Home » 2017 Death Valley and Eastern Sierra 4WD

South Lake Tahoe, CA

Friday, April 28, 2017 - 2:45pm by Lolo
150 miles and 3.5 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


Heavenly Village GondolaHeavenly Village GondolaIt was already pretty late in the afternoon by the time we finished exploring the Long Valley hot springs area, so rather than drive all the way home, we decided to stop in South Lake Tahoe, a place we have enjoyed numerous times before, both in summer and in winter.

As with Lee Vining and Bishop, wish we also love, this time we were just passing through, so this trip stop write-up does not do justice to all the wonderful things there are to see and do in this area. For that, I refer you to our visit in 2015:


Toast to a successful tripToast to a successful tripWe got a room at the comfy and reasonably priced Big Pines Mountain House, just a short distance from the Heavenly Ski Area. As we often do, we used our Yelp app to find a place to eat and chose the highly reviewed Base Camp Pizza, located right near the Heavenly Gondola. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones that knew about this place, because it was packed, and we had to wait almost an hour before being seated. The area around the gondola was a nice place to wait. We even played a game of Corn Hole right outside the restaurant’s bar. The restaurant did not disappoint – the pizza was good, the service was fast, and the beer recommendation was right on.

Over dinner, we reflected on the trip, which was very different both in terms of length and form of travel. Although there were times I very much missed the motorhome – particularly the night where we battled wild burros outside our tent – the change had been fun. It’s good to mix things up once in awhile.


Lake Tahoe is one of the highest elevation lakes (6,255 feet high) in the U.S., as well as the second deepest (1,645 feet deep) – Crater Lake is the deepest. It is located along the border between California and Nevada. The four shores of the lake are each quite different. The north is quiet and upscale, the west and east are more rugged and less developed, and the south shore is busy and tacky with neon-lit hotels and casinos. The 72-mile drive around the lake is very scenic.

Lake Tahoe is known for its clear blue and green waters and the panorama of mountains that surround it on all sides. It is a year-round destination with swimming, boating, kayaking, and various other kinds of water sports during the summer; hiking, backpacking, and camping all year round; and tremendous skiing and snowboarding in the winter.

Two interesting nearby sites we did enjoy, include:

South Lake Tahoe location map in "high definition"

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