As the summer season approaches, Lake Tahoe is gradually warming up, but the pace is not sufficient to eliminate the near-historic snowpack before the Memorial Day weekend.
The fact of the matter is there are still around ten-foot snowbanks in Tahoe. Although Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the bustling summer season, campers will have to wait until later in the summer to camp at their favorite destinations around the lake.
As the snow melts and Big Blue experiences its clearest water in 40 years, there’s a lot to be axcited about in Tahoe. However, this year’s experience may be different depending on your destination, as many trails that were accessible last year might be invisible this year.
The U.S. Forest Service reports that the majority of campsites and trailheads on the west shore are closed due to being covered by 3-8 feet of snow. Bayview, Emerald Bay, and Eagle Falls all remain buried in snow as well.
Lisa Herron, a spokesperson for the US Forest Service, explained that despite the warm temperatures in the valleys, winter-like conditions persist in the mountains. Herron recommended the east shore as a better option this year.
The east shore usually receives more sunlight, which results in quicker snow melting than the more shaded west shore. Currently, open trails on the east shore include East Shore Trail, Logan Shoals, Round Hill to Nevada Beach Bike Path, Lam Watah Trail, Van Sickle Bi-State Park, Washoe Meadows State Park, Tallac Historic Site, and the Taylor Creek Visitor Center.
Forest crews are now assessing trails on the west shore to ensure their safety before opening them for the season. It is expected that some trail openings will be postponed until after the Memorial Day weekend.