Archive for the ‘Tahoe hikes’ Category
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
With spring’s transformation and renewal at Lake Tahoe underway, Granlibakken Conference Center and Lodge is gearing up for the season with plenty of hiking, biking and outdoor recreation opportunities at its 74-acre playground.
The Granlibakken Treetop will soon be open seven days a week.
As the weather warms and the snow melts, choices abound. Here are a few facts to consider for your visit.
- Choose from a variety of lodging options like a first-class room, studio or suite that’s loaded with amenities, including free high-speed Internet service.
- Meet up with long-lost friends, classmates and family members at Granlibakken for a reunion.
- Walk to Tahoe City or the Truckee River along the resort’s 1.4-mile forest path and take in the surrounding beauty of the nature trail.
- Play a game of tennis on one of the resort’s five courts or sign-in for a refresher course at the Lake Tahoe Nike Tennis Camp held annually in summer.
- Enjoy the sun beside a luxurious pool and hot tub area.
- Relax and rejuvenate in the resort’s sauna.
- Build up a sweat at the Lodge’s outdoor par course.
- Hike Tahoe’s Rim Trail, which borders the resort.
- Zip, launch and ascend 15 to 50 feet above the trees along more than 50 platforms at the Treetop Adventure Park ropes course.
- Grab a mountain bike, available onsite, and go for a ride.
- Relax and unwind inside the Lighthouse Spa.
- Attend the annual Women’s Wellness Weekend in the fall. The summit offers workshops, speakers, health screenings, socials and continuing education certification.
- Build a better business through teamwork. Granlibakken is nationally recognized as a destination for corporate retreats and conferences. Company leaders can outline goal-setting and mission statements for half of the day, and send their fearless crews out into the woods for mountain biking and hiking adventures or in the spirit of friendly competition, settle scores on either the tennis courts or at the Treetop Adventure Park.
- Dine in and feast. Granlibakken is well known for its hearty, hot breakfast buffet served daily for guests and its exquisite dining opportunities during conferences, reunions and weddings.
- Tie the knot or watch couples who do. Granlibakken offers several year-round indoor and outdoor venues for that special day, including luxurious lodging and receptions with Lake Tahoe serving as the backdrop.
- During the winter you can stay at Granlibakken and ski at your choice of eight different Lake Tahoe Mountains – Alpine Meadows, Homewood Mountain Resort, Mt. Rose, Northstar California, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl and Heavenly Mountain Resort. Ski and stay packages start at $145.
What activities do you enjoy during your stay at Granlibakken?
Monday, October 15th, 2012
By Tim Hauserman
Fall at Lake Tahoe…you never know what you are going to get, but it is all good. This September we were treated to Summer Part Two with warm temperatures, light winds and with all those kids back in school, no crowds. The entire month was perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding and whatever else you wanted to do on Lake Tahoe. Even swimming in the lake remained somewhere between bracing and refreshing, instead of what it will soon be: bone chilling. It was a great month for hiking into Desolation Wilderness and dipping into the barely bearable waters of Fontanillis and Dicks Lakes, or enjoying those classic Tahoe locales that get a bit too busy in the summer, like Emerald Bay and the walk to Vikingsholm.
Desolation Wilderness, looking towards Dicks Peak
What’s up for October?
It could be more of the same, but more likely we are in for a cool down, which is just fine, because the crisp mountain air just adds to the beauty of a great Sierra tradition: the yellowing of the aspen trees. Granlibakken is just a four mile hike or mountain bike ride from one of the best places to see those fall colors: Page Meadows. The Tahoe Rim Trail passes just above the Treetop Adventure Park, and after an initial steep climb, gets more gentle before entering the first of a series of interconnected meadows all bordered by aspen trees. Each meadow displays it’s own version of fall paradise, and the combination of green meadow, colorful trees and Twin Peaks standing tall in the background is the stuff of good photos. Keep your eyes open for a Basque sheepherders oven constructed in the 1950s on the edge of the lowest meadow.
An easier route for mountain bikers to Page is to catch the trail behind the tennis courts which heads up to Rawhide Drive. From the top of Rawhide, follow the dirt road past the top of the Granlibakken ski lifts up to Page Meadows. Riders will enjoy the smooth riding conditions and after a mile of steady climbing, the trail begins to level out. Another half mile brings you to a right turn that takes you downhill, past a little snippet of meadow to a junction with the Tahoe Rim Trail. Here a right turn takes you back to Granlibakken and Tahoe City on the TRT. A left turn dishes out some of the best riding on the whole TRT, twisting and turning to the edge of the meadows.
Where else to find fall colors?
