Traveller: Lake Tahoe, USA: Diving into the world's second-largest alpine lake - Feb 4, 2015

Lake Tahoe, USA: Diving into the world's second-largest alpine lake

Julie Miller
January 30, 2015

The aim of stand up paddle boarding, as a general rule, is not to get wet. But the gin-clear abyss of Lake Tahoe is an irresistible lure, and I need a closer view .
I plunge into the blue where shafts of sunlight dance like lightning bolts, illuminating darting fish, boulders on the sandy floor and my own toes, corpse-white in the frigid depths. It's said that the clarity of the world's second-largest alpine lake has decreased since the 1960s from 30 to 23 metres; but to my waterlogged eyes, it's still as described by Mark Twain in 1872: "not merely transparent, but dazzlingly, brilliantly so."

When the young humorist first laid eyes on the high alpine lake that straddles the border of California and Nevada, he declared it "the fairest picture the whole earth affords". It is, indeed, a landscape of superlatives – impossible shades of blue, cradled between the tiara-topped Sierra Nevada mountains, with inviting sandy beaches and sheer banks swathed in a carpet of pine.

As bewitching as the lake is, however, it's what surrounds it that attracts most Australian visitors: sky-piercing mountains, and bucketloads of snow during the northern winter. A scenic 3½-hour drive from San Francisco or just 90 minutes from Reno, Tahoe's many ski resorts offer some of the best downhill skiing and snowboarding in the west.

Peak season at Tahoe, however, is summer. As an adventure destination, it's the total package, with hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and every imaginable water sport. The days are sunny and temperate, the nights cool enough for sleep and there's an air of celebration in the resorts, with special events and festivals for added value.

Our first taste of Tahoe is in the raucous northern gateway of Truckee, an historic railway and timber town that has retained its gritty edge. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the main street has the ambience of a Hollywood western, with original wooden facades, honky-tonk dives and the atmospheric Truckee Hotel, its history resonant in period furniture, sloping creaky floor and chandeliers that tinkle as resident ghosts flit by.

We have more al fresco activities on the agenda, exploring the lake. We gawk at luxurious homes, vestiges of Hollywood's assault on Tahoe in the 1960s ; then indulge in some contemporary glamour at the Hyatt Regency beach club, a sea of umbrellas and sun beds on a sandy white carpet, paddle the mirrored coves in kayaks, admiring the historic estates, the original log summer homes from the 19th century tucked behind ponderosa pines.

Stand Up Paddle Board rental with Tahoe Adventure Company costs $US20 an hour, $US70 half day.
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SF Gate: Lake Tahoe’s low season high time for recreation - Oct 31, 2014

Lake Tahoe’s low season high time for recreation

Alec Scott
October 29, 2014

“The fall up here? It’s a time when we watch extreme snowboarding videos and get psyched for the winter to come.” So says a guy who’s seated near me at dinner on a dock stretching out into Lake Tahoe from its less-visited west shore. He’s a precision carpenter from out East who’s worked on many high-end homes around the lake and in the villages that have grown up near its ski resorts.

I’m a skier and understand that sense of eagerness for the season to get under way. But there's something to being up here now, with fewer folks, between its big-box-office summers and winters — the “shoulder season.”

The roadside altitude markers jump up in increments of a thousand feet fairly quickly to top 6,000 as one enters Placer County, and my ears periodically pop. The efforts of engineers to make these high peaks passable draw attention to themselves: a tunnel driven with rudimentary tools through igneous rock, road switchbacks carved up steep slopes.

Case in point: the curved Donner Memorial Bridge or Rainbow Bridge, perching precariously over a chasm on Donner Pass Road, part of the old U.S. Highway 40. Completed in 1929, it was designed by Norman Raab, the man whose most famous spans support the Pacific Coast Highway near Big Sur. A bear recently got trapped in the arch under the bridge and needed help to get down.

Mountain views

Near where I’m staying, in the guest rooms at the West Shore Cafe, there are bays on which multicolored powerboats and small yachts bob up and down, with the mountains of the Carson Range in the distance. Tahoe reminds me of Alpine lakes near the border of Italy and Switzerland. But the landscape is less manicured. Long-gone glaciers have tossed van-size boulders here and there as if they were so many dice; even after logging, second-growth Jeffrey pines can reach almost 200 feet, generally taller than the conifers near Lake Como, with rough, red bark.

At this time of year, the pines drop sharp brown needles and the odd big cone down from great heights — as I discovered on my first real hike, getting bonked and pricked, walking through a pine forest, on the way up to Brockway Summit East. The treeline ends just before the rocky top, and most of the lake is visible from here.
The next couple of days pass in a feverish round of activities — a somewhat frantic effort to make up for a sedentary line of work. I bike from the village at Squaw Valley along the Truckee River, Tahoe’s sole outlet, to Tahoe City. It seems somehow appropriate that one of the first offerings at the newly opened art-house cinema here is a Wes Anderson festival — the alpine kitsch near Tahoe seems right out of his “Grand Budapest Hotel” or “Moonrise Kingdom.” Still, no amount of quaint outdoor art can undermine the grandeur of the setting.

Fall color

In the Southwest Bay, a steep hiking trail mounts up to Eagle Falls, dramatic even with minimal water this time of year. The trembling aspens have turned yellow; the stairs hewn into the mountainside again speak, in a micro way, of the strenuous efforts people have made to access this extraordinary place.

Another nearby trail goes down to Emerald Bay — a layer of water that appears green along the bay’s edge explains the name. Here, Santa Barbara socialite Lora Knight commissioned a Scandinavian-style mansion, Vikingsholm, in 1929, and, on an island in the bay are the remains of a stone teahouse in the same style — a ruin made even more evocative by the knowledge that a hermit lived for years on the island.

Trail calm now

There’s no one else on a small portion of the Pacific Crest Trail that I hike and that passes through the slightly lunar, extremely dry landscape known as Desolation. I don’t expect to have this trail to myself at any walkable season next year: One of December’s most widely anticipated movie releases is “Wild,”with Reese Witherspoon playing a woman grappling on the trail with her divorce and her mother’s death.
(A few days after my return, the King Fire rages for more than two weeks, laying waste to nearly 100,000 acres, including parts of Desolation, but largely sparing Tahoe and its immediate surrounds.)

