I flew up to Lake Tahoe at the start of Spring for work and a mini getaway and it turned out to be an experience of a lifetime. If you ever have the chance to travel, take my advice my friend and do it. Don’t question yourself and put it off for “one day”, just go! It’s so worth it! And I whole-heartedly believe that you won’t be disappointed in your decision!
“If you don’t take the risk, you lose the chance.”
My weekend getaway started early Friday morning. With my Delsey luggage and travel essentials packed, I left San Diego International and was Tahoe bound by the afternoon. With the exception of some wedding work and goal planning, I didn’t have a set schedule while I was there. Just a wanderlust heart and a wrinkled list in my pocket of all the places that I wanted to explore.
I flew into Reno/Tahoe International, an hour outside of Truckee and picked up my “economy car”, aka a mid-size fire engine red 4×4 Chevy Colorado. Yes, that’s right, little me driving a huge truck through Tahoe! With several events happening in South Lake and one of the biggest storms having come through just the week before, the slopes of Heavenly and Squaw Valley were packed with new powder, making it one of the busiest weekends in Tahoe, so busy that they ran out of rental “cars”. I think it goes without saying that when you travel, you are undoubtedly going to run into a few hiccups, and well, this one made me laugh and set the pace and good vibes for the rest of my trip! (Thank you, Alamo!)
My first stop was Donner Memorial State Park, where I had the chance to walk around and get a few photos of the monument all while soaking my leather ankle boots in the snow and having the ranger highly suggest waterproof boots if I had any intention of being outdoors, since the area trails still had a decent amount of snow covering.
From there, I made my way to Squaw Valley – Alpine Meadows – Olympic Valley, where I stopped at Wanderlust for a yoga class. Which was an incredible decision! During my hour long class, not only did I get in a good stretch with amazing instruction, but during my practice, I had the best views of the snowy mountain landscape and clear blue skies! I also made sure to pick up a pair of Northface waterproof boots in the village for my snow filled adventures before making my way to Tahoma, where I stayed in a little studio tucked away on the West side of the lake called the “Tiny Tahoe Rental”. By far one of my most favorite AirBnb rentals to date, check it out for yourself [here]. Before calling it a night with a nice bottle of merlot from Uncorked, I ventured down to South Lake for dinner to Lake Tahoe Ale Worx, a self service tap room with some of the best pizza in town!
On Saturday, I stopped over at Emerald Bay and hiked down to Vikingsholm Castle, where I had the time of my life! It’s well worth the mile or so hike, snow covered trails and all! Mind you, the trail map at the top says “strenuous”, and they aren’t joking! The trek down isn’t so bad, but the long haul up will have you out of breath and your calves will be on fire, hahaha! Being that the trail was doused in snow all the way down to the lake, I was laughing at myself the entire time, as I slid through snow a good portion of the way down and discovered “sink holes” where I found myself knee deep in snow.
Just before sunset, I sat on a rock ledge over at El Dorado Beach in South Lake Tahoe, capturing the sunset as I watched it drift behind the mountains to the West of the lake. Simply beautiful!
Sunday was my last day in Lake Tahoe, and I ran into several complications, from lack of snow gear, to areas being closed for the season or just plain hard to get to. But I eventually made my way over to Kings Beach on the North Shore and captured some great shots of the the lake and the mountain range in the distance. This was one of the more “tourist-y” locations besides South Lake, but offered good views and a fun dock filled with what I deemed “locks of love”.
Sand Harbor (Incline Village)on the Nevada side of the lake, ended up being my final and favorite stop before catching my flight home. An unexpected destination, but the best of the entire trip! I scaled boulders here, laughing as I pinned my body against rocks, inching myself up to the top, camera in one hand and gripping the edges of rocks in the other. Because as a photographer, you go to great lengths to “get the photo”. I could go on about the views and the crystal clear turquoise water, but I’ll let the images I captured below show you that!
This trip was definitely one for the record books and one that come to find, was much needed! The solidarity of the mountains and the serenity of the lake are the perfect way to clear your mind, as well as rest and reset! I’m pretty sure I left a little piece of my heart there in Lake Tahoe, but I’ll be sure to make it back!
I recorded a good portion of my trip, and I’m sharing the videos below! Check them out for a good laugh and some of the best views of Lake Tahoe!