Glide on Olympic Trails at Lake Tahoe

In the winter, visitors to Sugar Pine Point State Park on Lake Tahoe’s West Shore can enjoy 11 miles of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. Follow the path of the Nordic events of the 1960 Winter Olympics that occurred in what is now the state park. Starting at the Blue Trailhead, you will come across a series of interpretive panels that share Olympic and Nordic skiing history. Free snow trail maps are available at the park entrance stations.

Thanks to the Sierra State Parks Foundation, the blue, red, and green cross country ski trails on the campground side of the park (west of Hwy. 89) are set to be machine-groomed every Monday and Friday and after storms, conditions permitting. The cross-country ski trails on the day use side of the park (lakeside, east of Hwy. 89), including the yellow and orange trails, are not machine-groomed. Be prepared for changing weather conditions. No dogs are allowed on snow trails or any other undeveloped areas in the park. $5 parking fee.

Saturdays: Jan. 2 and Feb. 13
Join State Park interpreters for a snowshoe hike through the park. Explore the lakefront and the Hellman-Ehrman Estate. Learn about the natural environment that attracted Tahoe’s earliest settlers, and discover the fascinating history of a Tahoe landmark. Hikes start at 11 a.m. About 1-1⁄2 hours. $5 parking fee; program is free. Wear warm clothing and waterproof winter shoes; bring water and your own snowshoes.

Saturdays: Jan. 23, Feb. 20, March 19
Join Park Rangers for moonlight adventures around the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion and along Lake Tahoe’s West Shore. Few experiences compare to snowshoeing under the light of a full moon along the snow covered Tahoe shoreline. A beginner’s clinic starts at 6:30 p.m.

All proceeds from the snowshoe tours support Sierra State Parks Foundation. Cost: $25 for adults; children 12 and younger free; includes ranger program, snowshoe rental and parking. The tour is about 1-1⁄2 hours. Wear warm, layered clothing, waterproof shoes and bring a flashlight. Space is limited. To check availability the day of the event, contact West Shore Sports, which generously sponsors the tours, at 530-525-9920.

(Photo: Olof Carmel)

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