Lake Tahoe’s Schaffer’s Mill Offers a Wealth of Activities for All Four Seasons


Martis Valley, location of Schaffer’s Mill.

Homebuyers in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee region are even more active than usual this fall thanks to the brewing El Niño and the hopes that it brings plenty of fresh powder to the Sierra Nevada range. And while the private Martis Valley community of Schaffer’s Mill indeed a fine place to enjoy many memorable ski seasons, residents have no shortage of things to do regardless of the time of year.

Tucked between the two other high-end communities of Lahontan and Martis Camp, Schaffer’s Mill is less than five miles south of downtown Truckee and 12 miles northwest of Lake Tahoe via state Route 267. The community’s close proximity to both Interstate 80 and the Truckee Tahoe airport makes it easily accessible for both Bay Area residents and vacation-property owners from other parts of the country.

Schaffer’s Mill consists of about 220 single-family homes and 190 mountain lodges. Homebuyers can design their own single-family home or choose from four pre-existing plans. Mountain lodges range in size from 2,200 to 3,100 square feet and come in three- and four-bedroom models.

Like Lahontan and Martis Camp, Schaffer’s Mill is a private, exclusively residential community with a golf course as its centerpiece. Designed by former professional golfer Johnny Miller, the 18-hole green opened in 2008, and the club offers four membership plans that cater to both residents and nonresidents. The Proprietary and Associate Memberships charge a one-time enrollment fee of $5,000 and annual dues of $6,740, while the Young Executive plan gives members under the age of 39 a substantial discount on yearly dues.

Besides golf, residents and members enjoy tennis courts and a yacht club that enables them to charter a boat and explore splendid Lake Tahoe. The center of community life at Schaffer’s Mill is the Clubhouse Village, which offers a sporting-goods store, a fitness facility, a café, a cocktail lounge, and a family swimming pool. Currently, the community is in the process of constructing an adults-only pool.

Schaffer’s Mill is just five miles from the Northstar winter resort, and the community provides a shuttle service to the slopes as well as other destinations in the region. The development also caters to winter-sports fans via its Base Camp lounge, which is located at the resort and offers members ski and snowboard storage, a boot dryer, and lockers. Those who want some winter outdoor action not of the downhill variety can get in a workout on the community’s cross-country ski trails.

According to one of Pacific Union’s top Lake Tahoe real estate professionals who works in Schaffer’s Mill, homebuyers hoping to own a piece of the community should expect to pay in the $1 million range, making it more affordable than neighboring golf communities. On its official website, the community says that mountain lodges start at $1.2 million and that lots begin at $300,000.

(Photo: Flickr/Rick Cooper)