Winter Must-Dos and Sees Beyond Your Skis

With Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Mt. Rose, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows open to the masses, winter is official under way in Lake Tahoe. But what if a visitor doesn’t ski or snowboard? With countless must-dos and sees, guests will certainly be looking beyond their skis for winter fun.

Fancy Fannette Island in the Winter: Emerald Bay is one of the most visited sites in the world – and the visitors don’t stop coming just because it’s winter. Covered in a blanket of white, the pristine blue lake and Emerald Bay’s accompanying Fannette Island are a sight to behold in the colder months. However, before venturing out to Emerald Bay, please check current road conditions as the highway closes during storms.

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It may be possible that Emerald Bay is even more striking in the winter. Photo credit: Brad Scott

Cruise Big Blue: The M.S. Dixie II rides the waves throughout the year and offers an alternative way to spend a winter’s day or evening in Tahoe South. The M.S. Dixie II departs daily on a sightseeing cruise and on Saturday evenings for a dinner cruise. Cruise guests will visit the iconic Emerald Bay during the day trips, which allows visitors to strike off two must-sees in one trip.

Dashing Through the Snow: Since 1967 Borges Sleigh Rides has delighted visitors of Tahoe South with sleighs that go “over the meadow and through the woods” with incredible snowy views of the lake. The ride even takes guests on the original Pony Express. Available for parties of two to 20, Borges will entice a feeling of holiday magic and child-like whimsy.

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Trace portions of the original Pony Express  aboard the horse drawn carriage. Photo credit: Jamie Kingham

Check Off Your Holiday List: The Shops at Heavenly Village offer something for everyone with retailers like Patagonia, Earthbound Trading Company, Up Shirt Creek, Village Toys, What a Girl Wants and many others. Visitors will easily finish shopping for their holiday list in this one-stop shopping and entertainment center. Other retailers for unique and personal gifts include GaiaLicious Boutique and Wildwood Makers Market on Harrison Avenue in South Lake Tahoe.

See the World Differently on Snowshoes: For those that prefer the flatland when it comes to winter sports, snowshoeing is a delightful option for individuals of all skill abilities. Camp Richardson is one option for snowshoe exploring along the lake’s Southwest shores and forests. Guests of the Ridge can also take advantage of the terrain around the Ridge to find quiet trails of untouched snow on the Valley View Hike (weather permitting).

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Gain a different perspective on snowshoes. Courtesy: Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

Ridge Activities for All: A winter retreat can easily be spent at the Ridge Tahoe with activities to fill each day. The Activity Guide is updated weekly with new programs and adventures that all Ridge guests can take advantage of while visiting. Wallyball, pilates, dermatology seminars, movies in the Ridge Tahoe Theater and many other activities are offered on-site and complimentary for guests.

How will you explore Tahoe this season?

Tahoe Ski-A-Palooza: The Ultimate Mountain Wish List

Planning a Tahoe South ski trip but having a hard time deciding which mountain to explore? Why choose only one? Luckily visitors don’t have to limit themselves because Ridge guests are minutes away from a winter playground. We’re showcasing the best of skiing and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe, so visitors can experience at least two during a long weekend stay.

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Make your turns at Heavenly Mountain starting Nov. 23. Photo credit: Matt Gibson

Heavenly Mountain Resort: Just a quick shuttle trip from the Ridge
brings guests to the base of Heavenly Mountain Resort, the premier mountain spanning Nevada and California. With 97 runs, there is something available for every skill level and age group. Stagecoach is accessible from the Ridge Tahoe from the Hilltrac Skier Express. Opening day is Nov. 23.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort: Kirkwood Mountain Resort hosts 2,300 acres of terrain ranging from mild beginner runs to expert high angle grooming. This resort also offers renown cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails.

Sierra at Tahoe: The third-largest resort in Tahoe South, Sierra at Tahoe offers terrain for varying difficulties and suited for multiple generations of skiers and boarders. Located 12 miles south of South Lake Tahoe, this resort is known for being extremely beginner friendly with milder runs and conditions. This mountain features daily and seasonal passes, as well as group rates for parties of 20 or more. Sierra also provides 3-PAKs for consecutive ski days, with no holiday or weekend blackout dates. The 2016 season will begin when conditions allow.

