10 Reasons Spring Makes Lake Tahoe The Best Lake

images_sunsetSpring in Lake Tahoe is a special time. There is a saying amongst locals that people “come for the winter and stay for the summer”.  Springtime is the unique time where visitors and locals are able to experience the best of both seasons.  My ideal spring day in Lake Tahoe goes something like this…. wake up to the bright sun peaking in the window,  hit the slopes mid-morning to take a few turns, then put the skis and snowboards on the car and pull out the kayaks and SUP boards and sail on the Lake for the afternoon.  End the day with a cool evening at a fire pit roasting s’mores under the clear starry skies.

In my opinion, here are the top 10 reasons why Spring makes Lake Tahoe … The Best Lake:

1. Less Crowds – Enjoy shorter lift lines, closer parking access and less crowded slopes as you take your last turns of the season while the rest of the ski goers have retired for the season.

images2.  Easy Driving – Do you hate winter driving whether it’s chain control, slippery roads or bad drivers?  Late winter storms tend to stick to the high elevations with less impact on mountain passes.  Plus the snow that does fall doesn’t stick as easy to the warmer roads making driving to the slopes a sinch!

3.  Lighter Later – With Daylight Savings Time begining mid-march visitors are able to extend their outdoor adventures after a day on the slopes to sunset hikes, beach walks and more!

4.  Best Time to Learn – Let’s be honest, not many people, kids especially, want to learn how to ski or snowboard in dumping snow conditions with freezing temperatures and scare visibility.  The sunny temperatures and somewhat slushy snow make ideal conditions for learners to master their mountain skills.

images35.  Clothing Optional – That’s right… shed those heavy winter layers and enjoy your days on the mountain while catching sun rays in lighter apparel including shells, t-shirts and even shorts!  I’ve seen it all.

6.  Hot Deals – Celebrate the end of the season with some of the best pricing including killer early booking deals for next year’s season pass.  To learn more about specific season pass deals read Spring It On with Season Pass Specials in Lake Tahoe!

7.  Get Your Gear – It’s no secret that at the end of the season retailers put their equipment and apparel on sale to empty their shelves of “last season” lines.  For information about the best equipment and retail locations in Lake Tahoe, learn more at the Lake Tahoe All Access Blog.

8.  Doggone Days – The weather is getting warmer and that means everyone wants to be outside as much as possible and your pent up dogs do too!  A great thing about spring is that you can enjoy the warm weather and still take your pups to the beaches around the lake before rules change.

Schneetag9. Fore! –  Golf courses around the basin including Old Brockway Golf Course as well as the courses in Reno begin to open for the season so why not ski one day and golf the next?

10. Skimming Along – End the season with a good ‘ole pond skim!  Resorts around the basin celebrate the end of the season and the melting of snow with pond skim competitions that draw crowds and cheers.  Most popular pond skim events are at Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe, Heavenly and Squaw Valley.

Is there another reason that you love Lake Tahoe in the spring?  If so, please share it in the comments below!

Enjoy learning about Lake Tahoe?  Follow my blog and me at @robinpenning to receive information on tips, news, activities and special events in Lake Tahoe.

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Spring It On with Season Pass Specials in Lake Tahoe

1009_1469sSpring is officially here and that means a mixture of sunny days with temperatures in the 50’s followed by late season spring storms bringing snow fall to the summits and dustings at Lake level.  Don’t make the common mistake and wait to purchase your season pass when rates are highest in the Fall before the season starts.  Do as the locals do and get your end of season turns in for FREE this year while locking in your season pass for next year at Lake Tahoe ski resorts at the guaranteed lowest prices of the year.  Check out the best season pass deals at Lake Tahoe ski resorts in more detail below!

header_TSP1314_1Squaw & Alpine’s Tahoe Super Pass – Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows have announced their end of season 2013-2014 Tahoe Super Pass special that offers tons of specials if you buy your pass before May 7th.  With purchase of the early season pass you will receive perks valued over $2,000 including:  FREE spring skiing and riding beginning on March 31st until the end of the season, friend and family discounted tickets and the guaranteed lowest season pass price to Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadow and Sierra At Tahoe.

