The largest cross-country ski race west of the Mississippi is slated for this Sunday, March 3. Starting near the shores of Lake Tahoe, The Great Ski Race® covers 30km with 1,200 feet of uphill and 1,800 of downhill between Tahoe City and Truckee, Calif. The current record time is one hour and seven minutes, and the final contestant typically crosses the finish line in seven hours.
“The event draws skiers from around the country and around the world, including Olympic Nordic skiers and serious competitors, as well as skiers who are racing to beat their buddy or to beat last year’s time,” said Doug Read, race director for The Great Ski Race. “There are also skiers are out there to enjoy a ski in the woods with a bunch of friends, great soup stations and a heck of a party at the end.”
Registration for the 2013 Great Ski Race is now open online. Registration fees are $65 until March 2, $100 on race day and $25 for juniors 18 and under. The entry fee includes a pre-race package, a commemorative T-shirt, refreshments and a hot lunch at the finish, and a chance to win one of many great prizes. The party at the finish will consist of live music and lots of laughs at Truckee’s historic Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar.
The Great Ski Race is the main fundraising event for the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. Currently consisting of more than 100 volunteers, The Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team was conceived in 1976 as a response to the death of a boy lost off the back side of one of the Lake Tahoe ski resorts during a blizzard. There was, at the time, no organized backcountry ski team to help search for the boy. Desperate phone calls to some local Nordic skiers produced a search party that eventually located the youth, but only after it was too late. This group of skiers, along with the boy’s father (who today still remains one of the Nordic Team’s active members), learned there was an important void to be filled. Thus, the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team was born.
The Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team has matured considerably over the years, but the goals remain the same: conduct fast, safe rescues and educate the public about winter safety. Collectively, the team has an extremely high level of medical, mountain, and skiing skills, with members including EMTs, emergency room nurses, firefighters, professional ski patrollers, paramedics, and MDs. The Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team has located over 300 individuals to date, ultimately saving lives and bringing lost loved ones home whenever possible. Proceeds from The Great Ski Race and donations are the only source of funding for the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team. All funds raised are used to support the operations of the all-volunteer team throughout the year, as well as for winter survival and avalanche education programs sponsored and conducted by the team.
About Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue
Conceived in 1976, the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team has more than 100 members who fulfill many different functions in the organization such as rescuing lost alpine and cross-country skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers, locating downed aircraft, rescuing stranded hikers and climbers, educating the public about mountain safety, and many other support functions. More information can be found at www.tahoenordicsar.com or www.thegreatskirace.com.
The Squeeze In has been pleasing kids since 1974. Kids get toy baskets, get to write on the walls, have a special menu and are treated like actual guests at the Squeeze In home. Order their rockin’ hot cocoa piled high with whipped cream and sprinkles. It’s a winner every time, along with the signature Teddy Bear Pancake! A bear shaped smile for every kid, young and old!
At the Tahoe House, kids feel right at home by the cozy fire, with loaner crayons, colorings books and plastic and wooden toys – all of which keeps them busy as they wolf down their bagel. Family owned and operated since 1977, the Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet features baked breads and pastries, the “best coffee on the lake,” sandwiches and much more!
Tubing, Sledding, Snow Play!!
Granlilbakken Granlibakken ski area features a groomed snowplay area with rental saucers for sledding. Open daily, weather permitting.
Snowtubing at Squaw Valley USA Squaw’s tubing park at the Papoose Learning Center offers two tubing lanes for varying thrill levels. Open daily, weather permitting.
Sledding and Tubing at Soda Springs Winter Resort Currently only open on weekends, at Soda Springs you can sled and tube! Sledding lanes, tubing lanes and a Little Dipper children’s area provide a variety of thrill and fun for adults and children alike.
Olympic Ice Pavilion Enjoy scenic views of the Lake while skating atop Squaw Valley on an Olympic-size rink at High Camp recreation complex. Open 11am – 9pm during the winter season. Rentals, lessons available.
Ice Skating Rink at the Resort at Squaw Creek Skate on the Resort at Squaw Creek’s own private rink with heated waterfalls, hot tubs, a pool and the peaks of Squaw Valley as a backdrop. Rentals available. Open December to April.
Truckee Ice Skating Rink The Truckee rink features skate rentals, a snack bar, group and private lessons for all age groups taught by experienced instructors, broomball leagues, and more.
These are just a handful of the family opportunities up in North Lake Tahoe right now. What are your favorite family activities?
