We're looking forward to having you spend your vacation with us in our Tahoe home. Our home is very relaxing and situated on a sunny mesa overlooking the Carson Valley and with a view toward the forested foothills and beyond to the Sierra Crest. Plenty of hiking, fishing, hot springs, skiing, casino, kayaking, and biking activities are nearby.
To be honest we always come to the house with big plans and end up spending our time relaxing on the back porch or in the living room admiring the views, making a big meal in the huge kitchen with our friends and heading to bed early for a great, quiet night of sleep to recharge! There are plenty of details about the house below, but if you don't feel like reading, feel free to send us a note and we'll happily reply to answer any questions. I've been going to the Sierra for over 10 years now and am happy to share what I know about it.
Our house is on a large 5 acre lot with lots of space to stretch out in and away from the congestion in South Lake Tahoe. We are 23 miles from Kirkwood Ski Resort, 21 miles from Heavenly Ski Resort's Stagecoach lift, and 9-13 miles from the Markleeville/Grover Hot Springs area & 26 miles from South Lake Tahoe. Our home is at 5400' elevation so you may feel the elevation a bit as well, especially if you go for a walk on Sunrise Trail. Trips to the eastern Sierra and Yosemite National Park are also possible as long day drives with the house as your base.
Also please note that the house has many amenities (cribs, high chairs, strollers, & changing tables for little ones included that may lighten your packing load for your visit.
We have a nice big flat lawn in the front and back of the house (sometimes it's green depending on our sprinkler system temperament :-)). There's a nice space to lounge/play outside as well as porches on the back and front of the house. This is a desert area and is very dry and windy. The house is also convenient for parents with a separate bunk bedroom with a TV and 3 high chairs, 1 full size crib, 1 mini crib, 2 bassinets, 1 infant swings, double and single stroller.
WHAT TO DO/WHERE TO GO
Please note the grocery stores/Walmart/Hardware Stores in Gardnerville (20-30 minutes away) are quite extensive (ex: we've bought silver noodles and crab legs there), so no need to truck stuff up there unless you want to or don't want to drive to the grocery stores. We have 3 different pairs of cross-country skis that anyone is welcome to use. The last sizable grocery store (Safeway) on the way up from the bay area is near Martell Rd. near Jackson. There is also a Lowe's and KMart in Martell as well. You will have even more selection if you drive 30 minutes to Carson City which has just about every store you could ask for.
The house is out in the middle of nowhere, but that's part of what is great about it. Hope Valley is 15 minutes away and beautiful and a great place to start for level hikes. There is a hot springs above Markleeville with some nice short hikes as well. If you want something more adventurous I can recommend those as well and we have all our hiking books up there (Mt. Tallac and Desolation Wilderness are 2 classic hard Lake Tahoe hikes).
The views are pretty nice even outside the house and the roads are very quiet so just a stroll outside on Sunrise Trail is rewarding. We are ~20 minutes from Caples Lake where they rent kayaks, Lake Tahoe is about 30 minutes, and Carson River is just across the road. There is a movie theater in the nearest town of Minden/Gardnerville about 25 minutes away. The Eastern Sierra is ridiculously beautiful and Mono Lake, Yosemite Tioga Pass entrance, Mammoth, Bridgeport, Bodie, Bear Valley, Sonora Pass are all doable as day trips from the house with 1-2 1/2 hours of driving 1-way. The fall colors in October can be striking with snow covering the mountain tops and yellow aspen trees. Northern Lake Tahoe resorts are 1-2 hrs. away.
In Gardnerville, we can recommend Saletti's for a better meal and Woodett's Diner for a traditional diner breakfast.
During the winter it may get as cold as 0-10 degrees at night. Our house is at ~5400' elevation. We generally don't get pounded by 3+ feet of snow like Tahoe itself during the winter, but you may wake up to a 1 or 2 foot snowstorm during the bad storm weekends. Plowing of the roads is intermittent, but hopefully once the sun comes out you'll be able to drive the 500 feet to the main road and be fine. A local guy plows the roads when he can if the county doesn't get to it and a neighbor can plow the driveway if the snow gets particularly deep.