SF Chronicle Features Tahoe Adventure Co.

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. tahoeadventurecompany.com.

Visitors Love To Adventure With Us