South Lake Tahoe from Showers Lake towards twilight
Current Weather Conditions
Backpacker Rest, Recovery, and Resupply Information
Transportation, Resupply, Repair, Accommodations, Entertainment
Current 2017 PCT Resupply Information
South Lake Tahoe Road Map
Meiss Roadless Area Trail Map
Carson Pass Area Trail Map
On This Page
e. From Reno
2. Transportation in the Lake Tahoe Region
b.Lake Tahoe private shuttle services.
4. Echo Lake Chalet
(Resupply Point for Long Distance Northbound Pacific Crest Trailers)
Resupply Page: Echo Lake Chalet
Forum Page: Echo Lake Chalet Comments and Questions
5. Other Resources
d. Gaming Clubs
e. Pot Club
h. Outside LINK: About Lake Tahoe
i. Trail guide LINK: Lake Tahoe Resupply Forum
Above: South Lake Tahoe Region Road Map with Backpacker Resources.
Rest and Resupply Information
Zoom in for Details!
Tahoe to Yosemite Trail Hikers
The Tahoe to Yosemite Trail hiker will not need to rest or resupply at South Lake Tahoe as we are just beginning our Southbound journey to hike out of the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Pacific Crest Trail Hikers
The Pacific Crest Trail hiker may need or want to stop at South Lake Tahoe for any or all of its delightful resources.
Access to South Lake Tahoe for long distance backpacker hiking North or South is via a short hitchhike East from where the Pacific Crest Trail and Highway 50 intersect at Echo Summit. I have found that many Pacific Crest Trail hikers plan on a few days off at South Lake Tahoe.
They generally need new boots (at least) by the time they make it up to South Lake Tahoe, and a couple of days to break them in, walking around enjoying the pleasures of South Lake Tahoe.
Those PCT hikers who do not stop at South Lake Tahoe are picking up their resupply package at the Echo Lake Chalet. Those who are stopping at South Lake Tahoe can send their free resupply package to Lake of the Sky Outfitters in South Lake Tahoe.
Lake of the Sky Outfitters' is located in a key position at the junction of Highways 89 and 50 across from the Tahoe Y transportation hub, and is surrounded by a full range of excellent backpacker resources.
As I always do, I suggest that everyone experience everything on and along the long trails. Stop for a couple of nights to explore Lake Tahoe.
The Local Scene
Killer folk here, if you can cut through the tourists, the urban crap, and the scammer corporate "businessmen." Lake Tahoe has changed a lot during the 50 years I've observed it. Scammers and greedy corporate fools have displaced many of the cool locals. But they are still there, kind of.
Yet I've met good people from all around California, around the country and around the world on the backpacking trails and at blackjack tables in the Tahoe Basin. It's Vegas next to a world class sub alpine lake...
A local observer puts it like this:
"After working in South Lake Tahoe in public service for 7 years now I have gotten a really good feel for the "locals" and it is a very diverse bunch of people living up there for many different reasons.
There are two types of locals, people who live there all year and people who live there seasonally who like to think of themselves as local, and those people can be broken down even further into the "I own a vacation home here" local and the "I just graduated and I am going to climb/bike/hike/paddle/ski/snowboard and work part time in the service/ski resort" local.
The biggest employers in S. Lake are the hospital and the casinos, and ironically most of my co-workers use to work at one or the other. I joke about being a ski bum with a decent job- a rareity in a resort town!
May is upon us and the countdown has begun!"
These insights explain the changes in the character of South Lake Tahoe as the seasons pass.
Most of the people in our vast cities are fools, most of the people on the trails are cool. Lake Tahoe brings about an interesting mixture of these two distinct veins of American culture, of the cool and the fool.
Such is Modern Life.
I'm not an expert on Lake Tahoe's social resources, though I've spent a lot of time there over the years. But I have a unique "ground-level" view from walking and hitch-hiking in, rather than driving. I'm more prone to stop and talk to locals and tourists than drive past, as I don't own a vehicle.
