Try the Easy Loop Trail at Washoe State Park

BY SAM BAUMANN

If you're breaking in a new knee or just want to warm up for some more serious hiking, the Loop Trail at Dead Ma's Creek, on Eastlake Blvd., is good place to try. The trailhead is the same as for Dead Man's Creek at the big tree on the right, about 6 miles out of Carson City, about a quarter-mile before the entrance to Washoe Lake State Park.

The Loop trail is about 15 yards up the Creek Trail, cutting off to the left. It's a pretty level trail with a few undulations to make things interesting. It ends at the Park Ranger Station, a bit less than a mile in length.

We did the Loop last weekend, new knee and all, and it was quite pleasant at 8 a.m., with the air still cool. You can see the State Park all along the trail as well as Slide Mountain and although it is shrinking, Washoe Lake is still there, shallow of course, with no ramp facilities. At the Ranger Station there are a few exhibits and plenty of outdoors literature. And the rangers always seem to be happy to welcome hikers.

Dead Man's Creek is a standard hike, an easy one-mile round trip with about 300 feet of altitude gain. We hiked part of it the next day after the Loop and had to quit at the switchback about half the way to the gazebo, which is a pleasant place to stop and enjoy the view or picnic.

You can continue hiking up the hill on a steep road. You wind up with a even better view of the valley. This is not part of the official Dead Man's trail and is also used by locals in trucks and four-wheel drives.

As for those with new knees, aftereffects of the Loop and Creek trail are minor, just some soreness in the calf. I figure on doing it again this weekend. Incidentally, a lot of locals find the early morning air around Washoe Lake to be bracing; lots of cars in the park at 8 a.m.

HIKES ON RIM TRAIL

The Tahoe Rim Trail Association Saturday is holding a free guided hike for families to the Mt. Rose Waterfall. Join hike leader Janet Baldridge as you begin at the Mt. Rose Trailhead and hike towards Mt. Rose, stopping at a beautiful waterfall for lunch, and then continuing the loop back to the trailhead. This hike is a total of 7 miles, so bring your lunch. Children older than 7 are welcome and well-behaved dogs are welcome as well.

Please sign up in advance " as space is limited " by calling the Tahoe Rim Trail Association at 298-0012.

BACK COUNTRY CAMP

The Rim Trail Association is planning its annual Tahoe Rim Trail Back Country Camp to be held on Aug. 16-17. Trail maintenance will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Tahoe Rim Trail Big Meadow Trailhead and continue through the afternoon of Sunday and will involve improving the trail and restoring the fragile meadow. Volunteers can meet at 6 p.m. at the campground adjacent to the trailhead on Aug. 15 for dinner and camping.

The cost of the camp is $25 per person and $15 for children under 12. The fee includes all meals, snacks and a kitchen crew. Participants need to bring personal camping equipment, long pants, long sleeves for a fun weekend in the back country. TRTA will provide all tools and can provide camping equipment for children if needed. Advance registration is required.

Back Country Camps are an excellent way to spend time in the back country with friends and family while giving back to the community. They provide an excellent opportunity to learn how to build and maintain trail while enjoying back country cooking from some of the TRTA's finest volunteer cooks. Contact Jill Falman at 298-0239, e-mail jillf@tahoerimtrail.org or register online at http://www.tahoerimtrail.org.

To become a TRTA member or volunteer, visit info@tahoerimtrail.org or 298-0012.

LABOR DAY CAMP

The TRTA is planning its annual Tahoe Rim Trail Labor Day Back Country Camp to be held on Aug. 30-Sept. 1. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the campground adjacent to the Tahoe Rim Trail Big Meadow Trailhead on Saturday. Trail maintenance will begin Saturday morning and continue through Monday afternoon and will involve improving the trail and restoring the meadow. Volunteers can meet at 6 p.m. at the campground adjacent to the trailhead on Friday Aug. 29 for dinner and camping.

The cost of the camp is $25 per person and $15 for children under 12. The fee includes all meals, snacks and a kitchen crew. Participants need to bring personal camping equipment, long pants, long sleeves. TRTA will provide all tools and can provide camping equipment for children if needed. Advance registration is required.

To register for the camps, contact Jill Falman (above).

ANYONE FOR TENNIS?

Squaw Valley has unveiled newly resurfaced tennis courts , adding another summer activity for guests to enjoy at High Camp, the resort's mountaintop facility. Cradled on a ridgetop at elevation 8,200 feet, Squaw's courts offer a beautiful location for tennis. The new tennis courts are open daily and use of the courts is free for all High Camp guests.

The high elevation offers a challenging recreation option for tennis players and outdoor enthusiasts. Guests can combine a tennis match with a dip in the swimming lagoon, a spin around the roller skating rink or a soak in the high-altitude spa, all overlooking Lake Tahoe.

Tennis courts are open daily through Sept. 14. Use of the courts is free if guests bring their own racket and balls. Demo rackets and tennis balls are available at the High Camp Bath & Tennis Shop. Call (530) 583-6985.

Meanwhile, award-winning author John Daniel discusses his experience spending a winter alone in a remote cabin on the Rogue River as part of the Squaw Valley Institute Lecture Series. The book reading and signing is Aug. 6 at 7 p.m., at the Resort at Squaw Creek. A $10 donation is asked.

LAKE TAHOE BOAT SHOW

By all accounts, the Lake Tahoe Concours d' Elegance is North America's premier wooden boat show. The Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation is holding this three-day event that features classic wooden boats from Gar Wood, Hacker, Chris-Craft, Riva, Century and more. This is the 36th showing of this event and features "Boats of the '20s" as its marque class.

The 36th Concours d' Elegance begins Aug. 7 with the "VIP Preview" Day and continues on Aug. 8-9 at the Sierra Boat Co., Carnelian Bay, Calif. Tickets are $30 for Friday and Saturday each day, at the gate.

STARS OUT THERE

At Washoe Lake State Park there's a Stargaze Party Saturday from 8 to 11:30 p.m.

Astronomy experts and Park Rangers host an evening of star -and planet-gazing. The experts will have high-powered telescopes available to view the moons of Jupiter and many fascinating objects in our Milky Way galaxy. Bring a jacket as evenings can be cool this time of year. Meet in the overflow boat parking lot just east of the Main Group Area.

Contact the park or visit Nevada State Parks at www.parks.nv.go.

- Contact Sam Bauman at Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.

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