Love's a Trip

Lake Tahoe: High Sierra Heaven

Dec 3, 2004
Outside Magazine
Royal Gorge's Rainbow Lodge

Cold-Weather Pot of Gold: A snow-entrenched lodge at Rainbow Lodge

The Royal Gorge is a nordic skier's never-never land. Not only does the country's largest cross-country area, an hour's drive north of Lake Tahoe, boast 9,172 acres of High Sierra terrain; it also receives an average annual snowfall of more than 600 inches. THE LOVE NEST: Royal Gorge's Rainbow Lodge, a 1920s bed-and-breakfast made of hand-hewn timber and local granite, is a ten-minute drive from the main trailhead. Get out to glide, sure, but hold back at least one day to hole up in your wintry hideaway at 7,000 feet, with no TVs or phones to distract you. (Bridal suite with kitchen essentials—coffeemaker, fridge, microwave—and equally essential views of the Sierra, $195, including breakfast; 800-500-3871, DOUBLES PLAY: Stop at the resort's shop to rent gear (skis, boots, poles) for $20 per day. And if you lose yourselves on the 200 miles of groomed trails, you'll inevitably circle back to one of the ten warming huts, perfect for a break and a steamy mug of black tea.