A little local time: Shoulder season provides residents some breathing room for recreational activities | TahoeDailyTribune.com

A little local time: Shoulder season provides residents some breathing room for recreational activities

Amanda Fehd

Shoulder season equals solitude for full-time Lake Tahoe residents. Photos by Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune

You know it’s fall in Tahoe when you go out to your favorite spot and – lo and behold – you’re the only one there.

Fall brings cool temperatures, fewer people, beautiful colors and a little rain or snow to dampen those sandy trails.

This time of year is locals’ time of year.

“We have more time to ourselves and we have more of our back yard to ourselves,” said Gary Bell, owner of Sierra Cycle Works. He’s been mountain biking and hiking a lot, taking advantage of a trail that starts three blocks from his house.

“It was so nice to run across all these locals that were riding and hiking,” Bell said.

Nowadays, a hike or ride requires long sleeves, maybe a warm hat. An early start will ensure you aren’t crawling back in the dark. The sun has been creeping behind Mount Tallac by 4 p.m.

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But you’ll have to haul only half as much water as in the summer, when that high-altitude sun can suck it out of you.

“It’s the ultimate time of year here,” said Jay Sell, manager at Sports Ltd. “The mountain biking is probably the best of any time of the year here.”

As Tahoe residents milk the last of it before the snow falls, they also know winter fun is on the way.

“There’s the excitement of the change of seasons,” Bell said. “I’ve got bike grease on one hand and ski wax on the other.”