Category: Hiking

Hiking Germany’s picturesque Malerweg

The Malerweg in Germany is a circular multi-day hike leading through the stark sandstone rock formations of Germany’s “Sächsische Schweiz”, or Saxon Switzerland, a national park which has been popular amongst hikers, climbers and painters for centuries.
THE BASICS OF THE MALERWEG HIKEThe 8-day Malerweg hike in Germany is a wonderful trek. It takes its name (meaning “the Painter’s Way”) from the 18th century landscape artists who sought it out for its dramatic, romantic vistas. Then as now, this hike features spectacular views, varied terrains, as well as comfortable accommodation in quaint guest houses and bed and breakfasts for the modern-day hiker. Easy to moderate in difficulty, the Malerweg is manageable for most casual hikers, and an ideal tour to discover the beauty, variety and culture of Germany’s Saxon Switzerland.
The iconic, if rather crowded, Bastei Bridge A popular lunch spot in the Saxon Switzerland National Park along the MalerwegClosest Major City: Dresden, Germany
Sta..

The Malerweg in Germany is a circular multi-day hike leading through the stark sandstone rock formations of Germany’s “Sächsische Schweiz”, or Saxon Switzerland, a national park which has been popular amongst hikers, climbers and painters for centuries.

THE BASICS OF THE MALERWEG HIKE

The 8-day Malerweg hike in Germany is a wonderful trek. It takes its name (meaning “the Painter’s Way”) from the 18th century landscape artists who sought it out for its dramatic, romantic vistas. Then as now, this hike features spectacular views, varied terrains, as well as comfortable accommodation in quaint guest houses and bed and breakfasts for the modern-day hiker. Easy to moderate in difficulty, the Malerweg is manageable for most casual hikers, and an ideal tour to discover the beauty, variety and culture of Germany’s Saxon Switzerland.

The iconic, if rather crowded, Bastei Bridge
The iconic, if rather crowded, Bastei Bridge
A popular lunch spot in the Saxon Switzerland National Park along the Malerweg
A popular lunch spot in the Saxon Switzerland National Park along the Malerweg

Closest Major City: Dresden, Germany
Start: Liebesthaler Grund, Pirna
Accommodations: B & B’s, guest houses, one bunk house
Costs: Travel from Berlin and accommodation €500
Length: 8 Days Walking + Travel days
When to Go: March through October

This hike is pretty accessible with German public transport. Head to Dresden in Saxony before making your way to the small town of Pirna, enjoying the historic city center, the evening before you start your hike. The hike’s starting point is the Liebesthaler Grund, a 15-minute bus ride from Pirna.

The walking along this trail is straightforward with some strenuous sections, with gradual to steep ascents taking you up and down around 600m on most days. But all good views must be earned, and rest assured that these are worth it.

The hike is popular in Germany and can get quite busy, especially during school holidays and the autumn, when this walk is highly recommended to enjoy its stunning fall colours. Whichever month you choose to go, most hikers walk the route from Saturday to Saturday, so you’ll find the route a lot less busy if you start mid-week. Either way, do make sure to book your accommodation well in advance as rooms along the route quickly fill up.

The route is divided into 8 stages, which lead from one small town to another, passing iconic sights including the (sadly extremely touristic) Bastei Bridge, along the way. The route is signposted with a red M on a white background, but navigation can get tricky in places. I recommend Hike Line’s Malerweg walking guide which seemed one of the most reliable on the route, leading to me becoming a go-to map resource to other hikers with less detailed descriptions.

MALERWEG TRAIL INFO

A viewpoint across the Elbe Valley with a rare seating opportunity
A viewpoint across the Elbe Valley with a rare seating opportunity
A monument to classical composer Richard Wagner who wrote his opera The Flying Dutchman in Dresden
A monument to classical composer Richard Wagner who wrote his opera The Flying Dutchman in Dresden

The Malerweg is a moderate trail to hike, and can be completed without too much difficulty by most day hikers: along the route I met hikers between the ages of 13 and 65.

The climate on the Malerweg hike is mild and accommodating, requiring no special gear you wouldn’t normally use on a European day walk. I found mornings quite chilly in October and was grateful for my base layers, but felt comfortable in leggings, a merino hiking top, mid-layer jacket and raincoat for the rest of the day. The tops of hills can get windy, so make sure you’re wrapped up warm and have a good raincoat, and you’re good to go. I also wore trail running shoes and was very happy with them – they’re lighter than hiking boots and the terrain was mostly even, so there’s no need for extra ankle support. You’ll need a sleeping bag liner to stay in the alpine hut-style accommodation at Neumannmühle, the most remote stage of the trail. It’s also recommended to take cash to pay for accommodations en route, as most aren’t paid for in advance.

The walk includes some tight passages between rocks, as well as ladders and metal steps, which make a large backpack very awkward to carry on route. I’d recommend that you either pack light and bring a 35L backpack for the whole route, or use baggage transfer companies and walk with a smaller day pack, if you prefer a lighter load.

The Malerweg Route

View from the Kaiserkrone
View from the Kaiserkrone
A more strenuous and exciting section climbing to the Schrammsteine
A more strenuous and exciting section climbing to the Schrammsteine

The trail leads east from Liebesthaler Grund into the more remote sections of the Elbsandstein mountain range. Heading east for the first five days along the north side of the Elbe river, the first section of the trail is the most naturally spectacular.

The Bastei Bridge on the second day of the hike is the most popular sight along the trail, but no less rewarding than the Hockstein, which boasts spectacular views from the top of a sharp spire (thankfully with a small bannister to hold on to), and a 508-step staircase THROUGH a rock called the Wolfsschlucht, or wolf’s ravine. If that isn’t enough to get your blood pumping, you can read about a local ghost story about this rock at the Polenztal Guesthouse.

The next stages of the hike lead to big open views across the Elbe and up to the top of the Schrammsteine, a huge rock formation viewed from the top of a 400m-high plateau. This section offers some of the most fun walking on the trail with characteristic metal steps, ladders and handrails going up and down steep sandstone rocks. I’m not a huge fan of heights personally, but these sections were some of the most exhilarating on the trek.

Malerweg trail map

The Polenztal guesthouse

The Neumannmühle marks the end of Stage 4, and its hut in an inviting rest stop for hikers along the route. Similar to Alpine huts, it offers sleeping accommodation for up to 30 people in a simple dormitory. You’ll also share a warm, hearty meal with new friends from the trail and swap stories of your walk so far.

From the gorgeous village of Schmilka, right on the Czech border after Stage 5, it’s a short ferry ride across the Elbe before starting the walk back out of the Sächsische Schweiz, and beginning your walk back towards Pirna. The southern section of the Malerweg is flatter than its first five stages, with fewer peaks to climb, some of which are slightly off-route. Even though after five days of near-constant up and down your legs may be saying otherwise, these extra peaks are not to be missed. From the Kaiserkrone you can see across the Elbe valley you’ve just walked through, with a magnificent view of the Zirkelstein. Here, you’ll also be tracing the steps of Caspar David Friedrich, and learn more about his most famous painting.

The Polenztal guesthouse
The Polenztal guesthouse
A sea of trees from the top of the Pfaffenstein
A sea of trees from the top of the Pfaffenstein

A sea of trees, from the top of the Pfaffenstein

The remaining sections of the walk lead through pastoral fields and up two more steep sections. The Papststein is an absolute killer on the legs, but tired walkers are soon rewarded at a restaurant on the top of the hill, which serves a German specialty called Käsespätzle – a dish of cheesy goodness as filling and satisfying as they come. The eighth and final section is a small “best-of” of the Malerweg with final dizzying metal bridges over the tops of dainty sandstone peaks, fields and woods, and a long final stretch along the Elbe River back to Pirna’s town centre.

MALERWEG ITINERARY

The view from the Schrammsteine Told you the climb was worth it
The view from the Schrammsteine Told you the climb was worth it

Day 1
11.5km, 4 hours. Up 213m, down 251m
Start: Liebethal
Finish: Stadt Wehlen
Route: A lush introduction to the sandstone rocks of the region, the hike starts off gently but with first glimpses of fairytale-like valleys. The Uttewalder Grund, halfway through the section, is known as one of the most beautiful valleys of Saxon Switzerland. The section finishes with a beautiful view of Stadt Wehlen.

Day 2
13.2km, 5 hours. Up 502m, down 321m
Start: Stadt Wehlen
Finish: Hohnstein
Route: Now firmly inside the national park of Saxon Switzerland, this section crosses the Bastei Bridge, the most famous tourist site in the region. From there hikers descend to Amselgrund and Rathewalde, where open landscapes await. The section finishes after the Hockstein.

