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Upcoming Winter Events at Lake Tahoe

by SierraMerril

02 25, 2015 | Posted in The Stanford Alpine Chalet, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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.

Lots of wacky fun at Snowfest!

Lots of wacky fun at Snowfest!

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 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. Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 3.42.29 PMThe 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 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!

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A Quick Guide to Camp’s Cabins

by SierraMerril

11 13, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 comments

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!

View of the Willow and White Fir cabins from Fallen Leaf Lake

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.

The Main Lodge

We have twelve rooms in the main lodge on two different levels. Six of the twelve lodge rooms have lake views and four of those six have balconies. Rooms on the main level of the lodge are very accessible (two being ADA compliant). There is a set of stairs to get to the third floor of the lodge, where our balcony rooms are. For many conferences, lodge rooms are in high demand for individuals who appreciate being close to the meeting rooms and dining room. Highlights: Proximity to the meeting rooms, dining room, and fresh coffee that goes out at 6am every morning! Rooms in the lodge also have the strongest wireless connection.


Disadvantages: Lodge rooms are the smallest accommodations at Camp and only six of the 12 have views of Fallen Leaf Lake. Additionally, being close to the action can sometimes mean more noise.

The Lakes Cabins: Alder, Ponderosa, and Aspen


These three cabin clusters line the main road coming into Camp. They are located on a flat road, and have varying amounts of stairs to the individual cabins. The two-bedroom cabins are on the second floor of each cluster, while the three bedroom cabins are on the first floor. Every cabin has a private deck and filtered lake views. Highlights: Proximity to the main lodge! The walk to the lodge is flat on a well-lit and well-paved road. These cabins also have some of the largest private decks.


Disadvantages: Location on the main road into Camp. While these cabins are quiet at night, cars do drive past them during the day. These cabins are a stone's throw from the lake, but the lake view is partially obscured by large trees.

The Hills Cabins: Lodgepole Pine, Incense Cedar, White Pine and Juniper


Cabins in the hills give guests a different perspective of Fallen Leaf Lake. Some of the lake views from the decks are filtered, but they are all from above and some are spectacular! Cars rarely drive up the road to the Hills cabins, which makes for a very peaceful night! These cabins are not far from the lodge, but are up a hill (on a paved road). These cabins have two-bedroom cabins on the second floor and three bedroom cabins on the first floor. Highlights: Sunlight and quiet are the highlights!

A cabin in the hills area with view of Fallen Leaf Lake

Disadvantages: The hill up to these cabins can be tough for guests with mobility issues.

The Point Cabins: Jeffrey Pine and Sugar Pine, Willow and White Fir


These cabins are located at the far end of Camp near the boat dock, basketball and volleyball courts, and the Munchkin Patch (Camp's playground). They all have views of Fallen Leaf Lake and shared decks. These cabins are closest to the lake out of any cabins. Highlights: Lake views galore! These cabins are also close to the Munchkin Patch, camp’s playground, and have few stairs (if any).  The Willow and White Fir clusters are also closest to the parking lot, so it's not a long trek if you've forgotten something in your car! Disadvantages: These cabins are a 4-6 minute walk from the main lodge. There are many trees in this area of Camp making for more shaded porches and slightly darker rooms (but this makes them great for sleeping in!).


  Still looking for more clarity on our cabins? Watch our YouTube video about lodging at Camp, or visit our website's interactive map.

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Katie’s Granola- A Healthy Start to Your Day!

by SierraMerril

10 30, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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!

Stanford Sierra Camp and Conference Center has a wonderful breakfast spread in the main dining room.

I enjoy Katie's granola with yogurt and fresh berries!

Katie's Granola: Ingredients
  • 5 1/4 cups oats
  • 2 cups brown sugar (not packed)
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup salad oil
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • Mix all dry ingredients with a hand mixer in a large mixing bowl
  • Add molasses, honey and oil while mixing on low speed
  • Mix until blended well
  • Bake 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes, or until toasted (use a spatula to mix granola after five minutes to help granola bake evenly)
Recipe Notes: -Yields approximately 5 1/2 cups -Feel free to add raisins, cinnamon, nuts or dried fruits to the granola before baking -Granola keeps best in an air-tight container and can be frozen

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Feedback Needed!

by SierraMerril

10 16, 2014 | Posted in Dining, Lodging, Meeting, Special Events, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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.

Groups may choose to have an outdoor barbecue lunch or dinner. A majority of the main courses and sides are gluten-free.

Groups may choose to have an outdoor barbecue lunch or dinner. A majority of the main courses and sides are gluten-free.

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.
Wireless internet is available throughout Camp. In the past two years, it has gotten faster and is available in more areas of Camp.

Wireless internet is available throughout Camp. In the past two years, it has gotten faster and is available in more areas of Camp.

