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Author Topic: Bonsai Rock, Lake Tahoe . . . how hard REALLY?  (Read 4098 times)
Mark Ogden
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« on: March 22, 2014, 02:41:23 PM »
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Heading to Lake Tahoe for some wildflower shots and I think I'd like to do some work at Bonsai Rock near Sand Harbor.  I've heard varying reports about how hard this location is to get to, some say the descent to the beach is steep and treacherous, others say it's not that bad.  So if you have been there, can you characterize it for me, both going down and climbing back up?  Thanks!
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ron ritcher
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2014, 11:40:48 PM »
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I've visited only once, so am no expert, but as a 60-something guy with a couple barking knees from too much running back in the day, I made it fairly easily and will be up for another try sometime, too.  Can't recall if there's much of a trail, but switchbacking through the brush got me there and back.  It's a 10-minute hike, max.

The larger challenge will be finding the precise spot (which cannot be seen from the highway) and then a place to legally park.  Better plan on a few-hundred-yard trek on the shoulder.  I'm sure there are sites out there with GPS coordinates to help you.  I was there late in the afternoon for a beautiful sunset; early mornings may be pretty nice, as well.  Good luck!

Ron
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zippski
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2014, 08:18:24 AM »
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Bonsai Rock isn't even a hike, per say.  It's beside a parking lot on the side of the highway, which runs about 50 yards from the lake's edge.

Unless you're confined to a walker, it's doable, and maybe even then so.

Leigh
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ron ritcher
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2014, 10:58:37 PM »
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Leigh MAY be referring to Sand Point State Park, rather than Bonsai Rock (the accompanying shot is from SPSP).  Bonsai will test you a little bit more, and as mentioned earlier, try to get precise GPS coordinates, because parking along the highway is NOT allowed, except in certain spots.

Ron
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SeanBK
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2014, 01:16:39 PM »
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This should help u a lot. I'd love to go there but need a hiking buddy. Sad

http://www.fototripper.com/lake-tahoe-photo-guide-bonsai-rock/
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Mark Ogden
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2014, 06:09:24 PM »
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So I answered this question myself last week.  The turnout for Bonzai Rock is hard to find, but the co-ordinates provided above and Google Maps helped me sort it out.  There are two trails to the beach, the first at the very north end of the turnout.  This way is a little easier one for the unsure of foot, it is not as steep or sandy with more secure footfalls and some level landing places to stop and catch your breath.  If you walk north a little way north of the turnout, there is a much more direct way down that is MUCH steeper and more loose sand than the first.  I went down three times, using the first route down and the second back up. I found it easier to climb back out than to go down. I sadly note that graffiti taggers have had their little fun here, what would be some other interesting compositions aside from the rock itself have been spoiled with paint.  On a bright note, I was joined one night by a lovely young local woman who makes it her business to come down now and then with a trash bag to pickup beer cans and rubbish. God bless her.
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