Day 3
11.7km, 5 hours. Up 512m, down 464m
Start: Hohnstein
Finish: Altendorf
Route: An even approach to the Brand, which offers famous views across the Elbe valley and a hearty meal. From there through fields with some climbs to Altendorf.

Day 4
13.6km, 7 hours. Up 668m, down 753m
Start: Altendorf
Finish: Neumannmühle
Route: A gradual climb up to the Schrammstein viewpoints, with handrails, metal ladders and stairs to climb. From there a largely isolated walk to the Kuhstall, a natural gap under a massive rock used for herding cows. The Lichtenhainer waterfall is another highlight on this stage.

Wonderful views on the Malerweg hike
Wonderful views on the Malerweg hike
Hiking the Malerweg in Germany
Hiking the Malerweg in Germany

Day 5
13.6km, 6 hours. Up 667m, down 744m
Start: Neumannmühle
Finish: Schmilka
Route: A remote, wooded section with viewpoints back along the Elbe Valley. An additional walk into the Czech Republic to visit the Prebischtor, Europe’s largest natural sandstone bridge, is possible from Schmilka.

Day 6
16.7km, 6.5 hours. Up 701m, down 504m
Start: Schmilka
Finish: Gohrisch
Route: After a boat ride across the Elbe, there’s a steep climb to the Kaiserkrone. From there the route takes you through the villages of Schöna and Reinhartsdorf.

Day 7

15.4km, 6 hours. Up 554m, down 654m
Start: Gohrisch
Finish: Weißig
Route: The second to last section passes the Pfaffenstein, which offers iconic views of the Barbarine, a 42m high rock spire. A final descent leads to Königstein, followed by the town of Thürmsdorf.

Day 8
12.4km, 5 hours. Up 352m, down 545m
Start: Weißig
Finish: Pirna
Route: The Rauenstein offers a last sweeping view of Saxon Switzerland. The route passes through villages of Naundorf before a long final section along the rover Elbe back to Pirna.

EATING ON THE MALERWEG TREK

More great views on the Malerweg
More great views on the Malerweg
Following the Malerweg route in Germany
Following the Malerweg route in Germany

German cooking is known for its hearty dishes, and Saxony serves up German food at its heartiest. That means carbs, carbs and some more carbs. Breakfasts in guesthouses are usually fresh bread rolls (Brötchen in German) with meats and cheeses, jams and a boiled egg or two. There are lunch spots along the route to be found on most days, and most guest houses happily provided a packed lunch for a small fee (ca €5) when I asked for one. But the most popular mid-hike stop proved to be coffee and cake for walkers! Dinners at guest houses varied from local meaty stews, dumplings, or other typical German meals such as Schnitzel and fries. Vegetarian options were often limited but available in all places I visited.

Supermarkets were sparse along the route, so bringing your own snack bars before starting your hike is recommended. German tap water is drinkable so you can easily refill your water bottles in your room before setting off each morning.

The post Hiking Germany’s picturesque Malerweg appeared first on 10Adventures.

Comments Off on Hiking Germany’s picturesque Malerweg

Planning A trip to Yosemite

If you are planning a trip to Yosemite, this blog post is just for you. Here you will find all the information on where to stay in Yosemite, how to get here, what’s the weather in Yosemite like, where to eat and a lot more. We want to help you make your Yosemite trip special and it really has a lot to offer.Disclosure: This post contains references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you buy one of these products or services. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
*****
Just a note: There’s an ongoing legal dispute between the park service and the outgoing concessionaire. So some of the park’s properties have been temporarily renamed (i.e. Curry Village is now called Half Dome Village). The names may revert back to the original version after the dispute is settled.
*****
Covering more than 3,000 square kilometers of land across central California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Yosemite National Park has ..

If you are planning a trip to Yosemite, this blog post is just for you. Here you will find all the information on where to stay in Yosemite, how to get here, what’s the weather in Yosemite like, where to eat and a lot more. We want to help you make your Yosemite trip special and it really has a lot to offer.

Disclosure: This post contains references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you buy one of these products or services. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

*****
Just a note: There’s an ongoing legal dispute between the park service and the outgoing concessionaire. So some of the park’s properties have been temporarily renamed (i.e. Curry Village is now called Half Dome Village). The names may revert back to the original version after the dispute is settled.
*****

Covering more than 3,000 square kilometers of land across central California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Yosemite National Park has so much to offer – from the continent’s tallest water falls, the world’s largest granite monolith to the ancient towering Giant Sequoias and much more. Yosemite was first established in 1890, and today continues to be one of the most visited in North America, with roughly 4 million people entering its grounds each year.

More than 95% of the park is classified as wilderness – making it an exceptional place to hike and explore. The rugged mountain landscape carved by glaciers is spotted with thousands of lakes and ponds, two major rivers, meadows, wetlands, waterfalls and an epic 1300.0km of hiking trails.

The main roads within Yosemite are the Tiogo Road, which is closed November to May; Highway 140 from Merced to Yosemite Valley; Highway 41 from Fresno, closed from Badger Pass to Glacier Point from November to May; and Highway 120 from San Francisco to Yosemite Valley.

Here we’ll take you through the basic overview of hiking in Yosemite National Park – including how to get there, where to stay, where to eat, what to see and what to watch out for.

Group of people taking images near the Yosemite Falls
Group of people taking images near the Yosemite Falls

HOW TO GET TO YOSEMITE

Flying to Yosemite

The closest airport to Yosemite is Fresno International airport, approximately 1.5 hours from the park’s South Entrance and 2.5 hours to Yosemite Valley. The next closest are Merced Airport, about 2 hours from Yosemite Valley or Modesto City-County Airport, about 2 hours from Yosemite Valley.

Driving to Yosemite

Sacramento to Yosemite. Driving from Sacramento yo Yosemite takes around 3-4 hours and takes you via CA-99 S and CA-120 E roads.
Fresno to Yosemite. Driving from Fresno to Yosemite takes around 1:20-2 hours via the road CA-41 N.
Las Vegas to Yosemite. If you’re going from Las Vegas to Yosemite National Park, it will take you around 5:30-6 hours via US-95 N, depending on traffic.
Los Angeles to Yosemite. Driving from LA to Yosemite would take you 4:45-5 hours via CA-99 N.
San Jose to Yosemite. Driving from San Jose to Yosemite National Park takes 0around 3 Hours via CA-120 E.

You can also take public transport to and within the park, but check out the NPS website for the most up to date route accessibility.

BEST TIME TO VISIT YOSEMITE

Yosemite National Park is open all year round, 24/7, with no required reservations. The most popular time to visit is during the summer, although each season has its own unique advantages. Most of the park covered in snow from November to May, offering solitude from the crowds that come when the sun is shining to its fullest. In the spring, warmer weather melts the snow and the park’s waterfalls reach peak capacity. During the summer season, all the park’s roads are open and abundant sunshine makes make the entire park accessible for hiking. During the fall you can enjoy less crowds without the freezing winter temperatures.

There is no vehicle access for the Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road trailheads, typically from November to May or early June, so keep that in mind if you’re planning a hike here.

Weather In Yosemite

Average monthly temperature and precipitation in Yosemite National Park by monts:

Weather in Yosemite
Weather in Yosemite

As you can see, Yosemite in July and August gets pretty hot and usually keeps a higher level of temperature throughout till September. The participation level in Yosemite in November rises and rain and snow continue to cover the park until April – May.

HOW TO GET AROUND IN YOSEMITE

From May/early June to October/early November the main roads within the park are open for vehicle access. In addition, there is also a shuttle service available within the park (but not to all areas). Within Yosemite Valley – the park’s most popular spot – there is a free shuttle service around the eastern segment.

There is also the El Capitan shuttle bus, stopping at El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, Four Mile Trailhead, and the Valley Visitor Center. This is open from mid-June to early October. There is also the fee-based YARTS bus, which travels within the park. For complete information about getting around Yosemite, check out the NPS Yosemite public transportation guide.

MAP OF YOSEMITE

You can download the most up-to-date map of Yosemite National Park from the NPS.GOV official website or by pressing this link: OFFICIAL YOSEMITE VALLEY PARK MAP (PDF, 28 MB)

WHERE TO STAY IN YOSEMITE

Within Yosemite there is a selection of accommodation options – from campgrounds to canvas tents, cozy cabins to a grandiose five-star hotel. Even the most rustic of accommodation options fill up within minutes of availability being released, so make sure to plan your months (or even years – yes really) ahead of time. For a complete list of accommodation in Yosemite, check out the Yosemite Hospitality website.