Marlette Lake, above the east shore, is one of my favorites. You can park at Spooner Lake, or head up Highway 50 about a half mile towards Carson City to the Tahoe Rim Trail parking area on the north side of the highway. From here your path takes you through a thick grove of aspens to Spooner Lake, where you follow the North Canyon Road to the Marlette Lake Trail. Four miles of hiking brings you to the aspen lined shore of Marlette Lake, along the route you enjoy views of the fall color bonanza that is Snow Valley.
Fall in Page Meadows
Hope Valley and Blue Lakes Road is the place to go for a fall spin on your road bike. Begin at the junction of Highway 88 and 89 south of Meyers, and head towards Kirkwood through miles of lush yellowness. Looking for more? Take the lightly used Blue Lakes Road on its delightful 12 mile journey through some of the best terrain the high sierra has to offer. Wherever you choose to go, times a wasting. Before you know it instead of looking at yellows and reds in the Sierra, we will be looking at the cold white stuff. So carpe diem.
Tim Hauserman wrote the guidebook
to the Tahoe Rim Trail, the 3rd edition of which was published in August. He lives a stone’s throw from Granlibakken.
Monday, August 20th, 2012
Whether you like your hikes light and easy or moderate to strenuous, there’s a number of maintained paths around Granlibakken that will hook you up with either the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT ) or both as they overlap. At 165 miles, TRT is one of the world’s premier trails, passing through six counties, three wilderness areas, two states and one state park. Covering three states (California, Oregon and Washington) and 3,000 miles, The PCT traverses the Sierra Nevada, passing through the west side of Lake Tahoe. With both trails offering something unique, here’s a few of our favorite hikes along the great intersections:
- Tahoe Rim Trail: Barker Pass to Twin Peaks
Pacific Crest Trail at Barker Pass
- This is a must-hike for the avid because it combines long distance with minimal elevation gain at less than 1,000 feet. This 11-mile hike follows a piece of the Pacific Crest and Tahoe Rim trails to the east summit of Twin Peaks, providing hikers an awesome view of Lake Tahoe and vistas of the great mountainous terrain. As you hike the open ridge along the Sierra crest you’ll meet up at the Pacific Crest and Tahoe Rim Trail junction. It is here where you’ll take in fantastic views of the great peaks of the Desolation Wilderness and the center of Granite Chief Wilderness areas. The trail is free from snow around this time of year.
Tahoe Rim Trail: Barker Pass to Tahoe City
- I like to think of this one as a quickie climb with elevation. While this trail is only 3 miles long, there’s a nice elevation gain of 660 feet providing for a great aerobic workout. Close to Tahoe City this hike provides its own bouquet of summer wildflowers, vibrant fall color and year-round wildlife watching.
- If you’re looking for a trail with distance and its share of switchbacks and challenges, this one is for you. With an array of ridge-line views of Lake Tahoe, Granite Chief Wilderness, both Blackwood and Ward canyons, this 16 mile moderate to strenuous hike provides for lush areas loaded with wildflowers in both canyons. Twin Peaks, at an elevation of 8,878, is a Sierra crest landmark and is accessible from the trail. There are a few streams to cross and a couple of nice camping spots. There’s a nice waterfall along the upper Ward Canyon part of the trail, and a handful of meadows before you hit some dense forest with towering pines and firs that lead into the Ward Creek watershed. There’s lots of wildlife, too, so don’t be surprised if you run into bear, coyote, raccoon, blue grouse, or even goshawk and spotted owls along this trail.
Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
Strap in and push yourself to a rewarding zip from tree-to-tree all summer long at Granlibakken Conference Center & Lodge.
California’s first Treetop Adventure Park — where ropes course meets zip line on steroids — takes thrill-seekers on an all-out adrenalin tour that puts agility, quick-thinking and stamina to the test. Granlibakken’s latest family-friendly outdoor adventure is among 30 similar parks nationwide. Some of the features include over 70 different tree platforms, 13 zip lines, a variety of bridges including a 120 foot suspension bridge and a highwire bike. There are 3 different courses for kids 4 and older and 5 different courses for adults. Once you go through the courses and determine the obstacles, you’ll want to do it again and again, testing yourself every step of the way.
The 120 foot suspension bridge is just one of the features you won't want to miss.
Designed with bursts of endurance and exhilaration in mind, guests climb into harnesses where they zip, climb, walk and maneuver their way across platforms spread out across Granlibakken’s towering pines. These obstacle courses offer varying degrees of skills and challenges, with the thrill of being several feet off the ground. The experience demands exercises in balance, pace and even team work as you encourage each other to plow through the challenging obstacles with the zip rides serving your ultimate rewards.
The park, set to launch June 22, will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the last tour beginning at 6 p.m. Sessions are good for 2.5 hours.