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The powder starts flying on Nov. 18 at Mt. Rose Ski Resort. Courtesy: Mt. Rose

Mount Rose Ski Tahoe: Located in North Tahoe, Mount Rose Ski Tahoe is the only resort with 360 degree views of Truckee Meadows and Lake Tahoe. With runs for all skill levels, this mountain leans more towards the intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders. In addition to daily, beginner and seasonal passes, Mount Roses has special deals including Two’fer Tuesdays, Ladies Day Thursdays, Military Tickets and Ski the Day You Fly. Opening day is Nov. 18.

Northstar California: This resort is not only a great pick for downhill skiing, but is a favorite for cross country skiers as well. Located closer to Truckee, Northstar California features unique courses and premier terrain parks.

Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort and Northstar California are part of the Vail family, with pass packages allowing visitors to mountain hop with ease. When ski bunnies stay at the Ridge they can easily rent gear or get a quick tune up at the Resort Sports Ski & Snowboard Shop to start making their turns.

Winter Events Snowball Into Tahoe South

Ready for the winter? November and early December are perfect months to visit Tahoe South, as there is an abundance of merriment with winter events celebrating snow, adventure, music and family fun. Even if you’re not racing down the slopes on your skis or snowboard, Tahoe South has you covered for entertainment during the chilly months ahead!

Sierra-at-Tahoe is hosting the annual Sierra Snowball Fight: A Dodgeball Tournament to celebrate the upcoming ski season. The event at Steamer’s Bar & Grill includes live music, giveaways and drink specials, Nov. 10.

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Pray for snow parties aim to bring the white stuff all season!

With Heavenly Mountain and Kirkwood Mountain opening Dec. 18, it’s time to fill your free time with plenty of activities to get you stoked for the winter season. The Fresh Ketch will host their annual “Pray for Snow Party” on Nov. 17. The second annual Blizzardfest at Beach Retreat and Lodge will summon the snow gods to provide precipitation early and often. The “Pray for Snow Party” hosts games, vendors, raffle contests and live music from jazz funk artist Scott Pemberton, Nov. 19. Raffle proceeds go to the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless.

The Tahoe Adventure Film Festival fuels outdoor passion by premiering short edits from the industry’s best adventure sports films at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa, Dec. 10. The festival captures the intensity and thrill of outdoor activities ranging from skiing/snowboarding, climbing, biking, surfing, along with a night of DJs, break-dancers and giveaways. It may just inspire you to take up a new hobby!

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Ignite the winter season during Winter Ignite at Heavenly Village. Courtesy of Heavenly Mountain Resort

Winter Ignite rings in the holiday season at the Heavenly Village with a high-energy performance from Cold War Kids, an American indie rock band from Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. The free concert by Heavenly Mountain Resort serves as a celebration for winter adventures on the mountain combined with 24-7 nightlife and entertainment. The after party is at Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe with dancing, live music and drink specials.

Here’s to a great winter season of entertainment!

S’No’w Bad Days: Prep for the Winter Season Ahead

Skiers and snowboarders are eagerly gearing up for the winter season – and for good reason! With the first few snowfalls already under its belt, Lake Tahoe and the Ridge are ready to welcome shredders of all levels to experience the sweet Sierra pow. You’ll want to plan your trip now as Heavenly Mountain Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort open Nov. 18 with more following suit shortly thereafter.

skiing-at-heavenly-mountain-resortDrop into some powder opening day at Heavenly, Nov. 18. Courtesy of Heavenly Mountain Resort / Photo credit: Rachid Dahnoun

One-Stop Ski Lodge

Worry only about carving lines when you stay at the Ridge with inclusive on-site amenities and resources. The Resort Sports Ski & Snowboard Shop fulfills all rental needs, with the newest and highest quality equipment available at various performance levels. Services include ski and board rentals, hot waxing, tune-ups, repairs, ski accessories and clothing rentals and ski locker storage.

Children will be delighted when they hop aboard the Hilltrac Skier Express! Ridge visitors can conveniently access the Skier Express to speed up their arrival to Heavenly. This enclosed gondola is easily accessible from the resort and drops visitors off at the Stagecoach Chairlift. There are also complimentary ski shuttles to both the Stagecoach and Boulder Lodges.

Take the express lane via the Hilltrac Skier Express.

Take the express lane via the Hilltrac Skier Express.

Insider Tips Before Hitting the Slopes

Before you’re officially on the mountain facing a glorious run of white, it’s important to ensure you follow a few general rules for maximum safety and fun.

  • Dress warmly: Wear layers under the ski jacket and pants that are tighter to the body and insulate heat. Another great option is using hand and foot warmers to stay cozy. Remaining comfortable during a chilly ski outing will not only make the adventure more enjoyable, but will help prevent injuries if falls occur.
  • Make sure the gear fits: Utilize the Ridge’s ski shop resources and ensure all gear, helmets, goggles, boots, etc. fit correctly. Equipment that is too big or small will make skiing uncomfortable and can be a safety hazard.
  • Falling without injury: Even the best skiers trip and fall on the mountain; what’s important is to position the body in a way that minimizes pain or potential injuries. Tuck the body as much as possible and wait until the movement has stopped before trying to stand.
  • Move to the sides of the runs: If a break is needed or you’re waiting for friends to catch up, be helpful to other skiers and snowboarders by pausing on the sides of the runs. This prevents frustration from other mountain users and makes it less likely for accidents.
  • Stretch before and after: Take a few minutes in the morning and afternoon to stretch and heal the body. This helps loosen up the muscles and joints so you are more limber.
  • Sleep: The beds at the Ridge are mighty comfy so guests should take advantage of a good night’s sleep to prepare the mind and body for action-packed days!
  • Hot cocoa: Dare we say this is the most important tip? Nothing toasts an accomplished ski day quite like a warm mug of hot cocoa shared with family and friends.

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Rejoice for snow at the Ridge Tahoe!

Helpful Mobile Apps

  • Heavenly GPS Ski and Snowboard Trail Maps: This app provides detailed maps, descriptions and conditions of all Heavenly Mountain Resort runs and trails. Users can track their progress and share their mountain days on social media platforms.
  • Ski Pursuit: Record data and statistics such as speed, duration and distance to track activity. Set a personal goal and try to beat it with this app’s help.
  • Action Shot: Capture fast runs, tricks and jumps seamlessly and with minimal editing.

For more information on passes, conditions and resort details visit Heavenly Mountain Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort. See you on the slopes!

It’s a Spooktacular Time to Celebrate Halloween in Tahoe

The time of year has come for ghouls, witches and vampires to reveal themselves, celebrating the holiday of tricks, treats and scares. Halloween brings a week filled with spooktacular festivities to Tahoe South, with events suited for all ages.

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It’s time to get spooky with fun activities at The Ridge Tahoe!

The Ridge is the perfect place for families who enjoy spending Halloween in the cozy indoors watching scary movies with plenty of seating for everyone. Get into the spirit of the season and carve Jack-O-Lanterns or bake scrumptious Halloween treats in fully-equipped kitchens. The Ridge will be celebrating All Hallows Eve with a special screening of “Hotel Transylvania” and a Halloween extravaganza at the Kids Club. Festivities kick off with a costume party from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. followed by spooky crafts at 11 a.m. and finally games from 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

If you’d prefer to venture out onto the spooky streets, trick-or-treat in a fun (and safe) environment at the 14th annual Treat Street at Lake Tahoe Community College, on Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. Local businesses and non-profits hand out candy, while children enjoy games, spooky stories, a haunted house, a mad scientist laboratory and more surprises.

Put on your thinking hats and get those creative juices flowing as you determine your Halloween costume for the annual Freaker's Ball at MontBleu. Photo: Brian Walker.

Tahoe South is the place to go all out on your costume. Courtesy: MontBleu / Photo credit: Brian Walker

Kahle Community Center is hosting their annual Halloween Carnival Celebration, Oct. 31 at 4 p.m. Sponsored by Kiwanis of Lake Tahoe, this event allows children to show off their costumes while play carnival games to win treats and wonderful prizes.

The Beach Retreat and Lodge is hosting a Halloween Party, where families can trick-or-treat throughout the property, Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. The evening includes a bounce house, live entertainment, music, s’mores and costume contests.

Grab a group of friends for a scary and challenging puzzle adventure with Trapped in Tahoe. The locally owned entertainment business is designed to take guests through various themed rooms, where groups have to work together to for a way out. Current storylines include avoiding being a vampire’s victim in Dracula’s Castle; an escape from an evil girl and a burning house in Funny Faces; and a terrifying zombie apocalypse in Sector 11.

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Let your freak flag fly at MontBleu’s Halloween bash. Courtesy: MontBleu

Adults can indulge their inner ghoul with a few of Tahoe South’s hottest parties of the year. The Rockin’ Dead Halloween Bash at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino features DJ Chris Payne mixing beats, Oct. 28 starting at 9 p.m. The bash culminates with a costume contest with $5,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs.

The 38th annual Freaker’s Ball spans throughout three MontBleu venues and guests bring their best costume game, Oct 29 starting at 8 p.m. The oldest and most extravagant Halloween party in Tahoe features hit DJs and dancers, as well as a costume contest with $10,000 in cash and prizes.

