There was a breeze blowing through Tahoe today that churned up the lake and brought out the red flags. With all the fires burning in the state any wind that is more than light puts a little fear into my mind. Other than the wind, it was a gorgeous day in Tahoe. The sky was unblemished, the sun was bright but not hot, ground cover and bushes are turning golden had are laden with berries. The lighting is crisp as summer moves to fall.
I could not stay inside all day. Mid-day I headed to Squaw Valley and hiked up to Shirley Lake and beyond to the top of Solitude Chair ending at the top of the tram. There were a few people hiking as well, but not a crowd. It was pleasant walking along enjoying the scenery which consists of granite slabs, boulders, and cliffs along with forested areas filling with fall color. The one disappointment was the creek which is a roaring stream in spring, but completely dry today.
After walking along the forest floor and scrambling up rocky draws one reaches a section of granite slab followed by more rocky stream beds before arriving at Shirley Lake. There are actually forest service signs pointing the way to Shirley Lake (which you can see) and to the tram. The trail to the tram is not as rocky, nor as steep, as the portion of the trail from the valley floor to Shirley Lake, but it still climbs uphill for a moderate distance. The views along the way are stunning with the exception of one very depressing new granite defacing that has occurred since my last hike up this trail. Just before reaching Shirley Lake someone has tagged a number of granite boulders with black paint scribbling something I did not even want to look at long enough to read. This is not a structure built by man, this is nature of which we do not have enough left in this world. Defacing the natural surroundings anywhere is a crime that should not go unpunished. Other than this unfortunate discovery the hike was pure joy.
I guess the wind kept many people away. There was not one in the pool at High Camp, nor on the tram riding down. That was a blessing in itself. I tried to see what was going on with the new Shirley Lake Express Lift, but I was unable to see that far without assistance which I left at home.
You can ride the tram down for free if you hike up to the upper station.
Enjoy your day,