After two failed attempts, I finally made it to Tahoe last weekend.
It was beginning to get embarrassing to have to admit that I hadn’t been yet, after two full years of living in San Francisco. The disbelief in people’s eyes was genuine (a bit ridiculous, but genuine), and I was excited to finally see what all the hype was about.
As far as the hype goes, plenty of it is merited. Lake Tahoe is North America’s largest alpine lake, eighth deepest in the world. At it’s deepest point, Lake Tahoe reaches a depth of 1,685 feet. If you were to drain it and pour the water out across the entirety of the state, all of California would be covered in 14 inches of water.*
Never mind the logistics of actually doing such a thing, but it’s a staggering statistic.
This was the view out the back of our cabin. Not pictured is the hot tub. Cool mountain air plus a hot tub and drinks is always a winning combination.
We spent most of the first day at the lake near our cabin being lazy on the beach and unwinding from the pace of normal life.
But the next morning, we set out to see this view of Emerald Bay and to take a short hike to nearby Eagle Falls.
The Eagle Falls Trail is one of the most popular short hikes in the area. It’s known for cascading waterfalls and lush green mountain scenery. However, California’s record-breaking drought was on full display. The waterfall was practically non-existent, more of a creek, a trickle. And there wasn’t much lushness left.
But even the drought couldn’t minimize the grandeur of the views and the magnitude of the trees.
So we pushed on past Eagle Falls and after what seemed like an eternity of climbing rock after stair-stepped rock, we came to a clearing and saw the midday sun glistening off the waters of Eagle Lake, one of the many glacial lakes carved out of the Sierra Nevadas. Well worth the extra climb.
Having marveled at the pinkish hue of the setting sun along rim of the lake, we decided to plan ahead for our last night. We set out for the beach a little before sunset to relax and enjoy nature’s show.
Unexpectedly lots of other people began to gather on the beach too, and quickly we realized that we had staked out just the right spot at the water’s edge to watch an impressive display of Labor Day fireworks.
I couldn’t imagine a better way to signal the end of summer and usher in the fall — even if fall is San Francisco’s summer.
*Source: Best Places Northern California (6th Edition), an okay guidebook I don’t particularly recommend.