Nationally ranked axe thrower opens location in South Tahoe

Laney Griffo
Nate Hodges has been throwing axes since he was a little kid. (Laney Griffo / Tahoe Daily Tribune)

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A nationally ranked timber sportsman is bringing his love of the sport to South Lake Tahoe with the opening of a new axe throwing business.

Nate Hodges has been throwing axes in his hometown of North Fork, Calif., since he was a young kid.

“I used to get in trouble with my grandpa for chopping trees on his property,” Hodges said.

He competed in his hometown lumberjack show and when he was 18-years-old, he signed up for his competition, which he won.

Since then, he’s become nationally ranked in timber sports, including axe and hatchet throwing, and has represented the United States in global competitions. He’s also volunteered as a coach for the local high school team.

However, it wasn’t until just a few years ago that he realized he could turn his passion into a business.

“This was all just a dream but I could see that it had potential,” Hodges said.

He opened his first locations in Mammoth, Oakhurst and Big Bear.

North Fork is only 30 minutes from Yosemite, so the park had a special place in his heart. When it came time to name his business, he chose Yosemite Axe Throwing.

“It’s part of my story so I went with it,” Hodges said.

Yosemite Axe Throwing has 10 available lanes. (Laney Griffo / Tahoe Daily Tribune)

Yosemite Axe Throwing opened its South Lake Tahoe location this summer, and despite the pandemic, he became established.

“I don’t want to be in the cities,” Hodges said. “I knew people who are visiting the mountains would be interested, it’s very much part of the experience.”

When Hodges isn’t throwing axes, he works as a general contractor. He milled all the wood he used for the interior of the business, including the front desk, the siding and the trim, in his own backyard.

Yosemite Axe Throwing meets the guidelines of the World Axe Throwing League, so anyone who is part of the league can compete there. WATL handles all the event scheduling, Hodges just has to provide the location.

The fall league will start in mid-September and is available to anyone aged 8 years old and older.

He also offers local discounts.

The South Lake location has 10 throwing lanes available and costs $30 per person for a one hour experience or $25 per person for groups of six or more.

To learn more, visit

Staff give lessons to newbies and experienced throwers who need tips. (Laney Griffo / Tahoe Daily Tribune)

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