Independence Day Weekend with Family in Tahoe

Updated: Aug 1

Over the Thanksgiving holiday last year, we had a blast hosting an aunt and uncle of my husband's in Tahoe. We had yet another holiday with family in Tahoe, but this time for 4th of July. My husband's aunt and uncle arrived at our house late Friday evening, and Saturday morning the fun began.


We kicked off the weekend by taking them on a 9-mile hike from Incline Flume to Monkey Rock to Tunnel Creek, where we stopped for a delicious lunch at the cafe following our hike.


The trail is relatively flat and eventually begins descending just before it meets up with Tunnel Creek Road. And we were treated to lots of colorful, lovely wildflowers along the way.








The trail offers some choice peeks of the lake along the way.






The view from Monkey Rock was amazing as always.



We made the final descent and then enjoyed our lunch outside at Tunnel Creek Cafe.



The following day, we got up early to get on the road for Emerald Bay, which we knew was going to be especially chaotically busy on a holiday weekend. We were right. Parking was crazy. We found a spot along the highway and had to walk quite a ways to get back to the Emerald Bay overlook. The area was busy, but it wasn't any less beautiful, and it was wonderful to see Eagle Falls still flowing.


From the bay, we drove down to Fallen Leaf Lake, which is paralleled by a very narrow one-lane road that requires agility and finesse (and patience) when faced with oncoming vehicles. And there were a lot of them.


At the end of the road is Glen Alpine Falls, Lily Lake, and various trails, but all of the parking areas were full, even overflowing. We were able to get out quickly and view the falls, but then we moved on and began dodging another slew of oncoming traffic until we got back out onto the regular roadways. Making our way through a congested South Lake Tahoe, we parked and walked to a Mediterranean restaurant where we enjoyed a late lunch and even treated ourselves to Baklava for dessert.


After a long day of driving around the lake, we decided to relax at home for a bit before heading back out again to check out the lupine super bloom along the north shore.













On our final day together, we decided to get out of the Basin and show them a little bit more of Northern California. Our first stop was to Lower Sardine Lake with the amazing Sierra Buttes in the background.




My husband's aunt happens to follow some middle-aged Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) hikers on YouTube, so we headed up to Sierra City, a "famous" re-supply stop for PCT thru-hikers. Sure enough, a large group of hikers were hanging out around the general store when we arrived. His aunt knew all about Sierra City from the videos and was quite excited to be there to see it in person. We snapped her photo by one of the PCT trail signs and even took her on a short hike on the PCT down to Loves Falls. She was ecstatic.


From here, we headed up the scenic highway to Gold Lake, where we found a shoreline spot to sit, relax, read, watch nature, and cat-nap until it was time to make the drive back to Tahoe for the evening.



The following morning, we said our good-byes as they got back on the road and headed down towards Yosemite for the next chapter in their adventures. This year's celebration of America's birthday and historic independence from Great Britain's monarchy rule was especially memorable!



Incline Flume to Tunnel Creek

Total Distance

8.98 mi

Total Time

4:57:21

Total Ascent

49 ft

Max Elevation

7,746 ft


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