You might have noticed a trend. Ski resorts are increasingly trying to market themselves as “four seasons” destinations. But let’s be honest: most of these areas are two-season resorts at best. Spring and fall remain the quiet shoulder seasons (often lovingly referred to as “dead seasons”) for most. One exception is North Lake Tahoe, where the “dead seasons” offer outdoor lovers thin crowds, moderate weather and a ton to do. Here’s where you want to start:
Strap on your helmet and grab your bike—XC mountain bike, downhill mountain bike or a road bike will do, since there are plenty of options for all three. For downhill enthusiasts, Northstar’s bike park stays open until October, providing plenty of opportunities to catch your vertical thrills. XC and road biking are viable picks until the snow starts to fall. There are trails and routes of every distance, for riders of all levels.
There is arguably no better way to experience the breathtaking Sierras than on the back of a horse. Hit the trails through early October and meander amidst the National Forest and through fields of wildflowers, feeling like a bona fide cowboy.
Fishing on the Fly
Mackinaw. Rainbow trout. Brown trout. Kokanee salmon. The lakes and streams around North Lake Tahoe have a solid reputation among the nation’s fly fishers, and one reason is the variety of fish teaming its waters. Whether you cast solo or hire a guide to show you the best spots, be sure to start early—sunrise is the best time to fish in Tahoe.
Full Moon Magic
There is no shortage of incredible views in North Lake Tahoe, but seeing the surrounding vistas lit up by a full moon is a one-of-a-kind experience—one made even more special when you see it from the water. Tahoe Adventure Company offers nighttime full moon kayak trips along the lake until mid-October. They’ll even provide you with hot drinks to stay toasty on cool fall evenings on the water.
Go With the Flow
Tahoe Flow Arts Studio offers fitness classes like no other. There are dance sessions and yoga classes, of course, but the central theme is relaxed, free-spirited play. Check out the aerial arts classes to experience total freedom as you twist and turn using aerial fabrics suspended from the ceiling. Or how about electric ballet, a class that uses classic ballet technique twisted with pumped-up moves and music. There’s also hula hooping and poi spinning. This isn’t your typical fitness studio—and that’s a good thing.
Hit the Trails
If you love trail running, then it won’t take you long to fall for North Lake Tahoe, with its seemingly infinite trails and running loops. Make a race weekend of it with the Emerald Bay Trail Run in September, one of the most scenic runs in the country. Road racers might prefer to celebrate the fall season at the Scarecrow Sprint and Stroll in October. The route showcases fall in Tahoe in all its glory, and participants are encouraged to dress like scarecrows.