Sunday, October 20, 2013

When Is The Weather Perfect In Tahoe?

In many places, fall is the best weather of the year. Tahoe is no exception.

The air is cool, the sun is hot, the views are spectacular, and the crowds have vanished, waiting until the ski resorts open before they reappear to dance on the slopes. (It won't be long. Some of the resorts are already making snow, and we've had snow at higher elevations.)
Unlike the mountains of New England, Tahoe doesn't have many maples and other deciduous trees that put on a spectacular color display. Why? Because Tahoe gets too much snow, which breaks the limbs of most such trees. Our pines and firs are designed to handle crushing snow loads.
Some people plant ornamental maples in areas where less snow falls, but they aren't common.
Nevertheless, Tahoe does have fall color in those places that don't get too much snow and also have higher-than-normal ground moisture. Such a combination results in groves of Aspen. Going for a fall walk under the Aspen is like immersing yourself in a golden glow. Here are some pics from a few days ago.

Often, the first sign of fall in Tahoe is when Tahoe's highest mountain,
Freel Peak, gets a dusting of white.

The Aspen groves begin to glow.

Their leaves make a startling contrast to the pine and fir and sky.

Walking underneath is like going into a stage set  with all the amber lights turned on.

The same conditions that support the Aspen (ground moisture)
also support lush meadow grass.

Hot sun streams through. A guy could take a nap in the grass
and dream the dreams of John Muir  150 years ago.

When the weather in the Gulf of Alaska shifts and sends the first major
storm down the coast, this landscape will be buried in several feel of snow.
Sometimes, it doesn't happen until the holidays. But it could happen by the end of October.
Tahoe locals know that we should enjoy the fall whenever we get the chance!


  1. So beautiful. The aspens on a sunny day are just luscious. I am really enjoying your blogs-and your books.

    1. Thanks, Lil! It's like magic, walking under those glowing trees.