Tahoe tends to hold on to much of the summer’s heat through the fall, and both kayaking and paddle boarding remain popular pursuits, especially in the early-morning calm. My first effort at paddle boarding, unfortunately, doesn’t go so well. “You did fine,” the instructor kindly lies.

Activity rewarded

Still, in the compensations category, there was a bird I’d never seen floating nearby, a chestnut-colored merganser with a fringe on its head. It’s hardly a triathlon, but still I schedule a double reward for this rare bout of activity: a massage at the spa at the Ritz-Carlton at Northstar and a meal at its flagship restaurant, Manzanita.

On the trip’s last morning, I wake up early, and the sun coming over the Carson range paints the placid lake in pink, orange and blue. To butcher Wordsworth: bliss in this dawn to be alive. On the descent from these heights, again the ears pop. The signs come on all too quickly — 5,000 feet, 4,000, 3,000 — and lower still.

Mountain Bike, Paddle Board and Kayak Rental: Tahoe Adventure Company, various locations; (530) 913-9212.
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San Francisco Chronicle: Sunset snowshoeing and stargazing at North Tahoe - Dec 19, 2011

Sunset snowshoeing and stargazing at North Tahoe

Christine Delsol
Sunday, December 18, 2011

Snowshoeing at sunset and stargazing when night falls come together in one Star Tour Snowshoe Adventure in North Tahoe Regional Park. Tahoe Adventure Company guides lead a guided snowshoe tour through the forest, demonstrating the area's natural and human history as the waning sun tints the Sierra peaks purple. Award-winning astronomer Tony Berendsen takes over at the view point, guiding a tour of the night sky through large-aperture telescopes. Designed to appeal to all ages, it's perfectly timed for a between-the-holidays family outing. All gear, hot drinks, snacks and permit fees are included.

Vitals: Dates planned monthly December through March.) $75. 875 National Ave., Tahoe Vista. (530) 913-9212,

Lake Tahoe Snowfest ~ March 10-12, 2011 - Mar 7, 2011

Leave sNOw Trace!

Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, Tahoe Rim Trail Association and Tahoe Mountain Sports have teamed up to promote responsible recreation at Lake Tahoe, with a weekend of fun events!

Thursday, March 10:

6-8pm - Come mingle at North Tahoe Events Center in Kings Beach with Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers Kate and Tracy, as well as, California's Volunteer State Advocate Liz Williams. Share your ideas about Leave No Trace and ways to increase community action and volunteerism. Workshop will explore the principles of Leave No Trace through hands-on engaging activities that are guaranteed fun for all ages!

Enjoy some free pizza and a rumored appearance from Leave No Trace's Bigfoot!

The Sasquatch Sale
10am-6pm - The Tahoe Mountain Sports annual spring clearance kicks off with 10% of all profits being donated to the Tahoe Rim Trail Association.

Saturday, March 12:

11:30am - Leave No Trace Bigfoot, will be making an appearance on Kings Beach's Main Street for the SnowFest Closing Weekend Parade. Watch the action go by at Tahoe Mountain Sports, and get the best deals of the season inside with the Sasquatch Sale!

Sustainable Experiential Tours - Sep 30, 2010

California Tourism Website

New this year, your registration for the 2nd Annual California Sustainable Tourism Summit on October 14-15, 2010, includes experiential tours of the Lake Tahoe area! Learn best practices for preserving the High Sierra. Click here for the Sustainable Experiential Tour sign-up sheet!

Each tour will accommodate between 24-29 passengers and last approximately 2 hours. Each tour will offer a different experience, so please dress appropriately (i.e. If you plan on attending the "Outdoor Adventure" tour, please wear appropriate footwear and plan on bringing a jacket). We are expecting each tour to fill up, so please sign up early!

Tour 1: Paddling Toward Sustainability
Come and explore "A Paddling Route through Paradise" with representatives from the Lake Tahoe Water Trail committee, Tahoe Adventure Company and the Wild Goose Restaurant. The Lake Tahoe Water Trail Project, initiated in 2003 by an all-volunteer group of people, was developed with a set of common goals aimed at creating an innovative new model for sustainable tourism in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Participants will paddle the blue waters of Lake Tahoe on a guided tour by Tahoe Adventure Company, known for their innovative Lodge to Lodge Kayak getaway along the Lake Tahoe Water Trail. The Tour will end at the exceptional, lakefront Wild Goose Restaurant, known for its Sustainability Initiative Programs in its building design and regional food movement. Participants will enjoy a hosted wine and cheese offering while learning about various sustainable applications. For more information on our tour sponsors please visit our partners at:,, and Please wear appropriate footwear and be sure to carry a jacket.
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Los Angeles Times features Tahoe Adventure Company - Sep 30, 2010

Lake Tahoe: New multi-day kayak tours
September 8, 2010

By Benoit Lebourgeois, Special to the Los Angeles Times

No bellman will ask whether you wish to valet-park your kayak, but other guests might throw you curious looks if you stand at the front desk, paddle in hand.

Unlike them, you would have traveled to your Lake Tahoe hotel over water as a participant in one of the Tahoe Adventure Co.'s new guided excursions around the west and north shore of the lake.

The Lodge to Lodge Kayaking tours, lasting two to four days, are energetic but not too demanding, thanks to fast, two-person sea kayaks, said company owner Kevin Hickey. Participants cover about seven to nine miles each day, traveling between Sunnyside Resort in Tahoe City, Calif.; Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort in Tahoe Vista , Calif.; and the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino in Incline Village, Nev. They overnight at the resorts.

And there is no heavy luggage to haul.

"We shuttle the gear from hotel to hotel, so people paddle only with the stuff they need for the day," Hickey said.

The first trip is scheduled for Sept. 23. Later trips will be by request through early October. Prices vary by group size. Count on paying no more than $520 per person for two days/one night, $990 for three days/two nights and $1,290 for four days/three nights, including meals.

Info: Tahoe Adventure Co., (530) 913-9212.