The following guide outlines some basic good stuff long distance backpackers will ask of South Lake Tahoe during a period of rest, recovery, and repair.
The public transportation you take depends on which trail head you have come out of and where your are entering the trails.
The main highways around Lake Tahoe are Highway 50, coming East and West into South Lake Tahoe, or Highway 80, coming East and West into the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.
Highway 89 runs North and South along the West Shore of Lake Tahoe connecting Highway 80 in the North with Highway 50 in the South.
If you are driving, you have more control of your arrival time, and can get to your chosen trail head early enough to make good miles backpacking to your first campsite before dark.
But if you are taking public surface transportation, hitchhiking, or flying into Reno, San Francisco, or Sacramento, the chances are that you will arrive in South Lake Tahoe far too late in the day to get to any of the trail heads before very late in the afternoon, or early evening.
This will necessitate spending a night camping near the trail head, or picking up local accommodations (see below) before beginning your hike.
Train to Trail
Amtrack offers train service from their Bay Area Stations to Sacramento, where the intrepid backpacker can connect with an Amtrack Bus which will take them across the Western Sierras on scenic Highway 50 to the South Lake Tahoe "Y."
Plane to Trail
If you fly into San Francisco, you can take BART from the San Francisco Airport to the Richmond BART station where you will connect with Amtrack's train service to Sacramento, where you will embark on an Amtrack bus to South Lake Tahoe.
Plane, Train, and Bus to Trail
This also works if you want to go to Yosemite from the SF Airport. From the Sacramento Amtrack station you will transfer to the San Joaquin Train to Merced, rather than the Amtrack bus to Lake Tahoe. In Merced's Amtrack station you can catch Yosemite's YARTS bus for a fun ride to Tuolumne Meadows or the Yosemite Valley.
It's fun because it is primarily a bus for, and full of backpackers, and we are a gas! But of course, I suggest you take the Amtrack bus to Lake Tahoe and walk to Yosemite. Walking to Yosemite avoids all the Yosemite transportation, permit, and too many people problems. Do it Right, if you are going to do it!
Forget the Rolling Transportation: Just Walk to Yosemite...
It is much more rewarding to backpack across the Northern Sierra's Crest into the Yosemite Backcountry to Tuolumne Meadows, than it is to take the bus there. Hell, you can always take the bus back from Yosemite, but at the risk of missing the most interesting local personalities that pick you up when you hitch hike there and back.
The Amtrak bus arrives at the South Lake Tahoe "Y" (See picture below, where Hwys 89 and 50 intersect) in the early afternoon, but you are still far from any of the trail heads, and without good options for local transportation to your trailhead. (see local transportation)
If you fly or hitch hike into Reno, Trailways offers bus service from the Reno Airport to South Lake Tahoe's casinos and the South Lake Tahoe Airport.
From the Casinos you can take a regularly scheduled Blue Go to the Tahoe Y, or call the Blue-Go custom shuttle to pick you up at any of the Trailways stops, the South Lake Tahoe Airport, or the Tahoe Y, and take this on-call shuttle all the way to the South Upper Truckee trail head in Meyers, or have it leave you at the closest point in the Bus's range to Echo Summit, (which is in Meyers on Hwy 50, this point is marked on the map) where you can easily hitchhike up the short steep grade to the Echo Summit trail head.
Just don't look too sloppy or stupid, and you will easily get a ride.
The only problem with this plan is that the Blue Go shuttle is generally very busy, and may take HOURS before it can pick you up. This is crucial for backpackers who want to get to the trail head before dark. You may want to call Blue-Go and make a reservation for the time and place you want to be picked up beforehand, while allowing some extra time for any potential transportation delays you may encounter on your way to South Lake Tahoe.
On the other hand, if you are heading to the Meeks Bay trail head from South Lake Tahoe, you need to hitch hike North on Highway 89 from the Tahoe Y transportation hub, which is centrally located at the junctions of Highways 89 and 50 in South Lake Tahoe.
