July 31 – August 2, Lake Tahoe, California Side

We left Childs Meadow Resort on Sunday morning, August 31st and drove to Truckee, CA.  We are camped at Granite Flat, a forest service campground on the Truckee River.  This is a typical forest service campground with a few sites long enough for our rig.  It is a long narrow campground between the river and the highway – which happens to be a very busy highway so we get a lot of highway noise.

After we got settled and had lunch we drove into Truckee and visited their Visitor Center and found a great ice cream shop.

Monday, August 1st, we went to Donner Memorial State Park and stopped at the memorial to the emigrants who traveled the California Trail

This is the area where the ill-fated Donner party was snowed in during the winter of 1846-47.  When they arrived here in early November, snow on Donner Pass was over 27 feet deep forcing them to stop and winter here.  Before they were rescued on April 7th, 42 of the 89 members in the party perished – many from starvation.

We hiked around the south shore of Donner Lake and had a picnic lunch beside the lake.  This is a beautiful lake but is a very popular area and was crowded.  

After lunch we drove to Donner Pass.  We stopped at an overlook and got a great view of Donner Lake.

We passed two small ski areas, Sugar Bowl and Soda Springs.  This was a beautiful drive.

Tuesday, August 2nd, we drove about 10 miles down the road to Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics.  It is a beautiful ski and resort area.  We stopped at a golf course on the way out of the area and took this picture back up the valley.

We drove to Tahoe City and proceeded down the California side of Lake Tahoe.  This is a beautiful lake but this area of the lake is almost totally developed so you can’t see the lake for the houses.  We turned off on a side road to see if we could climb above the lake and get a better view.  We drove towards Barker Pass and stopped at a trailhead and hiked a short distance to find this partial view of the lake.

We drove back down to the lake and found an undeveloped area where we could hike back to a great overlook.  The lake is such a beautiful blue color and so clear you can see rocks on the bottom for a long way out.

We like these long sugar cone pine cones.

We stopped at a viewpoint overlooking Emerald Bay but it was so crowded that we could not find a place to park.  Nancy jumped out and took pictures while Rex circled the parking lot – not our idea of a way to sight see.  Emerald Bay got its name from the beautiful emerald color of the water.

This is Eagle Falls which cascades down into Emerald Bay.  Sixty-three streams flow into Lake Tahoe but only one, the Truckee, flows out.

Rex never did find a parking spot so he missed these beautiful views.  We drove around the end of the bay and found a parking spot at Inspiration Point Vista.  We learned that Lake Tahoe is the third deepest lake in North America at 1,600 feet deep.  The bottom of the lake is actually 95 feet below the elevation of nearby Carson City, Nevada.

From this viewpoint you can see Vikingholm Castle which was built in 1929 by Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight.

Fannette Island is Tahoe’s only island.  Mrs. Knight built a tea house at the top of the island.

This is a beautiful area but we did not care for the crowds and traffic congestion.


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