Mt. Rose Adult Unlimited & Beginner Passes – Mt. Rose has announced two 2013-2014 spring passes including the Adult Unlimited Pass at $399 which provides unrestricted access to the mountain for the rest of this season plus all of next year’s season with NO blackout dates!  Also, if you are begininger Mt. Rose is ready to teach you!  With a special Beginner Pass for $149.00 which offers lift access to beginner chairs, free group lessons and free rental equipment to guests 11 years+ you will be a pro in no time.  What a deal!

epic-pass-logo2Epic Spring Passes – All three Lake Tahoe Epic 2013-2014 season passes are now on sale so put your deposit down to guarantee the best pricing for next year’s season pass.  Vail Resort’s season passes include the Tahoe Value, Epic Pass or Tahoe Local Pass which offer a variety of mountain access to best suit your needs.  Put your $49 deposit down by April 14th and receive six Buddy Tickets for next season along with 2013 summer hiking access at Northstar California, Heavenly and Kirkwood.  Or, if you pay for your 2013-2014 season pass in full receive one free day of skiing this season as well as the six Buddy Tickets and summer activity mountain access.  Choose which works best for you!

Soda Springs Season Passes – Located near Donner Summit, Soda Springs has also announced its 2013-2014 passes with a few extra specials to go along.  Purchase your 2013-2014 pass by TODAY you will have access for the rest of this season in addition to next year.  Or, put down a $49 deposit before April 14th and you will be guaranteed the lowest price for next year’s season pass.  Child season passes are only $99 and including free tubing and Planet Kids activities.  Remember Soda Spring passes also grant access to Boreal Mountain Ski Resort on select mid-week dates!

In addition to the season pass specials above,  ski resorts in Lake Tahoe are begining to offer  daily lift ticket price specials as the season winds down and mountain access reduces.  Be on the lookout for these specials on ski resort websites.  Lastly, if you are interested in learning more about the ski resorts in Lake Tahoe check out my previous blog post Pick Your Peak.

Are you ready to take advantage of one of these spring season pass specials?  If so, share in the comments below which season pass you want to purchase.

Enjoy learning about Lake Tahoe?  Follow my blog and me at @robinpenning to receive information on tips, news, activities and special events in Lake Tahoe.

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Celebrate Easter in Lake Tahoe

eggs-easter-colorful-sweetEaster in Lake Tahoe is a very unpredictable holiday.  During the past three years I’ve been living in Lake Tahoe two were spent skiing on the mountain while last year I was BBQing on the beach with friends soaking up warm springtime weather.  Easter can be a tough holiday for local families and visitors to plan for in Lake Tahoe.  With forecasters predicting tomorrow will be mix of snow showers and rain at lake level while snowing on the summits, it’s best to be prepared for Easter Holiday events both indoors and outdoors.  Here I want to share some of the best Easter Holiday events and activities for your celebration tomorrow!

GET YOUR GOLDEN EGG
While rain and snow may damper Easter Holiday celebrations in other places limiting the Easter Bunny to hide eggs inside family homes, it just makes the Easter egg hunt more exciting in Lake Tahoe as families head to the mountains while searching for golden easter eggs stuffed with specialty prizes.  Most resorts are hosting special  on mountain Easter egg hunts including Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, Alpine Meadows, Northstar California, Diamond Peak, Squaw Valley, Tahoe Donner and Homewood.  Here are a few Easter events in particular I would like to highlight:

IMG_2402All-Mountain Easter Egg Hunt & Kids Easter Egg Hunt at Alpine Meadows – Alpine Meadows adult guests will search the mountain amongst hundreds of hidden eggs for one golden egg containing a Bronze Season Pass in the free Adult Easter Egg Hunt.  The all-day hunt will begin when lifts open at 9 a.m., and last until 4 p.m.  For Kids there will be two separate Easter Egg hunts depending on children’s ages.  Families meet at the Kids Camp Magic Carpet at 10:15 a.m.

Easter Eggstravaganza at Homewood Resort –  Giant Eggs will be hid all over the mountain at Homewood and guests will redeem fun prizes at the North Lodge between 9am-1pm.  Included in the prizes is a Golden Basket with a Season Pass for 2013-2014!  A Mini Egg Hunt for kids will be filled with candy and one lucky mini egg will have a grand mini prize along with visits from the Easter Bunny.

Easter Egg Hunt & PEEPS Diorama Contest at Northstar – Northstar California will host an Easter Egg Hunt in the Village at Northstar starting at 10:30 a.m. with a special appearance from the Easter Bunny.  The Easter Bunny will also travel throughout the mountain hiding golden eggs that will contain a variety of prizes.  The festivities conclude at 4:45 p.m. with a parade through the Village lead by the Easter Bunny and Northstar Ski & Snowboard School mascot Ripperoo.

easter-brunch1LET’S GET DOWN TO BRUNCH
Or, you may be planning to stay inside tomorrow with your family to celebrate and if so Brunch is the only way to go!  Restaurants around Lake Tahoe are hosting decadent brunch buffet’s to satisfy your holiday cravings with all the fixings.  Reservations are recommended, but often restaurants will accept walk-ins but there likely will be a wait so be prepared to be patient.