Celebrate all that was in 2011, while ringing in all that will be in 2012 at The Village At Northstar this New Year’s Eve. From 1-9pm, The Village at Northstar will be alive with DJs, ice-skating, food & drink specials, a 2-hour live performance by “Led Zeppelin 2″, and much more. And then… The Big Show: Fireworks Spectacular at 9pm! A great night out for family and friends.
Ring in the New Year at Squaw Valley with a New Year’s Eve Fireworks Extravaganza. The show starts at 9:30pm and is viewable from the Base Area. Grab a hot cocoa and find a seat as you take in the New Year with an amazing firework display at the bottom of the mountain. The show is plenty early accommodate the families that will be ringing in the New Year at High Camp to give them time to get down and celebrate in the base area.
Those looking to bring in the New Year with style can head to the huge party in the Olympic House. Check out the biggest party on the North Shore and party like it’s 2012. Rock out to the 8 piece funk band Mojo Green in the Plaza Bar before heading over to check out DJ Zeb Early in Bar One.
Entry is $10 at the door (cash only) and guests must be 21 & older with a valid ID. Doors open at 9pm. Drink service until 1:30am.
Jackie Greene began performing at the age of 20. He has performing and making records for nearly a decade. He lives in Northern California and is gracing North Lake Tahoe with his musical talent this New Year’s Eve at Crystal Bay Club: the Red Room at the Crystal Bay Club. Tickets cost $20 in advance, $23 day of show.
Plan your new beginning at the Alpine Bar this New Year’s Eve! The Pre-New Year’s Eve Cocktail party is the perfect way to jump-start the countdown to midnight. Featuring festive cocktails, delicious appetizers and live music by Peter Joseph Burtt, skiers and riders can celebrate a resolution, bid 2011 farewell, and ring in 2012.
Ring in the New Year with a top 40 DJ, drinks, and dancing all night long in Cutthroat’s Saloon.
Call 775-832-1234 for more details.
9. Live Music at Tahoe Biltmore Casino, Crystal Bay, NV 10:00 am – 1:00 am
Live on the Tahoe Biltmore, “The Robeys,” Dane RinehartandPaul Covarelli Trioare offering a variety music – a mixture of everyone’s favorite classic rock, oldies, top 40, blues, jazz, reggae and country songs, from the 1930′s to the present.
Come early with family for an Ala Carte Menu (also served in Bar), or come later for a 3-course Prix Fixe menu, and ring in the New Year with party hats, a champagne toast, & dancing. Guaranteed reservations required. For more information and reservations please call (530) 583-0188.
Have a classy blast listening to the DJ in the lounge then Dine on the regular dinner menu from 5:30-7:00pm or opt to enjoy a 5-course meal from 8:00-10:30. Either way you choose, this New Year is going to be fashionably stylish and a lot of fun in the Lone Eagle Grille.
Call 775-886-6899 for more details and reservations.
Kick your shoes off, make yourself a hot toddy and chill at home by the fireplace to prep yourself for an epic 2012. Hit the slopes the next day, and the next day and the next day…
So you’ve taken time off work and booked a trip to Tahoe this winter. Check item #1 off your list. Now you’ve got an entirely different task ahead: figure out how much you can pack into your trip to make it the best ever. We could come up with a thousand things to do, but that’s what GoTahoeNorth.com is all about.
Here are some tips from fans of North Lake Tahoe on the can’t-miss, must-do, make-plans-to-enjoy things you should add to your list.
Dog Sledding(from Alena S.). Truly an experience to remember (trust us, we cherish our memory). Wilderness Adventures has hour-long tours through the Squaw Valley Meadow, between the ski resort and Resort at Squaw Creek. The guide leads a team of 8-10 huskies with a four-person sled.
Hang loose and enjoy (from Richard A.). North Lake Tahoe is definitely built for relaxation. In the winter you can still hang out on beaches and enjoy the serenity of the lake. Or, enjoy a hot beverage and the company of friends at any of the area’s watering holes, coffee houses, lodges or villages. There’s never a shortage of warm fires and great views at Tahoe.
Paddleboard Lake Tahoe on a Bluebird Day (Andy C.). This may seem a little crazy, but if you throw on a wetsuit and try really hard not to fall in, it could turn out to be your best day on the lake, ever. Consider this, in the winter there are far fewer boats on the water, making it like glass on a calm, sunny day. There’s nothing but you on a board paddling across a blue expanse and surrounded by snow-covered mountains. Paints a picture, doesn’t it? Check out this post for details on where to rent a SUP for the day.
