Traveling to different places is always an exciting adventure. Whether you are going for the first time, or you return as often as possible, visiting somewhere that is away from your usual stomping grounds is something to look forward to. It could be a trip abroad or a stay at a vacation rental in Lake Tahoe, either way-traveling requires a little bit of research ahead of time. Here in Lake Tahoe specifically, we have some visitor behavior, generally in the summertime, that can negatively impact our local businesses, nature, wildlife and humans. We love guests! But, as travelers ourselves, we know that a little information about the area you are visiting can go a long way in making sure both visitors and locals have a nice time. Read on below…..
Fire Danger: During the summer months into fall, Lake Tahoe-like most of California, is incredibly susceptible to fire danger. But unlike bigger suburban and urban areas, we only have a few ways out if we need to evacuate. Various organizations work together and watch the weather in an effort to alert our residents and visitors on when the weather patterns shift and create a Red Flag Warning or a Red Flag Watch. A Red Flag Warning means NO flames at all. Not a charcoal grill, not a propane bbq, a fire pit, an outdoor kitchen….anything that results in or creates flames is not allowed. On Red Flag Watches, you can operate a propane fed bbq or outdoor kitchen. It can be a little confusing, but with how dangerous one spark can be-knowing before you go, paying attention to the signs and asking your Lake Tahoe vacation rental host what the restrictions are can make a major impact and prevent something catastrophic. Just in a matter of a week and a half, a small cul de sac in Highland Woods saw 3 separate illegal fires by visitors, all of which required attention from the fire department. If you aren’t sure what is allowed, check out the local fire department social media pages or call your respective station.
Trash: There are multiple government agencies tasked with keeping the clarity of Lake Tahoe the beautiful pristine body of water that it is. The signs around town requesting you pack it in and pack it out are not only a request because littering is against the law, there are a few other reasons. 1) Someone has to pick it up. It seems that the responsible method would be the person responsible for it. 2) It helps keep our beautiful lake you love to visit so much, clean and clear. 3.) It helps prevent issues with wildlife. Specifically, on the Nevada side, there is a saying that a fed bear is a dead bear. Dispose of your trash properly for your fellow humans, animals and the health of the lake when visiting. At a Lake Tahoe vacation rental, find out where the bear box is or what day is trash day so you aren’t leaving trash out overnight.
Be patient with businesses: We know that as a tourism-based economy, our local businesses LOVE to have everyone come in. However, as a small town, we don’t keep the same hours as cities, which means local shops close early or keep weird hours. A majority of restaurants take their last orders or seat people between 8-9. Additionally, there is less manpower to help customers. Be kind, practice social distancing, wear a mask and be patient. Everyone is doing the best they can under the current health guidelines.
Weather: Ever heard the saying “Don’t like the weather, just wait a minute”? It couldn’t be truer for Tahoe. They say a true local has seen it snow every month of the year, including in the summer. Not only do we recommend having a change of clothes in case the weather switches fast, but also having your vehicles prepared. Snow, hail, wind and other intense patterns can show up at any time. In the weather months, we expect it every day so if you aren’t used to driving in heavy precipitations, having chains or snow tires is required to make it over the pass. During extremely heavy snow fall, California Highway Patrol can hold traffic at the top of the summits for avalanche control, which means you may be sitting in your vehicle for a bit before making it into the basin. Have warm clothes, snacks, water and ways to stay occupied to pass the time. During winter months it is illegal to park on the street. You can either be fined or towed, or both. So, find out before you show up at your vacation rental in Lake Tahoe how snow removal is handled. If you park on the street because your driveway has snow on it and you don’t feel like shoveling, it actually has a negative ripple effect. Snow removal machines can’t make it down the street which means not only can residents not get out and in, but emergency vehicles can’t access roads when they need to.
Like every place, Lake Tahoe has some nuances. Ours just so happen to not be similar to those that you would find in suburban or urban areas. If you have questions about some of the above topics, feel free to ask us when booking your Lake Tahoe vacation rental. We would be happy to help!