Tahoe tripLake Tahoe (22 miles long, 12 miles wide), is one of the biggest fresh water lakes in the world, with an astounding water clarity. The lake is various shades of intense blue and peaks surrounding it are snowcapped year 'round.
The De Anza Outdoor Club has done camping at D. L. Bliss State park at Lake Tahoe August, when the water will be at a swimmable temperature and there will still be lots of wildflowers. The group campsite we get has lots of space and a shower house.
The park has one of the best sand beaches at Tahoe.
Photos below courtesy of El Dorado County Film and media office:
The main activity on this trip will be an all day eight-mile round trip kayak on Saturday along the lake shore and into Emerald Bay.
The photo above was taken on the shore of Emerald Bay. The tourists on the paddleboat in the background paid $20+ for a two-hour tour with no stops to explore.
Some local kayak tour companies do Emerald Bay day trips for $65 to $85 (3 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours). Our trip usually costs less than that for kayaking all day and the campsite for the weekend.
You must have long distance kayaking experience with the club to participate, which even beginners can get on our spring break ocean kayak day trip to Monterey. OR you can be oriented to kayak use and pass a swim test of 20 twenty-five yard laps of freestyle or breastroke in 15 minutes or less.
We launch very early in the morning Saturday and paddle the four miles to Emerald Bay. The bay is probably the most scenic stretch of shore on the lake. Because the beach at Emerald Bay is only accessable by boat or by walking .8 mile from a small parking lot, the beach is less congested than other beaches open to the public.
People who don't want to kayak can hike from the campground to Emerald bay and join us there. Three photos of the trail and the view from the trail courtesy of the El Dorado County Film and media office:
When we went in 2000, 2001 and 2004 we landed first at the beach at the west end of Emerald Bay and had a huge picnic. Some people toured Vikingsholm (a reproduction of a Norse fortress of 800 A.D.). It has 38 rooms, but tourists aren't allowed upstairs to the bedroom wings due to safety precautions. The park charges a small fee for the tour.
This Vikingsholm photo courtesy of the El Dorado County Film and media office:
Then we paddled out the quarter mile to Fannette Island.
and hiked up to the tea house on the top. The photo below was taken on the trail to the top. Notice the kayaks tied up at the edge of the cove below. Sorry, we can't have tea in the teahouse as no picnicking is allowed on the island and you can't swim between the beach and the island.
Some people swam in a cove on the island and some swam all the way around the island.
Everybody pitches in when we return and reload the kayaks on the trailer at the starting point.
Plans for a long hike the next day never materialized.
Evenings and nights were spent cooking out, watching stars on the beach, playing cards or singing around the campfire. Some nights we've chased bears from the campsite.
(pictures from the 2003 trip are at
Group photo with bear box)
If you were a student during spring quarter you don't have to take summer quarter classes to go on our summer quarter trips. Likewise, faculty don't have to teach summer quarter. For cost details about this trip go to: Outdoor Club Coming Attractions
NO REFUNDS The club will provide: campsite space, a faculty advisor, a first aid kit, and a water purifying pump for club led hikes/kayaking. The club intends to provide tandem kayaks, paddles, lifejackets (which must be worn and strapped securely) and possibly dry bags, but circumstances may preclude kayaking. The club will probably also provide a shared stove and lantern for at least one dining canopy covered cooking area, but if the club does not, members can borrow such club equipment with a cleaning and/or late fee deposit in the form of a cashier's check or credit card.
Trip participants are responsible for any other gear, including food and food preparation equipment, tents, sleeping bag, insulating sleeping pad, mosquito repellant, (read some advice at: insect repellant)
waterproof outer layers in case of rain, (you can get a set of rain pants/jacket at Home Depot then Improve your inexpensive rain gear), swimsuit, and other personal gear. State Park shower houses are usually pay - bring quarters.
Pleeease follow the MUST HAVE guidelines at the Camping equipment checklist
You can find lists of gear to bring for winter camping that have things that apply to this trip at Snow or rain camp must-haves. If you don't have gear for, or have never been rainy/cold camping, we really recommend you read the lists.
For a list of gear you'll want on a long day hike/kayak go to: Day hike gear.
You might also want to read GORP and hiking snacks
Hiking Advice has hot weather hiking advice, hiking logistics and the answer to the question: When is the best time of day to cross a mountain stream?
If you have decided you are going on this trip, reading a step by step description of loading kayaks on the De Anza trailer will make the job go easier.
canoe over canoe rescue also can be used for kayaks.
At Have more fun camping you can learn how to build campfires that don't smoke too much, how to pack an ice chest, do dishes in camp and lots more.
Answers to most questions about how the club works are at: Outdoor Club Basic Info The main rules common to most of our trips, including who is eligible to go, are at: Outdoor Club trip rules.