Rent a cabin(from Jodi S.). Definitely a cozy way to experience Tahoe and maintain that homey feel. Cabins in the area range in price and size and have a variety of amenities from ski-in/ski-out to pet friendly, lakefront views, hot tubs and more.
Visit The Center for Environmental Sciences, Sierra Nevada College (from Diane M.). Open Tuesday – Friday from 1 – 5 p.m., you can tour the center and learn about Lake Tahoe’s ecology, see research in action, fly through a 3D model of Lake Tahoe and dive under the water, and also learn about the building’s sustainable design.
Back for a second year, Lake Tahoe Restaurant Week October 2 – 9 is a chance to dine out with abandon and sample the best from area restaurants in easy-to-order 3-course prix-fixe menus tailored for lunch or dinner. And, they’re all just $20, $30 or $40 per person…no passes, tickets or coupons required (although we’d recommend making reservations).
So just what can you try throughout the week? Here’s a look at the participating North Lake Tahoe restaurants along with links to their Lake Tahoe Restaurant Week menus (where available):
This year’s 4th of July at Tahoe is set to be unique, that’s for sure. With a series of fireworks events scattered around the lake at various dates and times you can catch multiple shows throughout the weekend. Or hit the slopes. Yep, late season snowfalls have opened up skiing and boarding opportunities at several area resorts.
Here’s a look at what’s happening this 4th of July weekend:
July 1 – 4: Incline Village takes things to the next level with their traditional Red, White & Tahoe Blue festivities which include patriotic chalk drawing contest, opening ceremonies with a tribute to veterans, doggie dress-up contest, beer tasting and brats, brunch with Shakespeare, firecracker trail trek and free fireworks Monday, July 4 at 9:30 p.m. off Incline Beach
Travelers are always looking for empty beaches, quiet hotels and a destination all to themselves. In a popular location such as Tahoe that can be a challenge. But there’s a secret. Head to Tahoe during the last two weeks of June and the last two weeks of August to enjoy the area before or after the peak summer season. It’s also one of the best times to take advantage of area deals.
With a good portion of Tahoe’s summer business made up of families, many travelers must adhere to traditional school closings and openings. Traveling when school is still in session gives guests the opportunity to save as many regional businesses eager to attract visitors during this four-week period provide some of the summer’s best values. It’s also a great time for families with children in private schools and track programs to call Tahoe home as their schedules may differ from public schools.
But what guests to North Lake Tahoe won’t be giving up is the spectacular weather. June marks the official start to summer and boating season with highs in the 70s. August is a bit warmer with highs in the upper 70s and low 80s.
What Tahoe-goers will notice is having the lake’s 72-mile shoreline mostly to themselves, as well as the hiking and mountain biking trails and out on the water.
According to Parks Superintendent Roger Adamson of the Tahoe City Public Utility District, their trail numbers along the popular paved Truckee River bike path from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley nearly double in July and early August compared to North Lake Tahoe’s early and late summer periods.
Operations Manager Darren Kramer of Obexer’s Marina on the West Shore, the oldest marina in Lake Tahoe, also sees peak business during the height of summer. “Although we have a handful of clients that launch their boats over Memorial Day weekend, things don’t really pick up until right before Fourth of July.”
The last two weeks in June and August are also marked by a number of special events, including the Tahoe City Wine Walk (June 18) when guests sample at more than 30 wine and food locations overlooking Lake Tahoe. Visitors burn off those calories at the Burton Creek Trail Run 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon (June 19) along a beautiful challenging trails system within the West Shore’s Burton Creek State Park. The Tahoe Rim Trail Association offers a “Vistas, Lakes and Wildflower” trek (June 25) as part of their summer hiking season along 10 miles of Tahoe’s famed trail. For those that like it hot and spicy, the 3rd Annual Truckee Chili Cook-Off (June 26) at Truckee Regional Park has the area’s best chili cooks competing for top honors.
The last two weeks of August are equally busy with a bevy of events, such as the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival’s presentation of one of Shakespeare’s more traditional plays, “Twelfth Night,” (August 16-21) outdoors and on the beach at Sand Harbor State Park. Tahoe Adventure Company gets guests on the water or trails via a guided kayak or hike followed by a brilliant tour of the midnight sky, called Astronomy Adventure: Neptune and the Distant Gas Giants (August 22), with professional astronomer Tony Berendsen. Squaw Valley USA continues with its free Bluesdays (every Tuesday through the end of August, including August 16, 23 and 30) with national acts on the Events Plaza Stage and “blue plate” specials at village restaurants.