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Sierra Sun features Tahoe Adventure Company - Sep 30, 2010

Experience the Lodge-to-Lodge Kayak Getaway along the Lake Tahoe water trail

By Pettit Gilwee
Special to the Sun

September, 15 2010

Sierra Sun
TAHOE, Calif. - This fall, Tahoe Adventure Company is featuring a multi-day kayak and stay package along the West, North and East shores of Lake Tahoe.

Guests enjoy the glassy, clear waters with early morning guided paddles spotting local wildlife and learning about the unique natural and human history of this special region.

By afternoon, they arrive at their lakefront hotel for a hot shower, warm meal and pure relaxation. The best hotels have been chosen for their comfort and include Sunnyside Lodge, Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort and the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. After checking in, guests can choose to benefit from a massage, a walk along the beach, skipping stones or simply relaxing by the pool or on the water's edge.

Our four-day kayak adventure is a luxurious way to spend a long weekend, special occasion, or simply a reason to celebrate autumn on one of the most magnificent lakes in the world. Fall in Lake Tahoe treats us to warm sunny days and calm water void of crowds.

In addition to thorough instruction, guides will inform you about natural and human history topics such as wildlife, geology, ecology, and native peoples. Kayaking is at a leisurely pace, allowing time to see the sites and enjoy the crystal clear water. Each day's paddle starts after an excellent breakfast, finishes in the afternoon and is suitable for beginners. Evenings are enjoyed with delicious meals at terrific local restaurants with great company.

For more details and the day-to-day itinerary, call Tahoe Adventure

Company at 530-913-9212 or Space is limited.
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SF Chronicle Features Tahoe Adventure Co. - Mar 29, 2010

Any season is fine for Tahoe Adventure Co.
Mark S. Bacon, Special to The Chronicle
Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tahoe Adventure Co. is an all-weather tour business. When spring arrives in the Sierra, there'll be biking, rock climbing, hiking and kayaking trips, including a four-day paddle around the northern half of Lake Tahoe with overnight stays in hotels. Right now, it's snowshoeing.

A variety of guided snowshoe trips are available: crunching past Donner Lake, tramping along Truckee trails in search of stars or the full moon at night or wildlife and vistas during the day. Formed seven years ago, the company offers many trips on an open schedule, says owner Kevin Hickey - just about anytime you want to go, the company can have a guide ready. Full-moon snowshoe trips are scheduled for April 30 and May 1; meanwhile, other types of snowshoeing tours can be scheduled for a minimum of two people.

Adventure company guides, Hickey says, are mainly longtime locals with backgrounds in education, travel, mountaineering and other outdoor disciplines.

As visitors trek through the snow, guides discuss the natural and human history of the area. The price of the full-moon tour - like all adventure company tours - includes equipment. Full-moon tours usually begin at sunset and average three to four hours depending on the group's speed.

"There's no learning curve whatsoever," Hickey says. "If you can walk, you can snowshoe. It takes about five minutes to get going."

When the weather warms up, the company's offerings include both daily scheduled outings, such as kayaking instruction at Tahoe Vista Recreation Area, and small-group guided tours bicycling, kayaking or hiking - or sometimes a combination. While you're floating in a kayak or moving along a trail, guides may discuss forest management, ecology, wildlife, history and other topics. Guides tailor programs to the interests of the guests. Mountain bike trips also feature information on biking techniques.

Hickey's company can provide tours and other activities for groups. One recent team-building exercise for corporate employees began with an orienteering scavenger hunt on foot in the Sierra. The hikers later became bikers and finished the day in kayaks.

Recently the company started offering two- to four-day kayaking trips. Paddlers cover 7 to 10 miles per day, have dinner in restaurants and sleep in hotels. Baggage is forwarded each day. The full, four-day trip begins at Meek's Bay on the southwestern shore, includes a stay at the Hyatt Regency in Incline Village and ends at Sand Harbor on the northeast shore, the Nevada side of the lake.

These trips will begin in May, Hickey says. Snowshoe season will soon melt into kayak time.

Tahoe Adventure Co.: Full moon snowshoe tour. $70 includes equipment, hot drinks and snacks. Locations depend on snowpack condition. (866) 830-6125.
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Full Moon Snowshoeing Featured in Local Press - Feb 5, 2010

Snowshoeing: More than just a trek through the snow
by LJ Bottjer

Full moons have been reported in fact and fiction to make people dance under them and werewolves sprout hair. During the current lunar phase this Friday and Saturday night, Tahoe Adventure Company invites all to don a pair of snowshoes. Then atop a winter wonderland where moon rays cause the snow to glint and gleam, participants can tramp across the frozen paradise.

On the Friday, Jan. 29, the nocturnal expedition leaves at 5 p.m. from the North Tahoe Regional Park located one mile north of Tahoe Vista. The Saturday, Jan. 30 night journey in the Donner Lake locale also includes a dinner at the Cedar House in Truckee.
Each tour, like the tours offered during the day throughout the winter months, offers more than just a trek through the snow.

Knowledgeable guides highly versed in the history and naturalist aspects of the region lead the tours. Often stories of long-ago Washoe Native Americans can be mixed with talks on the vast array of pine and fir tree forests surrounding the Lake. Astronomy, the study of all things celestial, will be a special highlight during the full moon tours. Mars, the red planet, is scheduled to make it's closest 2010 approach to Earth on Friday, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac.

Whether gazing skyward or looking in other directions, snow shoeing is an activity the entire family can enjoy, notes Tahoe Adventure's Kevin Hickey.
"If one can walk, one can snowshoe," he said.
He urges all participants be at least 10 years old. Following the initial meet-up, everyone will be outfitted with equipment and the basics of the sport will be covered.

Hot, non-alcoholic drinks and snacks will be available during the tour that ends at 9 p.m. The food and drink is included in the $70 tour price.

Future tours will occur in February and March.
A sense of wonder is guaranteed to all who trek the Tahoe high country under the gaze of a full moon.
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Snowshoeing featured in Healthy Beginnings Magazine - Feb 5, 2010

Tested by Time, The Snowshoe Plods On
Monday, February 1, 2010 by Sean Block

Roughly 6,000 years ago, the largest pocket of the human population was located near present-day Central Asia. Around that time, the first primitive snowshoe, a crudely bound mishmash of leaves, leather and branches began to emerge, making migration to the snowy North much easier. Some migrated to what is now Northern Europe and developed skis as a method of transportation. Those that crossed the Bering land-bridge into North America to become the Inuit and many American Indian tribes chose the snowshoe. Their durable, simplistic design was as crucial to the pioneers that conquered the west as any other modern tool of the time.

