Ski or Paddle?

April 24, 2014 | Tim Hauserman

A few weeks ago I set out to write several posts about all the things we can do at Tahoe to enjoy this early spring. So of course, it snowed. Yes, skiers, you can thank me now.

For those who were done with winter, however, there is a silver lining. While the storms dumped lots of snow at the higher elevations, just a pittance fell at lake level, which given the long days and the warm temps of April, has led to a quick reappearance of dirt.

In future episodes of this blog, I will bring you detailed highlights on places to hike and bike this spring. For now, let’s talk paddling. And by paddling I mean kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding. Heading out for a paddle in the springtime has it’s advantages and disadvantages. First, the disadvantages: The water is cold, and the air is not as warm as you think it is. The good news is we can deal with these issues in two simple ways. Make sure you go out on a warm, still day. And don’t fall in. No really. Don’t fall in.

Now the advantages to paddling, of which there are many: In the spring, there are very few boats out on the water. Which means that when you find one of those days when the lake is as flat as a sheet of glass, it will stay that way. You will feel like you can reach down and touch the bottom of the lake (but don’t try…see disadvantages of spring paddling above). Then when you want to take a break from looking down, you gaze up at the still snowcapped peaks. That blaze of white contrasts quite nicely against the green mountains and the blue lake. It really doesn’t get much prettier then this.

Where to go:
Staying at Sunnyside? Put in just to the right of the pier. Head north towards Tahoe City or south towards Ward Creek.

Hurricane Bay: Two miles south of Sunnyside on Highway 89 lies Hurricane Bay. Park along the beach and you will only have to carry your craft about 50 feet to the waters edge. From here, paddle north past Ward Creek to Sunnyside (where perhaps a beverage break is in order before paddling back), or south to Blackwood Creek and Tahoe Pines.