Charity Valley is a nice trail |

Charity Valley is a nice trail

Sam Bauman

One of my favorite hikes is the Charity Valley trail, with the trailhead off Highway 88 about 3 miles west of Picketts Junction. This one required two cars, one left at Grover Hot Springs trailhead and the other at Blue Lakes Road. Keep your eyes open to the left for the sign marking the beginning of the traill. There’s parking space just off the road there.

It’s not quite 7 miles from trailhead to Grovers Hot Spring. The trail starts out steeply but levels out after about a half-mile. You can see a lovely meadow off to the right, complete with cows and cowbells, which echo all the way to the trail.

Mosey along a stream to the right and at one point there is a modest falls along a couple of flat rocks, perfect for stopping for a picnic or just a bottle of wine (obvously, this is not for serious hikers).

The trail hugs high rocky peaks to the left and at places is quite soggy. But soon the path takes a downward slant and soon you’ll be able to look out on the meadow close to the hot springs.

The springs are nice in winter but perhaps a little much these days of 100-degree temperatures. The trail head is about a mile past the hot springs and the campgrounds. Of course, you now have to go back and get the other car, but it’s a nice hike and worth the extra planning.

— A high point of the 35th annual Bear Valley Music Festival will be the performance of the David Grisman Quintet Saturday, Aug. 9. Their appearance is part of the festival’s two weeks of musical entertainment which ranges from show tunes to jazz and rock. Bear Valley is at 7,000 feet in the Sierras east of Murphys and Arnold on the Highway 4 approach to Ebbetts Pass. If you’ve never skied there this is a good way to check out the facilities, about a mile and a half out of town. Tickets call (800) 458-1618.

— Obviously, ski resorts have discovered what they can do with all that land during the summer: hold musical festivals. The Kingston Trio (“Hang down your head, Tom Dooley”) will entertain at Northstar-at-Tahoe outside Truckee Saturday, Aug. 9. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for youth tickets (age 6-15). Preferred Seating tickets are available for $35.

This is an outdoor concert with lawn seating so bring a blanket, low-back beach chairs and a picnic. Gates open at 5 p.m. for picnicking and the concert will start at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available at (530) 581-1184 or log on to

— After six years with the Sugar Bowl Marketing Department, Bill Hudson has taken a new position as the executive director of the Sugar Bowl Ski Team Foundation.

Bill’s new responsibilities include the management and direction of both Sugar Bowl Academy and the Sugar Bowl Ski Team.

“This is a great opportunity for Bill to use his incredible experience as a former member of the US Ski Team and a member of the 1988 Olympic Team and to combine it with his acute business acumen,” said Sugar Bowl Ski Team Foundation Chair Tricia Hellman Gibbs. Bill can be reached at 530-426-1829.

— This summer, Aug. 1-3 and Aug. 30-Sept.1, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association is sponsoring Back Country Camps on the trail. Hikers are invited to join Tahoe Rim Trail volunteers for a weekend of trail building, beautiful views, a great back country experience and lots of fun.

The goal of the first camp is to build a new 2-mile trail from the Mount Rose Highway summit. For the second camp, it’s to reconstruct an area of steep and deteriorating trail.E

The Back Country Camp is a fine chance to learn how to build a trail. It is also a great way to spend time in the back country, have all your meals cooked for you and meet other outdoor enthusiasts.E

There will be experienced volunteer crew leaders to help everyone.

The cost of the camp is $25 per person and $15 for children under 12. The fee includes all meal, snacks and a kitchen crew to prepare everything for you. All participants need is their personal camping equipment and to be ready for a fun weekend.E

For more information or to register for the camps, please contact Yuka Higashino at the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, (775) 298-0012 or at

— The NORBA California State Mountain Bike Series makes its way to Northstar-at-Tahoe for the sixth stop in its nine-race series with a downhill race on Saturday, Aug. 9 and a cross-country race on Sunday.

This is the northernmost point on the race tour, which takes bikers from San Diego to Lake Tahoe from March through October. Produced by Team Big Bear, this race series caters to all ages and ability levels.

Racers can register for the downhill series from noon to 3:30 p.m. on Friday or from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the day of the race. The course will be open for practice on Friday afternoon and on Saturday morning. Race begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Racers can register for the cross country series on Saturday from 3-5 p.m. and on Sunday from 7:30-10 a.m.ERace begins at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Northstar’s cross country course contains moderate climbs and technical single track with a mix of fire roads for passing other racers.

The registration fee is $30-$43 depending on the race class. All racers must have a picture ID and current NORBA license to race. One-day licenses are available to racers for $5 a day.

Call (530) 562-2288.

Sam Bauman is the Nevada Appeal Diversions Editor.