USA, Nevada: Hidden Beach and Chimney Beach

Hidden Beach

Last time I lived in the Tahoe area, four years ago, I was digging out a ski lift buried in snow right about this time of year while working on the mountain.  Even a week ago there was two feet of powder, which was absolutely amazing, but the good snow lasted about a week and then it turned back into spring.

Yesterday the thermometer hit a perfectly pleasant 70 degrees and Dan and I enjoyed feeling the sun on our skin next to the calm water, on a beach all to ourselves.

This area can be reached via a very short hike (I guess it barely counts as a hike, but still, there’s a trail!).   We never visited the Hidden Beach area in the summer, because there are only a handful of coveted parking spots available.  We didn’t hang out at the bigger Hidden Beach but decided to hang out at a smaller, more secluded one on the way.  We had fun playing around on the boulders and wading in the shallows.

I love living by this lake so much.  I moved here to snowboard as much as possible, but going into a four-year drought in California is just what mother nature has planned, so might as well enjoy the weather!  I mean, how many places in the world can you go snowboarding and go to the beach in the same day, within a 30 minute time-frame?  Yesterday we were snowboarding at Squaw Valley, the next enjoying a nice warm day at the beach.  Crazy.

I love the colors of this lake, which differ depending on the weather and time of day.  During a sunny midday the colors are vibrant greens and blues, and the clarity is unbelievable!  It’s so clean.  From a distance it’s always the deepest blue.  From Squaw yesterday I could see the lake, and it always is such a deep blue, and the mountains even looking blue as well.  This simply must be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.

Chimney Beach

As of right now, the end of January 2015, we are having a mighty dry winter in Tahoe.  Within a drive of 20-minute drive from my town of Truckee there are more than four ski resorts, all of which are surviving on man-made snow-ice.  I literally have not seen a snowflake in one month. It’s quite odd when you move to a ski town for skiing/snowboarding and there’s no snow. Tahoe has a rough last three winters, however, and it’s hard to expect a quick turnaround from a drought. The last winter I was here was in 2010-2011, and it was epic.

This realization of snowlessness has gotten me thinking about summer lately, especially the beach.  The beaches are empty right now sans snow, but the temperatures are a bit too cold.  I miss soaking up the sunshine at Tahoe’s beaches and hanging out at the docks at Donner Lake. This a throwback to some of my favorite photos from the summer at Chimney Beach. Chimney Beach is about a 2-mile round-trip hike on Tahoe’s East Shore. It has its name from a chimney that is still standing on the beach. It’s secluded and the colors of the water are gorgeous. The clarity of the lake is shocking, as much so as a first dunk into it, because it’s also frigid.  I miss swimming in cold blue Tahoe, and now that I’m moving abroad in April, the last swim I took might be my last.  It makes me realize how important it is to appreciate when you’re somewhere amazing, because who knows if it’s the last time, or the only time you’ll ever be there.

Maybe I’ll just have to jump into Lake Tahoe one last time, regardless of temperature.





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