As you’re driving on Highway 50 toward South Lake Tahoe, just before you reach Echo Summit, take a look up to your left (way up!) and notice the breath taking sight of Horsetail Falls.
Starting out early in the day with good friends, we arrived when the parking lot was nearly empty, and set out for a day of laughter, adventure, exercise, and enormous doses of the healing only Mother Nature provides.
The hike is a mix of lovely wooded trails and wide open granite rocks, all along refreshing pools, small waterfalls and streams.
Don’t forget to stop every once in awhile just to soak up the stunning views in all directions.
The majority of the hike is not well marked and we found ourselves in search of the trail a number of times. Also, be prepared to do a bit of rock climbing rather than hiking during some parts of the hike.
Ahh, there’s a cairn. We’re on the right path.Be sure to notice all the love notes from nature along the way!Everywhere!
Without fail, spending time in nature is consistently the restorative tonic that fills up my soul! Where do you go when you need to refuel?
I think it’s safe to say that the best weekends involve some hiking, a chance for a little get away to the mountains or the shore, exhilarating fresh air and the incredibly beautiful vistas mother nature has to offer us.
We recently hiked the Glen Alpine Trail in South Lake Tahoe. To get there you must drive the long one lane road along the south shore of gorgeous Fallen Leaf Lake. I’m certainly not complaining; look at this incredible view from the car!We parked in the parking lot near the general store and walked a little over a mile to get to the trail head. There is limited parking closer to the trailhead, but we’ve always enjoyed the walk. Along the way we passed the lower falls which were just trickling, and the cozy Saint Francis of the Mountains chapel where a wedding was underway. I refrained from taking a photo, wanting to give them their privacy, but it was truly a lovely sight.Once we got to the trailhead we were gifted with meadows, springs, historical sites, rushing waterfalls, and stunning view of Mount Tallac all along this secluded mountain trail.John Muir was just one of the many hikers who found the trail unforgettable, writing that it “seems to me one of the most delightful places in all the famous Tahoe region. From no other valley, as far as I know, may excursions be made in a single day to see so many peaks, wild gardens, glacier lakes, glacier meadows, and alpine groves, cascades, etc.”His words are perfect. We found all of that and a whole lot of love!
“To the free mountaineer all the woods are accessible alike from the firs that girdle Shasta to the giant forests of the Tule; but the…timebound must follow ways and means, and I know of none better than those of Calaveras… a flowery glade in the very heart of the woods, forming a fine center for the student, and a delicious resting place for the weary.”
Three miles north of Arnold off Highway 4 stands the grandeur of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This is the place where in the early 1850s the world first came to know about the Giant Sequoias, the largest trees on earth and native only to the western slope of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.There are many trails to hike within the park, but on this beautiful but chilly day in mid November, we took the North Grove Trail, only about 1.5 miles long. We found the trail was covered with a blanket of snow and was even iced over in some locations.The largest trees here could be anywhere from 800 to 3,000 years old and can reach a height of 325 feet and a diameter of 33 feet. It truly is amazing to think of all that these trees have experienced in their years! In addition to the Giant Sequoias in the park, Sugar Pine, White Fir, Incense Cedar and Ponderosa Pines exist alongside each other in the splendor of this mixed conifer forest.
Inspired by REI’s decision to close on Black Friday, Save the Redwoods League is sponsoring free admission to 49 participating California redwood state parks on November 27th. They invite everyone to experience the joy, renewal and inspiration found among the natural wonders of the ancient giant redwoods. To find out which state parks are participating and to download a free pass, check out the website above.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all and happy hiking on Friday.