There are thirteen popular campgrounds within the park, several of which follow a reservation system: the Upper Pines, Lower Pines, North Pines and Crane Flat campgrounds and half of the Tolumne Meadows. Reservations are available in blocks of one month at a time, up to five months in advance. On the 15th of each month, at 7am Pacific Time the reservation period opens. During the period of May to September, reservations are filled within the first day they become available, some even seconds after 7am. Even with the first-come, first-serve campgrounds, they usually fill up by noon or earlier from April through September. It’s also possible to camp in the wilderness, just make sure to get a wilderness permit.

River at Yosemite Boot Hike in Yosemite National Park
River at Yosemite Boot Hike in Yosemite National Park
Mountain at Yosemite Valley Hike in Yosemite National Park
Mountain at Yosemite Valley Hike in Yosemite National Park

One historic lodge within the park is the Wawona Hotel (now known as Big Trees Lodge). Built in 1879, this historic hotel is one of the oldest mountain lodges in California. It’s located between Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Here you can find reasonably priced rooms with an authentic Victorian-style charm.

The crown jewel of accommodation in Yosemite is, however, the Ahwahnee Hotel (now called Majestic Yosemite Hotel). Built in 1927, this five star hotel features an enormous Great Lounge and dining room – ideal for many grandiose events throughout the year – a striking granite façade, crafted log beam ceilings and a uniquely Native American décor. Throughout history famous celebrities have stayed here, and if you want to get a room in the summer season, you better book early.

If you can’t find a place to stay inside Yosemite, have no fear – there are many small towns dotting the periphery of the park’s massive boundaries. A hidden secret is that if you want to hike the High Sierra off the Tioga Road, you can book a place to stay on the park’s eastern border such as in Lee Vining or June Lake. Personally, June Lake is our favorite, but both offer affordable prices, cell phone signal and some cool things to explore. One option is the cozy cabins at Double Eagle Resort and Spa or the budget-friendly June Lake Villager Motel.

For access to Yosemite Valley – without the massive crowds – try staying in Yosemite West Condos. As well, there are tons of other places to stay outside the park that are just a 60 min drive to the center of the Valley such as Mariposa, Buck Meadows, Groveland (with a fun main street featuring a Wild West theme) or Big Oak Flat. Oakhurst is the farthest away – about a 90 min drive – but still manageable. Also consider that, especially during peak seasons driving in and out of the valley may be full of traffic jams.

Man hiking on trails through the woods at Yosemite Valley Hike at Yosemite National Park
Man hiking on trails through the woods at Yosemite Valley Hike at Yosemite National Park

YOSEMITE RESTAURANTS

There are a lot of options of where to eat in Yosemite, but it also depends on the season you’re going.During the peak season (May-October) there are a wide variety of dining options in the park for those on any budget. If you’re looking for luxury after a long day in the wilderness, don’t miss out on dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room (now Majestic Yosemite Hotel). They ask you dress for dinner, but a visit to the dining room is an experience in itself.

Other more upscale options include the Wawona Hotel (now Big Trees Lodge) or the Mountain Room Restaurant – with the latter feature unparalleled views of Yosemite Falls.

For something more casual and budget friendly, check out some of the options in Yosemite Valley such as Degnan’s Deli for fresh made sandwiches and salads, Degnan’s Loft Pizza for homemade pizzas, soups, salads and appetizers (located above the deli) or Village Grill Deck, for hearty burgers, sandwiches or their famous milkshakes. For a quick coffee or croissant, check out Degnan’s Café (also in Yosemite Valley).

Half Dome Village also offers a variety of dining options such as hand-tossed pizzas at the Pizza Deck, home-style cooking from the Half Dome Village Pavilion, or grilled sandwiches from the Meadow Grill. For a quick coffee, pastry or make-your-own oatmeal combination, check out the Coffee Corner here, too.

Yosemite Falls rocky stairs
Yosemite Falls rocky stairs
Panorama Trail Hike Yosemite National Park
Panorama Trail Hike Yosemite National Park

YOSEMITE ACTIVITIES

There is a lot more to Yosemite Activities besides hiking (although check out our Best Hikes in Yosemite National Park as well). Yosemite is full of tons and tons of stunning sites accessible with or without a tour such as Glacier Point, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, Tunnel View, Half Dome, Sentinel Dome, Mist Trail, El Capitan, Tioga Pass and Vernal Falls.

To explore via the waterways, check out rafting on the Merced River or fly fishing with the Yosemite Outfitters. Learn some rock climbing with the Yosemite Mountaineering School and Guide Service, open since the 1960s, or unwind with a round of golf at the Big Trees Lodge Golf Course.

To cool off from the summer heat, you can swim on the sandy beaches of the Merced River or the secluded area in Toulumne Meadows or the High Sierra Camps. There are also pools that can be used by the day at the Half Dome Village and Yosemite Valley Lodge.

And don’t forget the rich history of Yosemite. Experts estimate that the area has been inhabited for over 3,000 years! To a better look, check out the park’s several museums such as the Yosemite Museum, Pioneer Yosemite History Museum, Mariposa Museum and History Center or the John Muir Geo Tourism Center. As well, the Ansel Adams gallery is a highlight not to be missed.

Falls at Yosemite Boot Hike in Yosemite National Park
Falls at Yosemite Boot Hike in Yosemite National Park

DANGERS IN YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

  • Extreme heat in the Valley in the height of summer, make sure you pack plenty of water.
  • There are lots of cars, incredible views and narrow roads. Make sure to pay attention and drive safely.
  • Rockfalls are relatively uncommon, but do happen at several points throughout the year. Make sure to pay close attention if you’re in area where rockfall could occur.
  • Lighting is a common occurrence in the park, especially on summer afternoons.
  • Don’t depend on cell phones for a GPS, service often doesn’t work in many parts of the park.
  • The park is home to between 300-500 black bears, never approach them and ensure food is kept in a regulation container or food locker.
  • Even if flowing water looks calm, beware, it can have a serious undercurrent.
  • Use bug spray, mosquitos and ticks within the park can carry diseases.
  • Always stay with a group when hiking, and consult the Yosemite hiking safety tips before beginning your trip.

MORE INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT YOSEMITE

Yosemite National Park Entrance fee. Park fees for non-commercial vehicles i.e. car, pickup truck, RV, or van with 15 or fewer passenger seats is $30 per vehicle (no per-person fee). Foot, bicycle, horse, or non-commercial bus or van with more than 15 passenger seats: $15 per person aged 16 and older.
Bear Safety. All food must either be stored in a bear proof food locker or container.
Yosemite Elevation. The elevation in Yosemite National Park rises to 2.621 m (1.629 mi), some people might need to adjust to the elevation if they get here from the sea level.
Yosemite pronunciation. Even though it’s spelled with one E at the end it is pronounced “Yoh-Sem-Ee-Tee”.
Yosemite Wilderness Permit. Free wilderness permits are required year-round for backpacking or any other overnight stays in the Yosemite Wilderness. With the exception of the Half Dome hike, wilderness permits are not required for day hikes. You can apply for a wilderness permit on NPS.GOV.

The post Planning A trip to Yosemite appeared first on 10Adventures.

Comments Off on Planning A trip to Yosemite

Planning A Trip to Chamonix

Chamonix! What an incredible mountain town. Everybody should visit Chamonix once in their life. A vacation in Chamonix has everything! Great hiking, great food, great views and (usually) great weather! We love gazing up at Mont Blanc, the tallest peak in the Alps. If you need help planning a trip to Chamonix then look no further.Table of contentsHow to Get to Chamonix
Chamonix Weather
How to get around in Chamonix
Chamonix Map
Chamonix Hotels
Best restaurants in Chamonix
Things to do in Chamonix
Dangers When Hiking in Chamonix
Interesting facts about Chamonix
Disclosure: This post contains references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you buy one of these products or services. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The beautiful region of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (typically shortened to Chamonix) is the birthplace of mountaineering. Today it is a great base for climbers, skiers, bikers, hikers, families and j..

Chamonix! What an incredible mountain town. Everybody should visit Chamonix once in their life. A vacation in Chamonix has everything! Great hiking, great food, great views and (usually) great weather! We love gazing up at Mont Blanc, the tallest peak in the Alps. If you need help planning a trip to Chamonix then look no further.