Carpools are arranged among the students going on the trips, not by the club or the college. For info on how to get/give a ride and links to advice on how to do basic maintenance to get your car ready for a club trip go to Carpool FAQs
Two photos below of Emerald Bay and Fanette island, from a viewpoint on the road around Lake Tahoe, are courtesy of the El Dorado County Film and media office:
The club owns lots of equipment that can be used on club events with refundable cleaning and late fee deposits. Equipment includes stoves, lanterns, tents and insulated sleeping pads, but we expect a large turnout for this trip and do not have enough of such gear for everyone.
Equipment will be loaned out first-signed-up-for-the-trip, first served. Rentals for the 2005 trip will be 5 p.m. Tuesday, August 16 at our equipment storage bin under the bleachers on the east side of the stadium. That may be the last chance to sign up.
Details about equipment can be found at: Outdoor Club Equipment. Rentals will go much more smoothly if you have read Outdoor Club Sample Rental Agreement
For cost details about this trip go to: Outdoor Club Coming Attractions
We are staying at 6,300 plus feet elevation. You will probably feel out of breath at first and may even get a headache and lose appetite. You can get more sunburned. Read At altitude for advice. It includes why your tent mate might seem to stop breathing.
There will be bears in the campground and quite possibly in our campsite.So far bears do not break into cars at Tahoe, but they could learn to, so be extra prepared by reading the info about Yosemite how bears break into cars, what to do if you see a bear and more at: Bears
A good way to wake up the whole campground is to set your car alarm. Then if a curious animal or clumsy person bumps the vehicle at night you've succeeded.(The alarm won't keep bears out of your vehicle).
Tent walls are thin. You can wake up everybody in the vicinity when you want to get into your car and you use the keyless (remote) door opener and the car makes the usual loud beep. People don't think to just use the key to open the door or don't know that if you look in the owner's manual you can find a way to disable the beep.
For a laugh, go to:
When camping with a large group of people some complain there is not enough room in their shared bear box for all their gear. In the summer at Tuolumne, when we often get a group campsite and have to put all our gear in the bearboxes, we have had serious problems fitting everything.
More things could fit in the campite bear-proof storage lockers if everyone brought smaller containers of food, etc.
NO!→ ← Yes!!
and if everyone brought their gear in small, deep plastic trash cans or other plastic boxes close to, but no more than, 17 inches tall. A typical bedroom waste receptacle could be 9" by 12" by 17" deep and hold quite a few cans of food, cooking items and toiletry bags. If bears at Tahoe learn how to break into cars, the rules for food storage will become stricter. Pleeeease read:
Using a campsite food storage locker
Can I parasail or scuba at Tahoe?
ACCORDING TO DE ANZA'S RISK MANAGEMENT:
NO, at least not during one of our trips.
At the end of the trip, after the campsite is packed up and vacated, people are on their own. Then people can try a scuba dive (Emerald Bay has a permanent dive bouy and underwater interpretive panels at the site of two sunken barges), pay for a parasail experience (not cheap) or go gambling. During our trip none of these will be allowed. During or after it is not safe to dive head first, slide off rocks or even to jump into many swimming holes or lakes.
The Indiana University Underwater Science Program has a page about the scuba opportunities at Emerald bay.
"California's first underwater shipwreck park, the Emerald Bay Historic Barges was officially opened to the public following the September 23, 1994 dedication ceremony.
Located in 10 to 30 feet of clear water in picturesque Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, the site consists of two large wooden barges constructed of massive Ponderosa pine timbers."
The camping trip in August of 2004 filled well before the trip and had a waitlist. If you want to go on the Tahoe camping/kayaking it is highly advisable that you have read all trip details at this website and get signed up early. Links on this page will get you to the answers to most questions.
Who goes on this kind of trip?
As of August 7 we have 17 people signed up.
We could call this Carlos and Maria and Drushti and Greta and Joe and Grace and Wendy and Beverly and Leonora and Michael and Ashleyanne and Shannon and Gabriel and Sherry and Paul and Alan and Mary's excellent adventure.
Our ages are 16, 20, 20, 20, 21, 23, 26, 28, 28, 28, 28, 33, 44, 45, 52, 54, and 57, so you probably have no excuse that no one near your age is going.
The main rules you will need to agree to are at:
Lake Tahoe trip rules
Emerald Bay topographical map:
black and white aerial photo of the same area:
Yosemite nature and photography links has links to online field guides to Sierra birds, flowers, mammals, etc.
Tahoe emergency phone numbers are at:
sunrise/set times adjusted for surrounding elevations
also of potential interest:
Emerald Bay and Fanette Island at dawn:
photo below by Quang-Tuan Luong/terragalleria.com, all rights reserved.