Tahoe Tramping
Martis Creek Wildlife Area
If you are looking for an easy four mile loop trail in order to get a little outdoor exercise and some fresh air, then try the Martis Creek Wildlife Area loop trail.  The Tompkins Memorial Trail is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers in partnership with the Northstar Community Services District in the open plains of Martis Valley on the west side of Hwy 267.
This area is full of open meadows, grass filled marshes, small willow-lined streams,forested knolls, and open views of distant snow-covered peaks and mountains.  On a recent visit we saw many wildfowers and some nice birds.
I actually decided to visit this area because a few days prior, I was driving towards Tahoe on Hwy 267 and thought I saw a large patch of camas lilies growing out in the valley.  Turns out, the large patch of blue I saw from the road were actually larkspurs growing on a raised parcel of dry ground. However, farther along the trail in some low lying wet areas, there were large patches of the beautiful camas lily.

We also saw other unique, uncommon wlldflowers in the area, including Hooker’s balsamroot, Lemmon’s onion, Drummond’s thistle, Northern sun cup, and Dwarf chamaesaracha.  We also saw a couple of mountain bluebirds, a Cassin’s finch, swallows, sparrows, and blackbirds.  While crossing a boardwalk over a wet, marshy grass area, we heard a Wilson’s snipe calling.  (Anyone interested in going on a snipe hunt?)

Martis valley is close, so if you want to walk, jog, or run, this four mile loop trail should fit

the bill.  Hope you enjoy this area as much as we did.  Tom

PLEASE NOTE: This article was written in May so the scenery and colors have changed, but it’s still a fun and beautiful hike!  Enjoy!!