Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
For years now, Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters has been teaching and guiding fly fishing for groups and individuals at Stanford Sierra Camp. Experiences range from a fireside chat on the where, when and how to go fishing or a casting workshop to a guided experience on a remote river or stream.
A fly casting workshop on Sierra Camp's Baby beach
The fishing right near Camp can be great and opportunities abound within a short hike or drive with Camp’s location in the central Sierra Nevada mountains. Spring visitors have the opportunity to fish Glen Alpine Creek where the fishing can be excellent for Rainbow trout and now the Lahontan cutthroat trout. As the season progresses and the flows subside, the fishing tends to be better up higher, above the waterfalls, but do not expect to see huge fish up there most are in the 6-8 inch range.
A Lahontan cutthroat trout caught in Glen Alpine Creek this spring
There are years that the flows stay strong allowing fishing through most of the summer but this year, with the low snow pack, the fishing will get tough by the middle of summer.
My son Winston fishing Glen Alpine Creek this June
Recently I attended a meeting with the US Forest and Wildlife Service (USF&WS) about the Lahontan cutthroat recovery project in Fallen Leaf Lake and Glen Alpine Creek where they announced they had filmed the trout spawning in the creek after 10 years of stocking the lake! Hopefully this will lead to a self-sustaining population in the near future. We were all exited to hear this news! Historically the trout grew to enourmous size and some of the biggest fish that swam Fallen Leaf were up to 20 pounds and even bigger in Lake Tahoe. Hopefully we will have the chance to fish for these behemoths in our lifetime our at least future generations should be able to.
So, next time you’re coming to Camp or are setting up a group during the spring or fall thing about going fly fishing or taking one of our introduction classes. Fly fishing fits perfectly with all of the other activities that the Fallen Leaf area has to offer!
Friday, June 22nd, 2012
There is a Washoe Indian legend about the formation of Fallen Leaf and the surrounding lakes. A warrior was fleeing from an evil spirit with only a leafy branch in his hand given to him by a deity called the good one. The warrior was told if pursued by danger, drop the magical branch and water would appear where the branch fell. In a fit of panic, the warrior snapped the branch and dropped half. Rapidly, water began to rise creating a barrier between the warrior and the evil one now known as Lake Tahoe. With relief, the warrior continued to flee the evil one. As the warrior hurried up the canyon to where Fallen Leaf Lake now lies, he spotted the evil one once again. With only half the branch and four leaves the warrior plucked a leaf and waited with bated breath as it fell to the ground. Once again, water sprang up and Fallen Leaf Lake was formed. The warrior continued to run, and as he dropped the rest of the leaves Lily, Grass and Heather Lakes rose up to protect him. The warrior crossed the wastes of Desolation Valley and leaving the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada, found safety in the neighboring Sacramento Valley.
- View of Fallen Leaf Lake from the Angora Ridge fire lookout
Now, as much as running from an entity called the evil one would not be on my list of things to do, I am however happy that this Washoe warrior unintentionally created amazing hiking scenery for Stanford Sierra Conference Center guests and staff members to enjoy. There are a plethora of incredible hikes that not every conference retreat center can offer. A few days ago fellow staffers and I enjoyed an invigorating hike to Angora Lakes. With walking sticks in hand, we made our way to the Clark Trail and hiked up to the Angora Ridge fire lookout. Built in 1924, the fire lookout is no longer active, but the lookout is considered a historical landmark and offers incredible views of Fallen Leaf lake.
Now if honor and glory are more your goals, Mount Tallac is the hike for you. Located at 9,738 ft. (3,300 feet above Fallen Leaf Lake) Mt. Tallac offers some of the most breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe and the Crystal Range in Desolation Wilderness. You can choose your own adventure by taking the Cathedral Lake Trail or the Glen Alpine Trail. This is not for the faint of heart, but the reward is getting to the top and feeling like you have conquered a mountain.
Majestic Mt Tallac reflected in Fallen Leaf Lake
If you are more city mouse than country mouse take a picnic basket and a loved one and head up to the Lower Falls and Lily Lake. A easy-going, but lovely hike that will take you to the picturesque area of Lily Lake. Be sure to have a Kodak moment with the bubbling waterfalls along the way. Break out that picnic basket and enjoy the amazing scenery in front of you.
- Oh the wonders of Lily Lake
Excellent hiking is just one of the many benefits of coming to Stanford Sierra Conference Center. If you are interested in more information about the Fallen Leaf area check out the informative book, A Nature Guide to The Southwest Tahoe Basin, written by Charles Quinn with selected essays by Rebecca Chaplin. You can find it for sale in the fountain store here at SSCC where we sell many other fine products. So what are you waiting for ? Get your hiking shoes on and get out here!
- Informative books and more here at the SSCC Fountain Store!
