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Lake Tahoe Getaways

Tahoe Getaway:

To Hope Valley
& Grover Hot Springs

It's not too late, or too early, to take an excursion to beautiful Hope Valley, and then on to Grover Hot Springs. In fact, you can visit the springs at any time of year and some snow on the ground makes soaking in the hot pool even better, but you'll also enjoy this park in summer and fall. It's available on a 40 minute drive from South Lake Tahoe, via Highway 89. The route leads past the famed Sorenson's resort to the Alpine County town of Marleeville and Grover Hot Springs State Park.

Getting There

To get to Hope Valley, take Highway 50 west from South Lake Tahoe, and drive as far as Myers. Then turn left onto State Route 89, and drive over a low pass into the striking valley.

As you descend from the pass, the vision of Hope Valley appears. This is one of the most scenic parts of the High Sierra, with creeks running through, forested mountains all around, and a green valley floor (maybe not at all times of the year). The valley was named by Mormon immigrants while they were crossing through, on their way to the California gold fields. They were close enough to have some hope of getting to their destination, after a horrendous crossing of the eastern Sierra.

You'll come to Pickett's Junction -- an unnamed intersection where highways 88 and 89 meet. Turn left and follow the Highway 89 signs, heading toward Markleeville. Sorenson's Resort is along the way, and you may want to stop here to eat, or just to see the resort for future reference. The fishing is excellent in this area, and the resort is a year-round base for anglers, and other outdoors lovers. Continue on 89 and you'll reach the outskirts of Markleeville. Turn right on the sideroad that leads to the state park and the springs.

Grover Hot Springs State Park offers hiking, picnicking, camping, and soaking in the large hot pool, with mountain peaks all around. If you have time after a relaxing soak, drive into Markleeville to see this small historic town, which was a mining center in the late 1800s.

Another nearby gem is Kit Carson Pass -- the highest crossing of the Sierra in these parts. Trails lead from both sides of the highway over the mountain ridges, and the information center at the pass offers maps and other information on hiking possibilities. The pass is a 15-minute drive from Pickett's Junction. A few miles to the west are Caples Lake and the Kirkwood Ski Area -- a winter and summer resort in a beauriful box canyon setting.

Cross-country skiing is at its best here. Close to Sorenson's Resort and Pickett's Junction on Highway 88 is the Hope Valley Outdoor Center, with a ski rental shop and maps to groomed and ungroomed trails in the area. The shop (with small cafe) is a center for summer and fall hiking.

For more on Grover Hot Springs,
Go Here

For more on cross-country skiing in the Tahoe area, Go Here.


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