Another option for getting to Meeks Bay trail head from Reno is to take Amtrack from Reno to Truckee, then catch the TART bus in Truckee to a bit past Tehoma. Tehoma is about 3 miles North of the Meeks Bay trail head, so you will still have a bit of a hitch or a couple of miles hiking South from Tehoma to the Meeks Bay Trailhead.
Tart Phone: (530) 550-1212 or (800) 736-6365
Local Blu-Go On Call Shuttle
Public Transportation in South Lake Tahoe
(October 2013 update: Blue Go now reserved for Lake Tahoe local seniors and disabled folks)
South Lake Tahoe is served by both a custom public shuttle service and a scheduled bus service, the Blue-Go, that will pick you up at the Tahoe Y, or any location you specify within their South Lake service area, and bring you right to the South Upper Truckee trail head in Meyers. The fee is $6.
Blue-Go's regularly scheduled bus line will bring you near the base of Hawley Grade on Highway 50 if your goal is the Echo Summit Trailhead or Echo Lake Trailhead, and you can easily hitch the rest of the way up, if you are starting or continuing your trip from there.
If you are going up to the Echo Summit trail head on Highway 50, this shuttle, or one of Blu-Go's scheduled buses will both deposit you near the base of the grade up to Echo Summit in Meyers on Highway 50.
I have marked the end of the Blu Go service area on the map below. From there you will have to make the short hitch hike up to the Echo Summit trail head.
This should not be hard. Locals seeing me walking towards the mountains with my pack have stopped many times to ask if I wanted a ride to Echo Summit.
If you are heading up North on Hwy 89 to Meeks Bay from the Tahoe Y, you've got to hitch-hike up 89 to the Meeks Bay trail head or engage a private shuttle service. Tahoe is full of them.
The Tahoe Y transportation hub has a Blue-Go transportation office where you can pick up additional information, order a shuttle ride from their public shuttle service, or pick up one of their regularly scheduled buses to bring you as close to your desired trailhead as possible.
Problems with the Blue Go
The problem with the Blu-Go custom shuttle is that it is completely overbooked. The last couple of years (2011 &2012) it is next to impossible to get a reservation for the door to door shuttle.
The scenario goes like this: you get into South Lake Tahoe and you need a ride to the trailhead. You call blu-go and they are booked. What do you do? The scheduled line does not run anywhere near Meeks Bay, to the North on Highway 89. The scheduled line will put you at Highway 50 about three miles from the South Upper Truckee Trailhead in Meyers, but near the base of Hawley Grade below Echo Summit. Echo Summit is an easy hitch, sitting at the top of Hawley Grade. Echo Summit is a couple of miles from the South Desolation Trailhead at Lower Echo Lake by trail or road.
The door to door shuttle only brings us to the South Upper Truckee Trailhead in Meyers, if we can even get it. The Meeks Bay, Echo Summit, and Lower Echo Lake Trailheads all require a private shuttle or hitchhiking.
What you do about this gap in transportation is up to you.
Blue Go Phone: 775-589-5284
Blue GO OnCall Shuttle: 530- 541-7149
Southwest Tahoe Basin Shuttle Services
My method of travel is hitch hiking supplemented by public transportation. Thus I don't use shuttle services. I travel solo on road and trail. As this is not suitable for many types of backpacking trips and backpackers, I've researched and reached out to locals and local resources in South Lake Tahoe. Here's what I've found:
Hike Bike and Kayak Shuttle Service
Shuttle Around Tahoe
Trailhead Locations & Local Resupply Options
The South Upper Truckee and Echo Summit trail heads are both located just off of Highway 50 to the West of South Lake Tahoe, which makes South Lake Tahoe our best local source for last minute supplies and equipment fixes before hitting either of these trail heads.
This is also true for the Meeks Bay Trail head, if we are coming North up Highway 89 from Highway 50 and the South Lake Tahoe Y.
If we are coming South from the North Shore of Lake Tahoe on Hwy 89 to Meeks Bay from Hwy 80, Tahoe City and Truckee are our last chances to eat, pick up extra trail food, or repair/replace broken equipment.
