Snowshoeing is a good form of cardio and great for endurance — and it’s also pretty popular this time of year. Here’s a quick guide to places to snowshoe in North and South Lake Tahoe, as well as one in the Carson Valley.
Yes, it’s true: snowshoeing doesn’t have the adrenaline rush of boarding or skiing, but there are still some great health benefits to snapping on a pair of snowshoes and seeing the luminous winter of our region.
The health benefits of snowshoeing are a building of endurance, strength balance and agility, as well as a great cardio workout. You can also burn more calories than walking, running or cross-country skiing at the same pace.
Prepping for Your Snowshoeing Adventure
There are some crucial details to think about when it comes to snowshoeing, especially if you are novice. The right kind of shoes that go over the top of those snowshoes — waterproof boots being a great choice – and remembering to wear lots of layers are crucial to the success of the snowshoeing experience. The outdoors company REI has a great guide on its site to what to wear and how to approach snowshoeing for the beginner.
Here are six great choices for snowshoeing in the Lake Tahoe area, with plenty more to find if you point your search engine in the right direction.
This flat area still provides challenges but is also ideal for those just starting to wear the shoes. It’s in South Lake Tahoe, with an ideal entrance at the Forest Service gate on Pioneer Trail (take Highway 50 South to Al Tahoe Boulevard and follow until you get to Pioneer Trail) or at the end of Oneidas Street, which is toward the west end of Pioneer Trail.
Kirkwood Ski Resort
You will need a trail pass, but this South Lake Tahoe resort has a variety of routes from novice to advanced. The system is about 80 kilometers. Kirkwood is found on Highway 88, close to Carson Pass.
Heading north, you can find this granddaddy of area snowshoeing. The biking trails in the summer are used for excellent shoe trails at winter time. It’s located off Highway 89 and near Fallen Leaf Road.
The Resort at Squaw Creek
There are many kilometers of trails available at this resort’s Nordic Center, with back country and meadow options for trekking around. It’s located off Highway 89 at 400 Squaw Creek Road in Olympic Valley.
Soda Springs is home to this resort which is well known for its cross country skiing trails. For snowshoeing, there are extensive trails to go deep into the trees, with some great views. Find Royal Gorge from the Soda Springs exit on West Interstate 80.
Ash Canyon Creek
Tucked away in the Carson Valley, these trails are filled with mountain bikes in the spring. Excellent views of the area and of nature are hallmarks of this trail system. Find it from Interstate 580 by taking the Highway 395 Business exit to Winnie Lane.
Have a favorite trail of your own? Please share in the comments below!