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Lower Prey Meadows

Lower Prey Meadows Photo - 1
Joe having his early morning coffee and making fun of Hoss, at Lower Prey Meadows, during the making of "Kingdom Of Fear", in the summer of 1968.

        Lower Prey Meadows is a lovely alpine meadow, with wildflowers, some two miles north from Spooner Lake, where many episodes of Bonanza were filmed at for almost a decade in its main run.

        The meadow is somewhat narrow in length, and is creek-fed all the way through it, with Ponderosa pines dotting the mountainsides.  The sloping sides of the meadows are dotted with the pale green Nevada sagebrush that only grows in a few parts around the lake.  The views of the lake are somewhat filtered, since the meadows are slightly below the rim of trees that rise up from the lakeshore.  The Tahoe rim can be seen coming down on the left side of the meadows and stretching around to the California side of the lake in some episodes.  Beginning with 1961-62's third season, portions of the meadows were used and edited in with other Lake Tahoe locales, as seen in season four's "The First Born".  Riding shots and ride-throughs were filmed of the cast, occasional guest stars, creek crossings, scenery shots, and stagecoach shots were all made here, and a herd of cattle was always visible behind the creek.  These lovely shots lasted for many years, and in the later years new footage was filmed, in the ninth and tenth years of the series, seen in some episodes such as "Desperate Passage", "Salute To Yesterday", and "Kingdom Of Fear".

Lower Prey Meadows Photo - 2
Ben riding through Lower Prey Meadows, while Joe, Hoss, and Candy are having morning breakfast in, "Kingdom Of Fear".

DIRECTIONS From South Lake Tahoe: Drive on Highway 50 past Stateline into Nevada and continue on the 50, as it climbs away from the Tahoe basin, and you will see signs directing you to State Route 28.  Turn left on SR 28 north and drive past Spooner Lake, by two miles.  After two miles has elapsed, on the left side of the road, you will see a large iron gate, that is locked.  Turn left off the road and do not block the gate, park away from it.  The service road into the meadows you will walk straight on in and stay on the left fork of the dirt road, where the road forks off to the right, which will take hikers to some concealed coves off the lakeshore, some 1.5 miles away.  Lower Prey Meadows will come into view.

From Incline Village: Take State Route 28 from Incline Village, and drive south 9 miles, past Sand Harbor until the road takes you away from the lakeshore.  As you you approach Spooner Lake, you will see a large, iron gate that is locked on the right side of the road.  Park and do not block the gate, and you can walk it in.

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