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.
A group of staff take a break from swimming on one of Camp's floating docks off of Baby Beach.

A group of staff take a break from swimming on one of Camp's floating docks off of Baby Beach.

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.  

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Photography Tips from Brooke!

by SierraMerril

10 02, 2014 | Posted in Location, Preparing for your visit, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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.

During the spring season, Fallen Leaf Lake is surrounded by bright green vegetation.

The Stanford Sierra Camp boat dock from the water. During the spring, the lake is surrounded by bright green vegetation. If you're talented enough, you can catch the reflection of the trees in the water!

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.

Brooke Davis (right) and Jan Schlereth (left) in front of Camp's main lodge.

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.
Virginia doing art

Portraits, especially candid portraits, are one of Brooke's favorite types of photographs to take.


Brooke’s Tips for Taking a Great Photo:

Take a lot of photos. Bad pictures happen, but if you take enough, you’ll be sure to get a good one. Brooke takes approximately 1,200 photos a day. At the end of the week, she has more than 7,000 to choose from to co-create a 700-picture slideshow with her fellow Camp photographer, Chipper Stotz. Make sure you have an extra memory card on hand so you don’t run out of space! Use the things around you to frame a shot. Trees, water and scenery can help create a natural frame for your subject. Change your perspective. Try zooming in on your subject or photographing it from an atypical angle. Up-close and microscopic perspectives can represent an object or subject in a different way.  

Looking up at a tree

Always carry your camera with you! You never know when you might find something photograph worthy. Brooke believes that photography makes you much more observant. Once you’ve started taking photographs, you’ll want to take as many as possible.
Silhouetted Water Skier

Silhouetted water skier on Fallen Leaf Lake at dawn

Trying to take an artsy photo? Try a silhouette or reflection. To take a silhouette photo, make sure the sun is behind your subject. Shooting straight into the sun will darken the subject and can create awesome photos. Reflections can also create artsy photos. Sunglasses, windows and water are all good places to be looking if you’re trying to take a photo that’s more outside of the box!
Sunrise at Camp

Sun rises over Angora Ridge each morning casting a beautiful glow on Fallen Leaf Lake.

Get up early and take sunrise photos. Early morning is Brooke’s favorite time to take pictures. Later in the afternoon, the light can be harsh, and parts of Fallen Leaf Lake are usually in the shadows by 4 or 5pm. Sunrise is also a great time to catch Fallen Leaf Lake when it’s still. The sun is best at Camp in the morning, so this is also a great time for portraits and people shots.

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Kids Camp at SSC!

by SierraMerril

09 18, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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 many different boats for you to use on Fallen Leaf Lake.

Ski Boat rides are a highlight of the weekend for many of the kids!

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.
Crawdad fishing is popular among young kids at Stanford Sierra Camp on Fallen Leaf Lake.

Crawdad Fishing at the Ski Dock is a popular activity during Kids Camp.

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.
Fun-yaking to Baby Beach

Fun-yaking on Fallen Leaf Lake is just one of the activities that is a new experience for most kids. 

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.
During Kids Camp, counselors lead kids on a naturalist boat ride on Camp's pontoon boat.

During Kids Camp, counselors lead kids on a naturalist boat ride to talk about Fallen Leaf Lake's wildlife and the geology of the Tahoe Basin.

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!

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Fall in Tahoe

by SierraMerril

09 04, 2014 | Posted in Location, Recreation, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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 Taylor Creek Visitor is located near Fallen Leaf Lake in the Tahoe Basin.

The US Forest Service hosts the annual Fall Fish Festival at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, just a short drive from Fallen Leaf Lake.

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!

Camp has a few aspen trees that change colors in the fall. The golden colored aspen trees dot the shoreline of Fallen Leaf Lake each fall.

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!
The Old Lodge at Stanford Sierra Camp and Conference Center in Tahoe has a great fireplace for guests to sit in front of while reading a book.

Fall is a great time to sit by the fire with apple cider and enjoy a book!

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!  

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Going the Extra Mile for Your Guests: The Coordinator Checklist

by SierraMerril

08 21, 2014 | Posted in Event planning, Location, Meeting, Preparing for your visit, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Conference Coordinators should be sure to schedule free time for their participants during their stay on Fallen Leaf Lake.

Allowing your guests free time to explore the Fallen Leaf Lake area can be inspiring, reenergizing, and a welcome break from meetings. Views like this on the Clark Trail are only a 30-minute hike from Camp!

