One has to figure that if a locale is enough of a winter wonderland to have hosted the Winter Olympics in years past, that it must be a fantastic area for snowmobiling adventures, as well. Such is the case with the Lake Tahoe region; a forested paradise situated on the California/Nevada border.
The Tahoe region is, logically so, centered around the sparkling blue waters of Lake Tahoe. The body of water itself is noted as the second deepest lake in the United States and touts over 72 miles of shoreline. Boaters, take note: This is a beautiful summer escape!
Winter adventurers, however, are sure to find plenty of riding opportunities on the public lands that surround the shores lovely Lake Tahoe. The majority of trails in the Lake Tahoe region are controlled by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Tahoe National Forest, with over 75% of the land surrounding the lake designated as public lands. Recent overhauls of off-highway vehicle management plans have slightly reduced the amount of area accessible to snowmobilers, however the Forest Service is happy to offer free trail maps at any of their area ranger stations.
Once you have your hands on a map, the options around Lake Tahoe are limitless. Fortunately, in between snow storms that lay thick layers of powder on some of the United States most famous ski resorts, there are a number of beautiful blue sky days to take advantage of all that snow. Beyond reasonable weather, the border of Lake Tahoe is also scattered with little communities that provide ideal base camps for snowmobile adventures.
Zephyr Cove, for example, is home to a complete snowmobile center designed to provide snowmobile access for folks that are in the area without their machines. The guided tours offered by businesses, like those at Zephyr Cove, offer a unique chance to see the area through the eyes of a local. However, if independent exploration is more your style, check out the mountain communities of Truckee or Tahoe City, CA where you’ll find mountain town accommodations, friendly folks and killer selection of great restaurants.
Unfortunately, the Tahoe region is one of those areas with no real “off” season. Winter brings a rush of snow sports nuts while Summer finds a throng of boaters, hikers and mountain bikers flocking to the lake. For that reason, accommodations in the area are almost never cheap. However, many folks choose to stay in the South Shore area where rates can dip at the casinos on the Nevada side of the lake. Another great option is pooling in with friends to rent one of the many great cabins around the area.
Although, no matter where you stay around Lake Tahoe, you’re sure to find plenty of powder, lots of trails and stunning views of Tahoe’s crystal clear waters. Get out there and give snowmobiling in Northern California a try. It’s not all sunshine and bikinis out here, ya know.