Spending a Night in Lake Tahoe before Hitting the Trail
Because of the time it takes me to get to Lake Tahoe from the Bay Area without a car, I am always forced to consider spending the night near Lake Tahoe to get an early start the next day.
There are two options. First, make my way to the trail head, hike a little ways down the trail, and set up camp before it gets completely dark. Second, I can obtain local accommodations and get an early start the next day.
Yeah, sure. If I had the money for that, I would have a car and be at the trailhead by 8 am. Having the time to long distance backpack means not having the money to long distance backpack. Time is money!
No, time is food!
The following information has not been updated and verified for the 2013 Season. Their website is offline and no one answers the phone. Update soon. April 2014: Made contact. Nice folks at High Country Lodge. The Lodge is under new management and new ownership. Stay tuned for updates.
BEEN TO THE HIGH COUNTRY LODGE RECENTLY?
POST UP YOUR
If you decide to spend the night in South Lake Tahoe, I highly recommend the High Country Lodge on Highway 50 about 3/4ths of a mile West of the Tahoe Y bus station, on the East side of Highway 50. These nice people are very backpacker friendly.
As of 2013 a new manager, or the owner is now running the place, according to what I can find out.
I have not been able to contact them.
Let me know if you have additional information.
I found this restful, warm, clean, friendly, and quite place last June after 7 days of freezing my ass off in the snowy mountains South of Tahoe. I tried each motel as I walked West along Hwy 50 from the Tahoe Y.
Each motel was very expensive, and none of the proprietors would negotiate, until I walked into the High Country Lodge and met Tami and Dwayne, who negotiated with me: $160 for four nights. I was cold but tough, they were willing to deal.
Tami warned me that these prices, and negotiation in general would only happen during off-peak times, as they relied on peak rates during the high season to make their money for the whole year.
So your best bet for backpacker deals can be found mid-week during the peak season, and during off-peak season periods. I have little money, and they knew it. If you are not walking in off the snow-plowed road they may charge more.
My only problem is when my snow trips and ski season high points happen at the same time. Not to worry, Winter is ending in the High Sierra...
Notice that the room is equipped with a Microwave and Refrigerator. There is a Raley's at the Tahoe Y bus hub. The Raley's combined with a microwave and fridge makes it easy to keep food costs way down.
High Country Lodge
1227 Emerald Bay Road (AKA Highway 50)
Reservations only: 800-824-4660
High Country Lodge:
Tell them TahoetoWhitney sent you.
About Lake Tahoe puts a wide range of topics and resources in the Tahoe Basin at your fingertips. About Lake Tahoe features information about Accommodations, Hiking, and a wide variety of Forums about activities at Lake Tahoe.
If you are going to visit Lake Tahoe, you should check out about Lake Tahoe.Tell them TahoetoWhitney sent you.
Check the Map for the locations of all these resources.
Long Distance Backpacker
ALTERNATIVE SOUTH LAKE TAHOE RESUPPLY
Twin Bridges Post Office
South Lake Tahoe Post Office
Your real name is necessary to match with ID to pickup your package.
Telephone numbers are for confirming address, location, and service.
We take note that there are FIVE POST OFFICES spread over the nearby Meyers-South Lake Tahoe Area, not including Twin Bridges. Two of them are closer to the PCT than the "South Lake Tahoe" Post Office.
This makes me think that we must be careful to match the name and address of the specific local Post Office we are sending our resupply to assure it will show up where we think it will show up.
Which Should I Use to Resupply?
The difference between Twin Bridges and South Lake Tahoe are resources and environment. Resources are thin in Twin Bridges. South Lake Tahoe is full of resources. The environment at Twin Bridges/Strawberry is country. South Lake Tahoe is a small city.
I would use Twin Bridges if you are unconcerned about taking some rest time and soaking up extra resources, if you are doing a, "hit and run," resupply while staying on the trail.
I would hitch East down to South Lake Tahoe if you want to access those tasty resources and rest and recover for a day or two. Hitching to South Lake Tahoe will require the resources for a hotel, or the time to find some pirate camping site.