Table of contents

How to Get to Chamonix
Chamonix Weather
How to get around in Chamonix
Chamonix Map
Chamonix Hotels
Best restaurants in Chamonix
Things to do in Chamonix
Dangers When Hiking in Chamonix
Interesting facts about Chamonix

Disclosure: This post contains references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you buy one of these products or services. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The beautiful region of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (typically shortened to Chamonix) is the birthplace of mountaineering. Today it is a great base for climbers, skiers, bikers, hikers, families and just regular travellers.

We love the Chamonix Valley. But it’s not just the town of Chamonix. Obviously, we recommend staying in Chamonix proper, but we also enjoy Argentière and Les Houches. Argentière is a little smaller with some great chalets and apartments to rent. Les Houches is typically a little less expensive, but it is a 30-minute bus or ten-minute drive to get to Chamonix. When we hear people are planning a family holiday, we usually mention Les Houches to the parents because there are some great vacation rentals, hotels and restaurants there that we love and they are more kid friendly.

Chamonix has a wide variety of attractions, so it isn’t simply a hiking holiday. The summer gondolas and trains take you on wonderful journeys and make your hikes easier, allowing you to glide up the steep incline and start in the Alpine. You shouldn’t feel the need to hike everyday in Chamonix. That being said, once you get there you just might try, especially once you check out our Top 10 hikes in Chamonix. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Chamonix already!

Mont Blanc Hike
Mont Blanc Hike
Chamonix Village during the Summer
Chamonix Village during the Summer

HOW TO GET TO CHAMONIX

Flying to Chamonix

Chamonix does not have a commercial airport. When traveling from outside of France, the closest commercial airports are Geneva, Lyon and Chambery airports.

Geneva has a big variety of airlines coming here. the majority of different airlines using the airport and is also closer by an hour and there are lots of options for transfers. One of the popular companies is Mountain Drop Offs, who offer 10Adventures users discounts to get to Chamonix or check out this post on shared transfers to find out the best option for you to get to Chamonix.

Lyon is a two-hour drive away from Chamonix and there are regular transfers with Chamonix First.

Driving to Chamonix

Geneva to Chamonix. The drive from Geneva to Chamonix takes around 1 h 15 min and is approximately 82.0km long via road A40.
Paris to Chamonix. If you are planning to drive from Paris to Chamonix, it takes around 6 h 25 min (614.0km) via roads A6 and A40.
Lyon to Chamonix. The drive from Lyon to Chamonix takes around 2 h 40 min (224.0km) via the road A40.

CHAMONIX WEATHER

Chamonix weather usually has quite a narrow amplitude, which makes it perfect – not too cold for skiing and doesn’t get too hot for hiking.

In Chamonix tourists come to ski in the winter and hike in the summer. Typically you can still ski in the spring, and actually a lot of people prefer it to the winter. Just be careful it doesn’t get too warm.

In the autumn you usually can keep hiking well into autumn, and in low snow years hiking in December may be possible, depending on weather conditions.

Chamonix weather and precipitation averages:

Chamonix weather
Chamonix weather

The weather in Chamonix stays relatively similar from November through to March, still getting the snow till May. And the hottest months in Chamonix are usually June through August, which is great for hiking.

HOW TO GET AROUND Chamonix

We love not having a car in Chamonix, as it makes getting around and doing one-way hikes easier. To get to Chamonix from Geneva, try Mountain Drop Offs, who offer 10Adventures users discounts to get to Chamonix.

The transit system in the region in Chamonix is very good. Buses and trains can get you from place to place if you are willing to wait a little longer.

You can certainly rent a car if you like, and if you’re staying in Les Houches this might be advised. We heartily recommend using transit though, and in fact we wish more mountain towns were as well-serviced as Chamonix.

There is a great guest card you can get that lets you use the transit for a great price. Check out the Chamonix Website for some details about what they offer.

Alpine Lake near the Chamonix
Alpine Lake near the Chamonix
Beautiful French Alps During the Spring
Beautiful French Alps During the Spring

CHAMONIX MAP

You can download the Chamonix Map from this official Chamonix website. Or download the pdf Chamonix maps just by pressing the links bellow:

Chamonix town center map.
Chamonix Valley Map.

CHAMONIX HOTELS

We love staying in Chamonix. Being close to the shops, restaurants makes paying a bit more worth it for us. So we have picked out some of the best Chamonix hotels for you.

Let’s begin with some Chamonix luxury. Imagine our delight a few years ago when we walked into Chamonix on a long-distance trek to find out there was an incredible special at Hôtel Mont-Blanc. This is the original Chamonix hotel, and it is spectacular hotel in a great location. After showering, we spent days lounging by their spectacular pool drinking cocktails and savouring this wonderful historic hotel.

Hameau Albert 1er is a five-star hotel with a world-class restaurant. One look at the video on their website’s homepage will be more than enough to convince you, but let us add some sweetener to that. They have a beautiful spa and pool area. That restaurant we mentioned has stars of its own: two of them and they are Michelin. It’s located in Chamonix and it’s our pick for the regions more luxurious hotel.

Le Hotel Chamonix Labrador is a great upper-mid range hotel. It has balconies that open onto the Golf Course and backs onto views of Mont Blanc. It has a breakfast buffet, a chalet feel and, for the location, we think it validates the price. The view of Mont Blanc makes it great for any season, but the golf course makes this hotel especially great for the summer months.

Chalet Ski-Station in the Chamonix city centre is a perfectly situated hostel. If you’re looking for a budget place for the skiing season you should look no further (and book early). This hostel is very close to the Brévent Cable Car and some good Chamonix restaurants. If dining out is too much, use the hostel’s shared kitchen. We think this is a fantastic spot if you want to be in Chamonix proper. They also have free Wi-Fi.

The second place to stay in the Chamonix we recommend is Argentière. It’s a pretty compact village with good train and bus connections, so you hardly need a car. Walking around this village is simply superb.

We like Yeti Lodge where guests can pick from an amazing selection of Chalets and apartments that are expertly managed and catered. This is the proper and classic way to see the Alps, especially with a larger group.

The Le Dahu Hotel is the perfect mid range option. The rooms aren’t overly spacious (at the lowest level at least) but they are crisp, clean and the breakfast buffet is a great way to start your day. For something a little more affordable you can try Hotel de la Courone. It’s not as new as Le Dahu, but it is a little easier on the budget.

Finally, for a great hostel recommendation we recommend Gite Le Belvedere. The hostel has free Wi-Fi and a top-notch location. There are lots of smaller rooms inside with a varied numbers of beds. The coffee is good too.

There are lots of places in Les Houches, which is more reasonably priced and caters well to families. Airbnb.com has many great options for Les Houches.

For something more affordable in Les Houches, you can try the Rocky Pop Hotel. This is great for families. The rooms are very hip and modern. The restaurant can do gourmet burgers or traditional French cuisine. It’s a larger place and for less experienced travelers (no shame in that) they make everything very easy.

We enjoyed Le Chalet de Pascaline in Les Houches. It’s a mid-range B&B in a charming local home. The hosts and cuisine make you feel like you’re part of the town. It’s a little dated, but not run down (hence the adjective “charming”).

Itching to hike? Why not camp by one of our most intense hikes in the area? Try Camping Le Grand Champ if you want direct access to our hike, La Jonction. The Campsite has 24-hour hot showers and a nice covered dining area with free Wi-Fi.

Finally, we can’t recommend hiking to a Refuge highly enough. We list the closest refuges in many of our hikes for this region, so consider a 1-night refuge visit. Staying in the mountains makes a trip so much more special.

Hiking Along the Summit
Hiking Along the Summit
Alpine Tarn near Chamonix
Alpine Tarn near Chamonix

BEST RESTAURANTS IN CHAMONIX

Truthfully, it is hard to list the best restaurants in the Chamonix Valley. The food throughout the valley is very good to great. It’s rare that we try a restaurant and have a bad experience, nevertheless, here is our attempt at listing our favourites.

Beware that many restaurants adjust their hours and may close outside of the main winter ski season and summer (July and August).

Let’s start in Chamonix, and let’s start with something everyone can enjoy. Our favourite reasonably priced dinner spot is La Tablée. They have great French classics like French onion soup and fondue. They steak there is also excellent. The restaurant is well located and well priced.

The most fun, cheap eats place in the whole Chamonix region is Cool Cats Restaurant. They do amazing hot dogs, fries, and other street food hits. The place is hip and unique and the food is crazy good. This is a must for anyone who likes a good hotdog.

For a fancier meal try the restaurant in Le Vert Hotel. It’s a French based menu, but the chef uses lots of influences to keep the menu du jour exciting. The prices aren’t as high as the next restaurant we’ll mention, but we still consider this fine dining. From the bar and terrace you can see Mont Blanc.

