Contact UsStanford Sierra Conference Center
P.O. Box 10618
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158 Physical Address:
130 Fallen Leaf Road
Fallen Leaf, CA 96150
Lodging at Stanford Sierra is not like your typical conference hotel. Instead of a conventional vanilla hotel room, you can enjoy comfortable accommodations with charming décor in a spectacular mountain setting. Need more convincing? Check out our top four reasons to stay with us.1.Cabins While Stanford Sierra does offer hotel room style accommodations in the Main Lodge, when was the last time you stayed in a cabin while at a conference? Embrace your inner camper and enjoy standalone lodging with timbered ceilings and alpine décor, along with all the amenities you’d expect. There are 52 cabins scattered in clusters around the property, each with multiple bedrooms, an outdoor deck, and views of Fallen Leaf Lake and the surrounding mountains. 2. Balconies and Outdoor Decks Love the fresh air? Not only can you open the windows in all the rooms and cabins at Stanford Sierra (unlike some hotels), but all rooms and cabins boast either a private balcony or outdoor deck. Whether you need to unwind after the day’s sessions, or catch up on work, the al fresco setting is both relaxing and inspiring. 3. Views At Stanford Sierra you won’t see highways or urban streetscapes when you look out of your window. Instead you’ll gaze upon the cerulean blue of Fallen Leaf Lake and the craggy mountains of nearby Desolation Wilderness. If you time your visit just right, you may be privy to the explosion of fall colors that permeates our location in the autumn. 4. Amenities While we offer many of the hotel amenities you would expect, like free wireless internet, complimentary coffee and tea, and shampoo and other toiletries in the room, you’ll find plenty of unique amenities. Think peace and quiet, fresh air, spectacular views, beautiful sunsets, easy access to outdoor recreation, a lack of crowds and traffic, and a way to truly escape daily life.
What happens when you bring together experts in an assortment of different disciplines to give TEDx style lectures at a picturesque setting on Fallen Leaf Lake?You get Stanford in the Wild , the newest alumni program at Stanford Sierra Camp. The inaugural three day event, to be held April 16-19, 2015, promises to be truly unique. Below are our top five reasons why you should plan on attending: 5. Presenters at the forefront of their field: It's not every day you can hear from authorities on such a variety of subjects. Host Tina Seelig, Phd, '85, is a national leader in engineering education, teaching creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, who has put together a host of stimulating speakers. Presenters include J. Christian Gerdes, an associate professor of mechanical engineering whose laboratory studies how cars move, how humans drive cars an how to design future cars that work cooperatively with the driver or even drive themselves! At the other end of the spectrum, Kai Kight, '14, is a violinist and composer who challenges the perceived boundaries of the violin by creating music that connects the classical world with popular genres. 4. Networking: Not many TEDx events allow you to meet the presenters on quite the same level as Stanford in the Wild. Here you can connect with presenters and fellow attendees in an informal atmosphere. Chat over a delicious dinner prepared by Chef Dave, explore the hiking trails around Stanford Camp, or enjoy a port (and probably an informal jam session) by the fire in the evening. 3. Play time: While the mornings feature speaker presentations, afternoons are unscheduled, leaving you free to play however you wish. Whether it's something active, like hiking or kayaking, or a more relaxed approach, like enjoying the view of Fallen Leaf Lake from one of the many decks surrounding the main lodge, there are plenty of choices! 2. Escape from daily routine: Start your day with a yoga class overlooking Fallen Leaf Lake or sleep in! The relaxed and inspirational setting, the many different and interesting talks, and the unscheduled afternoon options are all fodder for creativity - and getting outside your daily routine. 1. The location: Stanford Sierra Camp's setting on the shore of beautiful Fallen Leaf Lake is truly special. The memorable and relaxing location includes comfortable lodging, healthy and delicious meals, plentiful outdoor activities, and amazing sunsets. Interested in attending? Download the reservation form or learn more.
