Long Haul to Lake Tahoe

Leaving Snow Mountain is tough every year, but especially this year after our time at SMR really flew.  We knew we were heading into our longest drive, racing across Colorado, Utah, and Nevada to get to the California side of Lake Tahoe.  The highlights included the amazingly beautiful Park City, Utah,

Salt Lake City,

and the huge Great Salt Lake.

I’m not sure why it surprised me so much, but the salt factories and flats were so impressive.

It seemed that every exit going through Nevada had a casino, and the one we stopped at around dinner time happened to offer us “kids eat free” at their Iron Skillet for all 5 kiddos, a must stop of course.

We spent the night at Walmart in Elko, Nevada, which turned out to be the best Walmart stop we have made to date, positioned high on a bluff above town.

We treated the kids to ice cream after the long drive.

We noticed the Dickey’s as we drove through Carson City, and it just happened to be kids eat free Sunday.

Our campsite at Fallen Leaf Campground was a beautiful surprise, with perfect temperatures and huge towering trees in our site.

Fallen Leaf Lake was gorgeous, giving Lake Tahoe a run for its money.


After enjoying an afternoon of swimming, we headed up to Emerald Bay for the evening.  The road going up was a challenge even without a trailer, with drops off both sides of the road, but Emerald Bay was well worth the drive.


We brought one bike along this year, and have loved taking it out for a ride in the morning.  The bike trail along the lake was a highlight of Tahoe for both Chuck and me.

We spent the morning heading to Glen Alpine Falls on Fallen Leaf Lake, and were once again shocked by the narrow one-lane, two-way road to get there.  After feeling we were on the road to nowhere, we arrived at a town which even had a fire department.  The Falls were well worth the drive.

The Tallac Historic Site was a beautifully preserved lake community, and  we enjoyed riding scooters, eating our pizza lunch, and swimming at the beach there.  We were surprised to see all the signs warning of the plague here.


The kids had been dying to try out our inflatable kayak, and we thought Fallen Lake would offer the perfect opportunity.  The kids worked hard to get it ready, only to discover 30 mph winds there, unlike Lake Tahoe.  They braced the water anyway, as it was blowing right into the shore.

After braving the wind as long as we could, we headed over to Tallac on Tahoe for a late afternoon swim before dinner.  There was absolutely no wind three of course!

We spent the evening having a fire, playing at the campsite, and enjoying performances by the kids, who were loving having a nice site after lots of time in the car.  Nothing is more enjoyable than watching them enjoy each other so much.

There is so much more to see and do at Lake Tahoe (including several hikes I wish we would have been able to do), but that was all we had time for now.  Until next time Lake Tahoe!

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