Chickadee Ridge awaits those willing to go where there are now signs, and the reward of breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe are matched by the child like enthusiasm that washes over you when the Chickadee come to eat.
Blue Bird Skies in Lake Tahoe
The Journey was inspired, by others that have gone before us and left social media posts for us to follow. The instructions, a bit hazy on the details, sent us packing for an afternoon hike to the south west of Tahoe Meadows just above Incline Village. The clues left behind, mentioned no signs, great views of Lake Tahoe and bring the bird seed. So we went to discover.
Chickadee Ridge is an iconic day adventure which promises the opportunity to feed birds directly from your hands, if you can find the right location. It is an unmarked location in the general area of the Tahoe Rim Trail with the best instructions we could find was located to the South West of Tahoe Meadows. As we discovered when we arrived Parking in Tahoe Meadows is roadside as it is a popular destination in the Mount Rose Wilderness Area for winter activity. A local on her lunch break was finishing her cross country ski outing and told us the best way to the ridge was to walk West along the highway until we saw a well traveled trail and to follow this trail up the ridge.
Sometimes wandering aimlessly through the snow helps me find direction and sense of peace for the rest of the journey
Discovering the Chickadee Birds was exciting, as we had spent nearly 40 minutes on the ridge and started to wonder if this was Lake Tahoe’s version of the snipe hunt… As we left the wide open views of Lake Tahoe and headed back into the hill and the trees, the birds just appeared. Taking the birdseed from my pocket and filling my palm it took about 30 seconds before the first bird dove in and landed on my hand. There little feet grabbing a finger or edge as they glided in for a landing and a quick snag of some seed.
First it is was one bird, then two and before I knew it they were landing and taking off from my hand in an almost poetic pace from all directions. Some stopped for a selfie others were quick hit types that grabbed and left so quick. But after a few minutes we actually started seeing double action as birds were sharing from the same hand.
After 20 minutes our feet gave out to the cold before our spirit and joy gave out on the birds and it was time to go, but not before we got smart and collected the coordinates to this location so we could return.
So here is the question: Are you up for discovery? This 3 maybe 4 mile round trip hike is not too difficult. With a little sense of direction and by following the crowd you will find the ridge, the great look over Lake Tahoe, and the birds if you are paying attention. So pack a bag, grab the snowshoes, get the family or friends together and go discover one of Lake Tahoe’s Great Adventures. It is beautiful in so many ways.