We believe the nicest meal in Chamonix is Le Maison Carrier in the Hameau Albert 1er hotel. It’s a country style restaurant, but don’t let the rustic look fool you. This place has two Michelin stars. It’s a foodie’s heaven to be sure.

Make sure to check out Le 3842 for lunch if you’re taking the trip up to the Aiguille du Midi. The restaurant gets its name from the altitude from where it sits. The food is surprisingly well valued, but the best part is the views.

In Argentière the options aren’t as vast as Chamonix, but it is France after all, so there’s good food everywhere you look. A great little café in town is Tête à Thé. They have quiche, baked goods, and little salads. We love going here for lunch or breakfast.

For a cheap bar with good food try Les Marmottons. It’s at the bottom of the slopes, which is great for skiers. It’s also open in summer as well. It is simple French bites at a good price.

If you’re looking for a fancier dinner in Argentiere we have two options. The cheaper option is La P’tite Verte. This is honestly one of the best values in Argentiere, but you will need a reservation. The food is wonderful and not too fancy. For fine dining you’ll want to go to La Remise. They have amazing entrees, like aged steak, as well as a tasting menu.

We’re going to stick with the idea of Les Houches being perfect for a more budget conscious trip, so the restaurants are here are well valued and most are good for kids. For a great dinner after an active day take the family to La Ferme des Agapes. It’s a big, old tavern with cheese fondue and these great mini-BBQs that they can bring to your table (on which you typically cook beef and turkey). It’s hardy and delicious French mountain cooking. If you happen to be on the Ski hill in Les Houches stop by Les Vieilles Luges. It’s midway down the hill and the restaurant is in an old farmhouse. They have good food and a great atmosphere.

Sometimes you just need a pizza, even when you’re visiting France. Well, good news is the best cheap eats in Les Houches is Pizza Lou Vio. It’s the best option in Les Houches, but not our best cheap eats option on the whole list. This is good if you get back to Les Houches and don’t feel like bussing back into Chamonix.

And finally, we think the best restaurant in Les Houches is Le Delice. This is certainly an awesome restaurant, but it’s not something gastronomically over the top (although those aren’t necessarily bad things). What’s nice about Le Delice is that you can have a great fancy dinner, but you could also bring the kids. They do have a few items on a kid’s menu.

Autumn in Chamonix
Autumn in Chamonix
The View from the Above
The View from the Above

THINGS TO DO IN CHAMONIX

When you’re in Chamonix and you’re not hiking most people just find ways to soak in the natural beauty without the physical excursion. We totally get it. Not everyone can do a big hike everyday. The solutions of things to do in Chamonix are vast and wonderful. The best part is that for 63 euros you can get a pass for a bunch of lifts and sight seeing activities. Here’s what we loved most from that list.

First, you can, wait you MUST take the cable car up to the viewpoint at Aiguille du Midi. The oxygen can be a little thin (nothing extreme) at the top, but the views are jaw dropping. While you’re there make sure to go up the elevator and “Step into the Void.” This section of the visitor centre lets you stand over a see through floor, which is always great for photos. In the visitor’s centre there is also some historical background on the surrounding area.

The next sight seeing adventure is the Brévent Cable Car. The Brévent area is beautiful (as a side note, we have two hikes near that area: Lac Cornu and Gran Balcon Sud).

The final low-impact, mountain adventure is the Montevers – Mer de Glace Train. This train takes you up to the Mer de Glace glacier and from there you can take a few hundred steps down into the ice cave. This part is especially mesmerizing.

If you’re after some traditional European sightseeing visit the Eglise Saint Michel in Chamonix. A seasoned European traveler might not find it out of the ordinary, but we’ve found that if you stop here in the early morning, when the dawn’s light breaks through the stained glass, it can extraordinarily serene. It’s a beautiful and quaint church.

If you got some older kids and teens with you, you might need some adventure activities to mix in with the hikes. Now there are plenty of mountains to ski on in the winter, but in the summer you can visit the Chamonix Parc d’Attractions. The majority of the summer activities might be suited for younger kids, but we think their luge alpine coaster is fun for nearly all ages!

If that’s not their style, some people love to try paragliding (though we’re too scared to try, to be honest)! You may not have considered attempting this, but beginners ride tandem with a professional, so it’s quite manageable.

View from the Col de Balme
View from the Col de Balme
Hiking in French Alps
Hiking in French Alps

DANGERS WHEN HIKING IN Chamonix

  • Weather can change quickly. Make sure to bring multiple layers.
  • Always bring sunglasses, a hat and wear sunscreen—even in winter. The sun at the alpine altitude is very strong.
  • Storms are common in the mountains. The storms can also come out of nowhere, especially on hot summer days. At the first signs of a storm, get down off any ridges and away from waterways. Make sure to avoid any pole-like structure or solitary trees.
  • Fog and low clouds can fill in fast on the mountain. Stay on the signed paths when this happens and bring a rescue whistle with you as well as maps and some form of compass.
  • In especially sloped areas watch out for slippery wet grass and small rockslides from hikes above you.
  • While not an extreme danger, the big white Great Pyrenees dogs that guard the sheep in the area may look like oversized golden retrievers, but these dogs are trained to protect their flock. Keep that in mind. Some people have gotten bit in the past.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT CHAMONIX

  • Mont Blanc meaning. Mont Blanc, or Monte Bianco, means “The White Mountain”.

  • Chamonix pronunciation. Although every region in France pronounces Chamonix a bit differently, the most common Chamonix pronunciation is Sham-on-EE.

  • Chamonix altitude. Chamonix resort altitude is averagely at 1035m. The elevation difference in the Chamonix region is between 995m–4810m.

  • The Aiguille du Midi lift. If you’re planning on skiing, avoid hotels that advertise proximity to the to the Aiguille du Midi lift. That lift does not take you to any groomed runs. The Aiguille du Midi is great, however, for the summer because that viewpoint is something you don’t want to miss.

  • Try asking for south facing views when booking your room. The south rooms are most likely to have views on Mont Blanc
  • English is pretty common in the are due to the large amount of tourists this area sees especially during ski season

The post Planning A Trip to Chamonix appeared first on 10Adventures.

Comments Off on Planning A Trip to Chamonix

Opening & Closing dates for Campgrounds, Beaches, and Forest Roads at Tahoe South

The Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, has announced targeted opening dates for recreational facilities in the Lake Tahoe Basin this season.

Weather and snow conditions permitting, Baldwin and Nevada beaches will be the first sites to open on Saturday, April 27, 2019.

The Taylor Creek Visitor Center opens Saturday, May 25, 2019. The Tallac Historic Site parking area opens Monday, May 13, 2019, and will be staffed beginning May 25.

The following is a list of opening/service dates, weather and snow conditions permitting:

Campgrounds/Resorts
Round Hill Pines Resort – May 15
Meeks Bay Resort, William Kent, Kaspian – May 23
Fallen Leaf, and Nevada Beach campgrounds – May 10
Camp Richardson RV Park, Eagles Nest, and Badgers Den campgrounds – May 24
Luther Pass Campground and Angora Resort – May 25
Blackwood Canyon and Watson Lake campgrounds – June 1
South Lake Tahoe Camping | Photo: @keeptahoe.local

Day-Use Areas
Baldwin and Nevada beaches – April 27, 2019
Chimney Beach ..

US Forest Service Shield

The Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, has announced targeted opening dates for recreational facilities in the Lake Tahoe Basin this season.

Weather and snow conditions permitting, Baldwin and Nevada beaches will be the first sites to open on Saturday, April 27, 2019.

The Taylor Creek Visitor Center opens Saturday, May 25, 2019. The Tallac Historic Site parking area opens Monday, May 13, 2019, and will be staffed beginning May 25.

The following is a list of opening/service dates, weather and snow conditions permitting:

Fallen Leaf Lake Campground

Campgrounds/Resorts

  • Round Hill Pines Resort – May 15
  • Meeks Bay Resort, William Kent, Kaspian – May 23
  • Fallen Leaf, and Nevada Beach campgrounds – May 10
  • Camp Richardson RV Park, Eagles Nest, and Badgers Den campgrounds – May 24
  • Luther Pass Campground and Angora Resort – May 25
  • Blackwood Canyon and Watson Lake campgrounds – June 1

Hammock South Lake Tahoe Camping

South Lake Tahoe Camping | Photo: @keeptahoe.local

Day-Use Areas

Before recreation sites can fully open to the public, the Forest Service must hire crews and staff to manage the sites, clean up from winter, remove safety hazards and wait for the danger of a freeze to pass before turning on water systems, according to the agency.

