// 07 // #AlohaAdventures
Who: @erinoutdoors, Travel Photographer + Wildlife Enthusiast
What: A weekend of outdoor adventure in her home state
Where: Lake Tahoe, CA
I’m a travel photographer, and I spend quite a bit of time on the road internationally. This summer, instead of booking back-to-back international trips, I made an effort to schedule myself some quality time in my current home state of California. Staying home for a lot of the summer is giving me the opportunity to take time for myself, professionally and personally. I recently headed up to Lake Tahoe, traditional homeland of the Washoe, for a weekend of outdoor adventure and getting grounded amongst some beautiful scenery.
Perhaps the best-known feature of Lake Tahoe is its gorgeous water, but I had no idea just how clear and blue the lake really is. We spent a morning on the lake lounging on giant boulders and swimming in the crystal clear water near Whale Beach. There are lots of options for a “beach day” on Lake Tahoe, and in my opinion, the northeast shore is the most beautiful. The lake is really full right now, which means you may be lounging on Tahoe’s big boulders rather than on sand. Depending on where you are along the lake, you can find your own little spot for lounging and swimming.
We opted to spend most of our Saturday on a hike in search of waterfalls. The Shirley Canyon Cascades Trail did not disappoint! It follows a creek through shady forests carpeted in ferns and wildflowers, up to an alpine lake. This was a perfect hike for a sunny summer day, as we had plenty of places to cool off (and the water was really cold). We ate lunch up by the lake and took a swim before heading back down the mountain. Fun fact we learned on the trail: if you hike all the way up to High Camp, you can take a free gondola ride down.
As a photographer, I’m used to getting outside at sunrise and sunset to capture some of the best light of the day. During summer, this can mean super long days, so I try to balance my schedule out with some rest time during the day, or at least getting to bed early before a sunrise shoot! We woke up at 3:45am to head down to Emerald Bay for sunrise. It was so peaceful watching the sun illuminate the lake. Despite no clouds in the sky, there was a beautiful gradient of colors for me to play with in my images. We opted to shoot sunset at Bonsai Rock, which was a fun place to experiment with longer exposures. A few other travelers swam out to the rock, which added a fun element to the scene.
The Lake Tahoe area was an ideal place for an adventurous, fun, and relaxing summer weekend. With its stunning scenery and plenty to explore, it’s a great base for an adventure. Aloha protein bars and protein drinks kept our energy up, and were the perfect treat to fuel our busy days.