Visiting California: Lake Tahoe in January

Mike and I love snowboarding.  We love snow in general.  I probably get a little bit more excited about snow than he does, but the point is we both love it.  Which is why it was a bit disappointing our trip to Lake Tahoe was scheduled during an unusually warm January.

Most of the snow was melting, and it was in the 50s almost the entire time we were there.  That made for some pretty warm days on the slopes, plus slushy/icy conditions as the snow would melt and then refreeze overnight.

We made the best out of it, but after a few days at Heavenly, ultimately decided we much preferred our trip to Breckenridge, CO in 2015.

From our trip to Tahoe, two things stand out: my impromptu sunset drive to Emerald Bay and the fishing charter we booked for our last day.

Mike and I drove out to Emerald Bay one morning, but the fog was still so thick, all of the views were obscured and we couldn’t see much beyond the trees 10 feet in front of us.  We did find a cool view of the lake from a park on the shoreline, but still…fog.


So after we enjoyed the switch back mountain road, we turned around and headed back to the hotel. That evening when the sky cleared, I went back out on my own to see what I could see.  Mike was tired, plus he didn’t pack waterproof shoes. I knew I wanted to get to Emerald Bay, one of the most famous photo spots in South Lake Tahoe.  I parked along the side of the highway and followed a trail up the hill to a waterfall, but the view of Emerald Bay was obscured by trees.  There was still a lot of snow on the trails, and even in my snow boots I had to go slowly.  I knew sunset was coming quickly, so I hiked back down to the highway where I could hear water flowing, and climbed down a snowy bank to a hidden stream and cascading pools to be greeted by an unobstructed view of Emerald Bay, just in time to catch the bright purple sunset. It was truly amazing.

On our last day in Tahoe, we finally got to see the lakeshore without fog. We enjoyed an early lunch by the beach and then boarded a fishing boat for a four-hour excursion on the lake.  The views from the boat were amazing, and the weather was absolutely perfect.  Mike caught two…trout? bass? I don’t know what they were. But he took one of them back to the hotel and cooked it for dinner.


Tags: California, Lake Tahoe, Travel

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Compulsive snacker. Bleeding heart. Unhealthy obsession with Tom Hanks and cats. Florida State and Syracuse University alum.
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