Monday, June 13th, 2011
The conference in house this week, scheduled free time for this afternoon. Many of the group members headed out for hikes into Desolation Wilderness. Others chose to take to the water or relax on the boat dock with a book.
Springtime at the boat dock
The kayaks available at the boat dock are stable and a good way to get out on the water and stay relatively dry.
Returning to the dock in a double kayak
When I headed out to the volleyball court, it was empty with balls scattered across it, so I decided to practice my serve. A guest who had just finished shooting some baskets snapped a couple pictures for me.
We also have a couple tennis courts with great views of Fallen Leaf Lake. We have a few tennis racquets at the front desk available for guests to use and the Fountain sells tennis balls. When planning your visit to Stanford Sierra, remember to pack your sporty clothes!
Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
May 12 through the 15th, we will host the 17th Annual Healthy Living Retreat for Women. This outstanding program with speakers from the Stanford School of Medicine and Bay area provides the latest information on women’s health and wellness. Featured lectures include Christopher Gardner, PhD, Stanford nutrition researcher on “Solutions to the Omnivore’s Dilemma”. Christopher’s work is at the forefront of nutrition research and he is a popular repeat Healthy Living speaker.
Christopher with his wife Melissa at the 2005 retreat
The weekend also includes workshops on more specialized topics. Dr. Margaret Deanesly is another popular return speaker and will share facts on aging. Dr. Margaret has an amazing ability to present important health information with clear and humorous delivery.
Dr. Margaret at the 2007 retreat
Four 45-minute hands-on workshops to fine tune or update your healthy habits round out the structured program. Check the website for topics and descriptions.
Normally we have about half return participants and half new. The weekend is a wonderful opportunity to treat yourself and maybe pick up an idea or two of easy changes you could make to your lifestyle. There are about 10 spots remaining for the upcoming Healthy Living retreat. For more information, visit the website or call Gracie Gurganus at 530-541-1244.
Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
Congratulations to Brant Bishop, our new assistant director! Brant worked for us this past summer and fall and proved to be a reliable, thoughtful and mature employee. Brant graduated from Stanford University last spring with a degree in Sociology.
Brant was two months into a planned year of around the world travels when he got word the assistant director position was open. Within 24 hours of accepting the job, Brant was on a plane back from the heat of the Australian summer to winter in the deep woods of Fallen Leaf Lake.
During his two months of traveling, Brant covered about 1,100 miles on the East coast of Australia from Sydney to Cairns by bus. He was fortunate not to encounter any of these friendly critters on his travels. Brant’s best experience was scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef. He said “It was a whole different version of reality. An underwater 3D world of vibrant colors, plant and animal life.” He was really amazed by the great variety of the coral.
Brant at the Maheno shipwreck on Fraser Island
Brant is happy to be back in the mountains and living at Camp. Growing up in Missouri, Brant tried to convince his family to move to Colorado because he loved the mountains. He is looking forward to the upcoming spring conference season and having people at Camp. Brant said “The energy and spirit at Camp is amazing, not only the people that work here, but the guests that come visit. It’s an optimal environment with the mountains, lake and all the outdoor activities.”
Brant’s favorite fall activity at Camp was to go on long hikes. Every week he went on a 15 mile plus hike. He would pick a lake and set it as his destination. His favorite lake is Lake of the Woods.
For groups visiting Camp this spring, Brant recommends soaking up as much of the natural environment as possible. Taking a Hobie Cat or kayak out on the lake, he says “it’s incredible to get out on the water.” Also be sure to plan a hike, there are easy hikes into Desolation Wilderness, or if you have an afternoon and are up for a more strenuous hike, according to Brant “The view from Mount Tallac is incredible, and it’s a good milestone activity.”
Brant and fellow staff on Tallac with Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe in the background
Friday, November 19th, 2010
Brittany Smith did. After listening to friend and fellow Buckeye Kim Grabo’s urgings for two years, Brittany packed up her things in North Olstead, Ohio and headed West!
Arrival day in Lake Tahoe - not bad!
Hired as an “all-purpose staff”, Brittany’s job duties included the basics you would expect at a conference center; washing dishes, housekeeping, serving meals, plus some unique shifts like boatster cruises. Boatster is our 22-person pontoon boat. Groups can rent boatster with a driver for an hour cruise for $100. Brittany was trained and scheduled for boatster cruises which quickly became her favorite shift.
Brittany loved the younger guests on the cruises yelling, “Faster, faster!” and when fellow staffer, Luna rode along to share the history of Fallen Leaf’s formation by glaciers.
A young, unruly boatster rider
When she wasn’t working, Brittany spent her time kayaking, disc golfing and taking photos. You can see a selection of Brittany’s photos on our Facebook page.
Brittany is staying in Tahoe for the winter and working in the daycare at Heavenly mountain resort, then she plans to return to Fallen Leaf Lake for our spring conference season.
