Ever since I first stumbled upon Basecamp Hotel, I’ve been itching to check out the South Lake Tahoe boutique hotel. After convincing my mom to take a quick trip up the mountain with me, I got online, excited to book our room. That’s when I discovered their “Great Indoors” room, which gives you the feel of camping outside (faux log fire, tent, lantern lamps, picnic table and glow in the dark constellations) with all the conveniences of a regular hotel room (warm shower, electricity, toilet, etc.). Basically, my ideal camping experience.
After a two-hour drive from Sacramento, we rolled up on the hotel, excited to check out the space. We arrived well before check-in, but our room was clean and ready to go so they let us in early. Before sending us off to experience the “Great Indoors,” they explained that the quaint hotel bar offered happy hour from 3-6pm, that there was a spa on the rooftop, games in the lobby, free breakfast in the morning, and s’mores kits (for roasting at one of the two fire pits) available for $2.
When we got to our room, I was stoked to see that it did not disappoint. My mom quickly took a seat by the fake fire, pretending to warm her hands and feet. Next, she hopped on the tent covered bed while I scoped out our do-not-disturb door hang featuring a sleeping bear and the words “light sleeper, sharp claws.” The hotel room really gave the feeling of camping minus all the dirt, bugs and wild animals, and it was awesome. That said, there’s something to be said for wood fires, the smell of nature and actual stars.
During our short trip, my mom and I also got to take in some of Tahoe’s most breathtaking views. We started both of our hikes at Bayview Trailhead, which is located on Hwy 89, about 8 miles north of South Lake Tahoe. At the trailhead you can choose to take the short (albeit rocky) hike to Cascade Falls or the steep trek along the Desolation Wilderness trail, which offers magnificent views of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe, and continues on for many miles. We opted to do both (or a portion thereof), starting with Cascade Falls and taking the Desolation route until Granite Lake. All-in-all, we hiked about four miles, and while some of it was a little more strenuous than we’re used to, the views and serene setting were well worth the challenge.
If you decide to do either of these hikes, be sure to bring lots of water! We ran out with more than a mile left, which was not good. Also, I’d recommend bringing a picnic lunch to enjoy by Granite Lake. It really was gorgeous, and would be an ideal setting for such an activity. Oh, and be sure to lube yourself up with sunblock! The folks at Coppertone hooked me up with their Oil Free Faces and Sport sunscreens, which I applied liberally throughout the day—I’m really starting to embrace my fair skin these days.
Even though our trip only lasted about 24 hours total, I had a blast. I’m already looking forward to headed back to Tahoe in the near future to check out more of the amazing hikes and activities the area has to offer. Have you ever been to Tahoe? Where do you stay? What hikes or other activities would recommend?