Northstar California - Lake Tahoe View

Northstar California – Lake Tahoe View

By Eileen Ogintz

LAKE TAHOE, CA (Day Three) — Snow shoe guide Sian Turner meets me at the Ritz Carlton, snowshoes and even boots in hand.  Rather than ski, I’m going to have some fun in the snow a different way—hiking on snowshoes in the woods, though the lack of snowfall does impede us a bit.

We take the Gondola up to the top of Northstar and trek out in the woods for a stellar view of Lake Tahoe.  I still can’t get used to seeing a lake—it’s so blue!—from the top of the mountain.

There are evening snowshoe treks that end with a bonfire and s’mores and others with local astronomer and poet Tony Berendsen (www.tahoestartours) who also offers other star gazing tours as well.  “The mountains look very different at night when all the people have left,” Turner said, adding that it is still relatively bright (Full moon tours are awesome!)

For those coming along on family ski vacations who don’t like to ski, Turner said, “this is something else to get outside and enjoy the mountains and get some exercise.  “

Snowshoeing really isn’t difficult—basically just walking on snow.  There are shorter family tours and the price is right—about $50 for adults, $30 for kids.

“Everyone comes back smiling,” Turner says.

I did.