Lake Tahoe … Kinda.
You know how sometimes your plans just go so smoothly? Nothing goes in disarray? Well – that was not this portion of the trip. First, the house booking mix up. Next... well, that's about to unravel. I called the park I booked for Truckee, CA. We wanted to find a park near Lake Tahoe for two nights. When I called to request an early check in, I was told we had no reservation. WHAT?
Aaaaghhhhhh - I literally spoke with a lady at the Truckee River RV Resort a month prior and was so excited that we were able to secure two lots. I called Laura screaming in happiness once booked. Apparently, whomever I spoke to did not secure the reservation. I thought it was odd that we never got an email confirmation – but the Susanville RV Park was the same way so I didn’t really make it an issue. Turn out, I SHOULD have made it an issue!
Lake Tahoe was on our bucket list of stops to make. Laura had requested the visit, and I was going to make sure my friend got her wish! I quickly jumped on Harvest Hosts to find anything near the lake. Genoa Lakes Golf Course was the closest location that would allow big rigs – so we called and secured the site. Whew…. We at least have a place for one night!
I cannot say how happy we were when we arrived in Genoa. I had no idea of the cool factor and visuals that Genoa, Nevada would provide. The golf course entrance was landscaped with a roaring waterfall feature, security gate and easy access entrance for our 45-foot rigs.
A quick park into the tennis courts parking lot with mountain vistas all around, and we were set for the evening. We liked it so much, we promptly went to the clubhouse and requested a two-night stay. I told Mike to look pitiful and beg! They were so accommodating, so we made sure to spend a little money in their pro shop and club bar.
The little town of Genoa looked fun, so we decided to take a quick trip in and check out the advertised oldest “thirst parlor” in the state of Nevada. It didn’t disappoint. Small, loud, old and fun. Shot a few games of pool and downed a couple cold beers.
Now, on Sunday and Monday, there are NO restaurants open for dining, so we drove back to our Harvest Host site and set up camp in the parking lot. Left over pizza, salad and some wine left over from Napa, accompanied by a colorful sunset over the golf greens. Did I mention how happy we were that Truckee lost our reservation? This was so much better.
The drive to South Lake Tahoe from Genoa is only about twenty minutes, but it’s a spectacular drive through the mountains worth every minute.
The lake was magnificent. So blue and mesmerizing. We brought the dogs for today’s adventure because we knew it would be a long day of exploring the lake and the shoreline.
We were told to try out a restaurant on the waterfront, Riva Grill. It was just ok. Nothing spectacular. They did have great views of the lake, but it was a very busy area with rentals all around and crawling with lots of people. I wish we would have just randomly stopped at one of the many hot dog & burger shacks alongside the road. I did start to plot out a stop at one on the way home for ice cream.
Mike and I selected to drive toward Emerald Bay State Park to see the best shimmering of sapphire-blue water Tahoe had to offer.
I looked up an easy hiking trail to tackle since we only had the one afternoon our touring. We ended up at the Bayview Trailhead campground. Plenty of parking and you can enter the Cascade Falls hiking trail from this parking and campground area.
I read the hike would be fairly easy and only 1.8-miles roundtrip with amazing views the entire walk, and mostly flat for the pups. I don’t know who wrote that review, but they were not very accurate. The trail is very cool; but it’s a ton of uneven rocks and white sand, which was slippery for us and way too hot for our dogs' paws. The temps were near 100 this afternoon. Our dogs were searching for shade areas to lay down. About mid-way through the hike, we decided to turn around and head back to the campground. It was just too hot for our dogs. We did see some gorgeous views of the waterfall from afar, and really spectacular views of the lake. If we had not had the furry kids, we would have completed the hike and ended up at the lower pools of Cascade Falls.
Right across the street from the Bayview Campground is a large parking lot for Inspiration Point Vista. Stop here and jump out of your car for the best views of Emerald Bay.
Mark Twain wrote about Lake Tahoe and left us this quote about Tahoe’s unreal beauty: “The fairest picture the whole earth affords.”
That quote still is true today.
I did find that perfect ice cream stop and burger shack on the way back toward Genoa.
Just along the shoreline road is a lil' gem – Sno-Flake Drive-In. I ordered what was voted the best milkshake in Tahoe, and Skinner got a sundae full of nuts and fudge. Delicious. The burgers & dogs looked soooo good. Wish we would have done lunch here!
I also noted Izzy’s Burger Spa and a cool brewery type spot called Hangar that looked appealing.
Our final night in Genoa ended with another relaxing eve sitting in our glampground with wine and great conversation.