For our first full day at Lake Tahoe, we decided to take a day trip north to Squaw Valley. The drive up CA-89 was incredible! If you have the opportunity, we highly recommend taking the time to drive this road. We were too awestruck to remember to get out the camera but trust us, the views from the ridge over Emerald Bay are breathtaking!
Once we arrived in Squaw Valley we bought tickets for the aerial tram and were happy to discover that dogs can ride the tram for free. These trams hold over 100 people and climb approximately 2000 ft over the course of 1.5 miles.
The views of the mountain are fantastic, and on the ride up a guide explains all the highlights. If you choose to hike up to high camp from Squaw Valley Village the return tram ride is free. Once we reached the high camp we stopped at the observation deck to take in the views of Lake Tahoe over the mountains and make sure Fish and Ares were ready for our hike. One of the most popular hikes from high camp is down to Shirley Lake and we soon discovered why. Though the trail is quite steep it is well taken care of, the scenery is beautiful, and the abundant marmots are easy to spot. The rules for these trails state that you may unleash your dogs at your discretion, so Fish and Ares enjoyed a mostly leashless romp for hours. When Fish and Ares saw Shirley Lake they immediately went splashing right in. We stopped and found a nice spot on a rock for a small picnic where we watched them swim for about half an hour. Eventually they smelled the food and came over to share. The hike back up the trail was grueling! Between the altitude and the steep hills we were exhausted. Fortunately the hike is truly beautiful, so we had plenty of scenery to enjoy whenever we stopped to catch our breath. Back at high camp, we stopped for a late lunch at the Poolside Cafe & BBQ. The waiter brought water bowls out for Fish and Ares and told us stories of his yellow labs. Post lunch we had a quick debate about whether or not we should go for another hike, but we decided to hop back on the tram and head down to the car.
Ares and Fish spent the rest of the evening snoozing and people watching out the back door of our hotel room (to be honest, that’s about all us humans did too).
Another great day in Tahoe!