Trip to Grover Hot Springs well worth the time |

Trip to Grover Hot Springs well worth the time

Figuring it was time to try the new knee for camping, we headed south to Highway 395 to Minden from Carson, then took Highway 89 to the Woodfords and Markleeville.

In the middle of Markleeville we took the road right at the bigger restaurant, then about four miles to the campground for Grover Hot Spring State Park. Camping is $20 a night and includes a good site, fire ring and bear-proof food lockers and open storage bins. The ranger said site 11 was good but that a mama bear and three cubs had been around there last week.

We took No. 11, which was on top of all other sites with fine views of big rocks. A short walk from the car to the site was all that was needed for a fine, private camp site. No mama bear seen.

Been a while since we camped so I made the old mistake of putting down the ground cover right up against a large rock, not thinking that there would surely be rock under the decomposed granite sand. There was, and I compounded the error by not moving to a different site when the tent pegs hit rock. The old adage, “If your first tent place is bad, move no matter how far along you are in putting up the tent,” was never truer. I wound up using wedged rocks for pegs.

By noon it was time to hit the trail and we opted for the Sawmill Creek path (three-quarters of a mile long) which begins at the parking area past the hot springs pools. The other main trailhead is also right there, the Falls Trail. The two used to be connected by a bridge, but it was washed away and the two trails were split.

Sawmill starts out going around the beautiful big meadow and then ducks into the juniper, Jeffery pines and incense cedars. This is an easy trail, slowly rising and at times paralleling the creek. It can get a bit soggy in places but not enough to cause any problems.

As you near the end of the trail (it just sort of peters out at the site of the old bridge) you cross several trail plank bridges in disrepair but usable. You will also see some places where makeshift logs cross the modest (at this time of the year) the creek and link up with the Falls trail. Lack of confidence in the new knee precluded trying the narrow trunks.

For someone looking for a pleasant stroll through majestic scenery, this is hard to beat. Grover’s is at about 6,000 feet altitude and the towering mountains along the trial are striking.

That night at No. 11 the stars were just as brilliant as we remembered, and the Milky Way was awesome as ever (when was the last time you really saw the Milky Way?). A martini helped enliven the camp site.

Next morning we headed for the Falls Trail, which starts out across the big yellow meadow and soon comes to a bridge over Hot Springs Creek. Bear left here as there are a couple of trails joining. Soon you’ll come to a post marking trail junctions. Bear left again and you’ll hit the Charity Valley trail. Stay to the left and you’ll after about a mile and a half reach the falls. Not a lot of water flowing there now, but still a satisfactory end point. For a good view of the falls you’ll have to work your way around some rocks, but it’s worth the effort.

Of course, the point of Grover Hot Springs is the swimming pools. Fee is $5 for adults, $3 for kids, and there are two pools, both about 50 feet long. One is held at 70-80 degrees, the other at 102-104 degrees. Little is more pleasurable than a soak in the pool and then in the more temperate one. Changing rooms are available.

This is an all-year camping site, more limited in winter. We’ve soaked in the hot pool after a day skiing at Kirkwood and the road isn’t too bad.

Dogs are OK on a leash, bikes on some trails. Be sure and use the bear-proof food lockers. Call (800) 444-7275 for reservations (no problem this time of year).

And if you’ve time, stop in Markleeville for a snack. No ATMs, but the grocery store will cash your debit card for $2.


Alpine Meadows Ski Resort has announced a new frequent-skier program, in which members receive lift tickets to the mountain for less and on-mountain savings all winter. The Alpine Club offers skiers online access to the most savings available to Alpine Meadows.

Log onto and become a season-long member for $10. Upon a first visit to the mountain this season, Alpine Club members receive a permanent membership from the Alpine Meadows Special Tickets window. With the Alpine Club card, all club purchases will be stored on the individual card.

Alpine Club members can purchase lift tickets right from home. Lift tickets will be loaded directly to a member’s media card, ready for use upon arrival at the mountain. No ticket windows; walk straight to the lift.

Every time a guest’s lift ticket is scanned, his or her name is entered into a weekly drawing to win an Apple iPod. More runs equal more scans; which mean more of a chance to win. One guest will win once a week all winter long.

Alpine Club members can purchase adult unrestricted lift tickets at a 10 percent savings (valid both midweek and weekends), in which lift tickets and other products can be loaded from home.

