Snowshoeing is enjoying increasing popularity in snowy
areas, mainly because it is so easy to learn and lots
of fun. There are many fine ski areas in the Lake Tahoe
Basin that welcome snowshoers. Most of the ski resorts
listed on this page offer equipment rentals on-site,
so you can try out the latest high-tech snowshoes and
get a sense of the sport in a single sunny day.
Snowshoeing is a wonderful way to enjoy the snow, whether
you venture out with friends, family or solo. Try out
a variety of terrains to find the ones that appeal to
your sense of adventure. Many skiers and snowboarders
are discovering that snowshoeing is a great way to reach
challenging terrain independent of ski lifts.
If your are interested in learning more about snowshoeing,
read on, or just click to the snowshoe
entries for snowshoeing options in Lake Tahoe.
Brief History of Snowshoeing
From Europe to North America to Asia, people began using
snowshoes over 3,000 years ago out of a basic need to
find food and explore new territories in the wintertime.
Snowshoers looked to the naturally efficient design of
animal paws and began modeling their snowshoes after animal
prints they found in nature. Some early styles like the
beavertail and bearpaw are still in use today.
Some of the earliest snowshoes were over seven feet long
which, though unwieldy, were helpful in navigating through
very deep powdery snow.
As cities grew and society shifted from a farming to an
industrial culture, people who no longer had to trap,
hunt or forage for food took to the woods for pure enjoyment.
The recreational sport of snowshoeing was born!
Large sporting organizations formed in Northern New England
and Eastern Canada to enjoy this new winter activity.
Some legendary snowshoeing clubs of Canada's Quebec Province
had over 200 members and were known for wearing flamboyant
costumes on their outings. Others set out with their own
drum and bugle corps and special club flags and banner.
While the length and width of snowshoes varied over the
years, they were typically made with ash timber frames
and untanned cowhide webbing.
It was not until the 1970s that metal alloy frames
and solid fabric decking were introduced, once again revolutionizing
the sport. Modern designs also include features like spring-loaded
bindings and heel cleats, making them even more efficient
and easy to use.
Snowshoe advancements have spurred a renewed interest
in the sport, with new organizations and events that carry
on the rich snowshoeing traditions of the past.
and Tricks for Snowshoers
To ascend a slope kick the front of your snowshoe into
the snow and press down to compact it into a step. Make
sure that each new step is sufficiently above the last
one to avoid collapse.
Heel cleats are the key to
an easy descent. Keep your knees slightly bent, lean back
and keep your weight
on the heel cleats to maintain control.
The best way to traverse a slope is to kick the side of
the snowshoe into the hillside, engaging the cleats. Swing
your heel hard towards the uphill slope, then stomp down,
securing the snowshoe edge in the slope. Poles are also
When snowshoeing in a group, walk in a single line behind
the leader who is breaking the trail. When it is your
turn to lead, take consistent, even steps that are easy
for everyone to follow.
Tips for Snowshoers
Check with the local weather service before you head
out. Conditions can sometimes change abruptly.
Make sure someone knows where you will be snowshoeing
and your expected time of return, even if you are not
When snowshoeing with a group, make sure everyone is comfortable
with the pace and demands of the trail. Count the number
of people in your group before you leave and make sure
everyone in the group knows this number. Stop every 30
minutes to allow everyone in the group to catch up.
Know your limits and don't surpass them!
Tips for Snowshoers
On Your Body
Think in layers!The first layer of clothing should be
lightweight and breathable. You should avoid cotton
garments. The Second layer should be insulating. Lightweight
fleece or wool is ideal. The outer layer should be waterproof.
On Your Feet
Your number one objective is to keep your feet dry! Wear
socks made from moisture wicking materials like wool,
silk or polypropylene. Your boots should be stable and
comfortable. Waterproof hiking boots are your best bet.
Gaiters are essential for keeping snow out of your shoes.
Tips for Snowshoers
Copyright © 1998 Atlas Snow-Shoe Company.
All Rights Reserved.
It is a good idea to take along
a few things that always come in handy when you are out
on a snowshoeing adventure. Be sure and have plenty of
water. Plan for one quart per person, per hour. Take extra
food or energy bars. Carry a compass and a trail map and
know how to use them. And pack a first aid kit.
Snowshoe poles will help to keep you stable and to propel
you forward. If you are a serious adventurer or mountaineer,
an ice axe is absolutely necessary when crossing steep
and icy terrain.
The Lake Tahoe Vacation Guide would like to thank the
Atlas Snow-Shoe Company for providing all the great information
and pictures for our snowshoeing section. Founded in 1990,
the company's simple mission was to revolutionize snowshoeing
by building a better snowshoe.
