After a few days of winter weather — which included both rain and snow — in the Tahoe Basin, it seems that spring is officially upon us (knock on wood). With the forecast currently showing 60-degree temperatures and sunny skies for the next few days, it's time to get outdoors and experience all that the region has to offer this time of year.
Even though most Tahoe-based ski resorts have packed up shop for the next seven months, shoulder season boasts opportunities to hike to waterfalls, picnic and catch some top-notch live entertainment.
There are countless trailheads found around Lake Tahoe, many of which offer glimpses and up-close encounters with roaring falls. Ones to consider this spring are Glen Alpine Falls and Horsetail Falls, both located on South Shore.
The Glen Alpine Falls trailhead is found off Fallen Leaf Lake Road. On the approximate 5-mile trek you'll experience multiple waterfalls and might have to cross some wet spots, so plan your footwear accordingly. It's not too challenging, so don't worry if you're not an experienced hiker.
Horsetail Falls is situated off U.S. 50 near Twin Bridges. It's a bit more difficult than Glen Alpine — mainly because you have to scramble over rocks in some areas — but getting right up to the waterfall at the end of the trail is totally worth it. Plus, the roughly 3-mile journey will help you burn off some extra calories before summer.
Picnicking in Tahoe
It's no secret that the basin boasts some of the most breathtaking views of nature, so pack up your lunch and enjoy it outdoors amidst flora and fauna. If you're not hitting up Glen Alpine or Horsetail Falls, drive along highways 89 and 88 towards Kirkwood (tip: this drive is full of colorful flowers later in the year) for a plethora of spots to take in the sights while eating your PB&J and drinking your favorite local brew.
Some of our favorite stops along Carson Pass include Hope Valley and Caples Lake — there's no need to hike into these destinations (although you do have the opportunity to explore if you want); simply park your car and you're there.
Be sure to take care of the environment and pick up after yourselves.
Round out any day of exploring by listening to live music — Outpost Brewing Co.'s beer garden welcomes talent daily from 2-10 p.m., as do multiple restaurants in Heavenly Village.
Be on the lookout for big-name gigs this spring: Sammy Hagar's acoustic show and The Head and the Heart both take over Harrah's Lake Tahoe at the start of May (visit http://www.harrahslaketahoe.com for information), Lou Gramm of Foreigner performs at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa later that month (find details at http://www.montbleuresort.com) and much more.
Due to space we're unable to highlight every single show that will hit the basin in spring, but check out the event calendar for more listings.