Geotourism & Recreation
Recreation is likewise at the heart of the “Tahoe Lifestyle,” whether through structured participation in courses at Lake Tahoe Community College, local gyms or Park and Rec. programs, or informal activities such as hiking, paddle boarding, swimming, skiing and countless others.
Whatever conditions Mother Nature brings, Tahoe locals find ways to capitalize on them. With last winter’s late snow start, many found ice-skating and ice hockey on local ponds and lakes a unique treat and excellent way to have a blast with friends and “new friends.” Those same people then delighted in the fresh powder when it did come, while holding on to those crystalline memories of the ice they had been able to enjoy. Similarly, one person’s undesirable ski conditions might be her ideal for sledding or snowshoeing. And while a summer afternoon’s brief rainstorm might chase some people from the beach, mountain biking enthusiasts welcome the rain’s tamping and rejuvenating effect on the trails.
For Tahoe residents, recreation transforms one’s perceptions: snow is not simply a chore, but an opportunity for uniquely seasonal fun; the cold is no longer simply endured, but welcomed as an ally to adventure.
Tahoe’s recreational offerings are year-round, and now the vast possibilities surrounding GEOTOURISM and ECOTOURISM are beginning to unfold.
GeoTourism focuses on geology and landscape. The emphasis is on attracting visitors primarily based on existing natural features, with the intent of fostering appreciation and learning. While it can include patronage of visitor centers, guided tours and talks, it can involve more physical challenges such as triathlons and obstacle races.
A couple notable examples of local GeoTourism efforts have been our "Sample the Sierra" farm-to-fork festival, and the 2nd annual “Sierra Recon” event in June. GeoTourism and the Tahoe Basin are a perfect match, and the possibilities extend as far as our imaginations.
EcoTourism involves “responsible travel” and promotes recycling, energy efficiency, and water conservation. It deliberately respects “natural and cultural areas” and seeks to “sustain the well-being of local people” and their community.
The goal of EcoTourism, more simply, is to integrate participation and activism—perhaps more difficult to develop than GeoTourism as it calls for more creativity and inventiveness. EcoTourism transforms participants into partners, while remaining experiential. While EcoTourism is a bit like having people put away their own folding chairs after a meeting, the trick is to turn the chair folding into a game or competition of some kind.
The Tahoe area offers a number of locales for EcoTourism efforts, such as Desolation Wilderness, the Tahoe Rim Trail, the Mount Tallac trail, Vikingsholm, the Taylor Creek Visitor Center and the Stream Profile Chamber. These and other features suggest the many possibilities for EcoTourism, and await only the vision to conceptualize events and experiences that will unlock their full potential.