GPS: 38°35'N 119°48'W
Set in the Sierra Nevada Mountains south of Lake Tahoe, Sorenson’s Resort is a kind of hiker’s dream town, containing 33 whimsical log cabins, chalets, and homes—a sod-roof Swedish cottage and a bungalow rescued from a defunct Santa’s village among them—moved from elsewhere and rearranged here. Hikers can depart directly from the lodge into the surrounding national forest on Indian Head Trail or drive a short distance to unlimited options. In late summer try the six-mile (ten-kilometer) round-trip to Round Top Lake from Carson Pass on Highway 88. Beginning at 8,573 feet (2,613 meters), the trail wastes no time reaching timberline. Back at the resort, the café’s beef burgundy and berry cobbler can elicit Proustian nostalgia.
Vitals: $115; www.sorensensresort.com
Originally published in the April 2008 edition of National Geographic Adventure