Visit our career opportunities page for information on working at our conference center this spring. Brittany’s advice for prospective staff, “Pack warm clothes, especially for evenings. Yes, it’s California, but we’re in the mountains!”
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
This past weekend was ‘Faculty Staff Weekend’ when we offer individual and family reservations to the faculty and staff from Stanford University. As always the weekend was a sell out with 155 guests total. Over the weekend the families enjoy quality time together, outdoor activities, delicious meals and comfortable accommodations.
The best outdoor activities at Camp are boating and hiking. At our boat dock choose from kayaks, rowboats, peddle boats or sailboats.
Preparing to kayak Fallen Leaf Lake
And of course funyaks. Our staff led activities for kids ages 5-12 including a paddle over to the beach for the older group.
Funyaks are stable boats for new paddlers
We also offer guided hikes for the adults in the faculty and staff group.
A guided hike on Angora ridge
At higher elevations in spring, snow is still covering trails, and it’s a great time to hike to see the melting snow rushing down our two nearby waterfalls.
The Lower Falls in spring
Saturday afternoon, Victor Babbit from Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters brought some fly rods and fellow guide Pete for a fly fishing demo for the group. For many, this was the highlight of the weekend.
Casting on the boat dock
The kids were busy at “the Patch” our playground.
Most attendees headed outside for an active weekend, others like Eleanor Laney took the time to relax, “I just sat, read and looked at the beautiful views.”
Fallen Leaf Lake
The attendees gave the weekend rave reviews with many requests to add a day for next year like Mary Hansen’s , “Since relaxing is a great part of the weekend, my only suggestion is to add another day”. If you’re looking to get away from every day distractions and hold a meeting with free time to get outside or just relax, give us a call!
Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
Did Lindsay Vonn and her fellow Olympic skiers pique your interest to get out for some winter fun? Then come on up to Tahoe! Stanford Sierra Conference Center is closed for the winter, but our sister property, the Stanford Alpine Chalet in Tahoe City, is hopping busy with skiers and snowboarders. The Chalet has 14 comfortable rooms and is the closest you can sleep (in a bed) to Alpine Meadows Ski Resort.
The view of Alpine Meadows from the Chalet
Wake up at the Chalet to chef Ron’s delicious, hot, cooked-to-order breakfast to fuel your mountain adventure. Make sure those skis are waxed and edges sharpened, then take the 5-minute shuttle ride to fresh air, sunshine and fun on Alpine’s trails. Warm up on the smoothly groomed slopes, then head for the NASTAR course, and run those gates like Lindsay! (hopefully without the spills) When your legs have turned to rubber, head back to the Chalet for a soak in the hot tub and relive your best turns with your front row view of the mountain.
Hot tubbing at the Chalet
Midweek is the best time for a ski getaway to the Chalet with no crowds and plenty of deals. Call Geoff or Dusty at 530-583-1550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about the chalet’s excellent midweek package including Alpine Meadows lift tickets. Think snow, don’t forget the sunscreen, and visualize those turns like gold medal winner Lindsay Vonn!
Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
Bring your walking shoes or hiking boots on your visit to Stanford Sierra Conference Center. You can head out on your own, or we can provide a friendly guide to lead your group on a hike.
Memorial weekend guided hike
Less than a mile from the main lodge on a paved road, the Lower Glen Alpine Falls cascade 60 feet in step like fashion.
January 2010 shot of the Lower Falls by Brian McClintock
The falls are most impressive in the spring with the run off from the melting snow.
Behind our lodge, Cathedral peak provides a spectacular backdrop and a more strenuous hike with rewarding views.
Photo by Brian McClintock.
Before you hike to Cathedral check in at the office for directions and a hiking permit. Then head back through the parking lot for a moderately difficult 2.5 mile hike to Cathedral Lake where you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe. Read more about hiking around Fallen Leaf Lake.
The view from the hike to Cathedral.
Monday, February 1st, 2010
Welcome to the inaugural blog for Stanford Sierra Conference Center on Fallen Leaf Lake. We will share pictures and information, so you can get to know us and our breathtaking natural setting better.
The entrance to Stanford Sierra after a recent snowfall
As the seasons change, so do our operations and recreation. Our center is closed for the winter, so our staff is focused on projects to make our lodge and cabins more functional and comfortable. This winter, the crew is putting a fresh coat of paint inside all 52 of our cabins and 12 lodge rooms.
Freshly painted Lodge Room E
When the workday is over, many of us strap on skis or snowshoes and head out into the snow-covered mountains for adventure. A favorite spot is Angora Ridge just a short walk from Stanford Sierra.
Fallen Leaf Lake, the lodge and Angora Ridge
After a fresh snowfall, skiing through fresh powder overlooking Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe is an invigorating and inspiring experience!
That's me, on the hike up Angora Ridge
We feel fortunate to have access to such a beautiful, serene mountain playground. If you have comments or photos of your visit to Stanford Sierra and Fallen Leaf Lake, please share.