Two weeks ago, my wife and her family took a week-long vacation in South Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake. Her family owns a cabin that sits above the Stanford Sierra Camp (at the big entrance sign, make a left up the small access road/hill, and it’s one of the cabins up there) and affords us quick, but hardly easy, access to many of the trails of southwest Lake Tahoe. Whereas the Stanford Sierra Camp sits at 6,300′ feet, we enjoy the high life by being about a hundred feet above them.
This post summarizes our hiking in south Lake Tahoe, more in-depth posts of the hikes, along with pictures, will soon follow!
Over the course of four days we enjoyed many of the local hikes visiting several of the lakes in the area. We took the first day to acclimate to the higher elevation and then set off to Lily Lake, a short hike away. When we last visited four years ago, we went to Lily Lake our first day!
The first “real” hike we took would be a day later when we passed by Lily Lake and made our way an hour and a half away, past Glen Alpine Falls, to visit Grass Lake.
On our “day off,” we decided to take a scenic drive near at Emerald Bay, off Lake Tahoe, and hike a portion of the Rubicon Trail. This is the first time I’d seen Emerald Bay up close, usually my view of it is from the top of Mt. Tallac, so this was a delight. The Rubicon Trail was a little uneventful but was a nice appetizer to the hike we were preparing for the next day.
The hiking climax came on Thursday when we set out early, around 8am (OK, it’s not that early), to hike the imposing Mt. Tallac. Peaking at 9,735′ above sea level, Mt. Tallac offers one of the most breathtaking views in the area. We hit the trailhead, located at 6,480′, early and were able to make it to the top, over 4.8 miles away, in less than four hours. We then trekked down through the wildflower fields towards Lily Lake (past Gilmore Lake) and home.
All in all it was a successful week of hiking, no major blisters and no injuries (minus a few twisted ankles). Full posts with more pictures will follow so keep an eye out if you’re interested in seeing the views of these hikes.