Archive for the ‘Shirley Lake Hike’ Tag

Your Summer Checklist- Part 1: All Through the House   Leave a comment

Seeing as winter is a longer and much more severe season here in the mountains,  we’ve done several posts on the ‘To Do’ Checklists to get you winter ready.

But today, I ran across this GREAT article on Houzz on items you should be doing while the weather is nice. Summer’s here are glorious, but brief.  There are just some things that need to be done when the weather is warm.

From both a maintenance and real estate standpoint, a few of the suggested House Maintenance Items really rung especially true for our neck of the woods, which I’ll elaborate about here on the blog, but for the rest of the Houzz suggestions, go here:


Click on photo to go to the Houzz website for more summer ideas


1) Paint your house! Whether you’re intending to list your home, or are already living in it, if the exterior is starting to look a little weather worn, a fresh coat of paint or stain not only will give your exterior a freshening up that ads curb appeal, but will also protect the materials from drying out and falling apart. An ounce of prevention and all…

2) Check your foundation. It’s near impossible to do this when there is 6 feet of snow covering it, unless you really just get off on doing some extra shoveling. Do it now while it’s easy to see. Given our vast freeze/thaw temperature issues, nipping this one in the bud and fixing it now can save you a world of heartache and expense later. Open vents to allow air circulation.

3) Clean the gutters. Reattach broken ones that may have pulled away from the house. And check into other options to keep them that way. Houzz had some good suggestions.

4) Change the direction of your ceiling fans. Not all fans have this feature, most people don’t even know about it when they do. In winter you want the fan to push warm air down, but in the summer, you want the fan to pull warm air up. This is a must have feature if you’re currently thinking about adding ceiling fans to your home. We don’t usually need to install air conditioners here, as ceiling fans do a good job of circulating air and controlling indoor temperatures in our cooler summer climate.

5) Install new screens or replace broken screens on windows and doors. If you can create some cross ventilation, screens allow Mother Nature to move the air for you without letting all the bugs in. One caveat though. In bear country, never leave open doors and windows while you’re out unless you want to come home to a fury beast in your pantry, or a demolished one thereof. They laugh in the face of screens as a deterrent for entrance, especially if they smell something tasty. Bear-1, Screen-0.

6) Resurface your driveway. Winter is not only hard on our roads. Snowplows and ice tend to disintegrate your driveways and walkways as well. Think about a fresh coat before next winter.

7) Clean out the garage. Admit it! We ALL just hate doing this! Trudging through the detritus of belongings that just seems to get thrown in the garage in a haphazard heap is no fun for anyone. But summer is the time to get this area organized! Put all tools back where they belong. If you don’t have a dedicated tool chest or bench, consider installing one. Invest in metal shelving to store paints and solvents, holiday decorations, winter and summer gear, garden tools and any other items that accumulate in the garage. Throw out broken items you have no intention of ever fixing or have a garage sale and/or donate anything you will never use again. Pat yourself on the back when you’re finally able to actually park the car in the garage again!


How about you? Do you have any tips for summer to do lists or summer must haves?  Let us know in the Comments section.  And we’ll keep you posted on all the fun happenings at Lake Tahoe, Truckee and the surrounding area.



shirley lake 214



 Coming up next: Your Summer Checklist, Part 2: Fun in the Sun. Getting all of your summer gear ready and fun things to do, places to go, events to see in Tahoe, Truckee and the surrounding areas.


lynn script


Go Take A Hike! – Part 1- Shirley Lake, Squaw Valley   1 comment



No, I’m not trying to tell you to get lost. The high Sierra are filled with many wonderful places to explore the beaten or unbeaten paths, back country, hidden lakes, gorgeous waterfalls, or just enjoy nature while getting some exercise and fresh air.

One of the favorite hikes is what locals call the ‘Shirley Lake’ hike. Located at Squaw Valley, you can either take the tram up to the top and hike down (you’re now committed to doing the entire hike. No taxi to pick you up if you decide you’ve had enough fun halfway down), or you can start at the bottom and hike up as far as you like, and turn around when you choose to. (Take the road that is right of the tram building. Follow the road straight until you see some boulders in front of the dirt trail head veering off to your right. Follow until you meet up with the main trial head which will veer to the left and start rising uphill).

The bottom half of the hike is relatively easy, and even most kids can manage it. It’s the prettiest part of the hike as it follows Squaw Creek and there are waterfalls aplenty for most of the way…depending on what month you do the hike. Some years bless us with ample winter snowpack and the creek is flowing well into the fall. On years that mother nature gets stingy with the white stuff, the creek can stop flowing by August. Hike early in the summer and the water rushes and gushes. Later in the summer and you can hike up the middle of the falls while water gently flows around you.

Wild shooting star columbine surrounded by thimbleberry

Wild shooting star columbine and thimbleberry

Wildflowers greet you  throughout the hike. Look for columbine, penstemon, squaw carpet and thimbleberry, among many others along the trail.

Partway up the hike you enter the area we call ‘the enchanted forest’. Here the trees are thick and the area heavily shaded and mysterious. It has the look straight out of an illustration for any given book of fairy tales. One half expects to greet little red riding hood along the trail or a few pixies peeking out from behind the flora.


The top of the hike is much more strenuous. Most of it is above the treeline, so it can feel pretty toasty up there on a hot summer day as you scramble across granite sheets of rock. Wear plenty of sunscreen. You’re at altitude and can burn easily here…and don’t forget plenty of water.

You eventually will come to Shirley Lake, which is at the bottom of one of Squaw Valley’s famous ski runs. After taking some time here to relax and catch your breath, hike the rest of the way up to Squaw’s high camp for some refreshments, swim in their pool,  and/or to take the tram back down. Make sure to bring money or a credit card. You’ll need to pay to use the pool or take the tram to get back to the bottom again. Otherwise you’re hoofing it all the way back down again.



Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

Lifestyles of the Kitchen Famous

Kitchens . Baths . Interiors . Design . By Michelle Portesi

Tahoe Truckee Outdoor

Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

Outside Inn

Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

Much Ado with Nothing

Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

Eat Picks

Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee


Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

%d bloggers like this: