Push Yourself with These Challenging Tahoe Hikes

Hiking can be a leisurely activity spent with friends or it can be a challenging adventure that can take you to the very top of the world. For those in either category, Tahoe provides many trails that travel to hidden waterfalls, crystal clear alpine lakes and the highest peaks in the Basin. Individuals looking for a real test of their endurance and strength need look no further than the following hikes rated hard in the Tahoe Basin.


The summit of Mt. Tallac offers stunning views of Tahoe. Credit: Rachid Dahnoun / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

Mt. Tallac
9.6 miles | 3,323 elevation gain
Mt. Tallac is the towering peak that marks the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. Its iconic cross, which typically bears the final remnants of an epic winter, can be seen throughout the southern community. In addition to its staggering height and beauty, Tallac offers an extremely difficult, but very rewarding hike that takes you through troves of wildflowers to its summit where you can peer into Desolation Wilderness and view the many alpine lakes dotting the region.

Tips: Leave early to beat the heat and the crowds. We recommend leaving by first light.

Freel Peak
6.2 miles | 3,228 elevation gain
Freel Peak sits at 10,892 ft. (just over 1,000 feet higher than Mt. Tallac) and claims the title for tallest peak in Tahoe. With this status, it’s easy to imagine that a hike to its summit would be, well, staggering! By many accounts, Freel is much more difficult than Tallac with sand accounting for much of its final ascent. Like Tallac, Freel provides very gratifying views of not only Lake Tahoe and its surroundings, but also of Carson Valley. If you want to claim that you’ve hiked the highest peak in Tahoe, then Freel is for you!

Tips: Take it slow when approaching the summit as it’s mostly sand and your footing may stumble.


Ralston Peak
6.4 miles | 3,018 elevation gain
For wildflowers and impressive mountain overlooks, hikers will find a stimulating, albeit thigh burning, hike in Ralston Peak. Much of the hike is uphill and steep, so be prepared for a long climb to the top. However, this hike is much less populated than Freel and Tallac, which means you’ll have the gorgeous summit mostly to yourself

Tips: Check the weather before you head out as weather can change quickly towards the top.

Take in multiple lakes and views of Emerald Bay from Maggies Peaks. Credit: Robbie Graves

Maggies Peaks
3.7 miles | 1,774 elevation gain
The more moderate option of the aforementioned hikes, Maggies Peak is a fairly steep, mostly uphill hike that provides generous views of Emerald Bay and Desolation Wilderness. Choose between the north peak to see more of the bay and the south peak for more of Desolation. Butterflies abound at the top, making it the perfect picnic spot.

Tips: If you’re new to more difficult trails, try Maggies before attempting any of the first three hikes.

See you out on the trails!

Fall in Love with Autumn and Winter Weddings

Summer is fading, but we can’t help but fall for the romantic allure of autumn and winter. When it comes to weddings, these two seasons offer a magical quality unmatched in the warmer months, which is why the Ridge Tahoe is offering a wedding special for couples that book by Oct. 31, 2017.

Ever wanted to make snowballs at your wedding? You can during our wedding special! Courtesy: The Ridge Tahoe

Couples that celebrate their nuptials at the Ridge Tahoe between October and May 15, 2018, will take advantage of the Ridge Tahoe Simplistic Lifestyle Ceremony and Cocktail Party Package.

Those brides and grooms that book this time-limited deal will gather up to 25 of their closest friends and family at the indoor ceremony site and say, “I do” under the Ridge Tahoe’s new indoor ceremony arbor. The package also includes 25 white ceremony chairs, an event attendant for those last-minute details and an officiate to, well, make it official!

Get as festive as you’d like during your fall or winter wedding at the Ridge. Courtesy: Ridge Tahoe Resort

iPod amplification will set the soundtrack for cocktails from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Couples will choose from a choice of three appetizers in addition to imported cheese platters, a hot beverage station with tea, coffee and Belgium hot chocolate to warm up! The reception will also include an unlimited selection of sodas and juices, as well a one hour hosted bar of beer and wine. Finish off the evening with a six-inch cutting cake topped with fresh flowers and paired with your choice of three mini desserts.

Couples will remember the day forever with a one-hour photo session with 75 images. Smile, pose and be merry as you celebrate the best day of your lives at the Ridge Tahoe!

Are you drooling yet? Your wedding will include delicious appetizers and desserts. Courtesy: Ridge Tahoe Resort

Additional benefits of this package include hair and makeup for the bride, a bridal bouquet and groom boutonniere, four vases for decoration, Chiavari reception chairs, linens, banquet staff, china, and glassware.

This special also includes exclusive room rates as low as $79, and better yet: the happily wedded couple will enjoy a complimentary 2-night stay in a one-bedroom suite.

If you’re searching for the perfect venue for your fall or winter wedding, the Ridge Tahoe is happy to host you and your loved ones for a day you won’t soon forget. This wedding special is $5395.00* ( Inclusive of tax and service fees).

For more information, call Blair Butler at (775) 588-3553, extension 3160 or bbutler@ridge-resorts.com.

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.


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.


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.

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!


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!


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.

Tahoe South Spring Landscape Project

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.


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!


Nestled on a spectacular Sierra Nevada ridge above Lake Tahoe, and overlooking the breathtaking and beautiful Carson Valley, this 11 acre hotel resort offers year-round vacation rentals with panoramic views and luxurious accommodations. Complimentary Health Club, Indoor Sports Complex, Indoor/Outdoor Swimming Pools and Jacuzzis, Restaurant, Deli, Market, Full Service Spa and more are all on-site. Complimentary shuttle service whisks guests 5 miles to Lake Tahoe and casino nightlife.

The Ridge provides a variety of great Lake Tahoe lodging options with choices perfect for family vacations or romantic getaways. Options include deluxe hotel rooms, one and two bedroom condominium suites with full kitchens.

Summer offers an exciting array of activities on property and on Lake Tahoe. Our pool, spa, tennis courts, rock climbing wall and hiking trails are all a few minutes from your front door. Just down the hill are Lake Tahoe’s beautiful beaches, boating, paddleboarding and kayaking

. In the winter our Skier Express provides ski in / ski out access to Heavenly Ski Resort’s Stagecoach Chairlift. The Ridge Ski Shop can satisfy your entire ski and snowboard needs onsite, so you can quickly hit the slopes. We also offer a variety of classes and indoor activities when the weather doesn’t cooperate or you’re not up for tackling the great outdoors.

The Ridge’s expansive property is an ideal venue for weddings, meetings and reunions. We have a variety of meeting and gathering spaces that can accommodate groups from 10 – 200.

For your wedding day we have ceremony sites with breathtaking views and the experienced staff to help make it the perfect day. For your business meetings we have all the A/V and technical resources you require to maximize your productivity. For family reunions our variety of lodging choices and countless onsite activities make it the perfect location to bring everyone together.