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By Tim Hauserman
Just up the road from Sunnyside Lodge sits Page Meadows. It is Easily accessible via mountain bike or foot, the series of meadows are a showcase for the Sierra’s best tree for fall colors: the quaking aspen.
The easiest way into Page Meadows is to hike or bike in from the end of Silver Tip Drive, which you get to via the Talmont Estates development just above Sunnyside. From there it’s less than 1/2 a mile to the first meadow, from which you can wind your way through five meadows that are all connected via a network of single track trails.
A better way to see it in my opinion is via a bike from Tahoe City. Starting from Sunnyside ride towards Tahoe City on the bike trail to a left turn onto Granlibakken Road. Then turn left on Rawhide and ride to the end where a dirt trail starts heading uphill. Follow this trail for about a mile of steady ascent that will take out the morning chill. Then the trail levels out for awhile before meeting a junction. From there, straight ahead or turning right will both bring you to Page Meadows. If you turn right it will quickly take you to the Tahoe Rim Trail, where as a left turn then provides a super fun mile of riding through the forest before dumping you down to the first meadow with a view of Twin Peaks.
Once you’ve experienced this meadow, make your way through all the other ones (and perhaps if you keep your eyes open locating a Basque sheepherders oven near the lowest meadow). Eventually if you head east through the meadows you will loop back to that first junction where you headed to the TRT.
What’s fascinating about a journey through Page Meadows in the fall is how the different exposures and sides of the meadows change colors at different times. Just two weeks ago I rode through the meadows and all the aspen leaves were still green. On my trip last week, there were waves of yellow and orange on one side of the meadow, while less than 100 yards away, the groves had nary a yellow leaf to be seen. This is good news if you can’t get there soon. The quakies should be popping with bright colors up until the end of October.