"Guaranteed Solitude in Soda Springs, California" Soda Springs by karenincalifornia
Soda Springs Travel Guide: 22 reviews and 24 photos
Soda Springs, California is one of my favorite weekend getaway destinations when I want to run away from the rat race of city life. It is close enough to the Bay Area to be a relatively easy drive, yet far enough away to be isolated and unspoiled.
This pristine location does not attract tourists because the area has limited promotion. Most Bay Area vacationers bypass this area as they fly along the I-80 on their way to more glamorous haunts on Lake Tahoe. The lack of promotion and limited facilities translate into lack of crowds and peaceful solitude.
The Soda Springs area is unpretentious and feels like a throwback to the 50s. Although it is only 30 minutes from Lake Tahoe, it has none of the glitz and glamour of South Lake Tahoe. Accommodations and facilities are rustic and sparse. Even the ski areas are decidedly low-key.
January 2004 -- The Sierra Nevada mountain range in California is awesome this winter. The November, December and January storms have dumped an incredible amount of snow in the mountains. Winter sports and activities are at their best!
March 2004 -- March has been unseasonably warm in Northern California. At Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, temps reached 60 degrees F, with sunny skies every day. Snow was bordering on slush but did we care? No! With the warm sunny days and lack of crowds, the weekend was made for sun and speed! There is still a LOT of snow -- waterfalls and rivers will be running at full force in late spring/early summer.
June 2004 -- -- This area is also a perfect location for summer activities -- white water rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, mountain climbing, hiking, and golf are all available in the area. In mid-June, the last patches of snow were melting, days were balmy, and nights were bit chilly. Wildflowers are abundant. The area is serene and quiet.
Soda Springs is located in a snow belt near the top of the western flank of a mountain range near Donner Summit. Due to its location, it gets pounded by the snow storms just before the storms move on to Lake Tahoe. As of January 2004, the base coverage was 7 to 14 feet of snow.
Only 2-1/2 hours from the San Francisco Bay Area, Soda Springs is the perfect getaway for a weekend, or an entire week. Soda Springs has remained unspoiled by commercialization and the area is never crowded. It sits at a 7,500 foot elevation, which means more snow, a longer winter, and slightly cooler temperatures than Lake Tahoe.
As for summer, the high elevation means balmy days. High temperatures usually do not exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pros:Uncrowded, great location for winter and summer activities
- Cons:Bad cell coverage by Serene Lakes
- In a nutshell:Each time I leave this place, I am already planning my next return trip.
From Ice Lake Lodge, follow the Soda Springs semi-improved dirt road south. The road starts alongside a creek with... more travel advice
A brisk walk or run around the lake at dawn in the summer is an invigorating way to start the day in the summer. Head... more travel advice
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