Monday, March 13, 2006

Around the Tahoe Donner Summit Areas....

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Around the Tahoe Donner Summit Areas....

...there is a wonderful secret place to stay. It is called, "Clair Tappan Lodge." If you are into a bit of a "roughing it" experience, this is an unconventional place to stay, located just two miles down the road from Donner Summit, near Sugar Bowl, Donner Ski Ranch, and Boreal Ridge ski areas, as well as the Serene Lakes and Royal Gorge cross country areas. In fact, Clair Tappan Lodge has its own network of cross country trails right outside the back doors. To keep your gear dry for a fresh start the next day, there is a special drying room, and a complete ski and snow board fix-it area.

Now "roughing it" does NOT consist of a Survivor like experience. There are hot showers, a wonderful family style dining room, and even a hot tub. The Library and Great Room are features only found in swankier places like the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. The accomodations are dormitory style, with a few couples private rooms. You can expect to put in about 40 minutes to an hour's worth of work cleaning, cooking, fixing, shoveling, or serving fellow guests for each night's stay, is that really so hard ? Besides, you meet new friends this way. It breaks the ice for conversations by the roaring fireplace in the Great Room.

Click Me to Learn More about Clair Tappan Lodge

During the summer you are practically right on top of the Pacific Crest Trail, and the area is rich in pioneer history, Donner Lake and the Central Pacific Railroad snow sheds are available for exploration. You are 45 minutes from Tahoe and Alpine Meadows, 35 minutes from Squaw Valley and Northstar, and about 1 and 1/2 hours from gambling in downtown Reno. Leaving from the Bay Bridge toll plaza on any night but Friday, you are about 3 hours and 15 minutes from the lodge.

I'm posting this plug as a long time user of the lodge, having first stayed there back in the late 1950's. It is an important part of the original Sierra Club motto, "Explore, Enjoy, and Protect the Planet." The lodge was built by volunteers, and is actually the centerpiece of a series of small mountain huts maintained by the Sierra Club along the Sierra crest. There is also a group lodge right next door, a five minute walk away, if you have a large party and want a private retreat experience.

These all make up a significant piece of the "enjoy" part of the Sierra Club.


Anonymous said...

You're right, the Sierra Club lodge is great, a real one-of-a-kind experience. There's something about making everyone do a little chore every day for the good of the community--it goes fast--that makes guests a little less caught up in themselves....One small correction: it's spelled Clair Tappaan, two P's and two A's.

SkiTheStars said...

This will be my first comment of a new nature. I use sitemeter to figure out who comes to my site and why. Actually, I can't really tell who, but by looking at the referral to my site, and seeing the search words used, I can often see the "why" of the situation.

Often my post has very little to do with the "why" but now that I know the question, I can answer it.

In this case I got a visitor to this post who wanted to know the difference between Tahoe Donner Ski Area and Donner Ski Ranch Ski Area. I had mentioned them in passing, but was mainly talking about Claire Tappaan Lodge.

Tahoe Donner is on a golf course in a subdivision with a gentle set of slopes and 600 ft of vertical. Donner Ski Ranch occupies a large mountain, with over a 1,000 foot drop, fast lifts, and has lots of intermediate to advanced terrain.

I can see where I'm going to have to make this a post of it's own, with a link in the other direction, to the previous post, and vs. versa.