Field Tours

Sunday, October 9

Tour Participants: Please wear appropriate footwear (hiking boots!) and to bring sun protection, water and snacks with you on all tours. All participants will receive a pack lunch to take with them. 

FT1 Eagle Rock Trail

10:30 AM-12 Noon
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Tour Leader
: Scott Valentine, Lake Tahoe Community College

The Eagle Rock trail is a 0.7-mile out-and-back trail near Homewood, California. The geologic history of Lake Tahoe (among other things) will be the focus of this 1.5 hour field excursion. This can be a very popular area and carpooling is encouraged. 

Meet at the trailhead parking area which is approximately 10 minutes south of Granlibakken. Maximum number of participants is 35.

FT2 Loon Lake On the Trail

1:00-4:00 PM
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Tour Leader: Obi Kaufmann

Join Obi on a three-hour hike on a local trail near Loon Lake. Explore the natural history of the area, together with the author of the award-winning, best-selling California Field Atlas series. 

This tour requires a 2.5 hour drive from Granlibakken. Participants will drive to the designated trailhead. Maximum number of participants is 35.

FT3 Donner State Park Natural History Hike 

10:30 AM-1:00 PM
Level of Difficulty: Moderate with uneven terrain
Tour Leader: Jeremy Lin, State Park Interpreter II and California Naturalist 

Jeremy will lead an approximately 3-mile hike in the park. We will discuss the natural features of the region including tree diversity, geology of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and alpine lake ecology. The guided tour will last about 2.5 hours and trek along the iconic Donner Lake frontage, through the mixed conifer forest, and loop past Michael’s Pond. This hike is considered moderate difficulty due to narrow trails, uneven terrain, and potentially hot weather conditions. The Donner Lake area is renowned for its beautiful scenery, intriguing biodiversity, and lovely hiking trails.  

Meet at the Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center. Participants are responsible for the park entrance fee. Maximum number of participants is 35.

FT4 Walking Tour of Tallac Estates

11:30 AM-1:30 PM (Does not inc. 45-min. drive from Granlibakken to location)
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Tour Leader: David Long

Join David for a walking tour of the Pope and Baldwin Estate grounds and gardens, including the Arboretum area, vegetable garden and Washoe gardens. An option is to walk along the lake shore over to the US Forest Service Interpretive Center. Following the Lake shore we will be able to see the remnants of the Baldwin Casino, and fountain. We will also be able to see the progress made at the Taylor Creek Marsh in controlling Aquatic Invasive Species. From the Interpretive Center we can take the Rainbow Trail, through Marsh area and Aspen woodlands. Salmon are expected to be spawning in Taylor Creek. Access may be limited to the stream area due to bear activity and crowds. The return to the Baldwin estates will include a stroll on the old Prominade that was the place to be seen during high season at Tahoe during the early 1900s.

Meet at Tallac Historic Estates parking area, Heritage Way South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 which is a 45 min. drive from Granlibakken. Maximum number of participants is 35. 

FT5 Geology of the West Shore of Lake Tahoe

10:30 AM-1:00 PM
Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Tour Leader: Jake Hudson (PE, CEG)

Join Jake Hudson on a geological tour of the west shore of Lake Tahoe starting at the Granlibakken. You will travel down the west shore of Lake Tahoe to observe the geologic structure of the basin, glacial valleys, moraines and other geologic features in the area. Participants will take short walks from the parking areas at various locations along the route. Located in the high Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe offers some of the most picturesque scenery in the world. Nestled between the Sierra Nevada on the west and the Carson Range to the east, Tahoe's cold clear water and surrounding rugged mountain peaks contribute to its natural beauty. Over millions of years, a complex interaction of geologic processes has shaped and carved the landscape we see today. 

Meeting location will be at Granlibakken parking area outside main entrance. Maximum number of participants is 20.

FT6 Rubicon Trail Hike

11:00 AM-3:30 PM
Level of Difficulty:
Tour Leader: Kaytlen Jackson, State Park Interpreter 

Join Kaytlen on this 5-mile hike starting at the Lighthouse trailhead at DL Bliss State Park. You will hike along arguably the most beautiful and scenic trail in the basin, be treated with expansive views Mt. Tallac, Freel Peak, and the east and south shores. Participants will identify various species of birds including woodpeckers, songbirds, osprey, and potentially bald eagles. As we reach Emerald Bay, participants will discuss the geologic history of the basin which includes earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and vast rivers of ice. The guided hike will last approximately 4 hours along rugged single-track trail, hugging the west shore of Lake Tahoe. Participants are asked to bring sun protection, plenty of water, snacks, and the bag lunch provided by the conference.

Meet at 10:30 AM at the Lighthouse trailhead at DL Bliss State Park. Participants are responsible for the park entrance fee. Maximum number of participants is 35.

FT7 Prescribed Burning in the Tahoe Basin

10:30 AM-3:00 PM
Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Tour Leader: Susie Kocher, Forestry Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension 

Join Susie on this half-day tour to visit Tahoe basin parks and communities where prescribed fire has been used and learn more about the use of this critical tool in managing forests in the Tahoe basin. The group will visit two locations: Sugar Pine Point State Park and Incline Village, NV.

Meet on the Granlibakken Sun Deck at 10:30 AM. Maximum number of participants is 30. 

FT8 Walking Tour of Tahoe City with the N. Lake Tahoe Hist. Society

11:00 AM-12:30 PM 
Level of Difficulty: Easy with stairs and short downhill grade
Tour Leader: Representatives from the N. Lake Tahoe Historical Society

Join the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society to explore many different aspects of Tahoe City life, both past and present. Native American legends and history are discussed, including stories on how the lake was formed and information about both the Washoe and Paiute Indian Tribes. Learn about ghosts, famous visitors and colorful residents. Historic industries such as fishing, lumber, ice harvesting, and hay harvesting are explained. Public restrooms are available at several locations along the walk. Free public parking is available at both the beginning and at the end of the tour. Donations to the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society are appreciated. The tour includes entry to the Gatekeeper's Museum and 10% off purchases in the Museum Store. 

Meet at the Visitor Information Center in Tahoe City. The tour ends at the Gatekeeper's Museum which is approximately 1 mile long.  Maximum number of participants is 35.

FT9 Field Trip to Sagehen Creek Field Station

12 Noon-2:00 PM
Level of Difficulty: Hard
Tour Leaders: Dr. Ash Zemenick and Lynn Hori

Join this exclusive tour of the UC Berkeley, Sagehen Creek Field Station which is part of the UC Natural Reserve System. Participants will learn about ongoing research. Please be willing to walk at least a half a mile and bring water and snacks. Unfortunately, the terrain is not amenable to walkers and wheelchairs. This is a free field trip, but voluntary donations of $10 are welcome.

Meet at the Sagehen Creek Field Station, 11616 Sage Hen Rd, Truckee, CA. Maximum number of participants is 15.