Are you planning a meeting, wedding, retreat or conference at Stanford Sierra Conference Center? Camp’s staff takes care of most everything while you’re here, but there are a few extra things you can do prior to your arrival to make sure your participants have the best experience possible while at Fallen Leaf Lake! As hosts for several conferences a year, we also go through this coordinator checklist to make sure our guests are prepared for a well thought out and planned event.
  • Look at your agenda and make sure you’ve scheduled free time for your guests. Attending a conference at Fallen Leaf Lake, but not having time to paddle on the lake, hike, or relax and read a book just isn’t right! While the main focus of your stay with us may be work, free time can inspire and reenergize your participants.
  • Give your participants a packing list. We’re happy to provide a basic list for you and your guests, but do they need to bring specific items for the conference? Slides for a presentation? A nicer outfit for a formal dinner? Their best 70s garb for Disco Bingo?
  • Provide your guests with clear directions for getting to Camp.  Your first visit to Stanford Sierra Conference Center can be unnerving. We are at the end of a winding and narrow, but beautiful road. Watch our driving video and share it with your guests so they know what to expect on the drive into Camp.
    Tote bags are great conference gifts! As a coordinator, think about what gifts a guest might use while at Camp.

    Creative Camp participants show off their new tote bags!

  • Create a #hashtag for your event. Use your social media hashtag to advertise your event and connect your guests before and after their stay. You’ll also have access to your guests’ great pictures. Be sure to connect with us (@stanfordsierra) and tag us on Instagram and Twitter so we can see how much fun you had!
  • Create gift bags or schwag for your guests. Everyone likes free things. Even better? Free useful things! Think about what your guests may be able to use during their stay. Hats? Sunscreen? Flashlights? We’re happy to hand your gifts out at the front office when your guests check-in, or have them waiting in their rooms.
  • Have a craving for a special menu item or snack? Be sure to let us know if you’re hoping for something special at your social hour, coffee break, or any one of your meals. Our baker, Steve, receives several requests a year from repeat groups who can’t wait to enjoy his seven layer bars!
  • Request selected wine and beer. The Fountain, Camp’s store, is stocked with a variety of beer and wine. But are you looking for something special? Perhaps a few cases of wine from your favorite Stanford affiliated vintner? Let us know and we can ensure your group has all of your favorite beer and wine on hand.

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Extending your stay on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore: Part Two

by SierraMerril

08 07, 2014 | Posted in Lake Tahoe area, Location, Recreation, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I highly recommend extending your stay in Tahoe after visiting Stanford Sierra Conference Center. In my last post, I suggested a few hikes and restaurants in the South Lake Tahoe area. Hiking and eating are two of my favorite things to do, so I started there, but Tahoe has a lot more to offer! Last summer my family visited and I realized I needed to diversify my typical activity suggestions to include fun things for all ages, abilities and fitness levels. So, here are a few more fun things to do on the South Shore:


Tallac Historic Site and Taylor Creek Visitor Center: Located near Fallen Leaf Lake off of Highway 89, these are both great places to explore with kids. You can visit one or the other, or walk along the bike path to get between the two. The Tallac Historic Site offers a self-guided walk through historic buildings and beautiful scenery. Check their event calendar to see if anything interesting is happening while you’re in town! The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is just down the road (less than a mile) and provides information about some of the area wildlife. There is a pretty neat Stream Profile Chamber where you can see the animals and plants in the stream through large windows. During the fall, don’t miss the Kokanee Salmon Festival! The creek is filled with Kokanee salmon swimming upstream to spawn—it’s quite a sight!
Lakeview Commons is located on Lake Tahoe and only a short drive from Stanford Sierra Conference Center.

The weekly paddle board race at Lakeview Commons is fun to watch! Be sure not to miss the locally made ice cream at the snack stand!

Lakeview Commons and El Dorado Beach: All summer, Lakeview Commons and El Dorado Beach (Lakeview Avenue and Highway 50, South Lake Tahoe) offer many activities for individuals and families. The beach is a fun safe area for kids to splash around in and swim in Lake Tahoe. A concession stand sells locally made ice cream and other snacks, and there are boat rentals on the beach. One of Tahoe’s most popular activities is paddle boarding, and this is a great place to learn! South Tahoe Standup Paddle offers rentals, lessons and guided tours right on the beach. For your daytime beach visit, make sure you have a swimsuit, towel, sunscreen and sunglasses! In the evenings, Lakeview Commons has free outdoor grills (bring your own charcoal and food to grill) and a great view of the sun setting behind the mountains. During the summer, there are paddleboard races starting at 6:30pm on Wednesday nights, and there is live music and vendors on Thursday nights.

Scenic Spots

If you’re spending a few extra days in Tahoe, don’t miss one of Tahoe’s most iconic sights: Emerald Bay. Emerald Bay and Fannette Island are two of the most photographed places in Tahoe. Views from the parking lots on either side of the bay are wonderful. If you’re up for it, walk down the steep path to Emerald Bay Beach from the Vikingsholm parking lot and take in the views from lake level.

