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Washoe Meadows State Park is located on the western edge of California near the state’s border with Nevada. The state park rests on completely undeveloped land and is filled with valleys and meadows. The grounds were once home to Native Americans, and the park gets its name from one of the tribes that used to live here.
This area of California tends to have cold winters and hot summers, but the spring and fall are very mild and sunny. Washoe Meadows State Park can be found a short drive away from Sacramento.
There are quite a few outdoor activities that you can enjoy while at Washoe Meadows State Park, and one is hiking. The state park is filled with various pathways hikers can explore, including a few that will take you to Lake Tahoe. One of the most popular trails in the park is the Washoe Meadows Trail, which is surrounded by wildflowers during the spring and summer and offers beautiful views of the local landscape.
Another thing to do during your time at Washoe Meadows State Park is fishing. Thanks to the park’s location near Lake Tahoe, the park is a prime fishing spot in the area. Some species you’ll find swimming in it are trout, bass, bluegill, and whitefish. The park also contains part of the Upper Truckee River, which is packed with brook trout.
Visitors could also do wildlife photography. The park is home to numerous types of birds and animals, like coyotes, bears, lizards, juncos, chickadees, and tanagers. Photographers can grab their cameras to try capturing them in their natural habitat.
Should you book an RV in El Dorado County, there are plenty of campgrounds to choose from. One option to keep your RV at is Tahoe Valley Campground. This camping spot rests along the edge of Lake Tahoe and offers amenities such as WiFi, restrooms, and storage facilities. This pet-friendly RV campground also has a picnic area, tennis court, and pool.
Another place to keep your motorhome at is Ice House Campground. This RV campground is surrounded by fragrant ponderosa pines and features amenities such as water, electricity, restrooms, and a dumping station. There are also fire rings and picnic tables for your enjoyment.
Visitors will find a few interesting destinations nearby that they can take a quick day trip to with their travel trailer. About an hour away in California’s capital city Sacramento is the Sacramento Zoo. The zoo first opened in 1927 and has grown to cover over 14 acres. Today, visitors will be able to view many different animals housed inside the zoo, like giraffes, meerkats, and iguanas. The zoo also hosts a variety of different events throughout the year that range from tea days to photography classes. There are a small cafe and gift shop on the grounds.
In Roseville, there’s Folsom Lake. This natural wonder rests on the American River and features a few hiking and biking trails wrapping around it. While here, visitors will also be able to see the old Folsom Powerhouse, which was in operation from 1885 to 1952.
A short drive away in Olympic Valley is where you will find Alpine Meadows. This stunning ski resort provides breathtaking views of Squaw Valley (the area that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics) for skiers and snowboarders as they race down the mountainside. This destination features 13 lifts and 100 miles of trails for visitors to explore. During the summer, there isn’t any snow, but plenty of wildflowers covering the local fields.
In Elk Grove, visitors can stop by Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was established in 1994 and is home to hundreds of different animals and birds. Some you might catch a glimpse of while here include hawks, mallards, eagles, falcons, opossums, jackrabbits, otters, and foxes. The species you see will depend on the season you visit in. Besides its vast wildlife, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is filled with trails visitors can hike down, many of which will take you by stunning landscapes that range from wildflower meadows to marshes. Guided walks are available where park rangers will give visitors tours of the grounds and point out unique things about the refuge.
A two-hour drive away in Modesto is the McHenry Mansion. This historic structure was built in 1883 and showcases beautiful Victorian-Italianate architecture. Guests can take a tour of its interior where they’ll be able to view artifacts, like chandeliers and paintings while also learning more about the home’s interesting history. When you’re done exploring the mansion, stop by its gift shop that sells a handful of merchandise like books and locally-made goods, and pick up a souvenir.