When you think of Lake Tahoe what comes to mind? Often images of clear blue waters and scents of crisp mountain air but what about the clear skies above? Thanks to its high elevation and lack of light pollution, Lake Tahoe sets one of the best year-round star gazing stages. And, it wouldn’t be a star gazing experience in Lake Tahoe without an adventure so here we like to explore the winter skies by snowshoe!
Snow shoeing is one of my favorite Lake Tahoe winter activities. There is something unique about snow shoeing that makes it unlike any other winter adventure. To me, its the combination of great exercise amongst the serene background of winter’s serene and peaceful beauty. Plus, the floating feeling you get when walking on fresh powder after a storm is something everyone should enjoy! The best part is that snowshoeing can be enjoyed by people of all ages, athletic ability and can be a convenient and inexpensive activity. Even bring your dog and enjoy it with the whole family.
Meet Tony Berendsen. I had the pleasure of meeting Tony a few years ago in a presentation to my office and afterwards at one of his summer Stargazing Tours at Northstar California. Besides being the past President of the Astronomical Society of Nevada and President of the Nevada Science Coalition, Tony is the most passionate, fun-loving and creative star guide I have ever met. With more than 15 years of experience with the Lake Tahoe skies, he is the founder of Tahoe Star Tours. And, this is no ordinary star tour. Every tour offers a different interpretation of the starry skies and is accompanied with poem readings written by Tony himself, fun space quizzes along with laser and telescopic tours of the night sky. And if that wasn’t enough, enjoy his tours by the cozy fire pit with wine and hot beverages.
Where do I sign up? First, I recommend the Stargazing Snowshoe Tour at Northstar California hosted by Tony. Stargazing Snowshoe Tours meet at the Cross Country, Telemark + Snowshoe Center at Northstar California, last 2-2.5 hours and offered once a month. Guests are lead by Tony along snowshoe trails while learning about the starry skies above. Halfway through the hike, guests head to the Cross Country, Telemark + Snowshoe Center to gather around the fire pit and enjoy a laser tour, telescope viewing and hot beverages. Once you’ve become a newly found star tour expert, a group snowshoe hike leads guests down to the Village at Northstar where you can grab a bite to eat, cocktail and relax around the outdoor fire pits.
Or you can meet Tony and enjoy snowshoe star tours and full moon snowshoe tours while trekking through the forest in Tahoe Vista with the adventure experts at Tahoe Adventure Company. Even though there are only a few more months left this winter, the star tour adventures continue into the summer accompanied by hiking, kayaking and even a live string quartet! More on these additional star tour opportunities to come!
I think the star tours led by Tony are a unique exploration of Lake Tahoe. If you have a favorite unique activity that explores Lake Tahoe in a different way or if you would like to try star tours please share it in the comments below. Enjoy learning local tips of Lake Tahoe? I invite you to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter at @robinpenning to receive information on tips, news, activities and special events in Lake Tahoe.