Behind the Scenes
Shooting from rugged places like this mountainside location at Emerald Bay State Park isn’t exactly easy. The crew has to lug hundreds of pounds of equipment—lights, cameras, and other gear—to set up and take the perfect shot. So, you’d think that, as we scrambled over granite boulders, the conversation would focus on things like “Help me out, dude, this is heavy.” But not this time. All the crew could talk about was the scenes out of The Godfather, Part II, that were shot at the spectacular Henry Kaiser “Fleur de Lac” estate on the Tahoe lakefront down below us.
Get the Inside Scoop on Sierra night skies: see constellations, planets, and distant galaxies
When you get away from the bright lights of big cities, the stars come out to play, filling night skies with countless points of light. The crisp, clean mountain air and sparse towns of the Sierra Nevada range make this region a prime spot for peering into the night for celestial standouts. While it’s easy to just look up with a good pair of binoculars to look at the moon’s craters or Jupiter’s rings, it’s even cooler to peer through a powerful tracking telescope. Fortunately, you can join organized starwatching events throughout the Sierra. Area resorts, such as the Village at Northstar , often organize stargazing tours with helpful guides and telescopes. Also try Sierra StarGazers , which invites the public to join its fleet of amateur astronomers on tours of the night skies in prime spots mostly around Lake Tahoe. Further, the Minaret Vista makes a popular destination near Mammoth Lakes; check with Mammoth Lakes Tourism for details on organized stargazing events in summer.