Exploring Hope Valley

ALONG HISTORIC HWY. 88, THE route of pioneers such as John Fremont and Kit Carson, Hope Valley near Lake Tahoe is known for its scenic beauty and recreation. The valley is popular with fishermen and hikers in summer, leaf peepers in fall and skiers in winter.

Tucked away on the valley’s eastern edge, Sorensen’s Resort is a longstanding, eco-friendly retreat for recreation and relaxation.

Sorensen’s offers cozy housekeeping cottages, log cabins and mountain home vacation rentals. It is surrounded by 165-acres of pine and aspen forest for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding and snowmobiling.

Kirkwood Ski Resort is only 15 minutes away, and Sorensen’s offers discounted lift tickets. The Kirkwood Cross-Country center is close by and offers rentals and groomed trails. Sorensen’s guests enjoy free use of snowshoes.

Nearby Grover Hot Springs State Park features a naturally heated hot spring pool, as well as a large swimming pool. The hot springs is popular for warming up after a day of winter play.

One of our favorite things about Sorensen’s in the winter is its Norwegian-style wood-fired sauna. It is exhilarating, especially if you jump in the snow afterward. “We have had some Norwegians crank it up to 300 degrees and it is wonderful at 160 degrees or higher,” says Sorensen’s owner Patty Brissenden.

Sorensen’s cafe serves three meals a day to lodging guests and travelers. Some of the cafe’s specialities include house-made quiche, classic beef burgundy stew, seasonal fish, fresh salads and homemade desserts.

Winter events include a sketching workshop on Feb. 8, led by Jack Laws, author of Laws Field Guide to the Sierra, and a landscape photography session, taught by UC Davis professor Terry Nathan, on Feb. 28.

Truckee-Tahoe Pet Lodge
Not all ski lodges are fido-friendly, but you can still bring your dog along on a ski vacation to Lake Tahoe.

The Truckee-Tahoe Pet Lodge is conveniently located off I-80 in Truckee, close to Northstar and Squaw. It also offers day care if you want to drop off your pet and go skiing or boarding.

The Pet Lodge has a variety of suites to suit any sized pet, grooming services and an outdoor play area–a resort lifestyle. A favorite pet treat is “Stuffed Kongs,” a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter for your dog to enjoy.

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