Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wildflowers in North Lake Tahoe

When the weather is just right, the alpine wildflowers around Lake Tahoe (left) can put on quite a show (hey, free fun!), and they're bursting into bloom this month—at these high elevations, it's still spring. And an early summer hike is the best way to get great views of Big Blue while checking out the blooms.

“Several weeks of unusually wet and cool weather last spring has resulted in one of the best wildflower seasons on record,” says Tourism Director Andy Chapman of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.

Result: the trails and paths throughout North Lake Tahoe are offering up an unusual bounty of colorful displays. But go soon:right now is the perfect time to hike the trails of North Lake Tahoe, when the days are sunny but cool. The region’s wildflowers are expected to hang around until the end of July.

Jump on the Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165-mile loop trail that traverses the ridgelines around Lake Tahoe. You’ll get easy way to access higher elevations ablaze with wildflowers; some of North Lake Tahoe’s best flower-spotting spots: the area northeast of Marlette Lake between the Tahoe Meadows and Spooner Summit trailheads; Paige Meadows, between Barker Pass and Tahoe City trailheads.

Don’t want to hike, or have toddlers in tow? Then stick to the heart of Tahoe City; within walking distance from restaurants and retail, you’ll find the Gatekeeper’s Museum and the Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum at the Tahoe City Dam, both home to lush grounds bursting with wildflowers. And just about one mile north of Tahoe City, at Lake Forest Beach and at the end of Bristlecone Avenue, the lupine are blooming with what many local residents are calling the best showing in the last 30 years.

Details: For hiking trails, lodging reservations, recreation and special event details, call North Lake Tahoe at 877/949-3296 or visit
PHOTO CREDIT: Zikas, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association

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COPYRIGHT Lora Finnegan 2008-2009

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