Tahoe Treks: Northern Nevada Road Trips

so let’s get started we have where 603 we have 15 people and we got one more joining right now yeah so let’s get started I appreciate that plug-in yeah that’s I think how I met Kayla is that you are a library patron and neighbor here in Incline Village and also a freelance writer and author based in North Lake Tahoe so just one small reminder for everybody please yourself if you have a question please use the raise your hand feature or wave at me and we are recording this so it will be available afterwards and we do hope to do more of these programs in the future and if you would like to get Northern California road trips by ebook please use the library’s request an item feature if we get a couple recommendations we will add this to our ebook collection we do have the print version available for checkout but that might be a couple weeks away so we can get the e-book to you if we get a couple of recommendations so please do that and without further ado thank you so much Kayla for being willing to do our Tahoe treks program virtually we had you originally scheduled that March had to reschedule and thankfully you were willing to do this online so thank you everyone for registering and joining in and if you’d like to see more use that request an item feature and also follow our website at washoecountylibrary.us. So I’ll turn over to you. Thank you Kayla take it away well thank you all so much for for coming and taking some time out of your of your evening to see this presentation and I I’m gonna go ahead and share my presentation now hopefully this works but yeah and I actually think I mean it’s kind of a bummer not be able to do this in person when it was originally scheduled in and March 17th but I’m also thrilled that that it allows other people that maybe not be that who can attend in person to be able to do its presume so um yeah I know that right now these are crazy times but I highly encourage everybody to stay home and stay safe and and I’m sure that some of these Tahoe trails will be even more beautiful when you come visit or try them out once we can all start traveling again because they’ll have had that time to restore and regenerate so um yeah please keep in mind that I am more of a writer than a presenter so I’ll start out with a little bit about me I was born and raised in Redding California right along the banks of the Sacramento River this is kind of this is a picture taken of my parents backyard and I was so lucky to have parents who were very who were really into camping and boating and snow skiing they took us all over the North’s day we went to use somebody and Patricks point on the coast up to the sand dunes in Oregon and I have a ton of fond memories wakeboarding and even house boating on Shasta Lake in whiskey town I’ve been Northern California and snowboarding at Mount Shasta I actually learned to ski at Mount lassen and when I was two years old and now that I’m really into paddleboarding I love paddling on Lake oh ho and also on the Sacramento River when I can and if you do have a copy of Northern California road trips you’ll see on page I think it’s for Oh mine my cousin summer is in the zoom talk right now and she is featured paddle in a photo paddleboarding on Lake Tahoe on that page that M yeah then I studied journalism and yep there she is right in the crack thanks for sharing John so then I studied journalism and creative writing at Chico State University and then when I graduated I’d moved to Florida and got

into the recording industry a little for a little while and I was there for two years before I realized just how much I missed the snow and the four distinct seasons that we have here in Northern California and Lake Tahoe so I moved to back to Lake Tahoe to Incline Village December 2006 been here full-time and then I worked for diamond peak and the incline village general Improvement District and then also spent a few years at Mount rose and then in 2015 I became a full freelance writer and a couple of years ago I got this job with moon guidebooks to co-author a book that’s in one of their newer series called the road trips series and so I co-authored the Northern California road trips guidebook with Stewart Thornton who is based out of Monterey and he did the whole in or he did the whole coastal region and then I did I wrote five chapters of the inland Northern California region so part of that was um Lake Tahoe and so I shared a bunch of listings and things to do and see and camp and stay and eat all in the Lake Tahoe region as part of the Northern California roadtrip route and just wanted to share some of my a few of my favorite tracks and so they’re kind of my top five and you’ll see that I mean they’re kind of on the northeastern corner of the lake in the southwestern corner of the lake since I lived in Incline Village for so long I have a lot of favorite hikes there but then when I go on a staycation I tend to end up on the southwestern shore of the lake and so most of these are kind of short hikes except for this first one that I’m going to talk about Aloha Lake and so or lake Aloha I’ve heard it