Skis were not documented in America until the 1800s when the Finns, Swedes, and Norwegians began to immigrate in substantial numbers. Despite the introduction of the ski, the snowshoe was more efficient; it remained the preferred method of winter travel in America from roughly 4,000 B.C. until the 1960s. The snowshoe as we know it was designed by the Athaspascan and Algonquin Indians. Often homemade until the last hundred years, white ash frames with rawhide webbing and lacing were the predominate style before the age of metal and synthetics. However, technological advancements have done little to change the shape of the modern snowshoe.

Nowadays, snowshoeing has become more recreational than demanded by necessity. Snow goers tear through forests on snowmobiles and rip down mountains on finely tuned skis and snowboards. The day of the snowshoe has come and gone. Or has it? Commercially, snowshoe tours have been on a consistent rise that have seen them compete with, and then surpass cross-country skiing tours in recent years.

Who knows exactly why each person chooses the slow, tedious pace of snowshoes over easier solutions. Maybe it is the peace that comes with the silence, or that snowshoes tend to be the safest method of snow travel; or that the slower we go, the more we notice. It could be because snowshoes are low-impact and stealthy, keeping skittish animals from fleeing from hunter or enthusiast; and they fit in a pack. Or maybe it is because they are cheap, they are easy, and they are fun. Snowshoes allow the adventurous hiker to escape to the hills even in the depths of winter.

Some of the best experiences for the newly shoed can be found using small, personal guides. Outings with more than around six people (especially with the inexperienced) can become cumbersome and downright dangerous unless expertly managed. Seasoned guides know what people want out of their experience, and where to find it. Also, many businesses will offer backcountry awareness, medical, and safety courses that are vital for new hobbyists searching to establish themselves as independent winter survivors. Many of the area's ski resorts including Kirkwood, Northstar, and Squaw have immense areas set-aside with more controlled conditions for cross-country activities like snowshoeing, dogsledding, and cross-country skiing.


1. Snowshoeing: From Novice to Master by Gene Prater and Dave Felkey.

To explore where snowshoeing can take you contact Tahoe Adventure Company. Tahoe Adventure Company leads high quality adventure travel trips with a focus on experiencing the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains, trails and brilliant waters of Lake Tahoe. Our goal is to offer the highest quality, most enlightening adventures in the Lake Tahoe area. Our knowledgeable, local guides offer exceptional service and create memorable adventures for your group. (530) 913-9212 or (866) 830-6125
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Tahoe Adventure Company Recognized - Dec 17, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green

New regional awards program raises the bar for business
Published: December 14, 2009
by Beth Ingalls

Keep Sierra Green Businesses of 2009
Placer County
Granlibakken Conference Center & Lodge
Tahoe Mountain Sports
Tahoe Adventure Company
Integrated Environmental Restoration Services

Incline Village
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort and Casino
Law Office of Lara Pearson
EV Village
The Potlatch
Soli Real Estate
The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences

Nevada County
GreenSmart Truckee's Cedar House Sport Hotel was the setting for the first annual Keep the Sierra Green (KSG) Exemplary Business Awards for 2009. Born out of a shared vision and collaborative partnership between Truckee's Recycling Coordinator Nichole Dorr and Incline Village General Improvement District's (IVGID) Resource Conservationist Madonna Dunbar, KSG recognizes businesses focused on ecological and economic practices in the north central Sierra and foothills. The program has grown into a partnership between the Town of Truckee, IVGID, Nevada County Recycles, Placer County, the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce and the Sierra Green Building Association.

Any business located within the town of Truckee, eastern Placer County, Nevada County, Incline Village or Crystal Bay may participate in the regional program, but the annual award goes only to businesses that score highest on an eight-page application. The form is no walk in the park. To qualify as a Keep Sierra Green business, applicants are required to recycle, develop energy, pollution and water conservation programs, define how company purchasing practices are eco-minded, create employee awareness procedures, and complete energy and waste audits. The form also awards points for voluntary programs as well.

Lynne Cody, Nevada County recycling technician, opened up the ceremony by declaring, "We want to set the bar really high and all of you are the first to be are the true green leaders in your communities."

As attendees noshed and tension built among the applicants awaiting the announcements, Eli Meyer, president of the Sierra Green Building Association, reminded the crowd that the Keep the Sierra Green program is "not about greenwashing it's about setting a benchmark for people in the community." 'Greenwashing' occurs when companies pose as friends of the environment, but their actual practices and products don't match up to their claims. Kym Fabel, manager of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce added, "All kinds of people and businesses are looking to be green. Green is big."
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Meetings West Features - Oct 26, 2009

The Water's Fine

by Kelly Crumrin
Meetings West, April 2007

You can't tell by looking that Lake Tahoe is one of the deepest and highest lakes in the world, but its extraordinary clarity and mesmerizing blueness have to be seen to be believed. Its setting among the peaks and forests of the Sierras makes it a living postcard that groups will be tempted to experience and explore.

Luckily, there are nearly as many ways to get out on the lake and enjoy the scenery as there are shades of blue.

Tahoe Adventure Company features team-building exercises for nearly any size of group, either on the water or off. In the summer, guided sunset, full moon and astronomy kayak tours on the lake are just a few of the memorable experiences available, and customized programs are also offered. In the colder months, a Winter Olympics-theme team-building package is designed to bring out both competition and collaboration in groups.

Team Up for Adventure

by Katie Morell
Meetings West, April 2006

Lake Tahoe's majestic natural beauty lends itself to exciting outdoor pursuits, including interesting team-building options and adventure sports. Several local companies on both the North and South shores cater to groups seeking a unique way to incorporate the great outdoors into agendas.

