Springtime fun   Leave a comment

Emerald Bay with Mt Tallac in the distance.

Emerald Bay with Mt Tallac in the distance.

Like it or not, the snow appears to be melting, which means that you will soon be seeing freshly popped snowflowers along the hiking trails, and our beloved Truckee area mountain biking trails will be dry. The deep layers of winter sand will soon be removed from our favorite road biking routes and the temperatures will warm up enough to make kayaking on the lake seem like an attractive alternative. Of course it is spring, which also means it might snow like crazy and puts the kibosh on all that good stuff. Anything can happen in April and May, and probably will. Next week could bring daffodils or a fresh dumping of snow.

So just for fun, let’s assume this warm, snow melting weather continues. What do we do?

Kayak/Paddleboard-On a calm, sunny day in the spring you really can have the lake to yourself. At Donner Lake you can put in just about anywhere along Donner Pass Road. At Tahoe, the Common’s Beach in Tahoe City, or Hurricane Bay on the West Shore are easily accessible put ins. But don’t forget, that water is cold in April, so stay out of it.

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Springtime Hikes-The first trails to emerge from the snow are south facing, lower elevation trails. The trail to the Vikingsholm and along the south facing side of Emerald Bay is one of the best, and the time to hike it is now, before the summer crowds arrive. Another good springtime hiking choice is the low-lying Tahoe Rim Trail heading north from Fairway Drive out of Tahoe City.

Truckee Trails-One of the first mountain biking (or hiking) trails to melt out is the Emigrant Trail between Prosser and Stampede Reservoirs. This is always a great ride, but especially in the spring when it is the only real game in town. It can get a bit busy on the weekends, so try to find time to get there mid-week if you can.

Sierra Valley-Now is the time to head to Sierraville with your road bike to ride the circuit around the Sierra Valley. A variety of routes in the 20-50 mile range are available on lightly used roads which travel over mostly level terrain. In the spring the valley is wet which means lots of wildflowers and an incredible variety of birds.

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