Upon leaving Coasegold, we decided the scenic route would be preferable to the Interstate so we took US Highway 50 across the Sierras. It was a great trip and the coach (Maxi, the car is Mini so it seemed fitting to name the motor coach) did great. We went over Echo pass and it was quite beautiful. We got into South Tahoe at about 6 PM. As we were setting up it began to sleet (more like tiny snowballs). Soon it turned to pretty heavy snow. Fortunately the temperature was just above freezing so we didn’t get much accumulation. Quite a shock, since it was in the 70’s when we left Coarsegold!
The next morning, despite the snow and cold temps just above freezing, we started out to see the lake (since Michelle had never been here) and got side tracked by a road to Falling Leaf Lake. What a great sidetrack. We figure we’re exploring, so why not? It was so quiet and a light snow was coming down. Going thorough a beautiful forest of snow covered pine and fur trees resembled something from a storybook or animated movie.
Soon the road turned to one lane and really was looking like a we’d not be able to make it to the lake. All the turns to the lake seemed to be “closed for the season”. But we had hope when we saw a sign that said “Public Beach 1/4 mile”. We kept going and boo, it was a parking area and a boat ramp with not much to see. As we were leaving we noticed a sign that said,”scenic viewpoint 1/2 mile” further down this this imaginary looking road. We had to continue – in for a dime, in for a dollar. We weren’t disappointed. Falling Leaf Lake is a beautiful little lake on the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe.
We worked our way back to the highway and continued our journey west around Lake Tahoe. We then came to Inspiration point. It’s aptly named as it’s high above the Emerald Bay area of the lake. It overlooks the south end of Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay. The bay has the only island in Lake Tahoe. Truly this is an amazing view.
There was even a paddle wheel river boat cruising the bay. We decided to go the other direction (east) around the lake in case the snow became heavier and wanted to know what the road would be like for moving Maxi the next day. It’s an nice, wide multi-lane highway for the most part and no problem. So then we went around the north end of the lake admiring the views and stopping occasionally to take pics. On the western side we came to a public rest stop along the lake with a scenic turnout that had a great view and explained some of the history of the lake. By 1900 the local silver mines and commercial logging had cut down about 98% of the old growth forest and the shores of Lake Tahoe were denuded of trees. Fortunately the forest has returned mostly and Lake Tahoe is gorgeous today.
As we continued, we came upon the Eagle waterfalls. We did the short hike up to the upper falls and saw this beautiful waterfall roaring with snow melted water while it was still dusting us with snow. There were a couple inches of snow already accumulated, so it added to the enchantment of this place.
We hiked down the lower falls and ‘whalla’…it overlooked the lake and cascaded down hundreds of feet to the creek below. It’s situated where you can climb down the the top of the falls and look down, a little freaky to me! We took some pictures and decided to head home.