both ways I think the property was like Aloha now I was introduced to this hike I had heard of other locals who have gone gone up there and they just they just talked about how amazing it was with the with the blue water against these granite grey rocks it just looks like I always say the surface of the Moon but it’s like this extraterrestrial it’s just great balance of something that I’ve never really even seen anywhere else so this is a day trip and down in uh it takes five to twelve twelve miles round trip takes about eight hours and it starts at lower Echo Lake on Johnson Pass Road and you hug the water you hug Echo Lake for about 2.4 miles and you kind of climb up in elevation and going on this granite rock and passing through the forest for another few miles passing by Tamarac Lucile and Marjorie Lakes there’s Meadows there’s beautiful tree forest and I know that there you can cut off a little bit of that beginning part by a boat ride I’m not sure if they’re gonna do it or if they’re still gonna do it this summer that they do have boat rides that are like six dollars I think one way that go from low or Echo Lake to the upper lake so if you want to shorten your your mileage to Lake a loja you can look into that um but yeah then after passing by some of those other lakes in the in the Desolation Wilderness then the trail splits and if you go left you end up at the lake and lake in the woods or if you stay right you end up at Lake Aloha what I love about this hike is that it’s right on the Pacific Crest Trail so the yield you’ll often see some through hikers that are spending the night there and and it’s set like the water is so beautiful there’s tons of rocks that you can jump off of there’s a lot of places to explore and it does take a good

portion of the day to get there so I always suggest bringing a bathing suit and sunscreen plenty of water and then on the way back when we actually did this hike on the way back around desks some mosquitoes came out and so we didn’t really expect that because living in Tahoe it doesn’t I don’t really see that many mosquitoes room but maybe because there’s so many little lakes around there I just suggest bringing some bug sprays so that that’s the longest track where that you would do if you had a few days to to spend in Lake Tahoe and you could take a day to check out Lake Aloha or have it on your Pacific Crest Trail nap is there a big elevation gain with going out to Lake a law yeah there is and um let me see I can because I I had I have mentioned the elevation gain in the book so it’s that so Desolation Wilderness is at eight thousand one hundred and sixteen feet and I yeah it does I think it does go up like a thousand feet from there yeah I mean it’s not not that as intense is like Mount to lack but it’s it’s labeled a moderate to strenuous hike you definitely do feel an elevation game when you go up there or I have sounds like that a boat would be helpful yeah yeah but you know I would want to take the boat back rather than having to hike back cuz and I I mean the when we hiked back I mean that was kind of when we were the most tired like the boat wasn’t running then but I know that there’s some there’s some cool cabins that are on Echo Lake and I mean it is it is quiet out there because there’s a whole lot of activity so I have been wanting to take that boat ride and so this add this next hike that’s kind of in that same southwestern vicinity is the hike down to vikingsholm this is a historic cabin that was or mansion that was built by a woman named Laura night and she was a huge environmentalist and conservationist and loved loved lake tahoe and so um if you go around Emerald Bay and you stop at the Emerald Bay overlook there is this there’s a parking lot there and you can there’s like a little Hut and you can buy your parking pass there and I believe you can even buy tour tickets to UM to Vikings home and then how you get down there is you take a one-mile hard-packed trail and it’s kind it’s wide and very well marked down to the shoreline and it along the way I love this hike because um oh there it again like there’s a kind of a big elevation drop but you kind of you don’t even really realize that because the bees are so beautiful I mean you see Emerald Bay you see waterfalls and it’s just a really nice path and then once you’re down there and you can see in this left hand side picture of there’s these old-growth cedar trees all around there there’s a kayak company that rents kayaks and paddleboards on the shore that you can take to fit fan at Island where there’s a little stone tea house up there so i am i mentioned this hike because I love Tahoe historic mansions like Thunderbird Lodge and in vikingsholm and sugar pine State Park I wrote an article for Tahoe magazine a couple a couple years ago about um