People and Access
Peter at Lake of the Sky has been offering better backpacker resupply services and access to resources than Echo Chalet for quite some time. Lake of the Sky is in South Lake Tahoe, a short distance hitch hiking from the trailhead at Lower Echo Lake, or from Highway 50 at Echo Summit.
(Pre & post-2017)
A backpacking hitch-hiking out of Lower Echo Lake faces a very easy hitch.
Find more information below on Lake of the Sky, and about the surrounding resources in South Lake Tahoe is what this page is all about.
The Big Gear Picture
South Lake Tahoe has an abdundance of Gear resources including a wide variety of sports equipment shops covering the four seaons of High Sierra sports activities practiced in the Tahoe Basin. It can be a bit confusing. I figure almost every major town in the Sierra Nevada has a sports shop, with a "box store" in the Sierra "cities." I always choose the local store in the towns, and seek them out in the shadows of the box stores in the cities.
In South Lake Tahoe Tahoe Sports Ltd, located in the Tahoe Crescent V shopping center just West of the California-Nevada border on Highway 50, is the largest sports store in South Lake Tahoe, and plays the role of "box store" in South Lake Tahoe. Tahoe Sports Ltd has a decent selection of a little bit of everything, including fuels, nylon buckles, and backpacking food. They are my last resort.
"Sports LTD at the Y is gone and the one in Heavenly Village is WAY overpriced - priced for tourists, plus the guys who work there are dicks to the locals, & no discount."
I tend to agree, and add that the place is generally filled with many, too many tourists, the vast majority of whom are almost completely disengaged from each other and their surroundings. These types of dull crowds reminds me of a herd of cattle.
...the largest is rarely the best...
Tahoe to Whitney
CLOSED IN 2017
1023 Emerald Bay Road
South Lake Tahoe, 96150
|Road Map||Detailed Road Map|
I find the personalized service and attention from smaller shops more to my liking. Thus I was excited when I was contacted by Peter Hussman at Lake of the Sky Outfitters. Lake of the Sky Outfitters is located just across from Rayley's at the Tahoe Y, just across Highway 50 from where the Amtrack bus deposits backpackers from its route between the Bay Area and Reno.
Bodhi, the Lake of the Sky Dog four-legged welcoming committee. Loves through hikers. The boss says that Bodhi likes the smell of the trail, but I think Bodhi digs the vibe of trail folk, as well as their smell.
Walk over and say hello. I did, and was happy I did. (road map)
Checking Out Lake of the Sky
Peter, the boss of Lake of the Sky Outfitters, is a fountain of information about local resources for backpackers, stocks a wide variety of backpacking gear, offers a free resupply package service for long distance and PCT hikers, fuels by the ounce, internet service, and centers local trail angel activity.
On Monday Sept 23 2013 I began the long trip to the Carson Pass Trailhead from Berkeley. Train to bus to hitchiking 50 to 89 to 88 to Carson Pass. Along the way I stopped in at the Round Table Pizza at the Tahoe Y to feed us as much as possible at their pizza and salad lunch buffet before hitting the trail. Looking out the window I could see Lake of the Sky Outfitters across Highway 50.
After finishing lunch I crossed 50 and made myself comfortable on a granite boulder placed as decoration across the parking lot of the small mini-mall where Lake of the Sky Outfitters are located. The dog pictured above was stationed outside the store, completely laid out to best soak up the heat of the sunny day.
Though not moving, the dog's eyes tracked my movements, and its tail wagged lazily each time I looked over. This is the behavior of a classic trail dog: no waste of energy while watching everything. Full observation with zero energy expenditure. I said, "good dog," and the slow beat of the wagging tail sped up slightly.
Finishing my smoke I approached the store. I needed to purchase some webbing. The Right shoulder strap (a new set!) had cracked around the grommet and would not hold up for the duration of my trip. Knowing this impelled me to reinforce the damaged strap before hitting the trail and pack some extra webbing to be ready to repair it when it inevitably broke. The picture on the Right shows the broken strap which finally gave way after five days of hiking.
