Story and photos by Claire McArthur

 

Though this winter did not bring the “Februburied” we hoped for, there is still hope for a Miracle March to dump more snow on Reno-Tahoe. For a peaceful alternative to groomers at the resort, strap on your snowshoes for a trek followed by a bite at a nearby eatery. It’s a recipe for a perfect winter’s day.

 

Fallen Leaf Lake + Sonney’s BBQ Shack Bar and Grill

Fallen Leaf Lake on Tahoe’s South Shore is gorgeous any time of year, but on a windless winter day, the still waters create a perfect reflection of the snow-capped peaks, including the iconic cross on Mount Tallac.

Fallen Leaf Lake is a picturesque location for snowshoeing - lake view with snowcapped mountains in background

Fallen Leaf Lake is a picturesque location for snowshoeing

 

It’s a short trek to the lake, then choose your own adventure on the roughly 8-mile loop. Afterwards, head a few minutes down the road to Sonny’s BBQ Shack Bar and Grill for deep fried mac ’n’ cheese and a half rack of baby back ribs slow roasted with a house-made signature rub and sauce.

Sonny’s BBQ Shack Bar and Grill, 787 Emerald Bay Road, South Lake Tahoe • 530-541-7427 • Sonneysbbqshack.com

 

Chickadee Ridge + T’s Mesquite Rotisserie

Chickadee Ridge near Incline Village is a popular snowshoeing trail for its sweeping views of Lake Tahoe and friendly birds that are its namesake. The two-mile, out-and-back trail will get you hungry for a stop at nearby T’s Mesquite Rotisserie, which has, in this humble writer’s opinion, the best burritos you will ever eat. Tri-tip and whole chickens turn slowly in the rotisserie behind the counter before getting stuffed into a flour tortilla with cheese, rice, and black beans. Opt for the slightly sweet green salsa.

T’s Mesquite Rotisserie, 901 Tahoe Blvd., Incline Village • 775-831-2832 • Tsrotisserie.com

 

Hope Valley Sno Park + Hope Valley Cafe and Market

Snowshoe along the West Fork of the Carson River in Hope Valley Sno Park near the intersection of State Routes 88 and 89. The valley has gorgeous views of the mountains and is an easy, flat trek that you can make as long or as short as you’d like (but don’t forget to purchase a permit online or in South Lake Tahoe or Meyers). After blazing a trail through the sno park, head to Hope Valley Cafe and Market for from-scratch sandwiches, homemade potato chips, and a unique selection of baked goods. The cozy, rustic café is known for its pies, so don’t skip dessert!

Hope Valley Cafe and Market, 14655 Hwy. 88, Hope Valley • 530-694-2323 • Find Hope Valley Cafe on Facebook

 

Spooner Lake + Tahoe Hot Pot

Snow covered trails with dog in foreground - The 2.5-mile trail around Spooner Lake is flat and is frequented by snowshoers and cross-country skiers alike

The 2.5-mile trail around Spooner Lake is flat and is frequented by snowshoers and cross-country skiers alike

Tackle the 2.5-mile loop around a (hopefully) frozen Spooner Lake on snowshoes before heading down U.S. 50 into Stateline to warm up at Tahoe Hot Pot. The restaurant mainly serves shabu-shabu, a Japanese soup prepared at the table by the diner. Choose two broth bases and add in thinly sliced meat, seafood, and vegetables to cook and eat alongside an array of dipping sauces. It’s a relaxing way to cap a brisk day in the backcountry.

Tahoe Hot Pot, 177 Hwy. 50, Stateline • 775-586-8883 • Find Tahoe Hot Pot on Facebook

 

Claire McArthur is a freelance writer and avid snowshoer who believes every outdoor activity should be complemented with an excellent meal.

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