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7 Places in Tahoe Perfect For a Day Trip

Tahoe is one of my favorite places in the world regardless of what season it is. There are countless things to do in the outdoors, so for a hiking geek like me it’s absolute paradise. I have been living near Tahoe now for almost a year and have accumulated a list of favorite little spots I like to go and wanted to share with all of you.

Here is a list of seven places in Tahoe that are worthwhile and perfect if you have a limited amount of time.

  1. Keva Beach

This is one of my most visited go-to spots when I go to south lake because it’s a huge beach that always has easy parking. It seems like not too many people know about it because there is never more than a couple people around. In the summer beautiful wildflowers grow right along the shore and on fourth of July you can see fireworks being shot off from all sides of the lake.

2. Monkey Rock

Just as the name sounds, there is actually a monkey carved out of rock. The monkey overlooks a gorgeous view of the lake and then you can decide to stop there or keep hiking. The trail goes on to meet up with the Tahoe flume trail that goes on for tens of miles.

This a spot that is gaining popularity, so don’t expect to be the only ones there. The first time Michael and I went we went right past it and ended up hiking an extra two miles uphill. When we went back down I finally asked someone and they pointed right behind me; apparently I missed the pink markers that showed the way.

Monkey rock is worthy of a trip, just look at that view!

3. Donner Lake

This one is the easiest spots to drive to depending if you want to hike or head to the beach. Get off I-80 for the Donner Lake exit and follow the signs to get below.

I would love to spend a whole day here! It’s a great alternative to Lake Tahoe on the busy days. And honestly I’m surprised that not more people go to.

Here is an iPhone photo of Donner Lake at one of the viewing points..

4. Glen Alpine Falls

In order to get to this little oasis you’ll have to go on a one lane road for about three miles. And I won’t lie, there are sketchy points along the way. So, these falls are only accessible in the warmer months between June and November.

I did a whole post about this place so if you want to see some of my photos I took there then click here.

5. Hidden Beach

Hidden Beach is probably the most popular place on this list, but you can definitely find less crowded beaches nearby. This beach is famous for it’s huge boulders and incredible lake view. I would recommend going there at least once to see and experience it.

This photo was taken in October so there’s almost no one there. If it was July it would be packed with people.

6. Mount Rose Summit

Mount Rose has got to be one of my favorite mountains in the world because for the last year I have woken up to the sight of it. I have seen snowy peaks and vibrant cliff sides…and the summit is just shy of 9,000 feet!

Shadow’s first hike was on the peak of Mount Rose and she did amazing considering the elevation change.

I took this photo that day during our 6 mile hike to a waterfall!

7. Fallen Leaf Lake

Fallen Leaf Lake is nestled right next to Lake Tahoe on the south tip. If you’re headed to to Emerald Bay then I would recommend stopping at Fallen Leaf too, as they are less than 10 minutes from one another.

This lake is a lot bigger than it lets on because last weekend Michael and I went to a nearby peak and I got to see how it compares to Lake Tahoe. The photo I posted on Instagram today (6/26/17) is that same view of Fallen Leaf Lake.


So there are my favorite spots thus far! After a little more time of living here I will do another post on Tahoe about my favorite hikes. Once it’s published, you can click here to check it out!

If you have any recommendations of chill scenic spots in Tahoe let me know in the comments below.


The Power of Solitude in Nature

This is a topic I’m pretty passionate about and wanted to share my insights about the benefits of spending time in nature. You’re probably wondering why I wanted to write about this topic and that’s because my perspective has greatly changed as a result of being alone in the wilderness. The  Earth holds a great deal of power and when you have intimate time with her, you open yourself up to all that’s out there. I for one realized there’s a lot of love in this world, even after all the hate. I found an immense amount of healing when I’m in the depths of nature. 

When you’re a child you have a precious innocence that you start your life off with, but throughout time and experience, that innocence seems to trickle as life moves on. Many of us have experienced trauma or hurt that greatly shapes who we are. We carry this pain with us through life until we learn to let go of it and decide to heal. No one can decide for us when that time is, only we know when we are ready. No medication or surgery could ever heal one, as personal insight can. We must acknowledge our story and turn it into something that allows us to serve others. Horrible things happen in this world, but we can turn them into strength and resiliency. But first, we need to dedicate time to finding out who we are and understanding our story. 

I would recommend starting with time in nature, whether that be a long hike or a simple walk by the river. Leave technology at home and be with yourself. Check in and see how you are really feeling. We do not allow ourselves to have enough of this intimate time with ourselves in this society. Only when we understand ourselves, can we begin the healing process. 


Bucket List 2017 | Southwest USA

I have really been into desert aesthetic recently and wanted to put together a list of ten places I would love to see this year, all in the southwest of course. The ten places I put on this list include cities, national parks, and monuments to get a variety of experiences in desert. 

Hopefully I can get to at least half of them before 2018 🙂

1. White Sands National Monument (New Mexico)

Probably the most picturesque place on the list and if you told me this was in the US I might think you were lying. The pasty white sand in New Mexico looks like it’s straight out of a dream. Definitely need to wander here some day!

For a complete guide on White Sands, check out Gringa Journey’s blog post here

2. Saguaro National Park (Arizona)

I keep talking about this place and it’s for a reason, if you love cacti (like me) Saguaro is the perfect place to check out. The cacti here are some of the largest in the country, with some being up to 40ft. tall..now I can’t even imagine that. 

3. Lake Mead (Nevada)

Lake Mead strikes me as the perfect place for a family weekend; the lake is huge and there are countless things to do here. I grew up in Minnesota, so I know the power of a great lake to hangout at. 

I’ve driven right past Lake Mead twice and the surrounding mountains and rock formations are incredibly striking. This place catches my eye and I know one of these days I’ll finally get down there. 