Easter Brunch Buffet at Jake’s on the Lake – Jake’s on the Lake will be serving an Easter Sunday Brunch Buffet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $29 per adult and $14 per child age 10 and under. Kids may even find a few Easter eggs and adults can indulge at the Bloody Mary bar!

Easter Brunch Buffet at the Resort at Squaw Creek Easter – Cascades Restaurant at the Resort at Squaw Creek will serve an Easter brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Adults are $45, children are $21.

Easter Brunch at the Lone Eagle Grille – Easter brunch at the Lone Eagle Grille will be served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Adults are $70, children 5 to 12 are $35, 4 and under are free and there will be live entertainment along with beautiful Lake views!

Share what your favorite way to celebrate Easter is in the comments below!

Enjoy learning about Lake Tahoe?  Follow my blog and me at @robinpenning to receive information on tips, news, activities and special events in Lake Tahoe.

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Lake Tahoe Snowmobiling: A Winter Adventure for Everyone

170When I moved to Lake Tahoe three years ago I had never been on a snowmobile and honestly I really didn’t have an interest to.  I shared the notion that snowmobiling was only for speed addicts and thrill seekers, mostly young guys in their teens and twenties.  Then, I had the opportunity to take my first snowmobile adventure with Lake Tahoe Snowmobile Tours and boy, was I proven wrong!

I learned that snowmobiling is a great, family-friendly and group activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and level of adventure seekers.  I especially learned that snowmobiling is also one of the best ways for non-skiers and non-snowboarders to explore the Tahoe National Forest during the winter.   From the seat of a snowmobile, riders enjoy the treasured high altitude views of Lake Tahoe and surrounding basin that is usually accessible only to those on the ski resort summits, slopes and chairlifts.   SnowmobilingTourArea

Here I want to expose you in particular to the great services of Lake Tahoe Snowmobile Tours who originally introduced me to snowmobiling and has taken well care of me ever since.  Located at the top of Brockway Summit on Highway 267, Lake Tahoe Snowmobile Tours has over 25 years of experience and access to over 100 miles of trails in the Tahoe National Forest that offer guests spectacular views of Lake Tahoe.  It is also known for having the largest fleet of newer snowmobiles on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore and offers three tours daily including personalized private snowmobile tours all with your own local tour guide.
Photo Credit

Their tours offer the best views of Lake Tahoe including a view of the entire Lake from the top of Robin's favMt. Watson at an elevation of 8200 ft. along with views of Northstar California, Squaw Valley and Alpine Ski Resort.  Besides views, tours include a visit to Watson Lake where riders are able blow off steam and let the snowmobiles loose while speeding around the lake in a race track pattern.  Tours also include an otherwise inaccessible climb up the steep backside of Mt. Pluto to its summit at Northstar California and ascend on The Summit Deck & Grille perfect for après hot beverages. 

My local tip – arrange a private tour!  Private tours allow you to get the most out of your experience and time.  Also, the guides at Lake Tahoe Snowmobile Tours are experts on the surrounding area and enjoy getting to know their guests and their preferences, which they can do more easily in the smaller group setting of a private tour.  Plus, private tours allow them the opportunity to get creative – perfect for arranging birthday, anniversary and even wedding proposal surprises right out there in Tahoe National Forest! 

559673_430348207047292_1581521082_nA few housekeeping items that I would like to share to best prepare you for your next snowmobile adventure are:  tours accommodate all level of riders, reservations are recommended especially during peak holidays, children must be at least 5 years old and drivers 16 years old with valid driver license and check-in is promptly one hour prior to your tour.  Don’t have winter wear? No worries!  Lake Tahoe Snowmobile Tours has a winter clothing package for an extra $10 for ski jackets, pants and gloves.  Helmets and goggles are provided to all riders.

Please share in the comments below if you’re ready to try snowmobiling on your next visit to Lake Tahoe!  If you enjoy learning local tips of Lake Tahoe, I invite you to follow my blog and me at @robinpenning on Twitter to receive more information on tips, news, activities and special events in Lake Tahoe.

Photo Credits:  All photos courtesy of Jodi Demko