famous ghosts and and ghost stories of of these places and there is there is rumor that Laura Knights presence is still there and from people from Park Rangers who have said that they’ve smelled fresh cinnamon rolls in the kitchen it was like favorite so anyways I’m getting off track here bitches what I did a lot in the book – Kayla that trill – vikingsholm was that EDA accessible wood that packed trail uh yeah I I believe that it is I mean it is dirt and gravel um so and it is wide but I feel like I hey I do remember when I went down there seeing people that could that took strollers and things down there the only thing is that it’s pretty steep on the way up I mean it’s it’s a good drop and I think there are some gravel parts of the trail too and so yeah if you if you go to the Vikings home website I think they explained that trail farther that because I do know that when I said of course they try to make sure that people are capable of getting down there and so um yeah so this next trail and that I that is one of my new favorite trails is the new short trail that that cane wood was built and completed and I think it was October 2018 and um so it’s right around the time when I was writing the book and so in the book it’s called the San Harbor Trail but I think the proper name of it is the esure Tahoe Trail and so it starts on the very eastern side of incline village on highway 28 in front of the tunnel creek cafe there is a big parking lot there and it’s a four mile paved path that goes along Lake Tahoe’s you sure over to Sand Harbor State Park and so yeah I these are some pictures of the opening day this was built by the Tahoe friend and what I really love about the Tahoe are not built by the top of fun but they coordinated the building of this trail and and I what I really love about them is is they look at projects like this to help improve connectivity of people viewing the lake and and so they looked at this one to help alleviate kind of the congestion and the people that park along the the highway and trying to kind of gear them towards a safer place to park and use this trail to to use this path to get to San Harbor so you’ll see like that I don’t I this is a the Tahoe fund I don’t know if she’s the executive director but she’s definitely the head honcho over there Aimee berry in Nevada Governor Steves to CELAC and you’ll see like it’s great to bike ride to run and get beautiful views of the lake there’s like a little underground tunnel that you can take along it it’s a pretty moderate nice path and I once I like to go skateboarding on this on this trail so yeah this is kind of one of my favorites it’s new it’s well utilized and and I think it works well for for getting people out too and see the Essure and then turn leads to the other side of tunnel creek Cafe is the so the tunnel Creek cafe in front of it is the parking lot that leads the East Shore trail and then behind it up on the mountain side is the tunnel Creek Trail and so this kind of gives you more of the overlooks of Lake Tahoe and it’s a you can kind of see it’s like a dirt path that and the it’s a seven mile out and back trail that you can access from the cafe and it kind of goes up into the mountainside intersecting with the flume trail so I think this offers spectacular views of the lake it shows kind of the infamous monkey rock and and I think that one of the best ways to explore this trail is actually by mountain bike and what’s nice is that rental mountain bike rentals are available at the flume trail

mountain bikes right there at the tunnel Creek cafe and they can shovel you from kind of all these different places from the esure and so that that’s kind of a great service if you’re if you’re low on time but really want to check out the rest of this whole trail um and then kind of last one on my list is a Spooner lake I love to to run around this lake and and kind of love to go here midweek it’s so peaceful and nice um you can you can get there from either highway 28 before it intersects with highway 50 there’s a parking lot in there or there’s also a parking lot right on highway 50 and it also leads to the Tahoe Rim Trail and but yeah this the little the path around the lake is um it’s about two miles and it’s just really peaceful out there are the only things I’ve ever really seen on the lake or like ducks and and birds and stuff and and yeah I was just out there the other day and chickadees were or what’s known here is the cheeseburger birds we’re just coming right up to me and and I just love the Aspen’s out there and I think this is actually a fun trail to check out year round so yeah and the so it’s a fun fact you know about spin their lake is that it’s part of the Spooner backcountry that is ran by the Nevada state park system which includes over 12,000 miles including 50 miles of hiking and biking trails so yeah I really love this one oh so that’s a 50 miles of biking and hiking trails yep 50 miles as part of the 12,000 acres of Spooner backcountry round by the Nevada state park system and so that’s just kind of a brief overview of some of my favorite Tahoe trails they’re all mentioned in my book the moon Northern California road trips guide written by myself and Stewart Thornton first sale Barnes & Noble Andy Bowne or directly through the Moon website or you can give it through the library and for anybody that’s in the Tahoe Reno area it’s right there on the third shelf next to the bathroom from the Reno Barnes & Noble and then and then just some additional resources and this is my website so if anybody is interested in seeing what else I’m up to I do a lot of writing in the area and for other magazines as well and then there’s Stuart’s website he’s my co-author on the book and he’s written several other men guides and then the Moon website and so yeah now I’d like to open it up to any questions but before I do that I’ll just cover some but so since writing this book and when I tell people about the moon but Bay the the questions that they ask me the most are number one did I go to all these places and yes the sections that the chapters that I wrote I have been to all those places at one time or another the timing of writing this book was a little tricky I had five months to do it in the winter and 2018-19 and so I was taking a lot of hot trips to some of these places like driving tioga pass in Yosemite and going up to crater lake and driving around the rim driver on crater lake before it started to snow so on this right-hand side this is me hiking in the Hoover wilderness in the Lundy Canyon and and that and that was like early October which was actually one of the better times to go hiking and to go camping there because the aspen trees are just popping and um the mammoth June Lake area is just so beautiful so um yeah it sorry I haven’t been to all of Stewart’s

places on the coast but I do love that region as well and and then next like everybody asked me if moon just paid me to travel around well they did give me a an advance but it’s there were also some costs involved in staying at hotels and eating out in and the travel was just fine the book and I would say that some of the other main main tasks of writing this book include the the research and the actual physical writing part of that more time on the research and the writing then I actually did on the travel and and then people ask me like well whatever I got paid from moon was it worth it would I ever do it again and um I remember staying on the moon was website before taking this job that um that people who have written a Moomba really want to keep writing more and that’s definitely how I felt in this process it was of the biggest challenges I’ve ever done and and while you know the the stipend they paid from them to do this is nowhere close to paying the bills luckily like I have enough flexibility in my life to to be to have been able to take this on and and I would definitely do it again all right thank you look I do have one question to start off as your native of Redding California and you covered some of the you know interior Northern California and that’s a place I’m kind of unfamiliar with and I’ve heard lots of amazing things about camping in Oregon so anything up in that area that you would recommend yeah there are some amazing hikes and even some lookout areas up by Mount Shasta and and that whole area like it is really beautiful like there’s castle crags which you see right off of i-5 and off of Dunsmuir which are just huge you know rocks that stick up and you can hike up there you can camp there and you can go even to some of the other little lakes like heart Lake and there’s there’s a bunch of over there’s a few of them out there and what’s great about air net is practically from any angle you get incredible views of Mount Shasta and I haven’t hiked to the top of Mount Shasta it’s pretty gnarly hike and it’s usually covered with snow most of the time but there’s a there’s a few rock climbing and snow trekking Outfitters that go from that area and in Mount Shasta City is a really cool little town with hotels and coffee shops and just a ton of trails around there and so yeah if you can go off of 89 highway 89 in cloud in that area it’s great and then another thing too that I that I really love is that there’s all these love there’s all these caves there’s like the lava beds upon kind of the Oregon border and the and the California border with just tons of caves and lava beds up there and then over by Burnie Falls there’s a nice there’s like a cool little like it’s like 0.3 mile long subway cave off of 89 it’s free takes like an hour to just go stretch your legs and um but but when I did that kind of doing my road trips um one lady was really surprised to hear that I went in there by myself because it is kind of creepy like when you get in like pitch-black darkness by yourself and you just have to kind of keep walking to and hope that you love it there’s an exit somewhere and so yeah and the organ caves are great too so yeah and there’s a ton of camping spots um all up in that area and and I mean I’ve been to waterfalls off of Highway 299 kind of between Alturas and reading where I mean I traveled a lot of places around the world and the waterfalls in