Forest visitors should exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings as they enjoy the outdoors. Hazards to watch for include trees that may have recently died and/or sustained damage over the winter.

While recreation area grounds are open year-round, but parking, trash removal and restroom facilities are not available during winter. The Forest Service instructs visitors to pack out all trash and until parking areas open, park your vehicle off the roadway, avoid parking on vegetation and do not block access gates.

Pets are not allowed on designated swim beaches. Only leashed, service dogs are allowed entry to developed beaches. The Forest Service reminds dog owners to always clean up after their animal, including properly disposing of pet waste bags.

Tahoe beaches are popular and parking areas tend to fill up quickly when weather conditions are good, per the Forest Service. Plan accordingly and carpool, take public transportation or develop alternate transportation solutions.

Click here for a complete list of planned opening dates.

For more information, contact the Forest Supervisor’s office at 530-543-2600, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Check out Camping at Tahoe South on Instagram:

The post Opening & Closing dates for Campgrounds, Beaches, and Forest Roads at Tahoe South appeared first on Tahoe South.

Comments Off on Opening & Closing dates for Campgrounds, Beaches, and Forest Roads at Tahoe South

Tahoe South in Spring: 4 Outdoor Activities Your Group Can’t Miss

Picture it: Tahoe South; springtime; the snow melting away; the Sierras skirted with fresh shades of green and yellow and crystal-clear waters for miles. It’s one of the country’s most scenic natural playgrounds, and your meeting attendees get to explore it all.

Check out these top outdoor spring activities to add to your meeting in Tahoe South.

1. Waterfall Hikes

Spring is the best time to get outside and onto a hiking trail here. The water flows rapidly as the snow melts during spring runoff, which means epic (and Insta-memorable) waterfall views along some of Tahoe’s best trails! Your group will find hikes for every skill level in and around Tahoe South. Here’s a list of our five favorite waterfalls.

2. Clear Kayak Tours

Take a guided tour of the lake on a transparent kayak! This luxury experience lets your group glide over the second deepest lake in the U.S. and experience incredible views all day long. If you’re planning for meetings all day, no problem. Your group can st..

Picture it: Tahoe South; springtime; the snow melting away; the Sierras skirted with fresh shades of green and yellow and crystal-clear waters for miles. It’s one of the country’s most scenic natural playgrounds, and your meeting attendees get to explore it all.

Check out these top outdoor spring activities to add to your meeting in Tahoe South.

1. Waterfall Hikes

Spring is the best time to get outside and onto a hiking trail here. The water flows rapidly as the snow melts during spring runoff, which means epic (and Insta-memorable) waterfall views along some of Tahoe’s best trails! Your group will find hikes for every skill level in and around Tahoe South. Here’s a list of our five favorite waterfalls.

2. Clear Kayak Tours

Take a guided tour of the lake on a transparent kayak! This luxury experience lets your group glide over the second deepest lake in the U.S. and experience incredible views all day long. If you’re planning for meetings all day, no problem. Your group can still experience the lake at night on an LED glow tour or LED stargazing tour.

3. Mountain Biking

Tahoe South has legendary mountain biking trails for those in your group looking to explore some new terrain. They’ll take in views of the famed Emerald Bay while biking along the 72 miles of scenic trails on the Lake Tahoe loop. Our town is a bike-friendly community, so you’ll find plenty of locally owned bike shops to help with all of your rentals and biking needs. From advanced trails such as the Flume Trail to relaxing rides on the lake basin, you’ll find no shortage of mountain biking activities. Here are the six most popular bike trails.

4. Lake Cruises

There’s no better chaser to a day (or few days) of business than one of Tahoe South’s unforgettable lake cruises. Attendees can relax and unwind as they breathe in the fresh Lake Tahoe breeze. There are cruises to fit every schedule, so whether you’re enjoying the sunshine, watching the sunset over Emerald Bay and Vikingsholm Castle or grabbing dinner on an evening cruise, there’s never a wrong time to be out on the water here.

If you’re interested in booking a meeting in Tahoe South this spring, drop our team a line or check out more activities for your group on this list.

The post Tahoe South in Spring: 4 Outdoor Activities Your Group Can’t Miss appeared first on Tahoe South.

Comments Off on Tahoe South in Spring: 4 Outdoor Activities Your Group Can’t Miss

Lake Tahoe Waterfalls: Glen Alpine Falls

Fallen Leaf Lake is one of my favorite places to go at this time of year; it is like a different world, so peaceful and calm.
The lake is three miles around and a mile wide, and cute summer homes are on most of the lake’s edge with private docks. There is also a campground only a short walk away from the lake, which is perfect for families!

Fallen Leaf Lake | Photo: @terrybglad

The waterfall that flows into the lake is pretty spectacular. Glen Alpine Falls is shorter than other waterfalls around Lake Tahoe, but wider and the water flows all over what I call the Sierra Slate. We sat and listened to the birds chirping and the water flowing for almost an hour. The flow of water is my favorite thing to listen to… it clears my mind.

Lower Glen Alpine Falls

If you haven’t been to Fallen Leaf Lake before I encourage you to check it out! To get there, turn onto Fallen Leaf Road from Highway 89. It is a two-lane road until the campground and then becomes a one-lane road with pullouts for on..

Fallen Leaf Lake is one of my favorite places to go at this time of year; it is like a different world, so peaceful and calm.

The lake is three miles around and a mile wide, and cute summer homes are on most of the lake’s edge with private docks. There is also a campground only a short walk away from the lake, which is perfect for families!

Fallen Leaf Lake

Fallen Leaf Lake | Photo: @terrybglad

The waterfall that flows into the lake is pretty spectacular. Glen Alpine Falls is shorter than other waterfalls around Lake Tahoe, but wider and the water flows all over what I call the Sierra Slate. We sat and listened to the birds chirping and the water flowing for almost an hour. The flow of water is my favorite thing to listen to… it clears my mind.

Glen Alpine waterfall around Lake Tahoe

Lower Glen Alpine Falls

If you haven’t been to Fallen Leaf Lake before I encourage you to check it out! To get there, turn onto Fallen Leaf Road from Highway 89. It is a two-lane road until the campground and then becomes a one-lane road with pullouts for oncoming traffic. Please drive slowly and be courteous to other drivers on the road – this means pulling over if there’s room to let cars pass, and waving as they pull over for you. To drive to the falls, continue past the general store on the right and past a fire station on your left onto another one lane road. You’ll go up a half mile or so and hear the falls roaring; parking is limited and difficult as there are no designated spots. Make sure to watch your little ones, as there is no gate or fence that keeps you from the falls.

The snow is melting quickly, and waterfalls around Tahoe will not be full for long. Between now and late June will be the best times to see them. So get out there and explore!

Related Posts

Check out Lake Tahoe Waterfalls on Instagram:

The post Lake Tahoe Waterfalls: Glen Alpine Falls appeared first on Tahoe South.

Comments Off on Lake Tahoe Waterfalls: Glen Alpine Falls

Step Where Mark Twain Walked

There’re few figures in history more intertwined with Lake Tahoe than Samuel Clemens… or as we know him, Mark Twain. His words about this topaz-colored lake are infamous! As he once stated, it’s “the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” What better way to honor his writing than by exploring some of the places Mark Twain visited in Lake Tahoe & the surrounding area.

The Flume Trail
View from the Tunnel Creek Lake Tahoe | Photo: @laurawesttravels

Ever wonder where Mark Twain got inspired to write the following quote about Lake Tahoe?

“As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.”

It was when Samuel Clemens moved out West with Orion in 1861 to the Nevada territory. On a hike from Carson City, he came upon the legendary view overlooking the crystal-clear waters of Tahoe.

To get to the site & see this beautiful imagery for yourself, park at the Tunnel Cree..

There’re few figures in history more intertwined with Lake Tahoe than Samuel Clemens… or as we know him, Mark Twain. His words about this topaz-colored lake are infamous! As he once stated, it’s “the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” What better way to honor his writing than by exploring some of the places Mark Twain visited in Lake Tahoe & the surrounding area.

The Flume Trail

View from the Tunnel Creek Lake Tahoe

View from the Tunnel Creek Lake Tahoe | Photo: @laurawesttravels

Ever wonder where Mark Twain got inspired to write the following quote about Lake Tahoe?

“As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.”

It was when Samuel Clemens moved out West with Orion in 1861 to the Nevada territory. On a hike from Carson City, he came upon the legendary view overlooking the crystal-clear waters of Tahoe.

