Students come for the snow, stay for the sun

Summering in Tahoe is a highlight of Sierra life


Photo: Gabby Dodd

Cole Lyon and friends enjoying the hot sun and cool water at Bonzi Rock

Ask anyone who’s lived in Tahoe for a while and they’ll tell you the same thing: The winters are amazing but the summers, the summers are magical, with the remnants of snow on top of the mountains, sunbathing on the beach, the beautiful sunsets over the lake, and the miles and miles of beautiful trails.

“I stayed out here for my first summer last year because I felt working in a tourist area offered more fun jobs than there were back east,” Teddy Hoffman, a Sierra Nevada College sophomore said. “I’d really rather work on the beach than be home doing landscaping.”

A lot of the time that’s how it goes. A student comes out to SNC for college in the winter and fall, then once the semester ends, they’re so caught up in the beauty that they stay for the summer.

“I was here for about a week and a half at the beginning of last summer. I couch-hopped right after the semester riding Squaw,” Ben Hojnoski, SNC sophomore, said. “I’m fully living out here this summer, I saw my friends out here last summer and it just looked too good to pass up.”

The warm weather in summertime provides a perfect chance to get out and make the most of the beautiful surroundings all around the lake.

“I worked at Action Water Sports last summer, so I did jet ski and kayak rentals at the beach. It was great,” Hoffman said. “I love just spending time at the beach, drinking a couple of beers and making some food on the grill. There’s nothing better.”

Photo: Gabby Dodd
Alumnis Rachel Lightner and Brian Bales doing sunset yoga at Lake Aloha

The beach isn’t the only attraction for people staying out in Tahoe. Following this historic heavy-snow winter, Squaw is staying open into July. Mammoth Mountain will be open through Labor Day.

“The snow is what drove me to come out here for school originally so being able to stay here all summer and still be able to ride is amazing,” Hojnoski said. “Squaw is close, and Mammoth is only three hours away. It’s great that they’re both on the same pass because once squaw closes, I can go up to Mammoth for a weekend trip here or there.”

Those planning to stay in Tahoe this summer need to act quickly.

“I’ve been looking for a house now for a little while and it’s not easy,” Hoffman said. “The places are either too expensive or a lot of the people I’ve talked to said they don’t want to rent out their houses to college students. I understand where their coming from, but I mean, not all college students are the same. They’re stereotyping.”

“The summer definitely goes by fast, especially if your down by the beach drinking beers like I was,” Hoffman said. “But the biggest thing you have to remember if you’re going to live out here. Sunblock, do not forget it.”