Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Scenes From Washoe Lake and Skunk Harbor






Other than a day trip to Reno, and one to Lake Tahoe and Carson City, we’ve just been hanging out at Washoe Lake for the past week. Besides hiking along the lake and dunes, there are miles of dirt roads and trails across from the campground. We hiked up one day to check out the views. and the following day Jim was in the mood for working out at a gym, so while he was taking advantage of his Silver Sneakers membership, I was determined to hike up the steep road to where we saw hang gliders taking off last year.

Campground view from across the road and working our way up.





The hill I couldn’t talk Jim into doing with me. It looks and feels much steeper than it appears in the photo.


 After two false summits and a lot of gasping for breath, I finally made it to the top and was surprised to see this.


It sounded like this guy was getting a lesson. I hung around a while but he never took off.


View from the other side. More dirt roads to nowhere.


The lake is by no means full but it looks so much better than last year.


May 2015. Not a drop of water in Washoe Lake.


As I was on my way back down he finally took off. That has got to be such a rush.



2.5 miles later when I got down to the landing zone he was already gone. Or maybe he accidentally landed somewhere else.


The tires on my bike literally dry rotted and disintegrated and were so full of stickers we couldn’t keep air in them, so yesterday it was off to a bike shop in Carson City for some new tires and tubes. Since Carson City is only about 15 miles from the east side of Lake Tahoe we decided to  check out the trail to Skunk Harbor. The trail is really an old dirt road that descends in switchbacks to the lake. We got some hints of what was to come along the way.



As we got closer to the lake we saw some other people continuing on the road but we decided to take a turn off, which led to a house on the lake. At the time we didn’t realize it was no longer occupied, but since the doors were boarded up we walked around it to access the harbor.



This beautiful protected cove is such an idyllic location. We could understand why someone would build a house here.


As we wandered around we came across these signs that answered our questions about the house.







We followed a trail through the woods but there were only a couple places to actually access the water.





We had come two miles and a hundred photos before heading back. About 3/4 of the way back up we turned off on the old road through Slaughterhouse Canyon. It was just a walk through the woods to Prey meadow, which we could see did not have flowers in it yet, so we turned back after another mile since we still had shopping to do at Trader Joe’s on the way home.


Snow plants were popping up all over.



We’re glad we got to see Lake Tahoe in the sunshine. Last year when we spent a night at South Lake Tahoe it rained and was cold and windy so it wasn’t quite as appealing.


Today it’s back to California as we move on to Eagle Lake near Susanville.


  1. The lake looks so beautiful as do the views of the mountains on your hike. What a picturesque environment. Very interesting about the old house. Oh what money can buy. Guess we all wish we could have inherited Gold Rush Millions. I always hear stories about those who died trying but seldom about the ones who hit the big time.

  2. What an interesting find, that house! So glad you kept on exploring beyond just the road...

  3. Be still my beating heart! I do love this area and your photos bring me right back there. Stunning!

  4. Nothing more blue than Lake Tahoe! Henry Mayo Newhall founded the town we lived in before we launched. Santa Clarita includes the burg of Newhall. Interesting to see a piece of "local" history that far from home. Your pics are beautiful, the first two especially so.

  5. Good for you to make that climb to the top:) We know how photos never show the real steepness that we climb. It is amazing how different the lake is one year. So nice to see the water in it.

    Lake Tahoe is so beautiful but so hard to access. Love that house. Glad they are preserving it. Fun times hiking and discovering:)

  6. We know some folks in Susanville and they know all the area lakes. Too bad they are on the road right now.

  7. Lake Tahoe - another favorite stomping ground. Up from Skunk Harbor is Spooner Lake from where you can ride north to Marlette Lake and the Flume Trail. Even better is to start at the top of Mt Rose Highway to the north and ride south to the Flume trail or mix it up anyway you want.

  8. Glad you were able to take that hike near Lake Tahoe. It looks lovely. We had rainy weather the last time we were there. As I type this we are sitting in the SD airport waiting to hop on a flight to OK City. Would much rather be hiking in the woods. :)

  9. Can't wait to get to Lake Tahoe! That color! Very much in the WIND here at Horton Creek Campground. Waiting for mail but it's not the total reason for being here. It's so beautiful.

  10. I suggest to go over to Mendocino coast and Fort Bragg. The coastline there is amazing. Fort Bragg is cool, funky kind of hippy-ish. Cool book store too. If you run into a guy on the street selling pies, get one!