To get to the site & see this beautiful imagery for yourself, park at the Tunnel Creek Café and walk up the Tunnel Creek trail about 1.3 miles. Here you’ll experience the view Mark Twain recounts. For those that don’t trust their GPS, don’t worry. There’s an interpretive panel marking the spot.

Lake House

As Mark Twain battled a terrible cold sometime in 1863, he spent time at what he referred to as the “Lake House.” Here, he was issued a “sheet bath,” requiring him to stand in or adjacent to the lake at midnight & get wrapped in a sheet soaked in the “frosty” waters. Many mistakenly think the Lake House was the Lake Shore House in Glenbrook. But the reality is it was a house in South Lake Tahoe. Even though it’s no longer standing, you can still sense what it must’ve felt like back in the 1860s.

To access the site from US Highway 50, follow San Francisco Ave until it ends. Park where legal and enter the meadow through the gate at the end of the street. Continue following the trail to the lake where the Lake House was approximately located.

David Walley’s Resort

David Walley's Resort

David Walley’s Resort | Photo: @1862davidwalleys

While it may not be in Lake Tahoe, this hot spring resort was a bastion for Mark Twain. Flanked by the rugged Sierra Nevada mountain range, this one particular hot spring just outside the first settlement in Nevada has been attracting weary travelers for over 150 years. Suffering from a bit of sickness when Twain visited in the spring of 1887, he remarked I “was relieved of pain and gained in spirit.”

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Mark Twain will be forever tightly linked to the Mighty Mississippi. But, his words about Lake Tahoe tell you that he left a piece of his heart in the Tahoe Basin. So, the next time you visit Tahoe South, be sure to give a nod to the legendary American writer, lecturer, and satirist.

The post Step Where Mark Twain Walked appeared first on Tahoe South.

Comments Off on Step Where Mark Twain Walked

Take in All of Tahoe This May

May is when the many various parts of Tahoe come alive again. It’s a time where you can experience all four seasons in just one month, convenient to enjoy each of your favorite outdoor activities. What this really means is that not only can we now enjoy this vast outdoor playground again, but even our local events, gatherings, and community happenings will be back outside, finally. The town is busy still as you’d expect, but with more buzz.

Nevada Beach Lake Tahoe Nevada

Regardless of your winter hobbies, many people feel restricted during the winter, and after being cooped up for months we’re all itchin’ to get outside. Get ready for outdoor music, outdoor barbecues, outdoor parties and Tahoe tomfoolery from the village to the beaches and mountains.

Many of the marinas are operating again for all of your boating and water sports needs. The majority of the beaches, forest service roads & lands, and campgrounds will become accessible this month. Go out and get after it.

Climbing Pie..

May is when the many various parts of Tahoe come alive again. It’s a time where you can experience all four seasons in just one month, convenient to enjoy each of your favorite outdoor activities. What this really means is that not only can we now enjoy this vast outdoor playground again, but even our local events, gatherings, and community happenings will be back outside, finally. The town is busy still as you’d expect, but with more buzz.

Family Fun at Nevada Beach Lake Tahoe

Nevada Beach Lake Tahoe Nevada

Regardless of your winter hobbies, many people feel restricted during the winter, and after being cooped up for months we’re all itchin’ to get outside. Get ready for outdoor music, outdoor barbecues, outdoor parties and Tahoe tomfoolery from the village to the beaches and mountains.

Many of the marinas are operating again for all of your boating and water sports needs. The majority of the beaches, forest service roads & lands, and campgrounds will become accessible this month. Go out and get after it.

Pie Shop Climbing Lake Tahoe Family Fun

Climbing Pie Shop Tahoe | Photo: MIchael Habicht Tahoe Climbing Coalition

We start the month with an event that not only locals, but the many fans of Tahoe should be elated to hear about, the Tahoe Climbing Coalition Kick-Off Party. The Tahoe Climbing Coalition is a brand new organization dedicated to providing access, stewardship, and advocation of rock climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Tahoe Climbing Coalition Kick Off Party Lake Tahoe

I’m so excited for this group because Tahoe clearly has some world class climbing that will finally have a larger platform. When the locals come together like this to pioneer something, amazing things happen – TAMBA comes to mind, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for these guys. Join them for a fun and informative launch from 6pm-10pm at South Lake Brewing Company where esteemed climber Ethan Pringle will join the festivities as a guest speaker.

Azul Latin Kitchen Margarita Lake Tahoe

Margarita | Photo: Azul Latin Kitchen

The first weekend also falls on Cinco De Mayo, which needs no introduction. South Lake Tahoe is home to a diverse body of people, many with Mexican roots, and the town is showing out to join the festivities. Don’t miss the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and Margarita Contest Heavenly Village Lake Tahoe May 4th and 5th. Frozen or on the rocks? Are you the salt on the rim type? Doesn’t matter because this weekend you’re going to love them all.

South Lake Tahoe Flea Market

Photo Tahoe Flea Market

Also starting back up this weekend are the South Lake Tahoe Flea Markets and what a fun way to get back and involved with the Tahoe community. You can just about guarantee you’ll walk away with something, whether a thrifty score or some homemade Tahoe treasure. Start your weekend here and head out for more fun, the flea markets continue on every weekend until the end of September.

Brunch Edgewood Tahoe

Brunch at Edgewood Tahoe

Bring your mother to Tahoe South for Mother’s Day weekend and she’ll probably ask for it to be the new tradition. The Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch at Edgewood Tahoe is easily one of the tastiest ways to start the day, but continue on to their spa to treat mom to some ultimate relaxation. Later, hit the shops at Heavenly Village and follow your nose to the Baked Bear for a custom ice cream sandwich. You don’t need to go far to have a day full of fun memories, but it’s nice to know that once you’re here there’s an adventure right around the corner if that’s the way the day plays out.

Amgen is back and the hype is here! What an incredible event it was to be a part of last year, what an incredible feeling to be right there at the finish line where emotions are running high. This year will be the longest and most challenging in its 14-year history, with the Men’s Stage 2 finish from Rancho Cordova to South Lake Tahoe on May 13. The community is invited to Heavenly’s California Base Lodge to cheer on these super-athletes, take the opportunity to watch the current and future stars of this sport.

Good Sam Safe Ride Car Show Heavenly Village

Good Sam Safe Ride Car Show Heavenly Village

The month ends with Memorial Day weekend, another big weekend for Tahoe as many places open for the summer if they haven’t already. Heavenly Resort will be back with the Summer Kick Off Car and Bike Show May 24th-27th and continuing until winter. It’s free to walk around and always very cool to see what car owners and collectors will bring out each year.

At the same time, they’ll start up the Heavenly Village Concert Series. Apart from being Lake Tahoe’s largest free summer concert series, what also sets the Heavenly Village events apart from other seasonal entertainment is its family-friendly environment. Concerts are held either between Gunbarrel Tavern and Fire + Ice or in front of Azul Latin Kitchen.

Speaking of music, the Lake Tahoe Aleworx Summer Music Series is so much fun, and the guys over at either of the AleWorX locations are all about great food paired with a great atmosphere. Take it from the owner – “Our goal as a company is to provide the very best food and beverage experience for our locals and visitors throughout the upcoming summer of 2019. From Memorial to Labor Day Weekend we plan to host live entertainment EVERY evening with an intention to host performances ALL DAY LONG every weekend (Fri-Sun). With both our Y and Stateline locations, we are in a unique position to be able to cater to two of the major niche markets within our Tahoe South community.”

Taylor Creek Stream Profile Chamber at Lake Tahoe

Taylor Creek Stream Profile Chamber at the Tallac Historic Site Lake Tahoe | Photo: Great Basin Institute

One last thing I’d like to mention that I’m so glad is returning is the Stream Profile Chamber at Taylor Creek. Due to a large crack deeming the area unsafe last year, the Stream Profile Chamber never opened. The impact was felt – during the average school year, Taylor Creek Visitor Center hosts over 150 students per day to connect classroom curriculum with direct experience with the local aquatic life, and of course the highlight is the Stream Profile Chamber experience which allows visitors to get an up-close underwater view of the spawning Kokanee salmon.

When they requested assistance from the Tahoe Fund for the repair, the nonprofit stepped in to solve the problem with support from Tahoe Blue Vodka. As of now, their hope is to bring back this beloved feature to the south shore with the opening of the Taylor Creek Recreation Area Memorial Day Weekend.

The post Take in All of Tahoe This May appeared first on Tahoe South.

