Implement an Adventure
In 1860 Michel Spooner acquired 640 acres of land above the east shore of Lake Tahoe. Spooner could not read or write but he had an idea to capitalize on the location and the need for lumber on the Comstock. The Comstock had been declared a Bonanza and the land grab was on. Fortunately for Spooner his land was on the Bonanza Road, a series of Toll Roads accessing Virginia City. He made a fortune over the next twenty years but made a speculation mistake and as the mining and lumber industry faded he eventually died a poor man. The Bonanza TV show took advantage of the scenery here for several episodes in the late 1960s.
Acquired by the Nevada State Parks, the small pond was enlarged by constructing an earthen dam. The hike starts from a paved parking lot that has restroom facilities. Nevada State Park day use fee applies. The hike can be done in either direction. Clockwise, the first half of the hike is in the sun and the second half is shaded by forest and vise versa. Many mountain birders frequent the area, which gives you an idea of wildlife present. The hike traverses a meadow into a stand of Aspen and into Pines with several places to stop, sit and observe. Very little change in elevation makes this trail a nice family outing and is quite popular. Signed access to more difficult trails are encountered but route finding is not an issue as you simply keep the lake in view. An occasional placard will inform you of plant and animal life in the area. Near the dam, venture off trail near the water and some large granite boulders. Look for evidence of the Washoe Indians passing this way as they migrated from the valleys to Lake Tahoe on their quest for food. Several mortars and metates can be located. A picnic might be in your incentive to complete the loop as the State Park has tables. A popular option is to rent a backcountry cabin from the Forest Service.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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