I am always a big planner when going on vacation.
What is the weather going to be like? What clothes should I pack? Where are we going to eat? What are we doing to do?
And the most obvious… where am I going to run?
My family had planned to spend the week after Christmas up in Lake Tahoe and one of the first things on my agenda was to find some fun places to run! I didn’t have to search too far before I found the Tahoe Rim Trail which I had heard about before.
165 miles of single track trail that circles the lake. Sounds like my idea of heaven.
I checked out the maps before we got up there and saw that one of the trailheads was just down the street from where we were staying. The first day we got there (Monday) I tried to find the trailhead when we were driving but couldn’t. I tried again on Tuesday with no luck.
I did some more research online and everything pointed us directly to the parking lot at the Heavenly Stagecoach lift. I was sure we could find it on foot, so Chris and I got dressed eager to go running Wednesday morning and set out to find this mysterious trailhead.
Sure enough we found it.
Right in the middle of the main ski lift.
I might be a little adventurous sometimes with where I run, but there was no way I was going to attempt running up a ski lift with all those skiers and snowboarders barreling down the mountain. So we shifted to Plan B, because of course I had a Plan B.
I had noticed the day before that right across Hwy 207 was a trailhead which was just down the road from us. We headed there and started running up.
I had never run at a high altitude before and immediately noticed a difference. My lungs were burning and my heart was beating pretty hard. I was not a fan of that part. I tried to keep up and had to walk a lot more than I normally would, but we wound our way up the mountain and were rewarded with some amazing views.
The trail hit a fire road, so we decided to take that up and actually got to see some snow! Tahoe barely has any snow this year, so this was pretty exciting for us.
We found our way to the very top and really got some great views this time. A panoramic view of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains.
Definitely the best way to see the lake.
On our way down we ran into my dad and brother who had hiked up the same trail and hung out with them for a bit. We showed them where we went and used my brothers binoculars to check out the mountain across the way. It was pretty fun being the only 4 people up on the mountain miles away from everyone else.
We headed back down the mountain, but my dad and brother didn’t want to race… I don’t know why. Going down was much easier than going up, but sheesh it wasn’t easy to breath!
6.5 miles later we were back to where we started.
Wednesday Chris and I decided to head south to a different trail head to see what we could find. This one started at a big park and was much clearer on where to go.
We got running and wound along the trail and found this big tree that had fallen down. It was bigger around than Chris is tall!
I could definitely still tell in my lungs that we were up much higher than my sea-level self is used to, but I felt a little bit better and tried to do more running.
It was so quiet out on the trail. I kept thinking something was going to jump out at us! We were very aware of our surroundings, making sure to pay close attention and keep our ears and eyes alert. It was beautiful out there, but definitely not populated like the trails we run at home, especially this time of year.
We ran further and decided we should probably turn around before we got too far away from civilization.
But not before stopping to take a picture of course.
We headed back and ran into a couple hikers who were the only people we saw out there the whole day. I bet this trail is packed in the summer time though and I will definitely be back to check it out again.
We saw more snow on this trail than the day before too… this California girl gets very excited at the site of snow!
6 miles later we were back to where we started and another very beautiful trail run in the mountains.
You can see the best stuff on vacation just by going out on a run. It’s free, it’s fun and it’s something that a lot of people don’t take advantage of. Us runners are very lucky for that.