I decided to take a day trip to Alpine Meadows in the Lake Tahoe area of California on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2019 (January 21st). I left from San Francisco on Bay Area Ski Bus (aka: Tahoe Ski Trips), being picked up at 16th Street and Carolina at 4:50am. Due to the holiday traffic and road conditions, we arrived at the base of the resort at about 10:45am.
It had snowed substantially, over 70 inches, in the days leading up. The day was mostly overcast, with light snow on and off throughout. There were periods of sunshine throughout the day as well. The snow was therefore in near ideal condition, not slushy or icy, with decent powder in the trees. I could hear many explosions during the day, these are to reduce avalanches from the recent snowfall.
See current weather at Alpines Meadows here.
Due to the holiday traffic, we needed to park in an overflow lot and take a shuttle to the bus. We aimed to leave at or before 5:30pm but someone delayed us about 10 minutes. We arrived back in San Francisco at midnight, after watching three and half movies on the way back.
Day Trip Recommendations
If you are going to take a day trip bus to Alpine Meadows, here are some ideas to keep in mind:
- Bring a sleeping mask, earplugs and a neck pillow so you can sleep on the bus
- Return to the bus at the start of the time window to get food and drinks when offered
- Return to your same seat or the departure could be delayed
- Do not show up late for the bus, be there 15 minutes prior, arriving and leaving
- Bring your own lunch and dinner to save time and money
- Rent a locker for your food, change of clothing and other items if you cannot carry everything with you (lockers allow access all day long)
- Renting equipment at the resort is generally a bad idea in terms of quality, rent gear elsewhere to prevent painful boots if you don't own (I rented from Sports Basement in the Presidio)
- You cannot access the bus between drop off and return times
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