So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind;
When just the art of being kind
is all the sad word needs. - Ella Wheeler Wilcox
It's good to take a day off and visit nature.
Today was an outdoors day... a day for hiking and exploring .... a day to smell the sage and the big pines .... today was a "trip to Lake Tahoe" day .. whoopee !!!
The sun was shining and the weather was mild for December ... even at the higher altitudes. Who could ask for anything more.
Please enjoy some of the pictures from the day:
Big Tree Country Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park
Spooner Lake - frozen
Snow on the edge of Spooner Lake
A little snow on the west side of Spooner Lake
Look close to see the beaver's house on the West shore of Spooner Lake
Happy tourists visiting the Emerald Bay area of Lake Tahoe recording memories of their visit
History of the Backcountry
Beautiful mountain vistas, stunning aerial views of Lake Tahoe, abundant wildflowers and over 50 miles of trails and dirt roads make the 13,000 acre backcountry a favorite destination for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders.
In the Beginning...
Prior to the 1850's the primary visitors to the backcountry were the Washo Indians. For thousands of years the Washo lived a very mobile life, migrating in the summer from valleys east of the Carson Range to Lake Tahoe to catch fish, hunt small game, and harvest seeds, roots and berries.
The Washo lived harmoniously with nature, had strong traditions and beliefs, and were gifted craftspeople, creating some of the most beautiful and diverse baskets in North America. The arrival of white settlers in the mid 1800's marked the end of the Washo's lifestyle. Commercial fisheries were established at Tahoe and the surrounding mountains were stripped of wood to provide lumber for the Comstock.
The Mining Boom(1860-1900)
As gold and silver mining at Virginia City and Gold Hill grew, enormous amounts of timber and water were needed to supply the cities and mines. This insatiable appetite spurred the creation of Marlette Lake, Hobart Reservoir, Spooner Lake and an intricate system of flumes and pipelines (The Marlette-Hobart Water System)that today is a National Civil Engineering Landmark. The box flume that carried water (not timber) from Marlette Lake to Tunnel Creek Station is now the site of the popular Marlette Flume Trail.
This flume and another from the north combined and entered a 4000' tunnel which emptied on the east side of the Carson Range. It then joined the key pipeline of the Comstock, the Inverted Siphon. This high pressure pipeline brought water to a reservoir near Virginia City and could deliver up to 10 million gallons/day. Amazingly, this pipeline still works, although the water supplied now primarily comes from Hobart Reservoir and the Red House diversions. Red House is the last remaining flume maintenance station and was rebuilt about 1910 after a devastating flood that claimed two lives. As the Comstock declined, limited livestock grazing replaced timber interests in the early 1900's. The forest slowly returned but the environmentally disastrous activities of the Comstock years are still being felt today.
The Backcountry Today
Land acquisitions in the 1960's from the Whittell estate formed the bulk of the 12,242 acres currently owned by the State of Nevada.
The trail to Marlette Lake via North Canyon Road is the easiest access into the back-country. A steeper access is available at Tunnel Creek Road. The one time millpond, Spooner Lake, now offers fishing and is surrounded by a peaceful, attractive natural area that provides opportunities for walking and nature study in the spring, summer and fall. The most sought-after trails in the backcountry are the historic Marlette Flume Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail.
Hobart Campground is a new five site primitive facility with tables, grills, and a vault toilet.
Spooner Outdoor Company
Since 1986,our concessionaire,by permit, has been providing groomed ski trails, equipment rentals, ski lessons and backcountry cabin accommodations. Spooner Outdoor Company is also now providing a range of summer services including mountain bike rentals, highway shuttle service and cabin rentals.
Tahoe Rim Trail
In 1981, a unique partnership was formed between the US Forest Service, Nevada State Parks and a volunteer organization, the Tahoe Rim Trail Assoc. Twenty years later the dream was realized with the official completion of The Rim Trail in 2001. Much remains to be done, however, and volunteers are urged to contact the Tahoe Rim Trail office at 775-298-0012. The work of management, maintenance and enhancement of this wonderful trail is ongoing...