“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Norden in Nevada County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Tri Lodges

Tri Lodges Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2014
1. Tri Lodges Marker
Because there were three lodges built on Forest Service land in the early 1930ís, they have always been referred to as the Tri-Lodges. The first of the three lodges built was der Naturfreund in 1931 (right). This is a private lodge owned by the Nature Friends, Inc., a world wide organization. When the original lodge, Sierra Haus, burned down in 1943, it was rebuilt in 1947 by volunteers from the San Francisco and Oakland clubs. The new lodge was named for William Heidelmann, the founder of the San Francisco Nature Friends.

In 1937 the Associated Students of University of California granted the schoolís Winter Sports Club $1000 to build the UC ski lodge (below right) for training of a ski team. The “temporary” lodge was built on U.S. Forest Service land leased to the group for $25 a year. At some time after that, the Forest Service focused on the word “temporary” and required a new building which was built by students and faculty of the university. Cal Lodge is owned and operated by the Associated Students of the University of California.

Clair Tappaan Lodge is the third lodge referred to as one of the Tri-Lodges. It was built by Sierra Club volunteers in 1934.

In 1987 the U.S. Government and the Sierra Club participated in a land swap. The U.S. Government
Tri Lodges Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2014
2. Tri Lodges Marker
The marker is on the left.
obtained title to certain lands, and in return, deeded title to the land on which Clair Tappaan, Cal Lodge and Heildelman (sic) were located. The Sierra Club then transferred title to the lodges located in that area.

A Good Story
Skiers at the Tri-Lodges first climbed the nearby mountains to go skiing but then in the early 30ís Naturfreund and Sierra Club people from Clair Tappaan imported a rope tow and equipment from San Francisco. They brought it up on the Lincoln Highway and stopped below the lodges. Then they hauled the tow and equipment up the hill, over RR tracks, up past the lodges, and to their skiing site up above. There they set up one of the first rope tows on Donner Summit.

Things to do right here
Both Claire (sic) Tappaan and Cal Lodge are open for business year-round. In the winter they are close to cross-country and downhill skiing sites. In the summer both are close to the Pacific Crest Trail, rock climbing, hiking and bicycling. Cal Lodge has accommodations for 50+, and large groups may rent the whole lodge for special events. Clair Tappaan is open to individuals.
Erected by Donner Summit Historical Society. (Marker Number 16b.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the 20-Mile Museum - Hwy 40 Scenic Bypass, and the Donner Summit Historical Society marker series.
Clair Tappaan Lodge image. Click for full size.
By Sierra Club
3. Clair Tappaan Lodge
39° 19.001′ N, 120° 21.016′ W. Marker is in Norden, California, in Nevada County. Marker is on Donner Pass Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 19941 Donner Pass Road, Norden CA 95724, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cal Lodge (here, next to this marker); Summit Valley (a few steps from this marker); Norden Station (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mt. Judah (approx. 0.6 miles away); Sugar Bowl (approx. 0.7 miles away); Charlie Chaplinís Gold Rush (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Magic Carpet (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Lodge at Sugar Bowl (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Norden.
Regarding Tri Lodges. This marker is removed every Fall for the winter months and replaced every Spring for the summer season.
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesSports
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 26, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 285 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 26, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photos of the other two lodges. • Can you help?
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