One of the great things about Lake Tahoe is the abundance of options. Whether it’s on the slopes of one of Lake Tahoe’s famous ski resorts, exploring the various neighborhoods surrounding the lake, or partaking in one of the many fun events that fill the Tahoe winter calendar, you have lots of choices. Which isn’t a bad problem to have. Going on now through the weekend is the Alpenglow Mountain Festival. It embraces all types of human-powered winter recreation like backcountry skiing, snowshoeing and Nordic skiing. The week is chock full of guided ski tours, avalanche awareness classes, winter film showings, Nordic ski clinics and snowshoe tours, with most events being free. The festival is a terrific opportunity to learn new skills, enjoy the winter wilderness with experienced guides, and meet new friends. Find the complete Alpenglow Mountain Festival schedule, map and additional details online or in person at Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City. Also starting this weekend you can check out snow sculptures, frigid polar bear swimming, cross-country ski races, and live music —something for everyone at SnowFest!, which occurs February 27- March 8. Celebrating its 33rd year, the ten-day festival is a longstanding tradition in North Tahoe. Join the local community as it celebrates with parties everywhere from the ski slopes to the town centers.Notable festivities include Garwood’s Polar Bear Swim, fireworks, the Snow Queen Coronation, and the ever amusing dog pull, a friendly race for dogs of all sizes. Information and a full calendar of events can be found at TahoeSnowFestival.com. Combine world-class skiing and world-class bluegrass into the same day at Squaw Valley and you get WinterWonderGrass, to be held March 20-22. Stomp your ski boots to the likes of Sam Bush, Greensky Blugrass, Trampled by Turtles, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, and many more bands. Dance to live music in front of an outdoor stage, and refuel in the two heated beer tents serving craft beer. The event brings 15 bands and 14 California breweries to Squaw Valley over three days. Tickets are available in single day and three day increments. Learn more and purchase tickets at WinterWonderGrassTahoe.com. If you plan to head to North Tahoe to attend these great events, our sister property, the Stanford Alpine Chalet, has rooms available. Give Brian a call at 530-583-1550 to make your reservation!
As of August 2014, Camp’s store, the Fountain, has a new manager! Jonny Dacus has taken on the task of stocking our store with drinks, treats, hiking supplies and plenty of Stanford Sierra Camp clothing for kids and adults. I caught up with Jonny (who I also happen to share an office with) last weekend to find out more about him. I also wanted to know if he had any insider information he wanted to share about the Fountain!Will guests notice any changes or different styles when they shop in the Fountain next year? I’m going to focus on getting some bigger brands and more athletic gear in the Fountain for next season. The beer selection will also change a little, but I’m going to continue to stock lots of California and craft beers. What’s your favorite beer that we sell? 21st Amendment’s Brew Free or Die. Has anything surprised you about this job? I grew-up saying “yes sir” and “yes ma’am” a lot. I’m surprised at how many people don’t like it when I call them that! I got a few strange looks this summer. Do you have any fun facts about yourself? I’m not a big country music fan. I really only like the classics, but I did grow up in the same town Taylor Swift did! Do you have any fun facts about the Fountain? The most milkshakes that were made in a week this summer was 250. The Fountain is only open for an hour on Saturdays, so that is about 41 milkshakes a day during the other days of the week. That’s a lot of milkshake!
As a member of the Stanford Sierra Conference Center reservations team, the most common question I hear is: “Which cabin is the best?” This is a difficult question to answer because all of our cabins have pros and cons which can be advantages or disadvantages depending on an individual’s particular needs. I'm a heavy sleeper, so noise isn't a big issue for me, but I'm not the biggest fan of a bright room in the morning. On the other hand, I know people who would much rather spend time in a well-lit room as long as there are soundproof walls! Well-rested and happy guests make thoughtful and engaged conference participants, so let’s make sure that guests are staying in cabins that will be a good fit for them and ensure a good night’s rest!Camp's cabins are clustered together and each cluster contains 4-6 individual two and three bedroom cabins, each with its own bathroom. Disclaimer: Requests for cabins are always welcome! We do our best to accommodate requests, but not all cabins are used for each conference, or cabins may be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