Tahoe Adventure Company: Another ropes course option is offered through Tahoe Adventure Company, which also incorporates sports such as kayaking, biking, rock climbing, and hiking into its team-building programs. The company also specializes in Beach Olympics, in which groups are broken down into teams of 12 to 15 attendees to complete a series of enjoyable bonding tasks. Tahoe Adventure Company also aims to educate groups about the heritage of the area by stopping along the way during hikes to discuss the region's natural and cultural history.
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Shoulder Season Makes Way for Lodge-to-Lodge Kayak Tours - Sep 21, 2009

Published in Sierra Sun,
By Linda J. Bottjer
September 17, 2009

It has arrived.

The quiet time, between the high summer and winter seasons, when both visitors and locals can enjoy the lake for its natural wonders without the overrun of crowds.

Kayaking is a great choice for the experience.

To glide across the sparkling waters of the lake under a bright blue sky while surrounded by towering peaks is one of those special moments when the phrase "pinch me" is appropriate.

For more than a decade the Tahoe Adventure Company has been offering that magical wondrous feeling through their day rentals and full moon paddles. Now for the first time beginner and intermediate kayakers have the ability to commune deeply with Mother Nature during TAC's multi-day Lodge-to-Lodge tours along the west, north and east sides of the lake. The first such tour offered in the region is a four-day, three-night tour will be happening Sept. 24-27 and October 1-4.

Guides, skilled in both water sport and storytelling, will lead kayakers for easy paddles from early morning to afternoon.

For novices in the sport it is important to be aware one need not be a champion rower with shoulders like an Olympic weightlifter to enjoy the kayaking. Most of the energy required for paddling comes from one's torso. A personal flotation device will keep all afloat and ready to observe the wildlife, which this tour highlights.

Shadows against the waters will circle in rhythm to the wingspans of bald eagles and red tailed hawks along with ospreys as all catch wind currents high above.

Stories of the Native Americans, like the Washoe who summered by the lake and the Comstock Lode loggers who encountered them will be told as well. Even longtime residents might be surprised to learn of an ancient tsunami that formed a popular part of the western shoreline.

TAC's owners, Kevin and Katie Hickey, both stress the ease and safety of the journey. Having guided in diverse locales like Alaska and Mexico Hickey understands the importance of arming beginners with informative knowledge. Before setting out instruction will be given on kayaking gear, paddling techniques and the all important self-rescue basics.

Each day will feature an easily achievable seven to 10 miles journey.
It all begins at Meeks Bay.

The first night will be spent at the mid 20th century Sunnyside Lodge. Day two finishes at Tahoe Vista's Mourelatos Resort and the final night is spent at the Hyatt Regency in Incline Village. With each day's paddling ending while the sun is still high tour participants have time to intake more nature with a trail hike or a walk along the shoreline. Some might opt to pamper sore muscles by getting a massage.

As in any adventure food is an important consideration. Breakfasts and dinners will be at the accommodations or area restaurants. Deli lunches will be packed in and out.

The aquatic adventure ends at Sand Harbor State Park. Here kayaks will be left, as a shuttle will transport participants back to Meeks Bay.

Recognizing not everyone has four days to spare for such a paddling trip, the Hickeys urge anyone interested to call and discuss one of their two-day, one-night custom packages.

Now as autumn colors begin to tinge the trees, and with only the wind rippling the water's surface it is a perfect time to paddle the lake, Katie Hickey said.

"You feel like you have it all to yourself."
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Outdoors: Kayaking In Slow Motion - Sep 21, 2009

Newsweek and Tahoe Adventure Company
By Paul Tolme
Calm-water kayak tours are like a nature hike on water, offering the chance to see wildlife and view landscapes unreachable on foot. Void of running rapids or raging surf, calm-water tours are ideal for first-timers. Here are a few locations where beginners can get their paddles wet.

Lake Tahoe's legendary clarity and aqua-blue color allow visitors to see down 70 feet and draw comparisons with the Caribbean-that is, until you touch the brisk mountain water that flows down from California's Sierra Nevada and Nevada's Carson ranges. Navigate around giant rounded boulders deposited by glaciers and land on a secluded beach for lunch ($85 for a five-hour trip;

Sunset, Full Moon & Astronomy Paddles Are
Popular Summer Fun at Lake Tahoe

Float in a kayak on the clear blue water at Lake Tahoe while the sun sets the sky on fire!

Watch the stars come out while you skim across the water. Increase your knowledge of astronomy with jaw dropping views. Cap it all off with some hot drinks, snacks and more stargazing on the beach with the Tahoe Adventure Company.

"Sunset and Evening Astronomy Paddles are more popular than ever," says Kevin Hickey, owner of the Tahoe Adventure Company. "If you want a full moon paddle, make your reservations now."

Full moon tours are offered June through October and paddles are possible a few days before or after the actual full moon. When the moon isn't full, the paddles focus more on viewing the stars and constellations.

Several different Kayaking Adventures are available through the Tahoe Adventure Company. All one-day paddling trips cover comprehensive paddling instruction and day paddles include an impressive lunch on a secluded beach.

"You get a unique perspective of the area from a kayak," Kevin explains. "Once we get out on the water, we're away from all the crowds."
Knowledgeable guides point out lake ecology, geology and natural and human history. "The scenery is remarkable," he says.

Depending on the route you choose, you can explore the undeveloped coastline of the East Shore with its picturesque beaches and giant boulder fields or get a glimpse of some of Lake Tahoe's most beautiful water front homes along the North Shore.

Inspiring High Sierra paddles start at $60 with either two or 4 person minimums, depending on the type of adventure.

Also available: Customized Mountain Biking, Hiking, Rock Climbing and Multi-Sport adventures as well as creative Teambuilding Programs and Corporate Events. For more information visit, call toll free 866-830-6125 or 530-913-9212. All adventures available with 48 hours notice.
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All around Tahoe - Jul 30, 2009

Published Sunday, Jul. 26, 2009

When you circumnavigate Lake Tahoe's 72 miles of shoreline by car, the question is not "What do we do?" Rather, it's "What do we do next?"

North Shore

The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society offers a free 90-minute guided walking tour of Tahoe City, with emphasis on practical information for families (activities, restaurants, bike rentals), plus history and local lore. The tour will start at 10 a.m. Aug. 8, 15 and 29 at the visitor information center, 380 N. Lake Blvd. (530-583-1762 and www.northtahoemuseums. org).

In Tahoe City, Highway 89 crosses Fanny Bridge and heads north toward Truckee while Highway 28 follows the lake toward Kings Beach.

