Larger Than Life by Annora McGarry in Tahoe City, California

My photos represent a smattering of life in North Lake Tahoe. Hiking and messing around on the beach is great fun for recreation in the summer, and snowboarding and snowshoeing all winter. The people of North Lake Tahoe are quirky, and the photo of the lakeside summer house, the “Love Shack” is one that I love because so many of the houses are like people’s dreams manifested. Most of them look like the sort of place where you picture a Golden Retriever bounding out the door while the kids play in the water and Mom and Dad have a quiet cocktail on the dock, but this one looks like a summer camp cabin, humbled and weathered. A different sort of dream. Being a vacation destination means that the winters and summers are busy, but the spring is the time for locals to take in sunsets by poaching docks at people’s summer homes. Lake Tahoe itself is a stunning sight, but the rugged country surrounding it takes my breath away. Miles of great hiking and backpacking trails, and some amazing and approachable backcountry and side-country skiing and snowboarding. It truly feels like the wild west, where everything is larger than life.
Name:Annora McGarry



Taking photos, skiing, and writing.

Tell us about Tahoe City:

Tahoe City, located on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, is a world away from the casinos and development of South Lake Tahoe. Tahoe City is rustic, with a proud local base, and echoes the old Lake Tahoe, with post and beam buildings and sunburned loggers in bars. On the weekends, Tahoe City gets congested with visitors, but on weekdays, the locals take over again. On warm days, locals head to secret beaches, and on snow days, locals build jumps in their backyards, avoiding the crowded ski resorts.

A perfect day?

A perfect day in Tahoe depends on the season. In the summer, it would involve floating the Truckee River followed by a barbecue on the West Shore. In the winter, it would be getting some fresh lines with friends (because there are friends on a powder day), and stopping for a shifter at the end of the day.

What is the best thing about Tahoe City?

The best thing about Tahoe City is its abundance of nature. There is a ton of national forest land, with miles of hiking and biking trails. The wilderness areas provide some amazing backpacking spots, and of course Lake Tahoe is a great place to spend a day.

What is the worst?

The housing situation. It is difficult to find affordable housing given the wages that people make. Most people have a bunch of roommates, and I even know a few homeless working people who can only afford to live out of their cars or on friends’ couches.

What would be surprising about Tahoe City to an outsider?

How large that Lake Tahoe is, and how different South Lake is from North Lake. Most people think of casinos when they think Lake Tahoe, but there really aren’t many casinos in North Lake Tahoe. Tahoe City has a laid-back, small town vibe.

If Tahoe City was a person or character who would it be?

Probably someone rugged. This place is full of transplants, but embodies the essence of the West…everything is larger than life, and there is so much visible success.

Who are three of your favorite artists?

Ansel Adams, Justin Hogan, Candide Thovex


Name:Annora McGarry

City:Tahoe City

Favorite place to eat:

Cooking at home

Favorite place to drink:

The Firesign Cafe has great breakfast, West Shore Market and PDQ have great sandwiches.

Local Tip:

Come up on the weekdays, it is less crowded.

Must Do:

See all of the sights! Emerald Bay, Sand Harbor, and sunsets on the lake. Go on one of the many amazing hikes too.