No Snow Tahoe
December 22, 2013 3:56 PM   Subscribe

On Dec 26, my sister and I, and 6 teenage boys (children, nephews, and friends) are going to Squaw Valley, California, near Lake Tahoe. The plan, of course, was a great ski vacation. But now we are looking at nearly no snow. So, what else can we do?

The resort currently has 27 trails out of 117 open, and temps are expected to rise over the next week. We are looking at temps in the mid 60s.

We are a pretty athletic and healthy group. We are willing to try nearly anything. We have rental cars, and can drive up to 2 hours away for something good. We will be in Squaw Valley from Dec 26 through Jan 2.

Does anyone have any thoughts about what our group can do?
posted by Flood to Travel & Transportation around Lake Tahoe, United States (10 answers total)
Check the weather in the lower areas and if it's not too snowy, you can go hiking. Rent mountain bikes? No matter what they charge, it's got to be cheaper than skiing.

I suspect there are some winter festival-type things going in the Tahoe area. Squaw Valley always has an ice rink open, as well.

There are public swimming pools and indoor gyms, as well.

Day trip to Reno?
posted by suelac at 4:08 PM on December 22, 2013

Also: day trip to Gold Country. The weather here in California has been lovely and there's plenty of outdoor activities you can do if the weather holds.
posted by suelac at 4:09 PM on December 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've only see Squaw Valley in a couple of movie clips, but it impressed me to no end. If you and your clan are interested, I'd look into touring the Olympic facilities. Very 'Fifties' if you know what I mean. Probably a lot is modernized by now though? I'd find one clip I know of on Youtube, but I'm on the wrong computer.
posted by Fukiyama at 5:18 PM on December 22, 2013

It still looks like below freezing temps overnight for the next 10 days, so they will be able to make snow. I wouldn't count on a snow-free holiday (but good for you for planning!).
posted by cecic at 5:35 PM on December 22, 2013

Is the ice rink open? That's pretty fun.
posted by fshgrl at 6:09 PM on December 22, 2013

I agree the ice rink was always fun when I was a kid.
posted by radioamy at 6:23 PM on December 22, 2013

I've gone there during the summer for some excellent hiking and mountain biking. You can also check out Donner (though that's more fun with lots of snow). The skating rink was also open and lots of fun.
posted by kendrak at 6:26 PM on December 22, 2013

Best answer: I live in Tahoe. They are making snow, so while not all the runs are open, you can still ski. That goes for just about all the resorts around here. Things to do around Tahoe that doesn't involve skiing:

Snubing (snow tubing)
Squaw has a pool!
Natural outdoor hot springs abound here. Some like Sierraville are clothing optional. David Walley's is more family friendly.
Drive around Lake Tahoe. Gorgeous drive and lots of towns to poke around in. Watch around West shore. Some stretches may be closed.
South Shore has Heavenly. There are 15 ski resorts here.
Virginia City - old Western town, haunted, great day trip. Kids love it.
Reno - great car museum, indoor paintball at Grand Sierra, circus Circus has a huge arcade

MeMail me if you have questions. If you're bored in Tahoe, there's something wrong with you.
posted by HeyAllie at 7:35 PM on December 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you, HeyAllie - that was exactly what I needed to hear.
I am sure it will be a great trip no matter what the weather is.
posted by Flood at 4:52 AM on December 23, 2013

I've got family at South Shore right now and there is probably 0.5 feet or so at the lake, so I would imagine there is enough to ski on at Tahoe. The bulk of the skiing terrain is not down in the valley where the resort is, but up top. And as HeyAllie notes they make a lot of snow. Squaw is a destination resort and there are plenty of other things to do besides ski.

If you are interested in getting out though the area all around the Truckee River right along 89 is really pretty to walk around in if there isn't too much snow (or go rent some snowshoes). Then you could drive to Tahoe City and then go south towards South Shore - this section is typically closed this time of year, but hey, due to the lack of snow it looks open according to Caltrans. You'll drive past Emerald Bay (!) - You could walk down to Vikingsholm. The buildings are probably closed up but the grounds are gorgeous. Keep going past Emerald Bay and you can drive to Fallen Leaf Lake, check out Pope Beach - lots of lakeside hike/walking available here as the parks are probably technically "closed" but you can just park on the road and walk in. Or just keep going to South Shore. The Casinos at the Line have seen better days but they are there if you are into that sort of thing. Lots of neat shops there too, where the Heavenly gondola is right at lake level.

If you're bored in Tahoe, there's something wrong with you.

Yeah this. Although though this time tomorrow I'll be there, sitting in a chair staring out at the forest with a toddy in my hand, and I won't be bored at all.
posted by Big_B at 8:55 AM on December 23, 2013

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