Contact UsStanford Sierra Conference Center
P.O. Box 10618
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158 Physical Address:
130 Fallen Leaf Road
Fallen Leaf, CA 96150
After twelve wonderful, but long weeks of Stanford Sierra Family Camp, there is one last hurrah for the Stanford student summer staff before they head back to campus: Kids Camp! In early September, more than 100 fifth and sixth graders, along with approximately 15 chaperones, arrive at Camp for an unforgettable weekend. Half of the summer staff stay the extra two days to volunteer their time to guide nature walks, go boating and crawdad fishing, do art projects, host a campfire and sleep in cabins with kids. What are the highlights of the weekend for the kids? Ski boat rides with trained staff and the Saturday night dance!Stanford Sierra Camp has been partnering with different schools for more than twenty years to host the two day and two night program. East Palo Alto Charter School (EPACS) has been coming to Kids Camp for a weekend of outdoor adventure, environmental lessons and fun for approximately ten years. Kids Camp is an incentive program for EPACS students who meet grade, behavior and attendance criteria in the previous school year. Brant Bishop, Camp’s assistant director, has been designing and running Kids Camp for the past four summers, and it’s a highlight of his year. He says Kids Camp is a chance for Camp to give back to a community that is just minutes away from Stanford University and to fulfill Camp’s mission to “provide fun, safe and educational experiences in a unique wilderness environment.” For many EPACS students spending the weekend at Fallen Leaf Lake, Camp provides them with a number of first-time experiences like fun-yaking, hiking, and crawdad fishing. Different from family camp when kids are accompanied by their parents, staff chaperone the kids close to 24 hours a day, and sleep in the cabins with them. This unique opportunity provides staff and students a chance to form real relationships and really get to know the kids in a short amount of time, says Macy Zardenata, a summer staffer who has volunteered at Kids Camp for the past two summers. Ending the summer with Kids Camp is a great way for our staff to give back, act like a kid and cap off twelve weeks at Fallen Leaf Lake!
Summer is undoubtedly my favorite season in Tahoe, but fall comes in as a close second. When kids go back to school and town quiets down, the aspens turn golden and the weather starts to cool. I find fall a great time to hike, bike, pull out my warm clothes, and read a book by the fireplace. It’s nice to do these things to decompress from a summer packed with visitors, crowds, and the heat! There are quite a few fall events in the Tahoe area that are fun for visitors and locals. Plus, the shoulder season is a great time to find deals at hotels, restaurants and local stores. Summer gear is highly discounted by September, and stores are also rolling out winter gear, so you could be the first to purchase the newest and coolest items for the upcoming season! The fall season is also when Lake Tahoe is clearest. Without much water flowing into the lake in the fall months, there is less sediment and other pollutants coming in to the lake. If you’re in the Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe area this fall, here are a few things that are definitely worth checking out! Ironman Lake Tahoe takes place on Lake Tahoe’s north shore, September 21st. The 2.4 mile swim, 110 mile bike ride and marathon run (all at an altitude of 6,200+ feet!) is only for the insanely fit, but it’s a great event to watch! After exiting the water, racers ride along the lake and on to Truckee and past Northstar Ski Resort. The two lap course ends back at the beach and racers take off on a run that ends at Squaw Valley. Viewing will be great all day from anywhere on the bike or run course (Tahoe City, Truckee or on Lake Tahoe), but I’ll be in the Village at Squaw Valley for the finish!
The annual Fall Fish Festival takes place on October 5th this year at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center. This family-friendly event isn’t just for kids! It’s an awesome sight for anyone to see the bright pink Kokanee salmon swimming up Taylor Creek. If you’re not in Tahoe on the 5th, the fish are usually around a week before and after the festival. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see some of Tahoe’s bears stopping by the stream for a meal.
Happening at the same time as the Fish Festival is Camp Richardson’s Oktoberfest. This two-day event, October 4th and 5th, is a family-friendly event with food, activities, games and of course, beer! Costumes aren’t necessary, but there is a costume contest!Fall Colors in Hope Valley are stunning when the aspen leaves go from green to golden and light up the landscape. Hope Valley is located just over Luther Pass at the junction of Highway 89 and Highway 88 (Pickett’s Junction). There is lots of hiking in this area, as well as great road biking. The bike from Pickett’s Junction to Blue Lakes is approximately 28 miles roundtrip, and has great views with minimal traffic. Grover Hot Springs in Markleeville is another great place to take in the fall scenery and stay warm on a cool day! Just because summer is over doesn't mean that the fall isn't a wonderful time to visit Tahoe. You might not be swimming in Lake Tahoe or Fallen Leaf come October, but it's still a beautiful place to visit with a whole different set of perks for the season!