I wear gear out.
|Damaged pack strap reinforced for extended wear.||Broken shoulder strap repaired sufficient for wilderness use.|
Above: The progress of destruction. The repair is depicted in the Right side image.
Walking into the store I found Peter ready to help me get the webbing and buckles I'd potentially need to keep my pack on my back. Heck, I found Peter to be a pragmatic good dude. Pragmatic in that he observes the good and bad in the reality around us. Good Dude in that he looks for the best outcome through that reality.
Lake of the Sky Outfitters are not just centrally located near a wide range of food, lodging, transportation, and various resources backpackers arriving in South Lake Tahoe, but offers internet and computer services that long distance backpackers will find convenient. Peter will direct you to the best area services including
I trust Peter's judgment, as it is based on hundreds of hiker's recent experiences.
Peter reported that over 300 PCT hikers visited his shop during the 2013 hiking year. Totally cool.
Here's what Peter has to say to us long distance and local backpackers he does not yet know:
Peter measuring out my repair webbing.
Lake of the Sky Outfitters
I recently joined your website and want to ask you if there would be the possibility of having my business, Lake of the Sky Outfitters, featured on the resupply page.
My store specializes in hiking/backpacking and we are located at 1023 Emerald Bay Rd. next to the Subway store at the “Y’.
We carry a complete line of apparel, gear, food, fuel (alcohol sold by the ounce), accessories, repair parts, books, maps, water purification products, etc. (See the stock)
We also give PCT thru hikers a discount, (and) have a resource room with computer where they can send emails, print maps, research upcoming resupply points. (PCT services)
We are also a drop point for thru hikers if they wish to send their resupply packages to us at no charge. They would have to pay for outgoing shipments though. (contact)
Plus we have a friendly, knowledgeable staff willing to help anyone walking through our doors. We are only a block from the Apex Inn and 20 minutes from most trailheads. (location and goals)
If you have any questions fell free to email me or
Oh yeah, we also have a website:
and on Facebook at
Check out Peter's store, give him a call, and tell him you found his local and long distance backpacker resources on Tahoe to Whitney.
We support local backpacking business.
Peter has connections with local transportation services as well, so if you are planning to take Amtrack to the Tahoe Y, you might want to pre arrange to meet your ride at Lake of the Sky Outfitters, which is across Highway 50 from the Tahoe Y.
In fact, Peter's support of us long distance backpackers is exemplified by Lake of the Sky Outfitters loosely organized
A good dude stands as a focal point of "neighborliness," and Peter is an example of the traditional small mountain town culture that once characterized South Lake Tahoe.
Lake of the Sky's facebook page is informative of hiker happenings around Lake Tahoe, their monthly movie night, activities, and gear sales.
Check LOTS's facebook page for upcoming events and sale items.
This Spring (April 2014) we see Peter is selling off his snowshoe rentals. As always, Spring is the best time to get Winter gear cheap!
Peter and his family take pride in supporting the long distance Pacific Crest Trail backpacking community, so it's a good thing to support them in return.
So here's my Tahoe Gear Advice:
Get your gear from the little good guys, and only use the big guys when the little guys don't have the gear you need.
Pete and his Family & Friends
Back to the Big Guys...
The Tahoe Sports web site lists another location in the shopping center just behind the Tahoe Y Transportation Hub, just across Highway 50 from Lake of the Sky Outfitters, but it was closed the last time I was there in June of '09.
Long ago Tahoe Sports was the local source for gear, information, and local insight. Today that baton has been passed to
Lake of the Sky Outfitters
Check the Road Map for the locations of Lake of the Sky Outfitters and all the resources on this page.
I had damaged hip belt webbing when I did my first of two June 2009 trips. I hoped to have a tailor fix me up in South Lake Tahoe. Though there are many capable tailors in South Lake Tahoe, I arrived in town from the trail head late on a friday night, and they were all closed for the weekend. I ended up cutting the broken buckle out of the webbing and threading in two buckles I bought at Tahoe Sports Ltd. It worked.