Friday, October 8th, 2010
It is October. Fall is here and the weather is gorgeous in Lake Tahoe. What are you doing sitting at home? Known as the “shoulder season,” fall presents a great opportunity for families and couples to enjoy Lake Tahoe as we Locals do. Sales, deals, and events make this season the perfect for any vacationer looking to wind down from a busy summer. The privacy of being nestled in trees above Lake Tahoe mixed with the excitement of the Lake’s recreational opportunities just minutes away makes Granlibakken the ideal lodging for your fall getaway.
Granlibakken is offering a $99/night fall deal for October inviting you to enjoy the Lake like a Local. Feel autumn in the air as you stroll the streets of Tahoe City and take advantage of shopping deals and dining specials.
Start your day off with a complimentary hot, hearty breakfast buffet. Stay on site and relax in a heated pool, Jacuzzi and sauna, or work up an appetite at the state of the art tennis facility. With on site hiking trails and bike rentals Granlibakken makes it easy to experience the outdoors, and for only $99 a night, makes it affordable too.
With perfect temperatures outside fall is a prime season for events around the Lake. Tahoe City’s Annual Cobblestone Oktoberfest, Saturday October 9th , is a day full of apple bobbing, pumpkin painting, and yes, plenty of beer! Enjoy live music from Déjà vu, and wines from Uncorked Tahoe City.
On Saturday October 16th Harvest Fest will be in Tahoe City. A pumpkin patch, pony & hay rides, games for the kids & delicious food guarantee a memorable family experience. With free entry and the backdrop of Lake Tahoe the price is right too.
Don’t miss out on living like a local this October at Gralibakken.
Saturday, August 21st, 2010
Then do what the locals do: instead of anything-priced activities you can head over to the North Tahoe Regional Park, an all-outdoors make-your-own-fun zone. It’s huge, has tons of offerings and is also right near two of the nicest, sandiest, public beaches in all of Tahoe (one is also a boat ramp).
Free Tennis in Paradise
Super young ones can slide, steer and stair-step all over the nice-sized playground. Another adjacent one is great for 3-6 year olds. There are 5 nice tennis hardcourts, three are lighted. Remember those 70′s exercise deals called Par Courses, well there’s a really nice one of them as well and it’s in great shape.
Frisbee Golf 'Hole'
You’ll also find soccer and baseball fields, an artificial surface multi-sport field and generally lots of mowed grass. There’s a volleyball court, hiking and biking trails, a community nursery and a Boy Scout camp. New this year is a real deal frisbee golf course. And on top of it all, the place is never crowded plus it’s got a tranquilo, far-off Tahoe lakeview.
Artificial Tahoe Turf
So if you want to keep the Vacation Vacuum out of your pocket, head over to the Regional Park – oh, and I lied a little bit: it costs a few bucks to park…
Thursday, August 5th, 2010
I’m not sure if it’s because I somehow became a little more refined since my last birthday or it’s because we had such a late (and great) ski season, but this is the most abundant crop of wildflowers I’ve ever noticed in Tahoe.
You can see wildflowers in any sloppy backyard, unimproved road culvert and lovely meadow, the likes of which appear to have been stolen from the best hiking guide books. The most opulent of Tahoe’s wildflower scene is probably the lupin. These statues are really neat because down at lake level you’ll see them blooming over a foot long, but take a walk to locations higher up (like Paige Meadows directly accessible from Granlibakken via the Tahoe Rim Trail in our back 40) and you’ll see that these hardy veggies shrink in size with substantial elevation gain. On the upper Mt. Rose Meadows you’ll see these babies at around 9000′ and they’re 1/3 of the size. It’s a very cool way to witness Mother Nature at her smartest – and it appeals to those who’ve never hiked a day in their lives because the flowers’ size is reminiscent of those mini-corn cobs found in any self-respecting casino buffet line.
For more info and actually accurate florsal information, surf a little online, visit the Tahoe City Library and grab a book on the subject or get jumpstarted with this link.
By the way, this post was so-named in reference to Fleur du Lac – the former Kaiser Estate in Homewood; incidentally this was the site for some of the scenes in the movie Godfather II.
Sunday, July 18th, 2010
Nordic Center Vista
This is just another one of those ridiculously sweet views of Tahoe that you can get from a twenty minute walk in the woods. It’s fine for lowlanders, big families and those who generally don’t want to push it too far on vacation. I’m tempted to give you the quick and dirty on how to do this exact one but must say that, a) it’s easy to lose one’s way in the woods, b) AlpenGlow Sports in Tahoe City is a great place for hiking advice, and c) I get lost all the time.
