It's back to school time...also known as local's summer.

Those poor kids had to stop throwing rocks into the lake, and chowing down on Sliders, because their mean old parents are making them go back to school in Danville, Novato and Menlo Park... But guess what, for those of us no longer fated to days spent glassy eyed staring at teachers, Tahoe is still here. And the water is still warm and inviting. The hiking and bike trails are waiting for us to quietly enjoy them. And pretty soon we will even be treated to fall colors. Only the crowds are gone...hee hee. Yeah baby, it's local's summer time!


Oh what does one do during local's summer?

Late August and September is prime time to hike down to The Vikingsholm in Emerald Bay. You will have no trouble finding a parking place and a stroll over to Bliss State Park will be a time for blissful contemplation. You can also backpack into Desolation Wilderness and have a pretty decent shot of having a mountain lake to yourself. Or how about a quiet saunter or a thrilling ride on the Tahoe Rim Trail...with nary a crowd to be seen? Then again, you can also enjoy a quiet morning kayak or go out for a ski on the perfectly smooth glass that is unmarred by boat wakes.

While in the middle of the summer, some of the more popular road biking routes can be a bit sketchy because of all the traffic, now is the time to ride. Ride the bike trail from Tahoe City to Truckee with a sidetrip into Squaw Valley. Or go full bore and ride around Tahoe itself: Start early on a midweek day, and be sure to ride clockwise so you are always next to the lake.


A few local's summer tips:

In the fall, the nights are getting colder, and the mornings hold on to the chill a bit longer. Guess what that means? Take your time in the morning, have a cup of joe and watch the lake for a bit before hitting the trail. It's tough duty but someone has to do it.

Ok, I know I said it already, but the key to avoiding crowds in the fall is to be here midweek. During the summer many folks take one or two week vacations. During the off-season, however, the kids are in school so they can only get up to the lake on weekends...leaving the weekdays for the other lucky folks who are here. Remember this rule of thumb for avoiding the crowds: If you live somewhere other than Tahoe and see a school bus full of kids driving through your town, that's the time to head up to the lake. Sunnyside and Tahoe are waiting for you.