Monday, October 18, 2010

Child “Falls” for Campground & Angora Lake

Time to fit in one more camping trip before school starts. It took a early reservation through, try May, to secure two campsites at Fallen Leaf Lake Campground for mid-August. Located in South Lake Tahoe north on Highway 89 you can see the appeal as it doesn’t have the crowds of Camp Richardson, but is only a stones throw away on the west side of the road.

We rolled into sites #38 & #39 late afternoon. Note: There are 6 yurts if you don’t have camping

gear. Great location, close to very clean, updated bathrooms with showers (quarters required), but not so close the traffic to and from would wake us. Both sites backed up to a huge grassy meadow where the kids would spend a lot of time exploring and creating their own little world in a little aspen grove. And the sites were cleared well for the kids to run between them. The roads are plenty wide for bikes and the Tahoe bike trail is an easy ride from the entrance. All set-up, dinner, and early to bed for the munchkins as we had big plans on Day2.

Up and at’em early as we had to reach the parking lot for the trail to Angora Lake earlier rather than later as it fills up was our driving force. We packed lunches for the kids and several munchies and few beverages and planned to supplement from the snack shack at the lake. After driving up a single lane road not well marked, so either ask directions or GPS it, we rolled in about 10AM. On our way in we would cross a ridge where to our left we really got to see the devastation of

the 2007 Angora fire that destroyed 254 homes and charred 3100 acres. Once in the lot rather than stopping at the self-registration ($5) prior to parking…we snagged spots, then self-registered. What a perfect little hike. Only about a mile up a maintained trail with a optional bouldering cut-off it was just long enough for the kids to enjoy and not start whining. At the top we would find one of the most pristine small lakes (~1.5mi around) I have seen in NorCal. And I can’t believe this has been a resort since 1917 and I am just discovering it?!?!? On one side were some small rental cottages along a beautiful little beach lined with picnic tables and row boats for rent. The other side, if you dare hike there or row across, were massive granite boulders for jumping (at your own risk).

So we pulled up a bit of sand. The Dads did some hiking. The kids did some bouldering, swimming, and sand play. Also a row boat would be rented to allow all a boat ride across the lake. Hiking the first

half counter clockwise around the lake was too difficult with the kids. But we deposited the older kids with the hiking Dads and they would hike the 2nd half back around to the beach without issue. Lunch would consist of our sack lunches supplemented with homemade tuna sandwiches, chips, and the famous lemonade from the snack shack. A quick stop at the porta-potty then grabbed dessert for the hike back down….that famous lemonade frozen into a Popsicle with strawberries. YUM!

A little rest and then we packed up Happy Hour and biked to the back of the campground and took

the very short walk to Fallen Leaf Lake. Much bigger (~7mi around) this

one was not quite hike-able with the kids…even though the next morning we would run a few miles of it to burn off our

samores and vino of the evening before. The beach was a rock one with plenty for skipping. However, a storm was rolling in, so we explored and found a large clubhouse made from sticks and a fallen tree. We hunkered down and enjoyed our happy hour and the kids added to the clubhouse. Another evening around the campfire with glowsticks and samores and everyone slept well.

The next morning as usual we spent most of it packing up. Then we headed not even a 1/2mi down the road to Taylor Creek Visitor Center. I was in shock I had never been here. But it was perfect for the kids with signage for them to read and the stream profile

was on par with any museum. We wound up wandering around the trails for an hour. But knowing how Highway 50 traffic can get we quickly hurried on the road home and still found ourselves at just noon at a virtual standstill taking us 45min to go about 3miles. But it was so worth it.

1 comment:

m.c.alister said...

I've been camping at Wright's Lake , which is off 50 around Kyburz, every year since I was about 6. Now I take my children there and they love it. We'll have to give Angora a look. It's hard to imagine not having the Sierras around to enjoy.