Comments Off on Take in All of Tahoe This May

Hike To Eagle Falls & Eagle Lake – A Great Beginner Hike

For those that haven’t taken their first step into the Great Outdoors, it can be a bit intimidating. Luckily, hiking doesn’t require special skills or equipment. All you’ll need is the ability to walk and to know where you are. The biggest mistake most beginners make is picking a trail that’s too tough. You want a challenge, but not one that’ll make you regret it. And of course, you should pick one that gives you a reward at the end. There isn’t a more perfect hike to start with than the short jaunt to Eagle Falls.

Eagle Falls @ Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe

Hike To Eagle Falls
When it comes to scenery, the Eagle Falls trail offers up some of the most beautiful landscape the Lake Tahoe Basin has to offer. Cascading waterfalls, large granite peaks, lush vegetation, and most of all, lots and lots of evergreens. The beaten path starts off easily as you slowly ascend from the parking lot. After about a ¼ mile, you’ll head up a path of lovely stone stairs cut right into the rock wall itself. Aft..

For those that haven’t taken their first step into the Great Outdoors, it can be a bit intimidating. Luckily, hiking doesn’t require special skills or equipment. All you’ll need is the ability to walk and to know where you are. The biggest mistake most beginners make is picking a trail that’s too tough. You want a challenge, but not one that’ll make you regret it. And of course, you should pick one that gives you a reward at the end. There isn’t a more perfect hike to start with than the short jaunt to Eagle Falls.

Eagle Falls at Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe

Eagle Falls @ Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe

Hike To Eagle Falls

When it comes to scenery, the Eagle Falls trail offers up some of the most beautiful landscape the Lake Tahoe Basin has to offer. Cascading waterfalls, large granite peaks, lush vegetation, and most of all, lots and lots of evergreens. The beaten path starts off easily as you slowly ascend from the parking lot. After about a ¼ mile, you’ll head up a path of lovely stone stairs cut right into the rock wall itself. After about another ¼ mile, you’ll come upon the falls themselves.

Eagle Lake above Eagle Falls Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe

Eagle Lake above Eagle Falls Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe | Photo: Local Freshies

Eagle Lake – Well Worth The Effort

If you’re feeling a bit winded from the elevation, you can turn around here. For those that have the energy, we HIGHLY recommend continuing forward to Eagle Lake. As the trail continues up, be sure to stop whenever the forest canopy opens to gaze upward at the towering mountains surrounding you. As you come upon Eagle Lake, veer left and continue until the path ends at an extensive collection of fallen boulders. When you get here, you’ll realize why we recommend venturing further. As the glassy water reflects the mountainscape above, it will take your breath away. Definitely worth the effort!

Eagle Falls Trail Lake Tahoe

Eagle Falls Trail Lake Tahoe | Photo: Photo: Local Freshies

Directions To Trailhead:

Take Highway 89 North, approximately 8 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Eagle Falls Picnic Area. Note: There is a parking fee at this trailhead.

Tips:

  1. Being so close to South Lake Tahoe, this trail is very popular. It’s best to visit early in the morning, or better yet, come during the shoulder season such as spring or fall.
  2. Don’t forget to bring cash to pay for parking.
  3. If you’re considering hiking all the way to Eagle Lake, be sure to pick up a Desolation Wilderness permit at the trailhead.
  4. Across Highway 89 is the world-famous Emerald Falls you’ve seen in countless photos. These easily accessed falls provide a fantastic vista of the cascading water with Emerald Bay as its backdrop.

Check out Eagle Falls on Instagram:

The post Hike To Eagle Falls & Eagle Lake – A Great Beginner Hike appeared first on Tahoe South.

Comments Off on Hike To Eagle Falls & Eagle Lake – A Great Beginner Hike

A Night Under the Stars: Camping in South Lake Tahoe

A camping trip to Lake Tahoe is an experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
What could beat roasting marshmallows under the stars? Photo credit: Karin Sharon

There is no better way to feel connected to the alpine landscape than getting close to nature and sleeping under the stars. Even locals like myself have enjoyed pitching tents at one of the nearby locales – despite some of them being in walking distance from my own bed. You may ask why someone would choose sleeping on the cold, hard ground rather than a soft, cozy bed, but after you have spent a night at one of the Lake Tahoe campgrounds, I bet you’d find it an obvious choice. Popular favorites of visitors and locals alike, here are the top sites to pitch a tent or park an RV on Lake Tahoe’s south shore.

Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina

The sunset from Camp Richardson. Photo credit: Karin Sharon

Camp Richardson is a full-service resort with 200 tent sites in two campgrounds. They also provide opportunities ..

A camping trip to Lake Tahoe is an experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

camping in south lake tahoe

What could beat roasting marshmallows under the stars? Photo credit: Karin Sharon

There is no better way to feel connected to the alpine landscape than getting close to nature and sleeping under the stars. Even locals like myself have enjoyed pitching tents at one of the nearby locales – despite some of them being in walking distance from my own bed. You may ask why someone would choose sleeping on the cold, hard ground rather than a soft, cozy bed, but after you have spent a night at one of the Lake Tahoe campgrounds, I bet you’d find it an obvious choice. Popular favorites of visitors and locals alike, here are the top sites to pitch a tent or park an RV on Lake Tahoe’s south shore.

Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina

camping in South Lake Tahoe

The sunset from Camp Richardson. Photo credit: Karin Sharon

Camp Richardson is a full-service resort with 200 tent sites in two campgrounds. They also provide opportunities to rent turnkey RV’s when you want to leave the hassle at home. It will feel like a luxury stay, equipped with a bathroom, kitchen, linen and towels. Located off of Highway 89, Camp Richardson offers visitors plenty of in-house activities including boat rentals, watersports, beachfront dining, and a general store and ice-cream parlor. If you are seeking an immersive campground, Camp Richardson can check those boxes.

Fallen Leaf Campground

Fallen Leaf Campground is a peaceful site located on the north shore of Fallen Leaf Lake and adjacent to Taylor creek. The native trees and wildflower meadows provide the perfect backdrop when setting up tents. A short hike allows visitors to explore Taylor Creek and Fallen Leaf Lake and it’s only a mile from the south shore of Lake Tahoe. The campground hosts 206 sites that are tent and RV-friendly, and has paved bike paths and open picnic areas.

Nevada Beach Campground

south lake tahoe camping

Sleep under a canopy of trees! Photo credit: Karin Sharon

Located near the Nevada-California state line, Nevada Beach Campground is a more subdued site. While it is smaller in size, the campground still has offerings for both tents and RVs, including bathrooms and grills. It’s attached to the mile-long Nevada Beach, making it easy to spend a relaxing and rejuvenating day. Nevada Beach is also dog-friendly, as long as the pets are leashed. There are many scenic bike trails off of the site, ready for visitors to explore.

Zephyr Cove Resort

Zephyr Cove Resort Cabin summer

Zephyr Cove Resort Cabin

One of the more popular resorts and campgrounds in the Lake Tahoe region, Zephyr Cove Resort has much to offer. The award-winning RV and tent park includes bathrooms, laundry services, an on-site restaurant and well-behaved pets. Guests have access to the nearby beaches, watersports, beach volleyball and horse stables.Take one of the iconic Lake Tahoe cruises on either the Tahoe Queen, the MS Dixie II, or the Tahoe Paradise.

Campground By the Lake

Campground by the Lake

Campground by the Lake at South Lake Tahoe

Campground By the Lake is in the center of it all. Located in the heart of the City of South Lake Tahoe, the campground is close to restaurants, shops, and all that South Lake Tahoe has to offer. There are nearby beaches with boat and watersport rentals. This campground has 340 tent and RV sites along with boat ramps and showers. It is also one of the few locations that is pet friendly.

D.L. Bliss State Park

D.L. Bliss State Park is near Emerald Bay off of Highway 89. The park features 150 campsites and one of Tahoe’s “hidden” beaches. The park is popular for its hiking trails, such as the Lighthouse Trail and Balancing Rock Nature Trail.

Luxury hotels, spas and resorts provide opportunities for comfort and relaxation. Yet I have found that a camping trip can be quite therapeutic in its own sense. Connecting with nature, roasting marshmallows on a crackling fire and having a clear view of the open skies all paint the picture of what I believe Tahoe is about.

What is your favorite part about camping? Do you prefer a tent or RV? Let us know in the comments!

Check out Camping in Tahoe South on Instagram:

The post A Night Under the Stars: Camping in South Lake Tahoe appeared first on Tahoe South.

Comments Off on A Night Under the Stars: Camping in South Lake Tahoe

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search