We stayed here for two nights in early August while exploring the Lakes Basin area north of Truckee. We usually go to Tahoe and thought that it would instead be fun to see what this area had to offer. We were looking for hiking, fly fishing and swimming in lakes. Great area on all of those fronts and not crowded in the least compared to to the Tahoe Basin.
I had been a bit concerned about the location of our particular cabin, as we booked late and got a cabin -- it's really a king-bedded great room with adjacent bathroom -- across the lodge road and slightly elevated from the main lodge. Things are more spread out than they appear on the lodge map, so I don't believe that there is any bad cabin. I really enjoyed the view from both the front deck as well as from the bed itself even though the main lodge and small parking lot were visible low in the view field. The cabin itself was quite large and very comfortable, with a cathedral ceiling, wood floors, AC and ceiling fan, a sitting area, small fridge and adjoining full bathroom. Whitehawk is quite different than most of the "lodges" that we saw while in area; the others I would fairly characterize as old and rustic. Most require a minimum one week stay, and all of them, including Whitehawk, close for the winter. While the other lodges have their charm, it's mostly in terms of their proximity to a water feature or hiking trail, not the accommodations or amenities. Whitehawk was very nice to come back to after a long day of hiking, fly fishing and swimming. And the bed/mattress were great!
There is a good size pool with hot tub on the property. We didn't use either of those or the tennis courts. If you golf, there is a golf course on the property. It looks well-maintained and has plenty of carts.
Breakfast comes with the room, and on that front I would prefer to order off of a menu, even a very limited one, than get the one item that is offered per day. However, it did seem that if you asked for something else that scrambled eggs were available, and coupled with the side dishes (e.g., fruit, sausage) to the featured entree that option would work out well for most breakfast eaters. We also had dinner there our first night, which was convenient given that we could just walk over, as opposed to having to drive at least several miles to get anywhere else. The food was good, but a bit heavy for our tastes. I wouldn't come to this area specifically for the food, though several of the lodges in the area are apparently known for their food. We dined at Packer Lake Lodge the second night and liked the rustic ambience and small size of the place. The food was a bit more to our liking, perhaps because less effort was made to make it seem like more than it was. But it too is a place where the food is really enhanced by the location. After dinner there we did a little fly fishing on Packer Lake.
If you want a more upscale lodging option in the Graeagle/Lakes Basin area, this is the place. If you want something more rustic, perhaps lake/creek front, and can get a reservation, then you may want to try Gray Eagle Lodge, Sardine Lake Lodge, Packer Lake Lodge, and Elwell Lakes Lodge. All of them have better out-the-door hiking, but are very different in terms of their accommodations and amenities. We'd definitely return to Whitehawk Lodge and found the short drive to the trailheads or fishing areas a worthwhile trade-off for a very comfortable night's sleep in a clean, well-appointed "cabin."
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One hour from Tahoe or Reno. Enjoy golfing, hiking, biking, kayaking or fishing; relax in your own private cabin, each with a deck overlooking spectacular mountain surroundings. Adjacent to award-winning Whitehawk Golf Course with charming Graeagle nearby. Unwind in our main lodge with sprawling decks, bar and dining. Swimming pool, Jacuzzi, pond & tennis courts to enjoy. Pets welcome (we even have a swimming pond for dogs). ... more less