Natal Granite Retreat is located in the Granite Ridge division of Shaver Lake; this quiet neighborhood features large lots (this house sits on an acre of land) all without fences and featuring an extensive system of hiking trails. There is a hiking trail at the lower portion of the property, and you can take off and hike all day from the house.
The town of Shaver Lake is just up the road. It is a quaint town with two grocery stores and several pubs, restaurants, a gas station, Pizza parlor, and gift stores. Spoiler alert: there is NO STARBUCKS, no McDonald's, and no Taco Bell!
However, there is a horseback riding stable just a few miles away, open all summer. There is a beautiful lake for swimming, boating and fishing. There are lots of streams, meadows and waterfalls for hiking trips. There are picnic grounds, boat rentals in the summer, skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and lots more!
What is there to do in Shaver Lake?Here are a lot of ideas, links to other websites, insider tips to fun things to do and more!
Keep in mind, the weather in the Sierra's can change at the drop of a hat!
Rancheria Ent. Huntington (559)893-3234 Huntington Lake Resort Marina (559)893-6750
Shaver Lake and Dinkey Creek are the most popular fishing spots in Shaver Lake but ask at the stores for other popular local spots. If you hang around a bit the locals will tell you about their favorite "secret" spots! You can get bait and fishing permits at the stores.
Bike Riding There are miles and miles of great mountain biking areas in the Shaver Lake area--bring those bikes!
Off-Roading If you love Off-Highway Vehicle recreation, you will love this area! There miles and miles of dirt trails around Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake and other high-country areas in the Sierra National Forest. Whether you are quadding, driving a Jeep or other 4-wheel drive vehicle, there is no lack of interesting terrain to explore.
Hiking Hiking is my passion, which is one of the main reasons I built this cabin in Shaver Lake in the first place. Once you get here you'll see why it is my very favorite place in the world. Here are some of my favorite hikes, starting from "so easy you don't have to plan it" to "get up early and make a full day of it":
We have a hiking trail that crosses the bottom of our property. (Of course, if you have young children and they don't know how to navigate in the woods, then they would need a hiking-savvy adult with them.) You can meander for hours along these trails, and if you are uncomfortable about navigation, bring a phone and GPS and you will not be far from roads. Off of this trail you can go in a lot of different directions to go through the woods and meadows, and to the lake, around the lake, up the mountains and all throughout the woods. FYI: the lake is plenty warm for swimming in May, or just laze in the sun at the lake.
Other of our favorite hiking spots are the hiking trails going upstream on Dinkey Creek, going to the Rancheria waterfall (not a long drive and it is an easy hike to the falls), and going to the giant redwood forest at McKinley Grove. (http://www.shaverlake.com/area-guide/scenic-sights/) I would rate all of these as beginner level hikes, no really difficult spots to navigate.
Another favorite for my husband and I was what we call a "serendipity" hike: drive up the road past the lake a little or a long ways and when you see a nice granite escarpment, pull over and hike up the hill. Any hill. The great thing about the terrain at this altitude is that it is mostly passable, except for the odd box canyon or a few brushy or boggy areas, usually easy to travel around. I have a nice collection of photos of granite boulders with "open mouths" from serendipity hikes.
If you are into more challenging hikes, I personally like the trails up at the higher altitudes, such as the ones from Florence Lake and Lake Edison. There is one that I love but it can be difficult unless you are acclimated: it's called "Devil's Bathtub" and is from a trailhead at the northeast end of Lake Edison. It's in the John Muir Wilderness. And there are many, many other trails in the John Muir Wilderness that are spectacular. I personally like trails that start at around 8,000 feet and climb over 12,000 (especially over a pass above the treeline and with long views.)
If you like to hike and fish, I prefer the unbeaten tracks for fishing, and find the little streams that go through high altitude meadows to be the best for pulling up fat trout.
Horseback Riding Another of our family favorites is horseback riding. There's a stable right near the lake and they have one hour and longer rides. They can accommodate beginning riders with gentle horses. Shaver Stables: (559)841-8500
China Peak is a short drive from the cabin and is a family-friendly resort. Not only is it reasonably priced, but they also have great package deals, lessons (with the lessons for young kids and for beginners being excellent!), great facilities, equipment rental and lots of fun activities. They have a snowboard park designed for the snowboarders.
Rental of equipment is also available in the downtown area of Shaver Lake.
Sledding, Show Shoeing, Sno-Parks
Sledding is great fun down the back of our property. And the hiking trail running along the back of the property is also a great snow-showing trail (watch for markers so you don't get lost in the woods!)
Cross-country skiing, sledding, snowmobiling and other winter activities are accessible from the Sno-Parks. You will need a permit, available at Shaver Lake Sports.