Stay safe this weekend and Halloween with the Ridge’s free shuttle service to the casinos.

Inject Some Magic into Your Wedding

With two snowfalls already under its belt in October, Tahoe South is ready for winter to descend upon the Sierra Nevada and blanket the region in white. Winter is not only a wonderful time to experience the outdoors via snowboarding, skiing and snowshoeing, it’s also an ideal time to get married in the mountains with gorgeous year-round venues and breathtaking backdrops.

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If you’re a fan of the colder weather, a winter wedding provides a range of benefits and opportunities for an unforgettable fête with your family and friends.

Benefits of a Winter Wedding

  1. Your wedding has a little bit of magic. From freshly fallen flurries to the magic in the air from the buzz of the holidays, wintertime nuptials have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes the event feel electric.
  2. Oh, the accessories! With chillier temps comes more clothing and accessory options. If you’re less of a strapless gown gal and more of a faux fur stole or cape, then a winter wedding should be considered to fulfill your sartorial wedding dreams. Not to mention you can add fun holiday-themed flourishes through your décor.untitled
  3. Do you love hot cocoa and hot apple cider? While these would be out of place at a summer or spring wedding, they are an ideal beverage of choice for a winter wedding. Heartier meals are also a fitting option for dinner, so break out the comfort foods!
  4. Tahoe South is an ideal setting for a wedding regardless of the weather, but winter provides a unique perspective on the beloved Basin – and endless photo ops. Opt to throw snow in the air for a candid shot with the wedding party or pose among snowcapped trees with your beloved for unique photos you’ll cherish in any season.
  5. Tahoe South and The Ridge Tahoe are a great option for a honeymoon. Imagine the convenience of saying “I do” and settling into your honeymoon almost immediately afterwards. Take your sweetie for a couple of turns down the mountain, take a cruise to Emerald Bay on the year-round M.S. Dixie II and enjoy après ski options at a variety of restaurants for a taste of the local culinary scene.6-winter-weddings-at-the-ridge-tahoe

The Ridge Tahoe is currently running a special for a winter wedding. If you’re ready to take the plunge, book with us! A Winter Castle Rock Ceremony and Reception includes a cocktail reception, a romantic lighted ceremony backdrop, a floral package and even more. Book by Nov. 24, 2016 to receive a choice of a two night stay in a one-bedroom suite or a complimentary champagne toast during the ceremony.

If you would like more information about winter weddings, call Blair Butler at (775) 588-3553, extension 3160 or  bbutler@ridge-resorts.com.

Tahoe in a Nutshell

New to Tahoe or just interested in brushing up on some fun facts and new ideas for exploration? There is a ton to see when visiting the Jewel of Sierra. Come prepared with fun facts, myths and the best plan of attack to discover Lake Tahoe.

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Put on your adventure pants because it’s time to discover Tahoe! Photo credit: Rachid Dahnoun

Fast Factoids

  • Lake Tahoe gets 275 days of sunshine a year, which explains why everyone is happy to be here.
  • Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the US and tenth deepest in the world, with its deepest point being 1,645 feet.
  • It’s also the largest alpine lake in the US!
  • Tahoe is so deep that it could cover the entire state of California with 14 inches of water.
  • Celebrities that have called Tahoe home include Shirley Temple, Frank Sinatra, Liza Minelli, Cher, Robin Williams, Alanis Morissette and Leonard Nimoy. The Hunger Games star Jena Malone grew up here!
  • The Godfather Part II was filmed at Lake Tahoe, specifically at Fleur du Lac Mansion on the west shore.

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Fleur Du Lac Mansion can be viewed from the water, as it is currently private residences. Courtesy Pinterest

Hidden Depths

  • Speaking of the mafia, the area has seen its fair share of mob activity. Many believe that hidden in the depths of Lake Tahoe are hundreds of preserved bodies that were “offed” by mob affiliations.
  • Lake Tahoe is rumored to be inhabited by a monster similar to the Loch Ness Monster. Her name is Tahoe Tessie and photos are sought for a glimpse of her emerald skinned silhouette.