2012: I was having the same kind of webbing issues, but this time with the shoulder straps. The material around the upper eyelets was tearing.
Like to gamble? The Lakeside Inn is located at #168 Highway 50, about a mile East of the California-Nevada border. The Lakeside is know as a locals casino, and its friendly laid-back staff matches its atmosphere. This is the only house in Tahoe that still sports single-deck blackjack, with a two-dollar minimum bet during weekdays.
Tahoe Wellness Collective
Ah, Pain Relief. As you may know, California has a medical pot law. If you have valid California certification for medical pot, I highly (pun intended-hehe) recommend the Tahoe Wellness Collective, located at 3445 Lake Tahoe Blvd (Hwy 50), 530-544-8000.
Personally, speaking as an American, and a disabled Vet,
The shopping center at the Tahoe Y transportation hub, which is conveniently located a short distance down Highway 50 from the High Country Lodge has a full service Raleys Supermarket which sells fully cooked meat dishes, mashed potatoes, and nice bits that you can make into take-home meals, as well as a full service deli and Peet's coffee shop.
This is a good place to stock up the mini fridge so you can feed the microwave in your High Country Lodge room as you rest and recover.
At the other end of this same shopping center is a Round Table Pizza no longer managed by Mike, but still staffed by a real good crew of people. One trip a pizza cook drove me out to my trailhead during his lunch break. I gave him twenty bucks, but he did not want to take it. I insisted. Have you seen what a pizza cook makes now-a-days?
Besides being totally backpacker friendly, this location offers the all you can eat Pizza, Salad and Soda lunch deal, for around 7 bucks. Hungry backpackers can make this a great value.
If you are hungry after getting into South Lake Tahoe, or starving after getting out of the mountains, and want to fill up before you hit the trail for 40 more days towards Mount Whitney, this is a worthy stop.
South Lake Tahoe
Eating trail food for extended periods makes resupply spots especially tasty. Everything tastes better after trail time, and the longer the trail time the better the food tastes.
South Lake Tahoe's position as a destination ski-gambling-resort-vacation spot concentrates restaurants along Highway 50 from just past the airport through Stateline along Highway 50.
We will find every type and price of food possible. The question I ask is, "what's great, good, and a good deal?" Hopefully we'll get great food for a good deal.
I'm happy to hear about your perfect post-hike feast, as well as the nightmares. Each bit of experience you share here helps make the rest of ours better.
Keep me posted, Backpackers!
Ernie's Coffee Shop
Izzy's Burger Spa
591 Lake Tahoe Boulevard,
www.izzysburgerspa.com - (530) 544-5030 -
Warning for Hungry Backpacker
Check the Map
My favorite in Meyers is the Downtown Cafe. Great food, great owner and staff, and just really nice in every respect. It's located about 50 yards East on Highway 50 from the Highway 50 intersection with Highway 89 on the North side of the road. Every Winter when I would trudge out of the mountains they would allow me to strip off my layers next to their big warm wood stove.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Another great cafe is The Getaway Cafe, formerly Chris' Cafe, which is located near the junction between Highways 89 and 50 at 3140 Highway 50 in Meyers. This long-time excellent cafe is close to both the South Upper Truckee trail head, and is just below the grade up to the Echo Summit trail head.
I have not eaten there since their fancy upgrade. I fear their prices have gone up with their upscale remodel and fancy approach.
The only food resource near the Meeks Bay trail head is located about 4 miles North on Highway 89 at the PDQ Grocery and Deli in Tahoma. The PDQ deli features huge sandwiches on excellent home-made rolls. Yummy. I have posed a picture of the place on the Meeks Bay Trail Head Page.
Camp and Go
Pirate camping is the name of the game in National Forests. There are plenty of private places where you can legally throw down in National Forests around Lake Tahoe.
Just make sure you pick a place that will not bug the locals, don't start a fire, and leave your camp site cleaner than you found it.
Check the Map for the locations of all these resources.