Snowy activities around Lake Tahoe that don’t require skis, snowboard
Skiing and Snowboarding might be the most popular activity to do in winter at Lake Tahoe, but it is not the only way to experience the Sierra Nevada.
Being in nature is undeniably is the best way to feel Tahoe’s unique mountain magic, but there are many ways to do it without skis and a board and without being vulnerable to the terrain.
If your friends are hitting the slopes and you don’t want to just hide in the lodge, here are some ideas.
Snowshoe in the mountains
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Only in Tahoe is there a snowshoe tour under the moonlight.
Tahoe Snowshoe tours is a company that offers a unique snowshoe trek.
Learn about the majestic Sierra while breathing in the brisk mountain air snowshoeing through an avalanche safe and family-friendly tour. This tour can be for beginners or for advanced snowshoers in search of a beautiful mountain top view and engaging experience in Tahoe’s wilderness.
The hike is 1-2 miles at a slow pace for about two and a half hours.
Make sure to gear up in cold weather clothing for their special Stargazing Snowshoe Tour. Point out star constellations, planets and satellites trekking under the stars that takes place two weeks between full moons for total darkness.
Immerse yourself in Tahoe’s forest guided by the illumination of the moonlight and a highly experienced guide.
Check out the website at http://www.tahoesnowshoetours.com for a complete list of times of the tours.
Tahoe Snowshoe Tours also has several guiding trips during the day, if the nighttime tours are too spooky.
If you’d rather skip the guide, escape the crowds and head out on your own through the vast wilderness,
Winnemucca Lake is a rewarding trek. The hike is approximately 2 miles to the serene lake.
It’s moderately difficult, but the trek has stunning views of Caples Lake and the Three Sisters.
It will feel like your straight out of Switzerland with the expansive, snowy views.
With a $5 day pass, you can park at the top of the pass so your starting at nearly 8,000 feet.
This trek goes right on the Pacific Crest Trail. During the winter months, a Sno Park permit is required and can be purchased at the U. S. Forest Service Ranger Station.
Tahoe is full of great places to snowshoe- Angora Lakes, Fallen Leaf Lake, Round Lake – the hardest part is a matter of just choosing one.
Snowmobile in town or in backcountry
If your itching for a bit more intensity like blasting through the powder at high speeds (not on a ski or board), Lake Tahoe offers guided snowmobile tours.
Tahoe Snowmobiles offers a groomed track at Stateline or Tahoe Paradise for riders to circle the lap.
The snowmobile rental rate is $75 for a 30-minute session for up to two people. If you are 16 and older, you can drive.
This is a way to experience snowmobiling, without getting too far out there.
For a longer ride, Lake Tahoe Adventures has a 2-hour long “Summit Tour.” This tour begins just south of South Lake Tahoe in Hope Valley – which is already known for its snowmobile trails and tours.
After a safety talk and orientation, riders can drive themselves through the Tahoe backcountry following a professional guide on a trail.
Riders get stunning views of the Sierra Crest at 10,000 feet.
Riders will cross Charity Valley and the rim of Charity Canyon seeing historical cabins along the way.
The Summit Tour is for any type of rider, including beginners.
There are options to rent a private guide for a group as well.
Advanced riders will also enjoy this tour.
The Ultimate Snowmobile Ride takes riders deep into the Sierra Nevada.
Experience Tahoe’s rivers, creeks, meadows, alpine lakes and more during the ride.
Explore the Tahoe Basin with a professional guide that is highly knowledgeable about the geography and history of the area.
Sledding on hills, not city roads
It isn’t a big surprise that sledding in Tahoe is a popular winter activity, and it’s a lot of fun for all ages.
Just find an actual hill, the main roads in Tahoe, even covered in snow, are a no-go.
There is usually a sledding spot set up at the bottom of Van Sickle State Park that could be crowded on the weekends, but still a worthy hill. There is also a sledding hill next to MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa at Stateline.
There is a popular hill near Spooner Lake State Park on the East Shore, but make sure there is enough snow before attempting.
A secluded, popular sledding spot is Hansen’s Resort close to Heavenly’s California Lodge off Ski Run Blvd. This resort includes two acres of pine forest.
They supply the saucer or tube with the ticket price of $25 on weekdays or $30 on weekends and holidays. Hansen’s Resort even has free parking for tubers — a hot commodity in Tahoe.
The runs are groomed with walls to help you stop. Another sledding destination is Adventure Mountain at the top of Echo Summit. Adventure Mountain offers a groomed sledding hill and sledding safely away from U.S. Highway 50. They are open 7 days a week and have over 40 acres for sledding and tubing.
While you can bring your own sled, they have an onsite rental for tubes and sleds. Afterwards, warm up with hot chocolate at the Adventure Mountain Lodge. Snow tubing is also an option at Sierra-at-Tahoe.
The resort has a tube terrain area complete with a conveyor belt that brings tubers to the top.
While the rest of the family is out on the slopes, hit Blizzard Mountain on a massive doughnut.
West Bowl is currently open, Blizzard Mountain and the rest of the mountain should be opening soon.
Other popular sledding or tubing destinations are Tahoe Donner, Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar-at-Tahoe.
Cheyanne Neuffer is a staff writer with the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun.
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