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Best way to see Tahoe? On the water! Courtesy South Tahoe Standup Paddle

Tahoe Done Right

  • Explore: The waters of Lake Tahoe bring endless adventures. Try your hand at a new water sport that will get your adrenaline pumping and the waves kickin’!
  • Find: There are many Hidden Beaches perfect for off-the-beaten-path fun.
  • Hike: The Tahoe Rim Trail is just steps away from the Ridge, but there are a multitude of trails and paths easily accessible in the Basin.
  • Fall in love: Named one of the best places in the US for a mountain wedding, Tahoe is no stranger to romance. Regardless if you’re planning to pop the question, celebrate a milestone or or get married at 7,500 ft, Lake Tahoe is the best place for love.
  • Bring the family: Tahoe and the Ridge help create magical family vacations. Many of the Ridge activities are kid-friendly. (P.S. If you need a break from the kiddos, consider our Activity Club!)
  • Take a day trip: Venture over the hill for historical locales or get in some fall fixings.

Make your home base at The Ridge Tahoe for a central location to explore all areas of the Basin.

Apple Pies, Pumpkin Patches and Wine Tasting – All In a Day at Apple Hill!

Fall is a festive time of year when nature undergoes beautiful transformations and the harvest season yields delicious produce ideal for seasonal feasting. When staying at the Ridge, guests are just an hour’s drive away from a treasure trove of farms, orchards and wineries at Apple Hill. Apple Hill Growers Association, located between Pollock Pines and Placerville, is comprised of more than 50 ranches that include apple orchards, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms and wineries. This is the perfect way to squeeze in some traditional Autumn activities and fixings – and so conveniently close to your destination, too!

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Rows of farm fresh produce available in Apple Hill.

 

In order to experience all of Apple Hill’s offerings, visitors are recommended to follow the looped road where all the farms and orchards reside in the area. Grab a map available at any stop and decide which activities sound most appealing as each farmer has something unique to offer.

One of the most popular sites is High Hill Ranch. Overlooking incredible valley views, this spot has High Hill’s popular apple cider, apple pies and homemade fudge. The grassy areas near the pond make for a great picnic and children’s play area, so buy some goodies and enjoy a scenic lunch.

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Nothing says “Fall” like tons of pumpkins!

Another must-see is Rainbow Orchards. Here visitors can fill up bags with apples and gourds to take home, as well as buying ready-made pies to bake back at the Ridge in the full kitchens of our one and two-bedroom condominium suites. Don’t be alarmed by the line of people; they are waiting for Rainbow Orchards’ famous warm, fluffy Apple Cider Donuts that are definitely worth the wait!

Despite its name, Kids Inc. is a great choice both for kids and adults. Visitors can watch the apple pies being made moments before they’re eaten, pick pumpkins from the patch to turn into Jack-O-Lanterns or yummy treats, interact with farm animals in the petting area, explore the corn maze, and sample the craft-brewed hard apple cider. This popular ranch also has a gorgeous nature trail that leads guests on a winding path through the orchard and down to a picturesque creek.

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Apple Hill is an easy day trip from The Ridge Tahoe – and so relaxing!

 

Apple Hill is also proud to host award-winning wineries that are available for guests to tour and taste the seasonal fare. Offering wine tasting menus under $10 a person, each winery has a unique atmosphere and breathtaking views of vineyards.

After a day packed with traditional fall adventures, it’s comforting to return to a warm and cozy room at the Ridge. Open up a bottle of the favorite wine sampled at Apple Hill and bake an apple pie to enjoy.

Fall into October with Tahoe South Festivals

The leaves are turning, falling and breezing all over Tahoe South signaling the coming of October. It’s hard to believe that we’re nearly done with the year, but there is still so much to experience when you visit Lake Tahoe. This month brings events and festivals to the area that celebrates the Autumn season. It’s a great time to get outside, spend time with the family and drink apple cider – or a giant stein of beer if you’re so inclined!

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Cheers to Oktoberfest, Oct. 1-2! Courtesy: Camp Richardson Resort & Marina

Does Fall really start until you’ve relished some authentic German fare and giant mugs of brew? For many, the season kicks into gear with the annual Oktoberfest hosted by Camp Richardson, Oct. 1-2. The two-day festival packs in fun and fare with something for everyone, including craft booths, a pumpkin patch, face painting, balloon art, a climbing wall, a bouncy house and live music. Guests can enter contests such as beer stein holding, yodeling and owner and dog dress up. A popular element of the fest is the beer and wine garden.

Occurring on the same Saturday and Sunday, the Fall Fish Fest at Taylor Creek Visitor Center is an annual celebration of the fall migration of the Kokanee salmon. This weekend is one of the most educational wildlife viewing events in Northern California with plenty of great activities for the whole family. Kokanee salmon come to spawn in Taylor Creek after a long journey. Bears are often spotted in the area Avid runners can also join the Kokanee Trail Run during this action packed weekend. Sign up for a half marathon, 5k and 10k runs.