Don’t miss these 5 things at Lake Mead here

4. Antelope Canyon (Utah)

I cannot tell you how ecstatic I will be when I finally get to see Antelope Canyon with my own eyes! This place is like anything I’ve seen in photos before and the slots look contorted and mystical (if that makes sense); I can’t miss this one.

5. Valley of Fire State Park (Nevada)

I love the wave designs embedded in the rocks at Valley of Fire State Park. And as a bonus this place is in Nevada, our home state (for the time being). This park is just outside of Las Vegas and will be a short weekend trip for Michael and I one day. I would advise to go before or after summer due to the extreme temperatures here, but if you’re going through Vegas it’s definitely worth stopping for. 

Here’s 9 things you must see if you decide to check out Valley of Fire. 

6. Angels Landing, Zion National Park (Utah)

Every time I see a photo at Angels Landing I get incredibly jealous because I love a good view, and I haven’t been able to get to Zion before. The hike to this spot from what I’ve seen online is treacherous and has some pretty steep cliffs on the trail, which gives me even more of a reason to go and see if I can hike it!

Xpat Matt did a whole post on hiking Angel’s Landing that you can read here.

7. Meteor Crater (Arizona)

Not a lot of people know about this spot in Winslow, Arizona but it’s right at the top of my list. And who wouldn’t want to see a meteor crater? If you’re into space like me, then you know how cool something like this really is. 

8. Monument Valley (Arizona)

The most striking on the list- Monument Valley immediately makes me think about the Navajo nation and how they survived in such an extreme environment. I would be humbled to see such a sacred place like this and feel the presence that the land brings. 

Below is a photo of a stunning sunset at Monument Valley.

9. Sedona (Arizona)

Sedona seems like the perfect weekend getaway for the hiker trying to get away from society. There’s something unique about Sedona that draws me in and wants me to explore this place.

10. Grand Canyon (Arizona)

I put the Grand Canyon on my list because surprisingly I’ve never been there! I hear about the vastness this amazing place holds and cannot wait till I’m able to experience it. Hopefully I can check it off this year with my national parks pass!

Spring is coming in full force and that means it’s adventure time. Get out and explore somewhere new near you today. And if you’ve been lucky enough to explore any of the places on this list, leave a comment below sharing part of your experience, I would love to hear about it.

Happy Days,



The Biggest Tree in the World | Sequoia National Park

As many of you may know I recently took a short trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, mostly because of the giant sequoia beings that live there. The parks were nothing short of amazing and the weather shined right on us. Sadly we only camped one night but I will definitely be going back there. 

On Sunday morning we packed the car and headed down south with all three of us in the car. Shadow was able to come on this trip, but to be honest national parks are not what I would call dog-friendly, but I’ll explain that later. It was going to be our first family camping trip so we actually prepared this time. And what I mean by prepared is making a complete list of meals and making sure we had everything for a week (we went other places too). The drive down was beautiful and we passed a huge lake right before the par entrance that would be worth stopping for. 

We also got to use our America the Beautiful national parks pass for the first time! The Merced River runs right through the valley and we were able to score a campsite with our own river access (score). I wish I would’ve taken a photo of our campsite but here is a photo of the drive leading up to it 🙂

After sleeping to the sound of the flowing river, we woke up, ate breakfast and headed off for the main attraction–General Sherman, aka the biggest tree in the world. The drive was straight up a mountain but once you’re at the top you enter the Giant Forest. Soon after you see it, the biggest tree in the world!

I was surprised that you’re able to see the top from where I was standing, but at the same time I couldn’t really tell how tall it was, but the trunk was huge!

General Sherman, or Big G

I am over the moon that I finally got to see this giant! It was one of those moments that felt so surreal because I never thought I would actually get here..in California..in Sequoia National Park. 

If you ever get the chance to make it here, I would say GO. Especially if you’re a tree-lover like me 🙂 And up next for me will be the tallest tree in the world. 

Happy Days! 


How to Find the Best Trails Near You

One of my most asked questions is how do I find all these different places to hike all the time? So today I wanted to talk about how I find great trails to hike wherever I go. It might seem boring to have to research trails for hours just to find one that’s right for your adventure. I used to go through the same thing, googling for hours and searching Instagram for unique spots, but this took too much time for someone who just wants to get out there already (like me). I thought there must be an easier way to find a bunch of hiking trails and that’s when I went to the app store and stumbled upon the All Trails app. Now I want you to know this post is not sponsored in any way by All Trails, I just genuinely love this app and use it on a regular basis.

The details

You have to turn on your location settings and then it pulls up a lengthy list of trails near you. It gives you a short description and information about the length and elevation, which is always important to know. And for us dog-lovers, we get to sort through trails based on whether or not they are dog-friendly, which saves me a lot of time on Bring Fido.

All Trails


When you use the map tool you can see how far the trails are, which is really helpful for me when I don’t want to go too far. Sometimes I’m picky about where I want to go because sometimes I don’t wanna be around people, others I just want some great scenery. I can easily tell which places have the best view by scrolling through the photos, and then I usually pick the one that looks most beautiful that I haven’t been to. I then favorite <3 the trail and it’s saved to my favorites list. This allows me to look up any place I might be going in the future (like Yosemite) and pick out trails that I want to hike, and I can just save them for later.

I am happy that I found a tool to help me find incredible spots anywhere I go. I highly recommend checking it out and seeing how many trails are near you that you never knew about it. If you want to see some of the places I’ve found through All Trails, just check out my Washoe Valley Hiking Guide, I found all of them on there.

I’m planning on doing a in-depth guide of adventure spots in the future, so look out for that. Let me know how you find great trails in the comments below.

Happy hiking loves!