Northern California definitely rival anything anywhere else and especially since it gets so hot in the valley and growing up I was lucky to live on the river and and to kind of get that river breeze but I mean it would be like 113 degrees Fahrenheit down there so going to those waterfalls going to those lakes if you camp in the summer then I definitely suggest camping near a lake should we do the bonus question go for it all right well I did really want to thank you all for for joining me on this Tahoe Trek stalk and so I wanted to throw bonus question out there and John will help me moderate it and the first person to answer this correctly by responding in the chat box will receive a personally signed copy of my new book for me the question is and I I mentioned this about 15 minutes ago is how many miles of trails does the spinner backcountry have watching the chat we’ll see who answers that first oh man 15 oh man I uh I haven’t seen the message but I thought it six people responded which tells me that people have been actually listening what is the correct answer 50 miles 50 so I believe Lisa was the first to respond on that so yeah Lisa you’ll be receiving okay well yeah if you can share your I don’t know how the whole chat feature works but if you can share your address then I’ll make sure to get a copy out to the mail for you yeah Lisa are you with the library system yes okay yes three and I might be sharing everybody’s so maybe I won’t do that right now yeah is there I think that’s the last last slide yep and would really like to ask if there’s any more questions either in chat or and I apologize I’m getting an unstable internet connection message so I hope this is coming through but does anybody have any more questions oh yeah so now I’m looking and I can see that that guy said about how you can how you can I cup to the tea house in in vikingsholm and yeah that is such a cool hike I’ve taken I’ve taken a boat out there and I love like when people come into town to try to get them out in Emerald Bay and one day like yeah we dropped an anchor on the boat and swam in and hiked up to the top of the tea house and my friend from Costa Rica was just blown away so it’s definitely one of the highlights if you do take that hike down to hike vikingsholm ran a kayak and go up to that tea house we do have a another question what is your favorite trail to get away from people oh man see I was I was almost afraid that somebody would ask me that question you know a new a new trail I well I’ve known about it for a while but I just went on it for my first time is over in Blackwood Canyon in over on the west shore and what’s nice about that trail is um that and I’m not quite sure how far see I think it goes pretty far up in there but what’s great about it is that the California State Parks has this system I’m aware they manage these snow parks which are basically recreational areas that you can that you can access in the winter and it’s like a really cheap permit you can buy it at a gas station in South Lake Tahoe and and you get this parking permit um where I think it’s like ten or fifteen dollars to get access to these snow parks around Tahoe all winter long and so yeah black wood

and it’s there’s still quite a bit of snow up there but and the gate is closed but I notice that there’s like a little campground there there’s a decent sized parking lot and there were some people on that trail when I was there but you have a lot of space to to roam and so yeah that that’s kind of um one of my new secret spots and and then I really love some trails on the east shore that go down to the lake um that are kind of past San Harbor but the problem is is that they’re not clearly marked and there’s not very good parking so again that’s why I love the Tahoe fun because they’re helping improve the connectivity of bike paths around the lake and then and then also for the last 13 14 years I have been involved in this or participated in this boarding for breast cancer event called skate the lake and that’s a 22 mile skateboard ride and that starts at sugar pine State Park on the west side and all the way up to Squaw Valley and then sometimes they go up to dollar they come back down into Tahoe City and go up to dollar Hill and back and that is a total paved bike path and and I just love skateboarding especially that portion outside of Tahoe City and that’s like over by Homewood because you are just right on the lake so again like my favorite trails where no people are at are the ones that are usually on a spring or fall day that midweek day at you know it too at 11 a.m. to 2 o’clock or something so that seems to be the the only time that I found where nobody else is on the trail but did go to Spooner and if you don’t know winter – like when I went to Spooner midweek and just recently there was absolutely nobody there I actually forged a path in the snow around that Lake and that thought was a nice feeling for sure awesome we have another question from Lisa are there trail I what’s the status of trails in Tahoe now are they open can you access them yeah I mean it’s they are open usually they’re there are a few like Blackwood Canyon for instance they they put up the gates where they closed the gates on any Tahoe u.s. Forest Service Road um four in the winter after after it starts snowing in and you can’t access those through through a vehicle um I did hear because of CO vyd that there’s been a large area in South Lake Tahoe that’s completely closed down and so I don’t know