After I swim in the morning and come in to work, I’m ready for a big breakfast that will fill me up until lunch. Whether I’ll be sitting at my desk all day, in a morning meeting, or running around Camp before a group arrives, I’m always satisfied with Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and Camp’s house made granola. I love Camp’s granola! It tastes buttery (but there isn’t any butter!) and is usually packed full of yummy additions like coconut and raisins. After yogurt and granola, I’m ready to start my work day. I’ve always wanted to make my own granola, so I asked Katie Pileggi, Camp’s sous chef, if she would share her recipe. Lucky for me, and you, she said “yes!” Katie grew up in Reno and has been cooking professionally for the last 12 years. Her cooking experience includes pizza restaurants, catering companies, coffee shops, fine dining and most recently, a retirement community. Katie is in her second year as Camp’s sous chef. Her favorite thing to cook (and eat) is steak—medium rare, but if I could only eat one of Katie’s dishes or treats, it would be her granola! Katie created this recipe on her own with the intent of making it enjoyable for everyone. It is nut-free, vegan, and even gluten-free. I’ll admit it, I had to look up if oats were gluten-free or not, and to my surprise, they are! Katie’s recipe yields more than 60 servings, but I’ve modified her recipe so it yields 10 servings (approximately five cups). So if you’re looking for a healthy breakfast treat to fill you up for a day of meetings, hiking or relaxing, make sure you find some of Katie’s granola on the breakfast bar, or make your own!Katie's Granola: Ingredients
One of the best ways for a company to improve and grow is through feedback from its customers. Feedback with praise lets a company know what they’re doing right, while negative or constructive feedback tells a company about problems or issues (ongoing or new) that can be improved.At Stanford Sierra Conference Center (SSCC), we give all of our guests an opportunity to supply us with feedback about their stay. After a group departs, we provide them with one of two ways to let us know how we’re doing. A handful of our program attendees receive paper surveys at check-out while we email electronic surveys to attendees of most events. Almost all of our departments benefit from these surveys, especially our kitchen, maintenance and housekeeping. Having a guest mention a squeaky door, a tree branch scratching a roof, a burned-out light bulb or a running toilet is a great way for us to gain knowledge when it comes to general maintenance and upkeep. While we do our best to keep an eye on everything around Camp, without actually sleeping in a cabin, it’s hard to know what small details can make someone’s stay better. Over the past few years, we saw two things continue to appear on our surveys as items for improvement. The need for stronger and more consistent wireless internet was the most mentioned, while providing more gluten-free food options was the second. SSCC has made big strides in both of these areas. In the past two years, SSCC has added four more T1 lines, bringing the total to eight. T1 lines increase bandwidth, making internet faster. In addition to faster internet, cabins on the east side of Camp have had Ethernet cables hardwired to them, which increases signal strength and helps to eliminate dead zones in cabins. More improvements will continue next year with the last set of cabins becoming hardwired. In the dining room, gluten-free bread is now readily available at breakfast and our hiker bar. In addition to increased bread options, most entrees on the buffet hot carts are gluten-free. Our chefs have made purposeful changes to many of their classic dishes to limit the number of items containing gluten on the hot cart. Our staff will be happy to point out items that do and don't contain gluten. Surveys are also a great way to boost staff morale! SSCC prides itself in having professional, helpful and friendly staff members. Weekly staff meetings include shout-outs for specific staff members from surveys as well as overall staff compliments. Praise for a job well done is always motivation to continue providing the highest level of service. Looking back at the last season of survey responses, I see quite a few that are helpful. Our website could include better information for individuals who need ADA accommodations, and tips for combating altitude sickness would also be helpful.The expression “It never hurts to ask,” is what comes to mind when I read some of our survey responses. And it’s true-- it never hurts to ask, but there are some things we just can’t control. Suggestions like “heat the lake, ” “more chocolate!” and “less wind” always make me smile. So whether it’s negative feedback, positive feedback, or a rather large request, let us know! We can't make any promises, but we'll try. Our surveys help us to improve our facilities, our service and our overall programming.
Have you ever looked back at a photo and thought: "Hmm, it was so much prettier in person!" ? I have definitely thought that, and I'm never sure if it's me, my camera or that photography can be hard to perfect! On a mission to take awesome photographs at Fallen Leaf Lake, I sought out Camp's summer photographer, Brooke Davis for a few tips.This is Brooke's third summer at Sierra Camp, and she'll be back for a fourth summer next year as the summer staff director. After two summers of teaching people how to wakeboard and water ski, she was tasked with capturing Camp’s special moments in photographs this past summer. Her work culminates each week with a 25-minute slideshow of the week’s highlights. As a child, Brooke used to write storybooks and illustrate them with her photographs. She also took a lot of fishing and sports action photos-- activities that she and her family enjoyed together. What is Brooke’s favorite thing to photograph at Camp? People! Brooke enjoys taking both portraits, and candid photos of Camp’s guests. She uses a Nikon D300 with a big zoom lens, but she promised me that either a camera phone or point and shoot digital camera can produce good photos.
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!