An option is to stay on Highway 89 (turn left) and detour to Squaw Valley USA (530-583-6985 or and/or the Resort at Squaw Creek (530-583-6300 and for shopping, dining, activities, events and a general look-see. Along the way, look on the left for the River Ranch Lodge on the Truckee River (530-583-4264 and The patio hosts a nonstop party scene all summer.

If you make that left onto 89, turn right at Fairway, just past the Chevron station. A few blocks down is the trailhead to one of the legs of the Tahoe Rim Trail.

We turned onto Highway 28 and stopped at the lakeside Boatworks Mall. Inside, Jake's on the Lake has a solid menu served in an indoor stone-and wood restaurant and on the sunny deck (the place to be) overlooking the marina (530-583-0188 and

Upstairs is Tahoe City Chocolates, where the blueberry-pecan-jalape o cluster in dark chocolate is amazing.

East Shore

We cruised along Highway 28, enjoying world-class views, and came to Captain Jon's restaurant in Tahoe Vista. The compound was built in 1903. The main restaurant and the deck are fine for dinner (seafood and steak specialties), and the Boathouse is ideal for a casual lunch and happy hour. It sits over the water, next to a dock (7220 N. Lake Blvd., 530-546-4819).

The Cal-Neva Resort in Crystal Bay straddles the California-Nevada state line. Literally, you can swim from state to state in the hotel pool and stand in the Indian Room with one foot in California and one in Nevada.

Though the "Lady of the Lake" is looking sleep-deprived, she's worth a visit because of her legendary past. Such as the drama during the 1960s involving Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe, John and Bobby Kennedy, and Chicago mobster Sam Giancana.

The Celebrity Showroom is dark, but the hallway leading to it is lined with photos of the stars who appeared there.

The Circle Bar used as a set in a few movies sits beneath a marvelous glass dome made of 7,000 pieces of hand-cut German crystal.

In Incline Village, we turned right onto Lakeshore Boulevard and drove past multimillion-dollar homes to the gorgeous Lone Eagle Grille. The showcase restaurant is reminiscent of a massive Old Tahoe stone-and-wood lodge, but the shaded outdoor patio is better yet. As waves lapped the beach, we found the slushy tequila-based Golden Eagle cocktail to be the best of its kind on the lake. Signature dishes include wild salmon, buffalo tenderloin and seared elk chop (775-886-6733 and

Yes, Sand Harbor State Park is home to the annual Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival (through Aug. 23), but don't overlook its boulder-strewn coves and sandy beaches. If you want a swim, it's one of the best sites on the lake (775-831-0494).

On the outskirts of Incline Village is the incredible Thunderbird Lodge, built between 1936 and 1940 by the late multimillionaire eccentric George Whittell Jr. The 40,000 acres of lakeside property he bought is why the East Shore is largely undeveloped to this day.

If you have time for only one special event, make it a tour of the multi-building compound.

There's no parking at the lodge, so arrange your visit via a reservation through or www.thunderbirdlodge. org.

The Tahoe Adventure Company sponsors guided Lake Tahoe kayak tours out of Sand Harbor to the Thunderbird Lodge at 9 a.m. Tuesdays through Sept. 30 (other times and dates can be arranged). Once kayakers land at the beach, they get the full tour of the compound, followed by lunch. The price is $124.

Information: (530) 913-9212 and

As Highway 28 approaches Highway 50, look on the left for Spooner Lake State Park (775-831-0494). The two-mile loop trail around the tranquil lake features shaded benches and informational signage.

On westbound Highway 50, headed back to the South Shore, be on the lookout for Sam's Place on the left (775-588-2844). The pizza is good, the burgers are better. And while we're thinking about it, barkeep, we'll have another pitcher of cold beer. It's been a very long day.
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Lake Tahoe Water Trail and Tahoe Adventure Company - Sep 17, 2007

Despite legislative delay, plans continue

By Joanna Hartman
Sierra Sun
September 5, 2007

The dream of a kayak and canoe trail around the shores of Lake Tahoe continues to move forward, despite recent delays in California legislation.

Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, scored an apparent victory in April when his Lake Tahoe Water Trail Bill, AB 1227, passed through the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.

Sponsored jointly by the Lake Tahoe Water Trail Committee and the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, the assembly bill would have authorized the creation of a kayak and canoe trail around the 72-mile perimeter of Lake Tahoe.

But the bill has since been waylaid and will likely be re-introduced by a new legislator next year, said Executive Director Patrick Wright of the California Tahoe Conservancy.

At a Tahoe City Public Utility District board of directors meeting Tuesday evening, Wright explained that even though a state mandate would have to wait another year, water trail plans are moving forward.

With or without enabling legislation, government agencies and interested parties have started to collaborate on how to establish the water trail.

What's a water trail?
A water trail is mostly defined by public access points, officials say.

Not too different from the Tahoe Rim Trail, advocates want to see an official water trail around Lake Tahoe.

The designation gives it the extra footing it needs for tourism.

"The idea of easy access for portable boats to Lake Tahoe is one that has just exploded," said Sue Rae Irelan, recreation specialist with the California Tahoe Conservancy.

A map of public access points, campgrounds, lodging and points of interest already exists. It was created a few years ago by the Lake Tahoe Water Trail Committee - a group of volunteers dedicated to coordinating information about nonmotorized boat access points around Lake Tahoe.

But signage, directions and more official information would come with the water trail if mandated by the state.

"Kayakers as a whole are a pretty conscientious, respectful group of people. With a trail designated with where you can and can't go, kayakers, I think, would obey that," said Kevin Hickey, owner of Tahoe Adventure Company and a kayaker.

"I can't really see a reason not to have a [designated water trail]," he added.

Promoting sustainable recreation

Kayaking is exploding in popularity, the sport's advocates say, and a sanctioned water trail on Lake Tahoe would provide an opportunity to explore the shoreline with access points, resting places, campgrounds, lodging, points of interest and other facilities accommodating kayakers and canoeists.

Chesapeake Bay, Lake Champlain, rivers in Pennsylvania, and the San Francisco Bay are among the few places with designated water trails.