Volunteer vacations are becoming more popular as travelers look for deeper meaning in their lives and adventures. Travelers are also looking to go green and be more environmentally aware on their trips. We can’t think of a more beautiful place to be environmentally aware and volunteer than Tahoe. Can you?
This summer there are some great volunteer opportunities at Tahoe/Truckee area California State Parks. While the parks weren’t on the recently announced closure list of 70 of the Systems 278 park units, the parks budget has been drastically reduced leading to a need to fill some needed gaps. Volunteers for California State Parks not only have the satisfaction of filling service gaps, they are also rewarded with entrance passes to our parks and invitation to volunteer only events.
Here are the current needs:
Vikingsholm Accessibility Escort Docent
The Docent will meet pre-registered visitors at the Visitor Center at DL Bliss SP and escort them, in your private vehicle, down the service road to Vikingsholm. Upon arrival, the docent will provide an accessible tour of Vikingsholm and be available to answer questions and provide visitor assistance. The commitment is 3 hours once a week throughout the summer. Orientation and training session is Tuesday June 15 10-3pm. This is a great opportunity for people wanting to be a part of our interpretive team at Vikinghsolm and provide a much need service to our disabled guests.
Visitor Service Intern (Park Greeter)
The intern will work at the entrance station located on the day use side of Sugar Pine Point SP. Volunteers will provide visitor information about the park, collect entrance fees and assist the staff with other duties. This is a great opportunity for local youth to gain valuable work experience and provide much needed visitor support. The commitment is 5 hours per week throughout the summer. Orientation is Thursday June 23 10am.
Living History Day
On Saturday, July 30 more than 1500 visitors head to Sugar Pine Point SP for the annual Living History Day. California State Parks is assembling a team of over 100 volunteers to help both on the day of event and chairpersons for the Raffle/Fundraising and Volunteer Support chairs. More information on the event.
Garden Restoration Volunteer
Help plant history by assisting to recreate the historic native garden on the grounds of the Hellman-Ehrman Estate at Sugar Pine Point SP. Volunteers may drop by and work with the gardener every Wednesday beginning June 15th. Bring your gloves and knee pads for this drop-in volunteer opportunity.
For more information about volunteering for California State Parks in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee area contact Heidi Doyle or call 530-583-3074.
With November snow totals the highest in a decade and skiers reporting some of the best conditions ever, it’s not a stretch to say Tahoe is among the hottest places to be for winter snow sports at the moment. But beyond right now, Tahoe is also one of the top ski destinations in North America based on numerous polls and rankings. Check out some of the latest recognition that Tahoe has received:
Sunset Magazine’s “The West’s Best Ski Towns” named Truckee the most well-rounded ski town for its ability please all ages, proximity to ski resorts for a variety of skill levels, great dining choices and diverse lodging options.
Starting off with the Patagonia Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival Friday, April 17, 7 p.m., at the Olympic Village Lodge in Squaw Valley, films include premier whitewater kayakers descending amazing rivers around the world. Tickets are $12 per person at the door.
Pedal There, a local bike group, cruises out to the Earth Day celebration, Saturday April 18 at 10 a.m. Join riders for a casual tour along the bike path leading from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley. Meet at 64-Acres Park, just south of the “Y” in Tahoe City, for the easy 7.4-mile ride.
Free transportation is being offered by T.A.R.T, North Tahoe’s bus system, to the Village at Squaw Valley from North Lake Tahoe, Incline Village and Truckee.
Check out the Push, Pull, Pedal Eco Parade, along with Earth Capades, an environmental vaudeville show. Other celebrations highlights include kids games and activities presented by the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe, live music and a Trashion Show presented by the THS Envirolution Club.
North Tahoe Truckee Earth Day Celebration is striving to be a zero waste and carbon neutral event.
Northstar-at-Tahoe is also offering special deals throughout the weekend including free parking for hybrids and a special Earth Day 2-day ticket offer that includes a carbon offset donation.
The celebration continues Wednesday, April 22, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., inside the butterfly tent at KidZone Museum in Truckee.Experience the wonder of metamorphosis as each caterpillar becomes a chrysalis and then a butterfly.