South Lake Tahoe - October 2019 (not posted until mid-January, 2020)

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In late October, John & Kim and I drove to South Lake Tahoe & moteled it for one night so we could get in two different hikes. On the way to Echo Summit on Highway 50, we stopped at the Horsetail Falls & Pyramid Creek trail.

HORSETAIL FALLS

This is a good hour's walk up a steady grade, before the trail starts to vanish, and soon enough there's a steep overland climb (on all fours) alongside the Falls. We wanted to get as close as we could, to see how it looks. 

It looked challenging and moderately steep in places, but probably do-able. A few hikers we spoke with said they had made it past the falls and on to scenic Avalanche Lake. It appears to be a climb of say 700 feet.  There would be a lot of granite contact, both hands and knees, at times, so some technical gear might be needed, and shoes must have newer tread. Take 9 or 10 caffeine blocks, too.....well, not today.  

It was a bright & warm day, with no wind, and strong Sierra light reflected off the granite and it was hot at times, the complete opposite of the next day.   

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.

on the walk American River watershed  parents & kids  
  Sierra granite Horsetail Falls swimming hole
Aspens uphill walking as close as we got to the falls  
John taking a video
Kim cairn heading back downhill a tiny sliver of highway 50 in the distance 

EAGLE LAKE HIKE 

On Sunday morning it was 18 degrees out and very windy.  We found a great breakfast place next door to where we stayed. 

The parking lot at Eagle Lake was full so we parked at the nearby Emerald Bay overlook.  When we started the hike, not only was it cold, but the wind was whipping furiously up the terrain.  The higher we went, the windier it became, and colder, too. At one point I stopped and listened to the amazingly loud sound of the wind thrashing the overhead trees.  It was a ferocious wind, but the trees seemed to be taking it, so not a lot of stuff was flying about.    

In spite of a steady uphill trek, which would normally keep a hiker warm, I kept getting colder and reached the limit of what protection my clothing layers could lend. Once we reached the view over Eagle Lake, John said he had a spare polypro cap in his backpack - I already had two such caps on - and the third cap somehow made all the difference.   

Once we reached overcast Eagle Lake, the wind was really powerful, so we did not dawdle long.  I used the wind-shelter of a large tree when taking the two photos of the lake.  This trail is known for having a LOT of big granite steps, and it's probably 700 or 800 ft. of elevation gain. 

Lake Tahoe views   the walk to the trailhead  
    on the trail to Eagle Lake Sierra vistas  
  J & K granite formations Eagle Lake
        on the way back down  
ski runs at Heavenly John & Kim

It was great to see impressive Lake Tahoe again....it is huge and breathtaking.  And the freezing cold Sunday morning hike was pretty stimulating,   

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