Not much snow. Now what?   Leave a comment

Winters in the Sierra are unpredictable. While we almost always get plenty of snow, we don’t necessarily get it early enough for your Christmas plans. In case the white stuff doesn’t step up to the plate and make a quick appearance, here are a few alternatives to get through the holidays and have some fun:

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Snowshoeing at Mt Rose

Using the snow we have

Even when there isn’t enough snow for some great powder skiing or a 20 kilometer jaunt out to Point Moriah,  at Royal Gorge there is still some around for playing.

Get High: Head up to Tahoe Meadows, at the summit of the Mt. Rose Highway. At nearly 9000 feet there is plenty of snow to make Snow Women or build forts.  I was out snowshoeing along the Tahoe Rim trail last week and it was beautiful.  You don’t even need snowshoes, good hiking boots will work, but watch the slippery trails.  The views are outstanding!

Take a hike up into Coldstream Canyon out of Donner Lake.  You can hike or snowshoe.  Cross country skiing is a bit tricky since there are rocks and dirt to scoot around.

The Tahoe City Winter Sports Park is located on the summer grounds of the Tahoe City Golf Course. There must be something about snow sitting on grass that allows for good skiing without much snow, because this might be the best place to skate ski until the next big storm arrives.

Sledding is limited, but there’s the park at Boreal and Granlibakken.  Or find a shaded hillside and there’s probably enough snow to have fun on.

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Other outdoor ideas

I’ve been seeing people out fishing at Donner Lake and kayaking and canoeing at Tahoe and Donner.  Be careful since you don’t want to take a swim.

There’s ice skating at Northstar and Squaw and the Villages are fun to stroll – good shopping and eats.

Take a bike ride.  You still need to dress warm and mid afternoon is the warmest time of day.

Walking out by Boca, Prosser or Stampede Reservoirs.  These lakes are east of Truckee and don’t get as much snow as some areas and there’s lots of sunshine.

Shop Local

Tahoe and Truckee have a host of small businesses that support local artisans. Four stores which consistently display unique and interesting gifts are Bespoke and Riverside Studios on Commercial Row in Truckee, The Trunk Show in The Cobblestone in Tahoe City and Jai-Yen in the center of Kings Beach.  Truckee’s old downtown is a great place to check out the local shops and great restaurants.

Get good eatin’s

Try the new Picnic, a take-out place for delicious sandwiches, salads and paninis in Tahoe City near the Safeway.   Marty’s Café  in Downtown Truckee has large servings of amazing food.  For more healthy appetites try Wild Cherries and Whole Treats which are located in Truckee on Donner Pass Road as you are driving towards Donner Lake.

Go to the lake

Head to the shores of Donner Lake or Lake Tahoe. The lakes are easier to get to when the shoreline is not buried in snow. Take a book, a warm jacket and a comfy fold-up chair and enjoy the water lapping along the shore.

Finally, once you’ve enjoyed all that the region has to offer, set yourself down in front of a warm fire, and sip a mug of mulled cider or hot cocoa. Ahh. Now you’re talking. snowman

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