Updated: Aug 1, 2022
I always say this, but I'll say it again: I love it when people come to Tahoe for the first time and we get to be the ones to give them the grand introduction. I love getting to see Tahoe through their eyes for their first time.
Over Thanksgiving this year, not only did we get to show guests around on their maiden voyage to Tahoe, but we were blessed to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with family for once! When we knew my husband's uncle Mark and aunt Mary Ellen's dates were finalized, however, we initially felt a little anxious and unsure about what kinds of "activities" we would be able to do with guests that time of year. By Thanksgiving, we could have several feet of snow or none at all. So, we had to, more or less, "wait and see" before we made any definitive plans.
As the week of Thanksgiving drew closer, we were pretty confident that we wouldn't have any snow to contend with and, better yet, the daytime high temperatures were predicted to be in the 40s and low 50s with lots of sunshine. It would be perfect November weather for hiking, biking, and enjoying the outdoors!
So, we got to planning out our itinerary and menus. We decided, of the entire holiday weekend, Thanksgiving Day might be the least busy in the area, so we made the 80-mile drive around the lake, stopping at some of our key tourist points-of-interest.
Our first stop was at Eagle Rock, which entails a short hike up to the top of Eagle Rock, where after just 15 minutes of climbing 250 feet, you are rewarded with a fantastic view of Lake Tahoe from the west shore with Hwy 89 far below you.
On from there, we made our way to the world-famous Emerald Bay, which was already pretty busy with cars parked everywhere and a line of hopefuls holding up traffic in the main parking lot. We settled for a spot along the roadway, away from most of the congestion, and walked the short distance back to the overlook area to take in the sights and explain the eccentric teahouse on Fannette Island set in the middle of the bay.
As we started back to the car, we stopped at Lower Eagle Falls, as well, which was surprisingly flowing pretty well. And then we crossed the highway to take a short hike up to the bridge by Upper Eagle Falls before we left to venture onto our next stop.
We walked back to the car and proceeded to drive along the ridge's spine, a notable stretch of very narrow road without any shoulders or guardrails and exceptionally steep drop-offs on both sides. This stretch leads immediately into a couple of very abrupt switchbacks, but lucky for us, the roads were perfectly dry and clear.
Rounding the southern shore of the lake, we turned toward Fallen Leaf Lake and headed back to the parking area near Lily Lake. Here, we explored around a little bit and made a final stop at Glen Alpine Falls.
On our way back up the east shore, we stopped near Chimney Beach and walked the trail to Secret Cove.
Shortly after, when we arrived back at our house, it was time to start getting our Thanksgiving dinner ready.
On Day 2, we ladies took a quick, fast-paced 3.88-mile hike on Wood Creek Trail while my husband and his uncle took the Jeep down a Jeep road to Carson and then biked a 15.42-mile trail, climbing 1549 feet of elevation.
They had a blast, but were both pretty fatigued by the time they returned home. So, naturally, we took them on a short walk along the East Shore Trail, in case their legs hadn't endured enough yet that day.
Day 3 was perhaps the highlight adventure. It was a repeat of a recent hike we did to Green Lake to catch some fall colors. Only this time, we were excited to find that our lake destination was frozen over without any snow covering the ice! What a treat that was to see! It's never happened before that, one, we were able to hike to a freshly frozen alpine lake in the fall, and two, the ice is free of any snow cover.
On the drive home from the hike, famished, we stopped in Carson City for a yummy Italian dinner before heading back up the hill.
Our fourth and final day of adventures started out with church followed by my husband taking his uncle and aunt on a 9-mile hike on the Incline Flume to Tunnel Creek with a stop at the famous Monkey Rock along the way.
It was a great visit, Thanksgiving was more special than usual, and our outdoor adventures in the beautiful weather were so memorable!