Martis Valley Trail: Northstar Mountain Resort

Yesterday we traveled up to the Northstar Mountain Resort near Lake Tahoe to meet some friends for lunch. It was a short trip from Reno where we are staying, to the resort just across the state line in California. The skiing season seems to be winding down with less snow falling this year. The main village only has patches of snow left on the ground but the resort is still bustling with tourists looking for that last piece of winter sporting action.

Tall Pines at the Northstar Mountain Resort

At this time of year, the Northstar Mountain Resort is primarily geared to skiers and snowboarders but there are numerous trails for those who prefer a slower-paced outdoor adventure. We took the Martis Valley Trail for a couple of miles into the forests. We didn’t have a lot of time but managed to get out into relative wilds encountering early spring flowers, birds and chipmunks. There were patches of snow on the ground but for the most part, it was easy walking, crossing over a few mountain brooks and small areas of marsh.

Photographing the towering pine trees

Not surprisingly the landscape around Northstar is very different from the ones we are familiar with living in Maryland. The pine trees grow wider and taller here reducing the ability to take broad landscape shots and making it challenging to take a photograph that pops. These tall portrait views tend to lessen the dramatic impact of these majestic, towering trees. Still, the wonderful contrasts between the red pine needles, green foliage, and blue skies make a striking view all the same.

Our spring break adventure

The short trip to the mountain resort is just a part of a bigger adventure we are on, having taken the Capitol Limited train from Washington to Chicago and then the California Zephyr to Reno. It’s been a great trip to far and its nice to be getting further afield in the US.

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