Granlibakken Conference Center & Lodge - Lake Tahoe
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Lake Tahoe Activities and News

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

There’s no time for TV at Granlibakken.

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

With trails outside your door, bike rentals at the front desk, pool and tennis courts just steps away and beautiful Lake Tahoe less than a mile by foot, guests of all ages are inspired by our environment!

When the Family Nature Summit converged on Granlibakken this past August, they created a new nature trail on-site to introduce children to the marvels of nature from animal habitats to flora and fauna. The trail also encourages our kids to keep moving and find inspiration outdoors.

As stewards of our natural environment, we encourage our guests to adopt the same responsibility. As a family owned and operated resort, engaging our kids in this type of service is a priority.

Here’s a snapshot of our changing aspens….

Changing aspens at Granlibakken

Making memories at Granlibakken

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Summer is family reunion season at Granlibakken. Sons, daughters, sisters and brothers come together to join parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles and more. Our all-inclusive per person rate and variety of accommodations make annual reunions at our family-owned property a possibility year-after-year and for families both big and small.

A sample agenda could include nature walks or more advanced hiking along the trails of our 74-acres; a special themed BBQ with a swim beforehand in our pool; a fun tennis volley with siblings; even ping-pong can be arranged. And activities off-property can also be arranged, like a cruise on Lake Tahoe, a float down or leisurely bike ride along the Truckee River. Granlibakken’s professional staff will help make your gathering perfectly suited to your families interests.

Granlibakken’s accommodations facilitate gathering in one space, together in a condo. Or if perhaps family members would prefer more space, separate lodging rooms are more appropriate. In either case, you can all come together first thing at Granlibakken’s hot, full, all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet.

Small Slice of Tahoe City History

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Yes, yes I know  that if you’re from California you’re not accustomed to seeking out historical sites within the state. This is the New Coast – the brave new world where you were either a profit seeker, treasure hunter or just plain ole crazy enough to move All The Way Out. Well I’m hear to simply let you know that there are a few places right in Tahoe City to pique your interest: The Watson Cabin and the Gatekeeper’s Museum.

Watson Cabin Tahoe City

Watson Cabin Tahoe City (photo from North Tahoe Museums)

The Watson Cabin was built by Tahoe City’s first cop – Robert Montgomery Watson. The highest peak above town also bears his name, as does the beautiful reflection-pond near that summit (a great bike ride, incidentally, and also a fun semi-offroad adventure for anyone with a Jeep). The cabin stayed in the family until the late 1970’s when the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society purchased it. They do all sorts of little events that are very kid-friendly so keep an eye on their calendar.

The Gatekeeper’s Museum is beautiful building located right at the headwater of  Tahoe’s sole outflow, the Truckee River. This is a really cool place to just meander – there are some placards if you feel like reading, some lawn for windsprints, a gorgeous rocky shore with a neat angle on Tahoe, oh and a museum! They showcase Washo Indian baskets, clothing, history exhibits of the resort boom, etc. The Truckee River outflow gates are right here and you can walk along the glass-lined structure where you’ll see the now-non-human-powered crank that winds the gates up and down.

Gatekeeper's Museum, Tahoe City (photo from North Tahoe Museums)

Gatekeeper's Museum, Tahoe City (photo from North Tahoe Museums)

If you get into these places and want some more, check out the Ehrman Mansion down at Sugar Pine State Park and then reward yourself with a historical beverage at the old bar on Chamber’s Landing pier…

Fleurs du Lac

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.

The Stars at Night…

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Tahoe might not be the Atacama Desert or Hawaii when it comes to stargazing, but it’s pretty darn good. We get a black sky (especially when Squaw’s not open for night skiing) unlike many other places. Our elevation seems to be juuuust enough to be above the haze, both natural and manmade, that skew so many other night skies. One of my favorite things to do on a calm, moonless night here (besides see a band) is to find a pier with a second story on the end. Get up there and look all around – then peer down into crystal clear, jet black Tahoe. Star reflections will stare back at you with that ethereal glow that only comes from peaceful water-swish.

A different way to get a great perspective on the night sky is by going with someone who actually knows what’s above us. The man around these parts is Tony Berendsen from Tahoe Star Tours. He does his thing all over Tahoe and there are a few upcoming that you should check out if you’re here:

August 5, 2010: The Milky Way Rises Over Lake Tahoe
Activity: Star Tour Kayak
Time: 7:00pm-10:30pm
Cost: $65 per person
Where: Tahoe Vista Recreation Area

August, 12, 2010: Squaw Valley Family Campout on top of the Mountain! (inquire with Squaw to find out if they have a star expert in attendance)

August 12, 2010: Deep Sky Wonders and the Perseid Meteor Shower
Activity: Star Tour Hike
Time: 7:00pm-11:00pm
Cost: $65 per person
Where: Tahoe Vista Regional Park

RoGa @ Squaw this weekend: Wanderlust Festival

Monday, July 26th, 2010

What do you get when you combine a Rave with Yoga? Yes, I call it RoGa.

If you are into yoga and music but never thought of experiencing them in a combined way then maybe you should head up to Tahoe this weekend and catch Wanderlust at Squaw Valley. Or if you just like music by Moby, Bassnectar, Brazilian Girls, etc. you’d find yourself having a blast during summertime at the greatest ski area in the US. Then again, if you simply need an excuse to come up to elevation 6,200′ just hop in the car and come freak-gaze at one of the more bizarre happenings at the Lake all year.

