Sam Bauman: Hiking trail on display at Heavenly |

Sam Bauman: Hiking trail on display at Heavenly

If you’re not up to serious hiking yet, Heavenly Mountain Resort’s Gondola will be open for sightseeing during Memorial Day weekend Friday through Monday. The Gondola’s 9,123-foot-high observation deck offers just about the best view of Lake Tahoe going (except for those lovely, lonely trails that peak around the lake).

After closing again for maintenance Tuesday, Heavenly’s summer Gondola operations begin June 14 with access seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., to Café Blue and Adventure Peak Grill dining services, sightseeing, hiking, a 25-foot climbing wall. From Sept. 5 through Oct. 15 the Gondola and related facilities operate Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It’s a bit of fun to hike those trails that just a few months ago we were skiing or boarding so effortlessly. Makes one really appreciate those chairlifts. The trek from the Gondola to East Peak Lodge is fairly easy, moderate effort at best. From the old cable car at the California Lodge there’s a hike up to where Kit Carson first saw Lake Tahoe.

Gondola sightseeing lift tickets start at $24 for adults (19-64), $22 for teens (13-18), $15 for children (5-12) and $22 for seniors (65 plus).

Heavenly also offers next season passes for renewal or purchase at this season’s prices through June 2006. Pass purchasers will be rewarded immediately with free access to the Heavenly Gondola during Memorial Day weekend, summer and autumn months. Call (800) HEAVENLY or visit

We’ve got mail

As we can’t hit every hiking trail, it’s nice to get the word on conditions from someone who has recently tried a trek. Here’s what Dick Bornhorst e-mailed us recently:

“You may be interested that the Tahoe Rim Trail hike south from Spooner is now easily doable. Because of the valley heat, I hiked it up to the top of the first ridge viewing the lake (about 7,700 feet). About a dozen easy dead-falls to cross. Also about half a dozen small drift remnants, but my boots never got wet. Looks like the north aspect snow level is now 7,500 to 7,700 feet and going fast. The Spooner North TRT looked dry; may be small remnants on the short North aspects.

May do Dagget North next.”

Haven’t done Daggert since the day they celebrated the completion of the TRT there a couple of summers ago. Wonder if Horsetail Falls is open from Twin Bridges?

This is it

Except for skiing those snow patches high in the passes, this is it for Squaw Valley skiing. Sunday is the last day. Now, keep an eye open for those end of season sales.


Sam Bauman is the ski writer and entertainment editor for the Nevada Appeal in Carson City. Contact him at or (775) 881-1236.

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