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Azure blue skies and emerald green waters make up thre magnificent Lake Tahoe and its suroundings. A large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe is located along the border of California and Nevada. It is considered the largest alpine lake in North America and was formed about 2 million years ago. During the summer the lake is perfect for water activities, including swimming and scuba diving. During winter, the area changes into sheets of soft white snow that make for perfect skiing conditions. On top of gorgeous mountain and lake scenery, there are also ski resorts, casinos and many more tourist attractions.
As long as the snowfall cooperates, a snowmobile may be the easiest way to explore wintertime Lake Tahoe's hills and trails. Enjoy a holiday guided tour through the wintry landscape. The mid-week tours include appropriate snow gear provided free of charge; on weekends and holidays bring your own or pay an additional fee. Helmets are always included. Rates run from USD120-USD290 per person depending on the number of people and the length of the tour. Reservations are recommended. South shore tours are also available. Season start and end dates may vary based on the weather. Departure times vary, so call for details.
In the heart of 2,000 acres of conifer forest, you will find Washoe Indian Territory. Once the summer home of the Washoe tribe, they came to hunt and fish at the beautiful lake. You can still see evidence of their occupation in the form of bedrock mortars or grinding rocks close to the Ehrman Mansion. In the 1880s, wealthy Californians started building elaborate summer estates in this area. Many of these homes remain and tours are available. This is a peaceful area to enjoy a picnic, hike or fish.
The ill-fated and notorious Donner party was forced to set up camp here in the winter of 1846 when heavy snowstorms made their journey over the treacherous mountains impossible. The Emigrant Trail Museum features Donner party artifacts and many other items of historical interest including the Pioneer Monument and the Murphy family cabin site. Guided nature walks are also offered. The adjacent area boasts hiking trails, a beach, biking trails and fishing.
Majestic Emerald Bay is just a small part of this beautiful and pristine State Park covering 1,830 acres of the Sierra Nevada mountains. You will find six miles of both rocky and sandy beaches on the magnificent shoreline of Lake Tahoe. Also available to visitors are picnic areas, camping and miles of hiking trails. Enjoy nature and see the beautiful variety of trees and plants that are indigenous to the Lake Tahoe area. Along with the Ponderosa and Jeffrey pines, red and white fir, cedar, junipers and cottonwood, the park is brimming with gnarled and stunted sugar pines that grow in thin granite soil. Take a stroll along the Balancing Rock nature trail and see a 130-ton rock that balances precariously on a slender stone base. This has been a favorite attraction since the late 1800s. It's a short and easy half-mile, self-guided walk that shouldn't be missed. Plan on spending the entire day, because once you get here, you won't want to leave.
As you cruise down Highway 50, just north of Cave Rock, you will see a sign for this beautiful viewing area. Be sure to stop and have your camera ready. You will be treated to panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and see valleys that were carved out by glaciers millions of years ago. Emerald Bay is one of these incredible valleys. You will marvel at the crystal-clear blue waters that make Lake Tahoe famous. This is a wonderful place to bring a picnic lunch or just relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
Donner Ski Ranch has the honor of being one of California's first ski resorts, a status that is upheld by their continued dedication to quality and improvement. Recent facility upgrades include a moving carpet and a new tubing hill. There is skiing for everyone, from beginners to experts. The resort is also family owned and prices are reasonable.
Walk this majestic trail to a beautiful waterfall. It is an easy quarter-mile hike through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Enjoy the fresh air, and see the flora and fauna indigenous to the area and breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe at every turn. If you're bringing the kids, keep an eye out for some steep spots that drop off abruptly. When you reach your final destination, you will be treated to the beautiful sight of water rushing over boulders and heading down the river to Lake Tahoe. If you are enjoying yourself and have a lot of energy, keep walking on the trail another three-quarters of a mile to Eagle Lake.