In North California : Lakes, Beaches and Snow

posted in: California, Family life | 0


By Mummy B.


For the Super Bowl, we spent the weekend with the Bourgs. But before staying the whole Sunday in front of the TV eating nachos with cheese, we decided to breath some fresh air. I take you back in time, three weeks ago, for a special day when we went from the beach to the snow … in just a few hours!


Donner Lake, a small piece of US history


We start from Roseville, located half an hour north of Sacramento, and we drive up Interstate 80 to reach Donner Lake.

Les rives de Donner Lake



This lake, which is called the jewel of the Sierra Nevada, is marked by a tragic story. In 1846, it’s the “Conquest of the West”. A group of American pioneers, whole families with their children, take the road to California. Unfortunately they follow a new route trip which is not suitable with wagons and, in winter, they are trapped by a snowstorm for several months. Then, the emigrants decide to camp near a lake which will take the name of the leader of the expedition, George Donner. Because of the lack of food supplies, and even after eating their cattle, 36 members of the 89 pioneers die of starvation or sickness. Some survivors even resorted to cannibalism to stay alive.

When you know this story and you look around the mountains and forests that surround the lake, you cannot help but think of these brave families who built the United States. These men and women have taken an incredible challenge across an entire continent by wagon train. They created cities, some of which have since become world famous megalopolises, in the heart of a hostile nature, without all the scientific and technical resources we now enjoy. A feat that may partly explain the strong patriotism that exists here.

Reflet du soleil sur le lac


We easily find a place to park to enjoy the scenery. The sun shines high in the sky, the water is crystal-clear and the quietness of the place is really restful. Even if the water is too cold for swimming, we appreciate the edges of this lovely lake and enjoy our picnic.

Mimi et son pique-nique

Mummy B. et son sandwich

Daddy B. et sa bière



You can easily imagine yourself in one of the cottages around the lake for a weekend. Fishing parties and drinks by the fireplace, for sure weekends are great here. But for now, the picnic is over and the little ones want to play. The flower bed is a perfect beam to our begginers gymnasts.

Les chalets sur la rive du Donner Lake

Un pêcheur sur donner lake

Pêcher sur le donner lake

Les chalets au bord du lac

Les papas et les gymnastes


After a little exercise, it’s time to go back to the car and continue our journey.


Kings Beach, welcome in Tahoe Lake


After half an hour we reach Kings Beach, on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. We are very close to the border with Nevada.

Le lac Tahoe à Kings Beach

Le soleil brille à Kings Beach

La jolie Kings Beach du Lac Tahoe


The landscape is beautiful again. There are pines along the beach, the sun is reflected in the clear water of the lake and we can see the mountains on the horizon. In the absence of snow (it hasn’t fallen for several weeks), the girls enjoy the sand. Daddy B. even improvised a ricochet lesson! And on the eve of Super Bowl, of course football is also in the spotlight!

Magnifique kings beach

Pommes de pin sur la plage

Sara et Loulou

Daddy B. et Mimi

Mimi B. fait des ricochets

Le ballon de foot de J-L

Mimi, Choupi et Loulou

Mimi B. prête à lancer


If officially dogs are not allowed on the beach, we bring Doggy B. with us as we see many other people with their dogs. In summer, when the beach is used for sunbathing, perhaps it is more complicated! But in winter it does not seem to be a problem that the only brave to dive into the lake are animals.

Doggy B. sur la plage

daddy B. Choupi, Mimi et Doggy B.


Here you will find everything you need to spend a nice day with family or friends in any season. The facilities around the beach are convenient and clean. There are a large parking, some picnic tables, public restrooms and a playground. Our daughters are delighted to play in structures where they can climb and slide.

Mimi grimpe


The end of the day approaches, we have no longer time to drive around the lake, so we decide to turn back.

Les maris discutent... de sport!



Boreal, where you can find snow even if it hasn’t fallen for long


Before going back, we stop at Boreal Mountain Resort, a ski resort located in Soda Springs just over an hour from Roseville. Equipped with snow cannons, Boreal offers us a real snowy winter landscape. We don’t  find here a nice fresh powdered snow, but for our children, artificial snow is well enough to make their eyes sparkle.

La station de ski de Boreal

Paysage d'hiver en Californie

Daddy B. sous un soleil d'hiver


Indeed we told our daughters about a snow day but the weather didn’t allow us to provide the snowball battles they dreamed about. So we take advantage of the area around the station to play with our sleigh, a small consolation prize for our Frozen-addicts who were thinking of building their own Olaf! One after each other, we have so much fun sliding in the snow.

Sara et Mummy B.

Mimi, 1ère fois en luge

Prêt, feu... goooooo!


This is a very happy moment, but it ends soon. Indeed, for insurance reasons (and profit also… no doubt!), managers of the station don’t agree that we stay there and invite us to buy a package to enjoy the resort. The night is already fallen and we are tired, so we won’t pay an expensive cost for a few minutes of sliding. We prefer to leave. Next time, if real snow is coming to Boreal, perhaps we will think about this place for the whole day.

Coucher de soleil à Boreal

Boreal de nuit


We had a great day and we again realized how lucky we are to live in California. A state with beautiful and varied landscapes that make you feel travel all the time, just in a few miles.


Stars in our eyes at Mission Dolores Park (San Francisco, CA)
Project 52 - Week 8

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