If you enjoy snowshoeing, or would like to learn more
about the sport and equipment, contact the Atlas Snow-Shoe
Company and request a copy of the official "Atlas
Snowshoe Handbook" and product information.
Atlas Snow-Shoe Company
1830 Harrison Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
at Historic Camp Richardson
The Mountain Sports Center cross-country ski area is located
at Historic Camp Richardson Resort, nestled amongst the
majestic pines along the shores of South Lake Tahoe on the
way to Emerald Bay. The Mountain Sports Center offers 35
kilometers of terrain for all skill levels with 20 kilometers
of groomed trails, 10 kilometers of skating lanes and marked
snowshoe trails that have beautiful lake views. You can
enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing along the shoreline
of Lake Tahoe. And, kids ages 12 and under get a free trail
pass! The Mountain Sports Center offers the largest selection
of snowshoe rentals in Tahoe. Cross-country skis and telemark
skis are also rented. Snowshoe and ski lessons are available.
The Mountain Sports Center is open daily between 9:00 a.m.
and 5:00 p.m., weather permitting.
Mountain Sports Center
Historic Camp Richardson Resort
1900 Jameson Beach Road
SR 89, 2 miles north of the "Y"
South Lake Tahoe
Snowshoeing is a great alternative to cross-county skiing.
It is a relaxing way to enjoy a winter outdoor adventure
that provides a means of traveling in the winter environment.
You can climb steep hillsides without the worry of sliding
backwards and you can get down hills easily without the
learning process necessary on skis. At Kirkwood you can
snowshoe on all 80 kilometers of the cross-country trail
system, and the entire mountain! Several brands and models
of the new high-tech snowshoes are available for rent
at the Cross Country Center. Visit the SKIING section
of this site for more information about Kirkwood.
Kirkwood Ski & Summer Resort
SR 88 between Silver Lake and Caples Lake
Cross Country Center
Visit the WHERE
TO PLAY main menu for information about other
Kirkwood activities: Bike Riding, Day Care, Hiking, Horseback
Riding, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Skiing, Snowboarding,
Cross-Country Skiing, Sleigh Rides, Tennis.
Enjoy traveling in the
winter snow without learning the skills of skiing.
Snowshoeing is a great way to explore the serenity
and beauty of the forest. At Northstar you can snowshoe
on all 65 kilometers of the cross-country trail system
and the entire mountain! You can rent
snowshoes at the Cross-Country Center and enjoy lunch
at the Nordic Cafe. Visit the SKIING section of this site
for more information about Northstar.
SR 267 at Northstar Drive
Visit the WHERE
TO PLAY main menu for information about other
Northstar-at-Tahoe activities: Climbing Wall and Ropes,
Day Care, Golf, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking,
Skiing, Snowboarding, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowmobiling
at Royal Gorge
Royal Gorge is North America's largest cross-country ski
resort. Royal Gorge offers snowshoers an extensive network
of cross-country skiing trails. The track system is comprised
of 90 groomed trails that meander for 330 kilometers through
some of the prettiest scenery in the Sierra. Snowshoeing
is a great way to enjoy the sun and snow without having
to learn the skills of skiing. Rent some snowshoes at the
resort and explore this winter wilderness with friends or
solo. Visit the SKIING section of this site for more information
about Royal Gorge.
Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort
9411 Hillside Drive
I-80 to Soda Springs/Norden Exit
at Sierra at Tahoe
Sierra-at-Tahoe maintains three miles of groomed snowshoe
trails that wind through scenic hideaways and pristine
alpine terrain. Interpretive signs lining the trail system
explain wildlife and other interesting facts about the
Sierra Nevada mountains. Snowshoe rentals are available
for $15 per two hours.
1111 Sierra-at-Tahoe Road
Twin Bridges, CA 95735
at Squaw Valley
The Squaw Creek Cross-Country Ski Center offers 18 groomed
kilometers spanning over 400 acres of gentle cross-country
terrain. These superbly maintained trails wind through
the spectacular Squaw Valley meadow, offering snowshoers
a very special experience. Call for information regarding
times, ticket prices and on-site snowshoe rentals. Visit
the SKIING section of this site for more information about
Squaw Valley USA.
Resort at Squaw Creek
400 Squaw Creek Road
Squaw Creek Sport Shop
530-583-6300 x 6936
Visit the RECREATION menu tab for information about
other Squaw Valley activities: Aerial Cable Car, Bungee
Jumping, Challenge Ropes Course, Climbing Wall, Day Care,
Hiking/Winter, Hiking/Summer, Ice Skating, Mountain Biking,
Olympic Museum, Skiing, Snowboarding, Cross-Country Skiing,
Swimming, Tennis, Tubing.