Wanderlust came to Squaw last year and was a hit, even for those lacking the West Coast skills of slow-motion body contortion. I saw a group of guys from Massachusetts who had a ball just wandering (no pun, please) around the Village and boogying at the shows. Of course, I met some vegan body-stretchers who said it was “even better than Burning Man” (if you don’t know that means just disregard it entirely!). Either way, Wanderlust is one of those events that you can talk about at the office water machine or around the ole wheat grass shot table.

Of course if you need a place to rest your head, give Granlibakken a shout and stay in Tahoe’s coziest valley…


Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Bathymetry:the measurement of water depth. Sound boring? OK, I guess I agree. BUT apply it Lake Tahoe, one of only 17 ancient lakes in the world, and you’ve got my attention (for a minute at least). About a million or two years ago Tahoe was formed. Roughly a dozen years ago scientists figured out how to show us what the bottom looks like.

Tahoe Bathymetry

Tahoe Bathymetry (image from USGS)

Pretty cool. Then I learned that there was a massive avalanche or landslide that essentially extended the West Shore by almost 3 miles. See tha bulb of ‘water’ that extends the upper left section a bunch? Well that happened in one incident as actual mountains fell into Tahoe. Tahoe Tessie got one heck of a ride that day as a tsunami thought to be hundreds of feet high whitewashed the shoreline in every direction. The good news was that this landslide created a windfall for Granlibakken. Once located miles from Tahoe’s crystal clear waters, the Big G now became an almost-poolside paradise for all the dinosaurs in Placer County.

West Shore Landslide Bathymetry

West Shore Landslide Bathymetry (image from USGS)

When you look at the full bathymetry map and see all the debris scattered directly across from the landslide it’s impressive. But it’s truly mindblowing when you put the scale in perspective: those huge mountain-pieces traveled miles and miles through extremely deep water to finally rest where they now are – good stuff.

To learn more, check out this link. For a YouTube video go here. And to experience all of this firsthand (and look for dinosaur footprints) swing on over to Granlibakken and take a dip on Tahoe’s newest shoreline….

Deck the Decks with Boughs of…Margheritas

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Do you the power of Tahoe restaurant decks? If you do and haven’t been on one yet this summer then you have some explaining to do. If you have yet to harness this power then please, read on…

Within a five to ten minute bike ride from Granlibakken’s intersection with West Lake Blvd. you can pedal / coast your way to a many different slices of heaven. To the north you can go to Tahoe City and sit on the deck of Jake’s On the Lake to enjoy a lunch, dinner or some drinks overlooking the Tahoe Marina and a looooong expanse of Tahoe’s azure surface. Head back towards the Big G, where the Truckee Rover is born from Tahoe and you have two great choices – the outdoor bar of the Bridgetender and the Rover Grill. The first is Tahoe’s best burger joint with tables along the river. The latter is a little higher end with Tahoe’s favorite outdoor happy hour with a firepit and music every Wed – Sun (7pm-10pm), right over the river’s edge.

Heading south of Granlibakken you can pedal down to Sunnyside – my favorite moonrise deck – with it’s massive expanse of wood and lengthy outdoor bar. The arrangement here is classic: fancy dinner go-ers on one side, barstools and sandals on the other. If you were to drive a few miles south of here, you’d find yourself moored up at the oldest pier-bar on the West Shore : Chamber’s Landing. This is located at the end of a dock where you can arrive by pedal, foot, sail or motor vessel. This awesome place has cheap grilled lunch, a ton of outdoor hang-space and it gets the last sun on the West Shore because of its prominent location.

For you boaters, the Granlibakken blog will spare no expense in providing content based on strict research for another post about boating to all of Tahoe’s best water accessible speakeasies – more on that later…

Just another little hike…

Sunday, July 18th, 2010
Nordic Center Vista

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

Looking toward Desolation Wilderness

© 2010 Alex West, copy and photos

Sail the Big Blue

Thursday, July 15th, 2010
The Tahoe Cruz, 50-footer

The Tahoe Cruz, 50-footer

Congrats – you’ve booked (or are about to book) your next trip to Granlibakken and Lake Tahoe. Next on the list – make plans to get yourself out on the Lake while here…

The Granlibakken blog covers all sorts of way to get wet – paddleboarding, wakesurfing / wakeskating/wakeboarding/waterskiing, jet skiing, parasailing, hot air ballooning, floating the Truckee – the list goes on and on. But this post is about the (normally) most-civil of the various water activities: sailing.

Most of us don’t have our own boats – thankfully there happens to be a 50-foot ocean raceboat called the Tahoe Cruz which resides at the Tahoe City Marina, about 4 minutes from Granlibakken. This is an awesome boat that likes to heel (lean over) in good winds. It’s also a suntan machine when there’s little or no wind. The Cruz goes out every day at noon, 2:30 and 5:30. They serve free beer, wine and soda and the 5:30 boat has cheese and crackers, too. The best boats for families with little ones are the first two.

Guest Skipper

Guest Skipper

This boat model is a Santa Cruz 50 and was built specifically for the Trans-Pac Race which goes from L.A. to Honolulu. This boat type dominated the race for years. With that race pedigree, sailing the Cruz on a windy day here at Tahoe is truly incredible. When she gets heeling folks get excited (those on the bow can get doused) and the wine usually starts flowing – and that’s why I said it’s normally the most civilized of the water sports up here….

Cowpoke Sailor

'Hey Cowpoke, you cast a pretty nice shadow'

© 2010 Alex West, copy and photos

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