probably have more lodging to choose from and a wide variety of styles and prices. For your day hike you could visit Vikingsholm and then walk across the highway to the trail up to the Falls. Or drive to the Fallen Leaf Lake area and hike the Glen Alpine Trail into Desolation Wilderness.
The bike trail from Camp Richardson to the various beaches (Baldwin, etc) is a lot of fun, too.

Tahoe City has terrible trafic at the "Y" where the 2 highways meet at the Truckee River. We just found it more enjoyable to park our car and walk everywhere. I prefer the north and west sides of the lake. There are 2 fantastic bike trails from Tahoe City: along the Truckee River to the road to Squaw Valley and another great trail from Tahoe City to Sugar Pine Point. This trip, we left the bikes behind and just walked. I love the walk along the lake. There are many picnic tables at the water's edge, rarely used.
Our favorite hike is on the west side, not far from Tahoe City. Take 89 (toward Homewood from TC) and turn onto Barker Pass Road (where the bicycle campground is - Kaspian?). Drive to the top where a sign indicates you need 4-wheel drive to proceed. Park here at the turn-out and you will see a sign for the trail at the left. The beginning has steep switchbacks, but you get to an amazing view of the lake. Then you have a pleasant stroll through beautiful forests - eventually get to a lake (can't remember the name).
FOOD: (in/near Tahoe City)
*** Tahoe House (great for picnic food or take-out, and the BEST cookies (Swiss Kisses) and pastries/breads, etc.
*** Sunnyside (go to the bar deck out back, order from the bar menu, enjoy the people scene and the lakeside seating
*** Jake's on the Lake
*** Rosie's (great salads, decent prices)
*** Garwood's

For a shorter, enjoyable walk, go down the hill below Christy Hill Restaurant and walk down the stairs to a lovely boardwalk that follows the lake. It is a pleasant walk to Commons Beach where you'll find a beach, grass, picnic tables, restrooms...very pleasant. Of course, there is a main entrance right on the highway, too, across from Rosie's.

Don't be overwhelmed! Just go and take things as they come. You should have a wonderful time no matter what. Have fun!
elnap29 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 09:23 PM
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You are going to Tahoe in 5 days and don't know where yet? A couple of things - nice places at Tahoe book up pretty solid for summer weekends, and many require a 2 night minimum for Fridays/Saturdays.

What is your budget??
janisj is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 09:24 PM
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Yes, arriving Friday afternoon and leaving Saturday evening. That doesn't leave much time and you don't know where you are staying?

Do you have more info?

There are great trails into Desolation Wilderness and also up to Marlette Lake on the East Side.

There's a host of other options. Try to stay longer next time.
Otis_B_Driftwood is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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You could always camp. There are a number of campgrounds, one is right in Tahoe City with an easy walk to Safeway! It is right on the water, too. Just take your pads and sleeping bags and eat out or buy take-out. There are many easily accessible camping spots on the west side near Sunnyside also.
elnap29 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 09:23 AM
  #6  
dmlove
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Even for one day and night, I'd recommend the north or west and skip the south altogether. South Lake Tahoe (the town) is a bunch of casinos, motels, condos and one new resort development. The lake is gorgeous, the town is not.
 
Aug 9th, 2007, 10:51 AM
  #7  
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Hello all,
Thank you for your suggestions. Here is the plan so far. I would love some input:

We drive from San Francisco (leaving around noon) to Emerald Bay and do the short hike to Vikingsholm, and have a little picnic there.

After checking into hotel (Lake of the Sky Motor Inn), etc, we take the gondola up to High Camp and have dinner at Cafe Alexander's.
Would like an after dinner recommendation for music and drinks

Next day, Breakfast at Fire Sign Cafe OR Old Post Office Cafe - and then off on a day hike .. perhaps Cascade Falls or if we're feeling extremely adventurous.. Mt Tallac.

We shall end the day at one of the beaches (would like a recommendation).

Dinner at Lone Eagle Grill in Incline Village.

Head back to San Fran.
maxinkuaye is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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The Fire Sign Cafe is wonderful, expect a wait.
Mt. Tallac on the same day as a drive back to the city? I'd do the Eagle Falls hike at Emerald Bay. It's not too much, but very rewarding.
The best beaches IMO are Meek's Bay near Suger Pine Park and Sand Harbor on the Nevada Side just south of Incline Village. Both are great, but Sand Harbor is a bit more scenic and the water is a little warmer. The whole lake is pretty comfortable right now.
You do have quite a bit of driving built into your plan. There are plenty of nice places right on the Lake for dinner in or near to Tahoe City. If you are leaving around noon on Friday from SF you are going to hit some major traffic. I assume you are taking 50 if you plan a stop at Emerald Bay. 50 is slow. Emerald bay to Tahoe City could take an hour with traffic.
To tell you the truth you have way too much planned for a day and a half. You'll be driving back and forth the whole time.
If it was me I'd try to leave the City be 10 am. You "could" be at Emerald Bay by 4. Do your hike. Drive to Tahoe City to your motel. Get ready for dinner at the Lone Eagle. Check out the entertainment at the casinos. The next day have breakfast at the Fire Sign on the way to Meek's Bay. Rent a kayak there instead of doing another hike. Clean up at Meek's for dinner at High Camp and take 80 home.
You still get to do everything you want but with at least half of the driving.
glimmer2 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 12:11 PM
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Another scenic spot for dinner on your way home is the River Inn on the Truckee river on highway 89.
glimmer2 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 12:34 PM
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"Mt. Tallac on the same day as a drive back to the city? It is even worse than that - you plan on dining at the Lone Eagle Grill after a day hike and beach time, all after having checked out of the motel so no place to clean up/change.

I agree w/ glimmer2 - too much in too little time. Especially over a summer weekend - leaving SF around noon on a Friday will put you in very heavy traffic all the way from SF to and around the lake. You may not even get to you motel before 6 p.m. or later
janisj is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 03:20 PM
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Not trying to jump all over you but Friday is the worst day of the week to drive to Tahoe and leaving at noon makes it even worse. You will be in one long traffic jam the whole way. I drive up about 4 times a year and gone are the days of hitting areas of no traffic. You want to clear the East Bay before noon.
glimmer2 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 06:37 PM
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actually - on a Friday, you'd want to clear Sacramento by noon.
janisj is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 07:13 PM
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dmlove
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actually - on a Friday, you'd want to clear Sacramento by noon. LOL (but true)
 
Aug 9th, 2007, 08:42 PM
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Personally, I prefer late in the day hiking. It's not hot and you'll have light for quite awhile. Sometimes you just have to get there when you get there. I would leave out Incline unless you really want to visit the casinos. If you stick to the Tahoe City to Emerald Bay route you can eliminate extra driving. Old Post Office is out of the way, too. Hwy 50 does take longer usually, so you might consider reversing direction and going up 80 on Friday, check into motel and then decide what to do from there,
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