"It's one thing to have a trail network, it's another to have this designation," said Wright about the state legislation. "It makes all the difference to the tourism industry."

Kayaker Kevin Hickey, owner and director of Tahoe Adventure Company, agrees.
"As kayaking itself has been growing as a sport, there are other water trails that exist and are very popular and successful as far as people using them," he said in a phone interview Wednesday. "We should be promoting sustainable recreation ... Getting out on the lake paddling is an awesome way to see Tahoe."

Advocates say that an organized trail with signage and directions would address anticipated problems between motorized and nonmotorized boats, although it wouldn't restrict either group's use of the lake.

"This is not an attempt to produce preference to one user group over any others," said Sue Rae Irelan, recreation specialist with the California Tahoe Conservancy.
Additionally, a state designation can help significantly when it comes to funding, advocates say.

"If this is official through the state of California, it allows us to compete better for implementation money," Irelan said. "And it charges us to make sure we work with all the interest groups in the basin."

Beginning in 2003, volunteers formed a nonprofit organization, the Lake Tahoe Water Trail Committee, in an effort to coordinate information about nonmotorized boat access points around Lake Tahoe. They also produced in 2005 a trail map and trip-planning guide that are for sale throughout the region.

"A lake like Lake Tahoe is the perfect venue for a water trail - it's scenic, it's a lake whose water quality is threatened," Hickey said. "I think promoting nonmotorized recreation is certainly helpful for that cause."

- The Tahoe Daily Tribune's Adam Jensen contributed to this report.
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Bachelor parties get more relaxed, PG - Dec 13, 2006

Date Published: 2006
By Andrew DiLuccia

The bachelor party has long been a clich for wild debauchery and adult entertainment. But as the years have gone on, many men are finding that scantly clad women and a lot of alcohol is not the only way to send their friends on to matrimony.

The days of getting the groom the night before his wedding and taking him out on a world-wind tour of adult fun has transformed to weekend trips a few weeks or so before the nuptials that involve many activities.

While the strip club and adult-themed bars are still a standby, golfing trips, poker parties, sports games, weekend trips and outdoors adventures are getting higher on the list of priorities.

Kayaking on Lake Tahoe is one of the many things you can do when going on a weekend trip run by the Tahoe Adventure Company.


Outdoor Adventure: Tahoe Adventure Company; 530-913-9212

"It kind of seems to me that the stripper thing is not quite as popular as it used to be," said fishing guide J.D. Richey, who charters several bachelor party fishing trips each year.

Richey gives the groom to be a fun day out on the river, and can accommodate any size of bachelor party. Fishing tournaments and teasing amongst the groom's party are some of the highlights on Richey's trips, and he finds that more and more men are choosing this type of activity. You can check out Richey's guide service at

Being close to the Lake Tahoe area, there are plenty of outdoors adventures to be had, and the people at Tahoe Adventure Company are happy to oblige.

"I think the travel market has grown by leaps and bounds the last few years," said Kevin Hickey, owner of Tahoe Adventure Company. "We had a group of guys last summer, only seven of them. They came out and we did a two-day multiple sports trip."

Hickey's company, based in Tahoe City, offers everything from lake kayaking to mountain climbing and biking. He can also accommodate groups as large as 130 people. Check them out at

And of course there is always the big draw of destination trips like heading off to Las Vegas or even Reno, where there are many bachelor activities.

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Moonlight kayaking a quiet adventure on Lake Tahoe - Sep 27, 2006

Posted: 9/22/2006

The smoke from California wildfires crept over the West Shore of Lake Tahoe, threatening views during our astronomy-themed full moon kayak trip on a Thursday night.

I stood on the beach of Tahoe Vista Recreation Area with my friend, Jessica Caughey and our guide, Kevin Hickey, and looked at the hazy sky.

Our fears were confirmed as the sky darkened -- but the smoke gave us something, too -- a sunset full of pink and orange clouds, and a huge red moon that reflected off the water.

The other lights lining the shore and the glow sticks taped to every paddle, dipping up and down, comforted us as we made our way out into Lake Tahoe in the dark.

Hickey, who owns the Tahoe Adventure Company, led the group of about 15 people in double, sit-on-top kayaks out past the moored boats and toward Tahoe City. Before we started he had provided a short lesson on paddling and getting in and out of the water and provided everyone with warm drysuits.

Hickey says you can wear anything under the suits as long as it isn't cotton. Cotton stays wet once it gets wet, while synthetic materials wick water away from your skin to keep you drier and warmer.

Once on the water, Jessica and I tried to coordinate our paddling and soon found a rhythm. Following Hickey, we enjoyed the sunset and he paused to let everyone "ooh" and "aah" at the moonrise.

While we sat, Hickey talked about the importance of the moon and the stars to ancient cultures. These pauses for astronomy lessons make the trip easy enough for anyone to take part -- even if you have never kayaked before or are not sure if you are in good enough shape to keep up with a group. Hickey also discussed the positions of the stars, the north star, and constellations. Despite the smoke cover, we did catch sight of a shooting star.

Hickey, who also leads daytime kayaking trips on Lake Tahoe, team-building adventures and snow-shoeing tours in the winter and hiking and biking in the summer, kept an eye on everyone and made sure we didn't sit long enough to get cold.

The round-trip of an easy two miles soon ended, though, and once back on shore, Hickey provided hot tea, cocoa and cider, along with some cookies and snacks. Jessica and I were thankful for the warm drinks because, despite feeling fine while paddling, once we stood up, we were wetter than we realized and started to shiver.

Hickey said the early cold temperatures this fall might mean that our trip was the last moonlight kayaking tour of 2006, but it depends on the weather. Contact Hickey to sign up or confirm there will be one final moonlight tour. Otherwise, check out his Web site at for information about his other winter and team-building trips.

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NY Times and Tahoe Adventure Company - Aug 28, 2006

By CINDY PRICE ~ New York Times
Published: August 18, 2006
NY Times Article

POLITICS and religion aside, 200,000 people can't be wrong. According to the California Tahoe Conservancy, that's the estimated crowd at Lake Tahoe on a busy summer weekend. That's enough people to make you rethink your vacation plans, but Tahoe never feels too frantic. Maybe it's the enormous mountain lake standing center, proudly straddling California and Nevada, that lets you know right away who's in charge, but the weekenders who flood the 72 miles of shoreline instinctively bow to nature's pace. And there's that other little fact, too - far less provable, but widely asserted: There's nothing quite like a weekend spent circling Tahoe. The endless activities of summer are standard enough, but they're set to a Sierra backdrop of soaring evergreens and crystalline water worthy of a thousand poets. Throw in the late-night siren call of the Nevada casinos, and it's a tough act to follow.

