Our favorite destination during winter is Lake Tahoe. We usually go to South Lake Tahoe as it has our favorite ski resort - Heavenly. On occasions we have stayed at North Lake Tahoe and visited the North Star and Boreal. If finding accomodation near lake Tahoe is difficult or expensive, you can try Carson City and Reno too. If I am going for multiple days, I prefer Reno as you can go to either of North or South lake Tahoe depending on weather conditions. You can enjoy the Casinos too at night. An added bonus right!
The drive to Lake Tahoe is beautiful. The snow capped peaks are enchanting.
This winter the snow was pretty severe. When we visited the temperatures were around -15 degree C. What I love most about winters are the icicles on houses. They look so beautiful!
We went up to Heavenly to do tubing, but by the time we bought our tickets, stopped at the lower level to see the views and enjoy a hot chocolate, and reached the tubing spot - it was closed for the day. I would suggest you go tubing in the mornings. During the afternoon, people complete skiing and then stop by for a few rounds of tubing, and it can get really busy.
So we ended up taking a walk along South Lake Tahoe. All the pathways leading to the lake were snowed in and really slippery. People had made this their own sledding area. They were zipping down the stairs. It looked great fun. There were a couple who zipped down so fast that they could not stop and landed in the ice-cold water ;). Was fun watching.
The drive back to our hotel after the fun time at Lake Tahoe was rough. During winters, It is preferable to drive a 4xwheel drive and carry snow chains. The main highways are constantly cleared of snow and driving is not very difficult, unless it is snowing very hard. We experienced a lot of snow and visibility was poor. We even saw a few SUVs skid. It is always safe to drive slow and have chains on.
We neither had 4xwheel drive nor snow chains. We had to buy the chains from a gas station and as it was our first time, we tried to put them on by ourselves. We failed miserably at it and finally had them on with the help of a friendly couple who had stopped next to us to put on their chains. Remember to carry with you a small tool box and flashlight. It came in very handy. We later found out that if you have your own ski chains, there are professionals along Hwy 50 who can do it for you. I would say that would be the best way as it is fast and easy.
The next morning was clear again. Hwy 50 still had a few restrictions though. We were staying at Reno as we had made last minute plans and had a hard time finding a good place in Tahoe. We decided to go to North lake Tahoe. We went snowmobiling near Squaw Valley. It was great fun and the views were amazing, but I must admit that the ride was scary. We went for a 2 hour ride to the peak of a mountain and at most times were close to the edge. Was glad I wasn't driving!
We also tried ski-biking. It was super fun. It is just like a bicycle but with skis instead of tires. The only hard part is carrying them up the ski lifts.
That was Lake Tahoe in Winter:) It is equally beautiful in the summer, will tons of fun adventure activities. Stop by to check all that out in our next post!