Over Thanksgiving of 2015, we took the dogs to Tahoe for two days. We had one simple goal – for QQ to play in the snow. During our epic winter road trip of ’14, we discovered how much QQ love the snow. It must be in his Spitz genes, although it was the first time he encountered snow, he was soon galloping around the snow covered park and having the time of his life.
Given that we live in the Bay area, if we want to let the dogs have fun in the snow, we have to drive to higher elevations. Tahoe was the best choice. Neither the husband and I ski so it never crossed our mind to make the snowy trek to Tahoe in winter. It is a testament as to how we plan our lives around QQ and Chyler that this trip happened. We were lucky in the sense that this year Tahoe got a ton of snow and there was snow EVERYWHERE. One of the local guys we met said Tahoe got more snow in the one month of November 2015 then it did in the whole winter of 2014-15.
I was a little worried that there won’t be anything for us to do in Tahoe, given that we don’t ski or snowboard. But as it turns out, there’s plenty of fun to be had with the dogs! We did two snow covered hikes and went to a couple of beaches for the dogs to just run and also visited the local dog park.
The first hike we did was the Lam Watah Trail on our first day. This is a short 2.2 mile hike that was a great starter. It’s not too long so you won’t feel that you’re out in the elements, and also, it leads to Nevada Beach, a dog friendly beach. We had a lot of fun in this short hike and the dogs got to run off leash.
Chyler did not like the snow at all last year. One of our funniest memories was Chyler trying to climb up a tree to get away from the freezing cold snow. This year, we came prepared. I bought a thick waterproof jacket that she looks uber cute in. Everyone commented on how cute she looked in the jacket. It might be because of the jacket, or it might be because she trusts us more (we’ve only adopted her for 2 months during the road trip last year and she came to us really scared), this year, she had a lot of fun in the beginning running around with QQ too! After about an hour, we noticed that she was getting icicles stuck on her paws and fluffy bottom that wasn’t as easy to brush off, and the husband decided to pick her up.
The beach was mostly covered in snow and there was only a skinny stretch of sand, but QQ still had fun running up and down.
The second day we visited Bijou Community Park. This park actually had two dog parks within it. The first is a agility park, the second is a large open space dog park. We started off trying out the agility equipment in the agility park before moving on the the large open space park. I guess we were the only people crazy enough to go to the dog park in such subzero weather. We had the whole park to ourselves. The dog park is the most beautiful dog park I’ve ever seen – all covered with snow and surrounded by white tipped Christmas trees.
After the dog park, we visited Regan Memorial City Beach. The beach is dog friendly on the east side. The first question on my mind when we arrived was, what beach?
All we saw was a huge expense of white. We couldn’t tell where the beach ended and the lake began! But this made for a really large expanse of “land” for the dogs to run in! There were already a lot of dogs having fun chasing each other around. I asked a local how far we can walk out, and she said the ice is pretty thick so it’s pretty safe to walk. I took QQ and we made it out really far until I could see that we were walking on ice then I played it safe and walked back to meet the husband and Chyler. We made QQ wear his shoes here because he was also getting icicles stuck on his paw pads after the morning fun at the dog park.
After lunch, we tackled our second hike at Van Sickle Bi-State Park. This is a large park with long trails. We did not attempt to hike for too long, but instead made our goal the vista point. We hiked for about 2 hours. The sun came out and so it wasn’t too cold, the trails were covered in snow, but mostly flattened so it was actually quite easy. There were orange markers on the trees so we didn’t get lost either.
It was a beautiful hike, it was like hiking in winter wonderland. The white tipped trees and pristine snow and clear blue skies all made for a perfect day. The dogs had a lot of fun too.
When we got to the vista point, we could see the lake
We took a lot of photos of the dogs.
Overall, it was a fun filled two days at Lake Tahoe and both dogs had their fill of playing in the snow. After seeing how much fun the dogs have, we decided that even though there’s no snow where we live, we will make it a personal goal to ensure QQ gets to play with snow at least once a year!
We are also planning on returning to Tahoe in the summer so we can utilize the dog friendly beaches to teach QQ how to swim. There’s also several trails that we gave a miss this time round because we were afraid that the snow might be too thick. Those trails would be great for summer!
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