The famous Tahoe Rim Trail passes right through Granlibakken’s backyard and offers some of the best hiking in the country. I’ll do a full post on that another time. The trail these photos were taken from is well below the Rim Trail (yes I get lazy, too) on a knoll at the T.C. Nordic Center…oh yeah, let AlpenGlow tell you how to do it.
Looking toward Desolation Wilderness
© 2010 Alex West, copy and photos
Monday, September 21st, 2009
Ever think you deserve a quick zip to some resort for an easy getaway? It’s kind of a tough thought given the current economic climate – maybe the job’s a little shaky, or your tapping what’s left of the home equity line, or maybe you’re just keeping things a little tighter to the belt.
Three Lanes of Heaven
Well check this out: you can come to Granlibakken, stay for a great price and feast every morning on an expansive (and free) spread. If you’re feeling ambitious you should know that just about everything I’ve written about in the blog posts below is still a possibility. It’s a great time for mountain biking and hiking, you can swim in the Lake at any time of day and into the evening, the fishing is getting better and better (though not on the Truckee near Tahoe City), stand-up paddling is perfect, you can motorboat in the mornings and sail most afternoons. It’s heaven-time up here!
After you’ve (maybe) done one of these activities after breakfast, you can waltz on down to the crystal clear waters of Granlibakken’s pool-a-palooza. If you’re one of those people who think it’s always chilly in Tahoe then start in the mammoth hot tub replete with its own island. This ought to heat you up enough to hop in the pool (which is also heated & has some lanes) which for me is the perfect place to start (by the way, there’s also a kiddie pool). Then take your pick of the chaise lounges, umbrella’d tables or the lush grass which are all poolside. This time of year things are quiet enough in Tahoe that you’ll feel like it’s your very own personal r-e-s-o-r-t, ahhhh!
A Slab of Heaven
If you’re not like those lucky people who can sit by a pool for hours then choose from a list of mellow options to fill the rest of the afternoon – tramp on the famous Tahoe Rim Trail right from the ‘backyard,’ roll a cruiser bike to Tahoe City, stroll down to Granlibakken’s tennis courts for game or two. Or, since most of the rooms at Granlibakken are so nicely laid out, you can just chill back at the pad and listen to the wind blow through the trees…
Ahhh those sweet trees, Heavenly!
Saturday, August 29th, 2009
Is your idea of a vacation just sitting by a pool, sipping on something delicious and generally being about as active as a manatee? Well, believe it or not Tahoe is the place for you!
The View from Crystal Bay Fire Lookout
There are a number of really easy hikes in the Tahoe Basin some of which offer incredibly vast views of the Lake. Honestly we don’t deserve these vistas given the effort put forth but they are here and I am going to tell you about them.
The best one, which happens to be only 3 miles south of Granlibakken (you can bike or drive) is called Eagle Rock. It’s a huge rockpile located right on West Lake Blvd just after Sunnyside and before the Tahoe Pines neighborhood. On a bike (or in a convertible/sunroof car) you go past this incredible thing and feel as if it’s leaning over you. That’s the beak of the eagle. Park right at the base and start heading up, simply keeping an eye on the summit will get you there via obvious trails. Once on top you pick your way among old lava flows to get to the end and the most incredible view of Tahoe. This is a great date spot, a fantastic place to watch the full moon rise, and one of the coolest places to be when a storm is blowing into town. It’s perched at the base of Blackwood Canyon so wind and snow flurries get funneled through at high speed. Normally you’d have to be on top of a ‘real’ peak to feel this kind of angry nature but all you did was walk for 10 minutes!
The next best one is the fire lookout above Crystal Bay Point and the north shore casinos. It’s a paved road that makes one big switchback so in about 20 minutes your at the top, looking directly over King’s Beach and due south down the length of Tahoe. It’s another phenomenal view with way more risk than reward.
Both of these are also great in winter, by the way. If you’re not in a rush it’s relatively easy snowshoeing, especially above Crystal Bay because it’s a wide trail.
The View from Vikingsholm
The third yet most popular of all Tahoe hikes is Eagle Falls. The reason it gets the most numbers is because it’s located in the number one tourist stop here: Emerald Bay. Supposedly each year hundreds of thousands of long-pants’d and leather-shoed visitors make their way to the bridge that’s about a half-mile above the parking lot. It’s a neat spot but I also like to hike down to the Lake from a nearby parking lot. At the end of this 1-miler awaits Vikingsholm and tiny Fannette Island, tow of the most intriguing places in all of Tahoe.
So have a huge breakfast at Granlibakken, venture out for a little while, and I guarantee you’ll be back with lots of time to laze around the pool and generally make like our big friend, the manatee.