Spooner Lake a good day trip or multi-day getaway | RecordCourier.com

Spooner Lake a good day trip or multi-day getaway

by Bill Rozak
brozak@tahoedailytribune.com
A view of Spooner Lake from the loop trail.
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

I had driven by Spooner Lake many times without ever giving a second thought.

I like to explore, hike, ski, climb, the list goes on, but Spooner has never been on my radar.

So in my mission to explore everything I can at Lake Tahoe, I decided to visit the East Shore and see what it’s about.

And my first impression was, “What? I’ve gotta pay for a 2.5-mile hike around a lake!”

From sunrise to sunset, year-round, it costs $10 to park a car and $2 to walk in.

Like I said, I knew nothing about the place, but as it turned out, it’s a Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park and there’s more to do than walking around a lake, like biking, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, picnicking, camping, trail running, cross country skiing and bird watching.

I decided to walk in by parking at Spooner Summit and use a connecting trail from the Tahoe Rim Trail.

I figured a “2.5-mile moderately trafficked loop trail good for all skill levels” according to Alltrails.com, would be right up my alley to test how I’m recovering from an Achilles tear.

The injury, and recovery, they just suck! I could try to be more eloquent, but that’s the best way for me to describe it.

From the start of the hike, mountain chickadees greeted me with their unmistakable three-note whistles.

And it seemed like they followed me on the dog-friendly (must be on a leash) trail, that is still a little wet and snowy in places.

Enough already birds. Yeah, you’re cute and fun to watch bouncing around on tree limbs hunting for food, but that constant cheerful chirp has imprinted my brain.

No wonder why there are so many burger joints around the lake. Go hiking anywhere in the basin and it’s “Cheese-burg-er!”

Those energy bars in my pack become about as appealing as a spoonful of sand after thinking about a Lucky Beaver burger for most of the hike.

But the hike goes quick and is pretty easy, although, oh joy, my foot was sore after.

Spooner Lake & Backcountry in all features 12,000 forested acres and 50 miles of hiking.

It’s a great day or multi-day getaway, especially for families trying to escape the valley heat.

Aside from tent camping, there are a couple of cabins available to rent that have basic amenities such as composting toilets, beds, cook stoves and wood burning stoves according to the state’s website, http://parks.nv.gov/parks/lake-tahoe-nevada-state-park-1.

There are three primitive walk-in campgrounds, Marlette Peak, Hobart and North Canyon, and each has a restroom and sites with picnic tables, fire rings and bear resistant food and trash storage boxes.

For information, call Nevada State Parks at 775-684-2770.