visitor story

Spring in Tahoe: Love at first sight

To say that I fell in love with Lake Tahoe at first sight may sound a bit dramatic, but, then again, so is that lake.

Weary from a day of travel I hired a car in Reno and began driving toward Tahoe. It was mid-March and had snowed lightly and as I came over the pass and first laid eyes on big blue Tahoe my jaw dropped. I mean literally. I had to pull over, get out of the car and just soak it all in. This was, quite certainly, one of the most beautiful places I’d seen in my entire life.

The reason I love Lake Tahoe is simple: I feel at home there. From the mountains and the water, it ticks all of my boxes. You can ski in the winter and hike, kayak and bike in the summer. Tahoe is so incredibly unique in that you can go for a hike in the morning and sit on the beach that same afternoon. For lack of a better word, it’s nutty – but in the most wonderful way!

That’s why I think Tahoe is the perfect vacation spot, no matter the time of year. You can realistically partake in 3 or 4 drastically different activities in one day and not drive hundreds of miles in between. There is just so much variety. Go for a morning hike around Northstar, then check out Truckee, an old railroad town with a fantastic atmosphere, breweries and eateries for lunch, then go relax on the beach before heading out for an afternoon paddle or bike ride. All of this within 20 minutes of one another, I love it!

Once you’ve acclimated, I recommend strapping on some trail shoes and taking a hike. There are wonderful little trails around Northstar and incredibly scenic ones around the lake. I ventured up the Bay View Trail to Maggie’s Saddle solo one morning. Despite the snow that was still on the ground in late March, I climbed to the summit and could see Emerald Bay on one side and the Desolation Wilderness on the other. Because of the snow, my shoes were quite wet at the top so I enjoyed lunch barefoot as they dried in the California sun. I then jumped, rock to rock, in order to get pictures – I must have looked quite comical, rock-hopping barefoot in the snow, but, as I was the only one on the trail, I was left laughing at myself. Wet shoes and eventual stubbed toe aside, the views made this hike more than worth it!

Kelly Macaskill joined the Natural Retreats family in 2008 as a retreat manager in the UK. Over the past 8 years Kelly has grown within the company and currently works as our VP of Xplore Operations in the US. While South Africa will always be home, Kelly now resides in Colorado and works out of our Denver office where she and her snowboard have quick access to the mountains.