Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tahoe Crowds and Fallen Leaf Lake

Stateline Casinos

I couldn’t tell you when the first time I came to Tahoe…but I do remember camping at Bliss State Park, I remember camping at other parks in and around Lake Tahoe, and I remember being on my uncles boat in Lake Tahoe.  Which of those memories is the first I could not say.  From my youth until I left California I probably came to Lake Tahoe each year at least once…sometimes more.  Since we are camping in Nevada, our route takes to Stateline from reverse compared to what I am use to…above is the four major casinos on the state line, with Harrah’s and Harveys in the distance…they both sit right on the state line in Nevada just outside of California.

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

And one of my favorite places at Lake Tahoe is Emerald Bay.  Marcia had been to Emerald Bay once, so I thought we would head over there again before we drove up to Fallen Leaf Lake, which is a place I have not been before.


Our new camera was able to get a better shot of Vikingsholm that Marcia took.  You can clearly see the people down there, and details on the building. 

View South from Emerald Bay

I also got this nice panoramic shot from the Vikingsholm parking lot…this shot faces where the Washington Fire south of Markleeville, California is burning.

Washington Fire

The map above shows the line of site, which is where the panoramic picture was pointing, with the fire about 90 miles away.  Highway 4 and Highway 89 are closed over in that area, which HAD we gone to Calaveras Big Trees before I found out Ebbetts pass was too much for our motorhome to handle, so we wouldn’t have gone that way tomorrow anyway. 

Lake Tahoe from Emerald Bay through smoke

Yesterday we did not notice smoke, but today the smoke had nearly hidden Lake Tahoe from Emerald Bay.  But we have covered Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe a few times in our blog, if you want to see better, clearer pictures, visit these two blog post:  May 15, 2012 and October 29, 2013.

Fallen Leaf Lake

After we left Emerald Bay we headed back towards South Lake Tahoe and took a right to Fallen Leaf Lake. I knew there was a NF Campground back there, and I knew the road continued past the campground and I just figured we would have a nice view of the lake, perhaps with few people around.  WOW, was I wrong!

Fallen Leaf Lake Summer Homes

There is a whole summer community crowded in back there.  Fallen Leaf Road is about 5 miles long, and for the last 2+ miles you can see the lake, and from that point on you see summer houses of all ages (old to new construction).  The road is very narrow, and cars have to pull over and/or hug each side of the road to allow two cars to pass by.

Fallen Leaf Lake Summer Homes

And the road is bumpy, full of pot holes in places, and there is a fire department back there.  If there was ever a fire, people would have to flee into the lake to survive.

Fallen Leaf Lake Summer Homes    Fallen Leaf Lake Summer Homes
Fallen Leaf Lake Summer Homes

Top two photos above show some newer homes, while the one along the lake shows an older boat house, many of which dot the shoreline.  Small houses up here run around $250-$500,000…and that would be for a home of 1,000 sq. ft. or less.  Larger homes run up into the multi-millions.  Don’t know if the house is worth it, but the view is sure worth it…if you can stand the fire risk.

Fallen Leaf Lake

It was a hard drive to the end where, if it wasn’t so busy, they have a public beach and boat launch for people to use.  But for us the idea of having a nice lake to view with few people became a crowded mess…much like Lake Tahoe is during the summer.  But there is some sort of pull to those who grew up visiting Tahoe as kids back in the ‘60s.  It was crowded in a way then, but that was because of lack of infrastructure.  Now there are more people, many more living here, many more visiting, but the infrastructure makes it look and feel like it did back in the ‘60s…busy, hectic, yet beautiful and dreamy...even with the smoke filled skies.  Tomorrow we head back to the quieter life of Granite Flat.

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