how how the pandemic will affect open trails in in the future but there are a lot of people going on the San Harper Trail I saw people on the new dollar point of dollar hill trail that the Tahoe run just built so the bike paths um they’re still they’re still out there and inaccessible but also with that being said I mean I would suggest just trying through the pandemic like trying to stick I think it’s important to get outdoors but stick close to home there there’s a lot of people going to these trails that I just mentioned right now and um so parking has been kind of hard so if I’d say if you don’t have to drive anywhere you don’t but if if you need to get outdoors and try one of these drills because here in the area now then I guess good luck I think it sounds like going the supermarket you probably don’t want to go primetime but there are good times to go and everybody needs to get out there so yeah yeah yeah so it’s just figuring out how that fits into your schedule yeah agree with you I saw some places closed in South Lake like Pope Beach in

Baldwin Beach close to the public but as you said the parking for the esure path is open and I think just use some common sense and distancing and try to try to find that that sweet spot of day and time right yeah I mean I know that a lot of the beaches in the North Shore are closed right now and and the big reason for that is because people aren’t following social distancing so then it puts government entities in the tough spot of trying to regulate that and that’s what causes them to to shut down so I think just being mindful of that during this time and I mean who knows how how much will change it because of this pandemic I mean I was just telling somebody this morning that the tough part about writing a guidebook is that there’s such a long lead time on when it’s published and so things change and there is a disclaimer at the back of the book that says hey when you’re planning your trip to a specific area double-check some of these facts make sure that some of these places are still around because but because that’s just kind of how it is with this the lead time belong the long time span it takes to publish a book like for instance I mean last December the day that the book came out I one of my favorite coffee shops IV coffee lab changed ownership so I put like in my highlights of your Lake Tahoe trip stop by the ivy coffee lab and then the book comes out and the ivy coffee labs not there anymore so luckily it is still a coffee shop and the new owners are great and then I also mentioned to around that same time the Bank of America in Incline Village closed down so when I mentioned like oh if you need to go to the bank the Bank of America in the book these are one of the services and they shut down but luckily they they still have their ATMs there so there are things like that that I believe would happen whether or not there is a pandemic I’m just hoping to that a lot of the small businesses a lot of the restaurants and places that that I mentioned the hotels will be able to pull through and and still stay alive through and tourism here picks back up I think we’re very much looking forward to that and supporting all these small towns and you know campgrounds restaurants all the things you mentioned in the book so would like to thank you Kayla for presenting and I hope everyone will check out Northern California road trips on moon guide and tell us again where the best place to pick this up is Barnes & Noble indie band moon comm can go to my website you can go to Amazon or the library absolutely and please recommend so we could possibly get this ebook in our collection and you can also reserve the physical book at Washington County Library dot us for when we reopen hopefully soon well again it really means the world to me and everybody showed up to I mean I I just can’t believe the support that this has and and I hope that it’s it’s been worth it taking some time out people’s nights too to join us here nikohl thank you once again Kayla and keep an eye out for her writing in the tylo Daily Tribune and also freelancing with the Tahoe Truckee weekly sparks Tribune anything else I don’t think so yeah I am I also write for a magazine called enjoy Northern California Living magazine they’ve been kind of put on hold they cover from Chico to the to the Oregon border that whole region and so I love supporting them it’s a free magazine and they also have stores in Red Bluff and in reading with lots of goodies and so yeah they writing for them and and writing for the Tahoe Weekly and the sparks Tribune it really helped me get a good sense of what the area was like and to be able to revisit some of these places to write about them

for the book and then the book has given me a ton more story ideas that I’ll continue writing about so we look forward to that and thank you so much Kela for sharing your insight and now can’t wait to get traveling yeah thank you good night good night everyone check out the library website for more virtual events and access to so much so many additional resources I get an instant library card and have a great night