3 p.m.

"It's just like the Caribbean!" the tour guide, Kevin Hickey, is shouting over his paddle. "Until you dip your hand in." Wordsmiths have beaten themselves silly trying to capture the true color of Lake Tahoe, so take your pick - cobalt, azure, electric, sapphire. Suffice it to say that it's pretty darn blue. And cold. Even in late summer, the water averages 65 to 70 degrees, given the many mountain streams that slither into it. Judge for yourself on a guided kayak trip out of Sand Harbor, Nev., with the Tahoe Adventure Company (866-830-6125,, which offers individual tours that are part geology lesson and part history lesson. Paddle out past the children cannonballing off the rocks, and learn about the lake's underlying fault lines, or that a tsunami may have burst forth there in the last 10,000 years.
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Tahoe Adventure Company now offering Kayak Rentals on the North Shore - Aug 8, 2006

The Tahoe Adventure Company has opened a Kayak Rental Concession at Tahoe Vista Recreation Area & North Tahoe Regional Park on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe Adventure Company provides both single and double kayak rentals on the beach at the newly completed Tahoe Vista Recreation Area. Paddle right from the beach and explore the North Shore at your own pace. Tahoe Adventure Company also leads high quality adventure trips including guided kayak, hiking and mountain biking tours that focus on learning about the natural and human history of the area as well as getting out and enjoying the Lake and the surrounding forests. Kayak Tours originate from the beach in Tahoe Vista, Sand Harbor State Beach on Lake Tahoe's East Shore or King's Beach.

Popular tours include Sunset, Full Moon and Astronomy paddles, as well as mountain biking and hiking tours on local trails that can be chosen based on guests' ability levels. Trips can be customized to the desires of groups of any size and can include BBQ's, deli spread lunches and one or a combination of activities chosen to suit a variety of experience and fitness levels.

Tahoe Adventure Company can also lead group and corporate events and activities as well as providing team building as a separate adventure or incorporated into adventure activities chosen by the group.

For more information visit:
Call 866-830-6125 or 530-913-9212. NTPUD residents showing their local's card receive a 10% discount off standard services offered by Tahoe Adventure Company. This discount is not valid with any other offer.
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Full Moon Kayaking - Mar 10, 2006

Is there a full moon? Then it's time to hit the kayaks!
By Judy Green -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Thursday, August 18, 2005

Lapping water and dipping paddles may be the only sounds kayakers hear if they take a full-moon tour this weekend on a lake or along the coast. Away from city lights, they can expect to see the bright lights of Venus, Jupiter, Scorpio and Sagittarius - even by the light of the moon.

Paddlers of all abilities can enjoy nature's monthly bright light on Lake Tahoe through a tour planned by Kevin Hickey of Tahoe Adventure Co. in Tahoe City. The cost is $60 per person.

Company owner Hickey said first-timers often are amazed at how easy the sit-on-top boats are to maneuver after a short lesson. "Ninety-nine percent of people fear it's too hard, and most are surprised and wonder afterward what they were worried about."

Tahoe participants will meet on the beach for outfitting and a short paddling lesson before slipping a single or double kayak into the water and following the guide to make basic turns. Depending on the group, Hickey will guide participants out about a half-mile or farther, paddling a total of about two miles.

"We start out at just before sunset," Hickey said from Truckee. He expects the air will be cool and the sand warm from the day. The water will be calm and quiet as the wind dies down and other boats button up for the night. Kayakers can anticipate watching the sunset's colors glowing and changing as the sky fades to dark.

Although visibility will be fair in the moonlight, Hickey attaches green glow sticks to the bow and stern of guests' boats, and red ones on the guide boats and paddles, for safety.

After about two hours on the water, paddlers go back to shore and warm up with hot drinks and snacks.

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Team Building Adventures - Mar 10, 2006

Effective Team Building Adventures Available Minutes From The Office

Whether you want to foster better communication between sales teams, achieve a heightened level of trust between team members or you want your team to bond, focus or think "out of the box" when problem solving you can accomplish it and keep everybody laughing throughout the process. And you don't even have to travel far to do it.

Tahoe Adventure Company offers a world class setting for effective team building adventures, only minutes away from northern Nevada offices. You can choose from more than a dozen Beach or Lawn Olympics activities or select Custom Frisbee Golf through an Orienteering Challenge Course.

Olympics options include some serious team building challenges. Using a section of half round pipe to move marbles may sound easy but there are challenges along the way so teamwork is essential.

Getting an object from point A to point B may seem like it will be a piece of cake but if only one member can see, only one member can talk and one member can move communication is vital!

Keep everybody on a piece of "magic carpet" presents a different challenge, when the entire group has to move to the other side of the carpet.

Pitching a tent becomes more challenging when half the team can see but they can't touch the tent. The blindfolded people are the ones who put the tent up following instructions from their sighted colleagues.

"There's always a lot of laughter during the team building challenges," says Kevin Hickey, owner of the Tahoe Adventure Company.

Candace Snyder who planned a reunion at Lake Tahoe and utilized the Tahoe Adventure Company for activities wrote, "...we did Orienteering/Frisbee Golf with 27 people and Kayaking with 24 people. It was a fun as well as a community building and learning experience. Many people in our group voiced their appreciation of Tahoe Adventure Company staff."

If companies would like a half-day of kayaking between meetings or would like to create a major event for a corporate incentive package, the Tahoe Adventure Company can arrange it. Lake Kayaking, mountain biking (easy to moderate or all downhill), natural history hikes, rock climbing, and fully outfitted multi-sport trips are becoming more popular with businesses. Teambuilding elements can be added to any activity.

For more information on the Tahoe Adventure Company Team Building Programs, Corporate Events and Customized Adventures, visit or call toll free 866-830-6125 or 530-913-9212.
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