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Push your boundaries during the Lake Tahoe Marathon. Credit: Dan Thrift

If you crave more physical activity, sign up for the Lake Tahoe Marathon. The marathon has become a premier, 3-day festival of running, swimming and kayaking, Oct. 6-9. There are events available for any age group beginning with toddlers.

The colors are popping off in Tahoe region and the Alpine Aspen Festival honors the beauty of the season Oct. 8-9. It also celebrates the vital role of aspen groves in providing water to millions of residents in California and Nevada. Located in the picturesque Hope Valley, Alpine County hosts the headwaters of five major rivers: American River, Stanislaus River, Mokelumne River, Truckee River and Carson River. This area not only hosts great opportunities for fly fishing, but also horseback riding, hikes, disc golf and star gazing. Try out a new hobby during the festival or simply appreciate the splendor of your surroundings.

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Amazing fall colors await you in Hope Valley. Credit: Merick Rickman

As always, the Ridge is packed with endless opportunities and adventures for all ages. Catch one of two Blockbuster movies shown every day in the cozy theater. Try one of the Valley View Hikes with incredible mountain scenery or take tennis lessons with the family to improve that swing. The complimentary Kids Club offers hands-on activities and fun learning experiences, while parents get treated to a relaxing spa treatment at Elevation Spa. The Ridge offers incredible amenities in any season so grab that Pumpkin Spice Latte and enjoy!

Getting into the Autumn Spirit at Lake Tahoe

Do you feel that? It’s the crisp Autumn breeze swirling around the Lake Tahoe basin indicating Fall has arrived with shorter days and colder nights. With a plethora of deciduous pine trees, it’s quite special to explore the locations where colorful autumn foliage is on display. Grab your cameras to capture the changing leaves and don’t miss the perfect opportunity for some great social media posts!

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Fall in Tahoe offers a different perspective on the Jewel of the Sierra. Courtesy: Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

Hope Valley
With a name like that, you know this location will renew your spirit and senses with a rolling landscape of lush colors. Aspen groves and the flowing Carson River cutting through the valley makes for a prime photography location, as well as a great fishing spot. A recommended time to visit this area is during the Alpine Alpen Festival, Oct. 8-9.  Tip: Stop into Sorensen’s for a bite to eat before returning to Lake Tahoe.

Directions: Drive on Highway 50 west and turn left at Highway 89 south. Continue over Luther Pass to Pickett’s Junction approximately 10 miles.

Fallen Leaf Lake/Fredrick’s Meadow
Fallen Leaf Lake is a Sierra dream – especially during the autumn when the water is sparkling, the crowds have dissipated and the leaves have gone golden. Not only is the Lake a treat, but the walk to Fallen Leaf is plentiful of seasonal colors in Frederick’s Meadow. Aspens and conifers surround this open meadow whose tall grasses also turn a golden hue when the weather changes.

Directions: Take Highway 89 south and turn left on Fallen Leaf Lake Road. Continue past the campground entrance approximately 1 ½ miles.

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Mt. Tallac as viewed from Fallen Leaf Lake. Credit: Rachid Dahnoun

Lam Watah Trail/Rabe Meadow
Fall colors abound while strolling through the Rabe Meadow on the Lam Watah Trail. The trail rambles through the meadow before landing at Nevada Beach, which makes for a great setting for an autumnal sunset.

Directions: Take Highway 50 towards Stateline and turn left on Kahle drive. Park in the lot on the right.

Taylor Creek Visitor Center
Home to the Kokanee Salmon Festival the first week of October, Taylor Creek offers an easy, enjoyable stroll in a variety of landscapes including forest, meadow and swamp. Aspens engulf the trail at times when then opens up to Taylor Creek where legions of Kokanee salmon spawn during the autumn. Taylor Creek offers seating areas to take in the flora and fauna, as well as a visitors center for those eager to learn more about the visiting fish.

Directions: Drive on Highway 89 south and go past the Tallac Historic Site to turn right at the Visitor Center.

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Kokanee salmon as they spawn at Taylor Creek. Credit: Brad Scott

Lake Tahoe Community College Demonstration Garden
Located on College Drive, there is a large display of Aspen trees in the Demonstration Garden.  The Demonstration Garden offers tranquility in the heart of South Lake Tahoe. Centrally located, it’s perfect for a quick connection to nature!