Club members may choose to purchase a 4-Pack of adult lift tickets for $219 (a 15 percent savings) and repurchase if more are needed.

Alpine Club members receive skiing and riding for just $39 throughout the winter on select days (a 40 percent savings). $39 days will be announced to club members via the A-List Newsletter, which features news exclusively for Alpine Club members.

Alpine Club members can enjoy the Pizza & Drink weekly lunch special for $7 every Tuesday; and high performance demo equipment rentals for 50 percent off on a Tuesday of the member’s choice.

Wednesdays offer many additional ways for Alpine Club members to save: receive 20 percent off select items at Alpine’s Estelle Sports retail shop; two-for-one adult group ski and snowboard lessons; and 30 percent off children’s group ski and snowboard lessons.

Monday through Friday, Alpine Club members receive 50 percent off equipment tunes as well as 50 percent off VIP parking.

Alpine Club members will be invited to attend complimentary snow safety classes and seminars taught by members of the Alpine Meadows Ski Patrol, some of winter’s most tenured certified snow safety experts.

Already a season pass holder? Season pass holders will automatically be Alpine Club members, free.

To read more about the all-new Alpine Club or to become a member today, visit the all-new

Visit or call (530) 583-4232.


Experience the Tahoe Rim Trail on a FREE guided hike today.

Hike Description: Tahoe Meadows to Spooner Summit: Roam high above sparkling alpine lakes, through conifer stands and across steep slopes full of beautiful fall colors. This hike is 22.3 miles and for experienced, fit hikers only. Bring plenty of water and lunch. No dogs or children please.

For more information or to sign-up for this hike contact the TRTA office, 298-0012 or


The outdoor movie “Claim” makes its Lake Tahoe debut Saturday in the Olympic Village Lodge at Squaw Valley .This premiere marks Matcvhstick Production’s 20th film release. Tickets are $10 and are on sale now at Porter’in Tahoe City, Truckee, and Incline Village, and are also available at the door.

Two shows are scheduled for Saturday, the first at 7 p.m. and the second at 9. Doors open at 6 for the 7 show and 8:15 for the 9. The 9 showing of the film will have a cash bar that is 21and up only.


Northstar Resort is looking for professional employees to fill a variety of seasonal positions for the upcoming winter season. The resort will offer expanded training opportunities, career growth opportunities and assistance for employees in need of local housing.

Located six miles from the historic town of Truckee and the north shore of Lake Tahoe, Calif., Northstar will be interviewing and hiring applicants for positions in just about every department including Transportation, Lift Operations, Ski Patrol, Snowmaking, Retail, Day Care and more. Open positions range from seasonal part- and full-time, to weekends and holidays only. The ability to ski or snowboard is not required for all available jobs.

New this season, the resort is seeking Mountain Safety Volunteer Guides to become part of the Northstar Resort team and the National Ski Patrol organization. Those interested must have great communications skills, enjoy working outdoors, be able to ski or ride at an intermediate level or above, and care about raising awareness and understanding of on-hill safety among our guests.

On-site training is provided, and interested parties must join the National Ski Patrol organization. For more information and an application for this position, visit, or contact Kyle Crezee at

Northstar Resort’s Ski & Snowboard School is also hiring, and complimentary ski instructor training will be provided. Previous experience is not required. Applicants are invited to attend a job fair on-site in the Village at Northstar Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Benefits of working at Northstar Resort can include new uniforms, a season pass, access to affordable housing, discounts on food and beverage and retail items at the resort, complimentary lift tickets for friends and family, access to ski and snowboard lessons and more.

On-site housing is available through Polarstar Properties, and the resort is again encouraging area homeowners to join its Rental Rewards program in an effort to help provide employees with affordable local housing. Interested local homeowners who have a room or house available for rent are invited to complete a form with Northstar Resort’s Human Resource Department indicating the space available. The resort will connect local landlords with resort employees and should a lease be signed, will provide the landlord with six lift tickets or a non-transferable value season pass.

This program is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. To inquire about rental opportunities, call (530) 562-3510.

Early morning appointments for the on-site job fair are encouraged from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and walk-ins are welcome between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. All applicants are encouraged to complete an application online at prior to the job fair. To schedule an early morning appointment, applicants should contact Northstar Resort’s Human Resource department at the number above or

For a current list of open positions, visit