Emerald Bay and Fannette Island are just a short drive from Stanford Sierra Conference Center.

Emerald Bay is one of Tahoe's most photographed spots. Fannette Island sits in the middle of the Bay and is the only island in Lake Tahoe.

The Heavenly Gondola is another great place to see amazing views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains. Located in the Heavenly Village, the gondola takes you to the top of the mountain. Be sure to stop at the halfway point to enjoy the best views of the basin. At the top, enjoy fun summer activities including tubing, zip lining, hiking, and a ropes course! Heavenly Village is also an entertaining place to spend a few hours. There are many different shopping, dining and entertainment options in the Village which makes it a great area to stroll, window show and enjoy an ice cream cone on a hot day!

Looking for more suggestions? Just ask the front office when you're at Camp and they'd be happy to make more suggestions for enjoying a few extra days on Tahoe's South Shore.  

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Extending your stay on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore: Part One

by SierraMerril

07 24, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When a conference at Stanford Sierra Conference Center ends, I always hear people say “I wish I could spend more time in  Tahoe!” While some people may have no choice but to get back to work, school, family or other commitments, I recommend adding an extra two days to your trip and spending some time on Tahoe’s South Shore if you can. Tahoe’s South Shore has an abundance of hikes, restaurants, lodging options, scenic spots and entertainment for adults and families. I love having visitors in town so I can show them my favorite spots. Stay tuned for 'Part Two' of this blog post with suggestions for family activities and scenic spots!

South Shore hikes are a short drive away from Fallen Leaf Lake.

Even with a storm rolling in, the views from Van Sickle Bi-State Park are beautiful.

Hiking on Tahoe's South Shore

Van Sickle Bi-State Park: Straddling California and Nevada, Van Sickle Bi-State Park has great hiking right in town. You’ll find the entrance to the park behind the casinos and just beneath the Heavenly Gondola. Almost any hike from Van Sickle gives you a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to views. From the parking lot, walking just 10-15 minutes gives you a view of town and the lake. The trail gets steep on the way to a waterfall, which is about 30 minutes in, but the trail is well-maintained with plenty of places to pull over for a water break. It is just over 3.5 miles to the  junction with the Tahoe Rim Trail. Adventurous hikers can continue on this trail. Kahle Meadow Walk: If you’d like to get outside for an easy walk, or if you’ve got kids in tow, walking through the Kahle Meadow to Nevada Beach might be a great spot for you! Park at the corner of Highway 50 and Kahle Drive in Stateline, NV. Walk through a beautiful meadow on a paved trail until you reach the campground or Elks Point Drive. To get to the beach, turn left and loop through Nevada Beach and back to the meadow.
The view from the Tahoe Rim Trail looks directly across Lake Tahoe at Mt. Tallac and Desolation Wilderness.

The view from the Tahoe Rim Trail looks directly across Lake Tahoe at Mt. Tallac and Desolation Wilderness.

The Tahoe Rim Trail (leaving from Kingsbury Grade toward Spooner Summit): Looking for a longer hike? This section of the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) starts at almost 8,000 ft. but doesn’t gain much more elevation in the 14.2-mile stretch between Kingsbury Grade and Spooner Summit. The trail is wooded for the first part, then opens up with amazing lake views. You can venture as far as you'd like down the trail before turning around, or you can park a car at Spooner Summit and drive back to Kingsbury if you're feeling up to hiking the whole section! To get to the TRT, turn left off of Kingsbury Grade on to North Benjamin Drive and continue to Andria Drive through a residential area until you reach a parking lot on your left and the trailhead for the TRT.

Restaurants on Tahoe's South Shore

There are quite a few restaurants to choose from on the South Shore. My favorite lunch spot is Tahoe Keys Cafà ƒ © near the Y intersection. The sweet potato sandwich is awesome! The portions are generous and you can take it to go, or eat it outside at one of their tables. This is also a great breakfast spot with coffee, smoothies, breakfast burritos and sandwiches. Thai One On is a small Thai restaurant on the other side of town off of Kingsbury Grade. The food is tasty, affordable and comes out quickly! They even have outdoor seating if it’s a warm summer night. MacDuff’s is a great spot to meet friends for a drink and pub fare in South Lake Tahoe. Right off of Highway 50 by the bowling alley, MacDuff’s has an extensive beer menu and their truffle macaroni and cheese is amazing. Looking for dinner with a view? Try Riva Grill or the Beacon Bar and Grill. Both have waterfront dining, great drinks and snacks, and full dinner menus. These hikes should keep you busy while in town and the restaurants should leave you feeling satisfied! Check back later for a list of scenic spots and fun family activities!  

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