Sorensen's Resort in Hope Valley, just south of Lake Tahoe, may be the quintessential community of tiny cabins in the woods.
The 165-acre resort sits at the base of a beautiful mountain and offers several cozy log cabins and cottages; a small restaurant and shop; a sauna; local fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and bicycling; and just pure relaxing in their hammocks next to a bubbling stream. The cabins are open all year long, and the resort even offers special events like photography tours, snowshoe tours and small weddings in their garden gazebo.
One of the Sorensen's Resort cabins in the snow — Photo courtesy of Sorensen's Resort
Sorensen's is located close to the Kirkwood Ski Area and Grover Hot Springs State Park and Campground. Each of the small cabins and cottages features its own country or rustic decor, and some (the Larkspur, Lupine and Piñon cabins) come with breakfast at the Country Café. These range in price from $125-$190 a night depending on the season and time of week.
Other one- and two-person cabins include the Foxtail, the Dancehall, the Dougfir and the Waterfir. The Redwood, Dogfir and Wagon Wheel cabins are pet-friendly. The cabins for two to four people include the Aspen, Silvertip and Juniper and the Log and Homestead cabins, which are also pet-friendly.
You can fit a large group in the Knotty Pine House or the Scandinavian-inspired Norway House. These larger cabins can run from between $185 a night to $250 a night, depending on the season and time of the week. Pet-friendly cabins cost an extra $10 a night. Each of the cabins are cleaned by the resort after guests have left.
A bedroom loft in one of Sorensen's cabins — Photo courtesy of Sorensen's Resort
Other cabins include authentic log cabins with wood-burning stoves, lofts and tiny kitchens. These include the Snowshoe, Creekside, Tanglewood, Wa-she-shu and the Rock Creek. Each of these cabins has its own distinctive style and decor, and all of the cabins sit either by the nearby creek or under the groves of cottonwoods that attract photographers in the fall. Nearby each of the cabins are statues of bears made from local wood and moss - who like to hang out in the trees and fish at the resort's small minnow pond. This pond is also available for children to try their hand at fishing.
Sorensen's Country Cafe serves three meals a day to lodging guests and the public as well as complimentary hot coffee, hot chocolate and tea to the guests all day long. Their specialities include beef burgundy stew, seasonal fish like lake or river trout, New York steak, quiche and beautiful handmade desserts. They also offer wine, Champagne and local and imported beers.
Right next to the cafe is Sorensen's gift shop, which features everything from locally made items like walking sticks and hats to a great selection of books on the Lake Tahoe and Sierra Nevada area. They also carry a nice selection of wines and gourmet foods that you can take back to your cozy cabin.
Sledding on one of Sorensen Resort's hills — Photo courtesy of Sorensen's Resort
During the summer, this area of Hope Valley is wonderful for hiking, fishing the nearby Carson River or even doing some whitewater kayaking and tubing. In the fall, the area really comes alive with the colors of the local cottonwood tree, and the road in front of the cabins can actually get jammed with weekend cars full of people looking at the fall colors. In the winter, this area is a different place. With a good snow, Sorensen's becomes a winter playground. Children are encouraged to sled down the nearby hills, and adults can take snowshoe tours of the valley and the river area.
Weddings at Sorensen's Resort take place in the idyllic setting of the woods behind the cabins, under a rustic, but beautiful gazebo. Guests can sit and enjoy the ceremony on granite boulders with the cottonwoods surrounding the happy couple. The staff of Sorensen's can also create a special menu for any event, and a maximum of 100 guests can be accommodated.