Lake Tahoe glows a deep, dark blue in the sun, dramatically framed by mountains and forest. Because the lake undergoes a natural process called deep mixing, plant matter that drops to the bottom decays properly in an oxygen rich environment, preventing the nutrients that fuel algae growth. As a result, Lake Tahoe is incredibly clear and beautiful. Located in the nothern Sierra Nevada mountains is the second deepest lake in North America and straddles two states and five different counties. That’s not what makes it exceptional though.
This is one of the most beautiful areas of the United States and is a year round adventure as the area has some of the county’s most exciting ski slopes, dazzling casinos and interesting museums. Because the lake is so deep, and stores so much heat over the summer, it never cools off enough during winter to freeze, which means that you can go fishing there any time of the year as well. There is much to see and experience in summer months as well:
- Rock climbing
- ATV off-roading
- Horseback riding
- See the Wildlife Sanctuary
When I was a kid, my parents would take us to a cabin that my grandparents owned on Lake Tahoe every year. My father always insisted on visiting in the winter, so he could ski. It’s where I was first introduced to the sport. It’s definitely something any snowboarders or skiers should check out, but my best memories of Lake Tahoe didn’t happen until I was in my teens and went there with my grandparents for the summer.
My grandfather is a less active guy. He lives life at a more comfortable pace. Maybe I’m just lazy and that’s why it appealed to me, but I would just paddle out onto the lake in a little kayak and fish every morning after sunrise. I found a few good spots too! In the afternoon, before dinner, my grandmother would pack a thermos full of coffee and we would just walk along the lake or up a hill, look for a good spot, and take in the view over a hot cup of coffee. It redefined the idea of vacation for me.
I haven’t been back there in a few years. They sold the cabin years ago, and I’m not about to make it big writing articles for the internet. But there are somewhat more affordable options, like a second hand timeshare or a rental cabin, but more likely I’ll be sleeping in a tent at a local campground.
Lake Tahoe has other things I want to see. There are museums with Washoe artifacts left by the natives and pioneer history. Not to mention the casinos on the Nevada side of the lake if I ever get a little richer than I’m comfortable with.
Visiting the Lake Tahoe area is the best way to experience the American West. The Californian coast is cliché, and the landscape really doesn’t reflect what the West is about. It’s the rugged mountains, deep blue lakes, and irresponsible gambling that separate it from the rest of the coast.
I’ll be back to the Lake Tahoe again, to go on backpacking and fishing trips in the summer, and maybe experience first-hand what all the fuss was about with the Donner party if I ever go back in the winter.
About The Author: Karissa Scott likes to travel all over the USA and the world. She writes about travel and finance as a content marketer for Bay Tree Solutions