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General Information: This wonderful Tahoe ski tour has beautiful views of Lake Tahoe and peaceful skiing through alpine forests. Oh yea, and if done from Kingsbury Grade to Spooner Summit you get 500 extra "free" feet of downhill.

Where To Start/End: We favor the Kingsbury start as you gain 500 feet of downhill going this direction. The trail starts near the top of Kingsbury Grade (Nevada State Route 207) which intersects Highway 50 just north of the Stateline casinos. Make a left turn from Kingsbury Grade onto North Benjamin and follow this to the end of the road. You will see a parking area and sign board for the Tahoe Rim Trail. Start the ride here. You can also just ski up the unplowed Forest Service road towards Genoa Peak.

If you ski all the way to Spooner Summit, the tour ends at Spooner Summit near the elevation sign. There is a parking area on the south side of the highway.

Click to see a trail map and elevation profile.

Trail Description: This tour follows a section of the newly completed Tahoe Rim Trail which circumnavigates Lake Tahoe. Someone will probably have been there before you and set a track. The trail starts in Pine and Red Fir forest typical of the Tahoe Sierra. Along the way, you'll get lots of filtered views of Lake Tahoe, and in some places, grand vistas open towards the Lake and the Crystal Range beyond. The tour climbs in spurts as it contours around the side of the mountain. You will pass several fire roads along the way, but stay on the Tahoe Rim Trail which is usually marked with the blue Rim Trail marker. At about 5 miles, the trail will turn away from the lake and flatten. Ahead and slightly to the east you'll see above you an open, treeless slope, this is the top of the climb. You'll cross another fire road and just when you start to think the climbing is over, you'll begin to ascend, first gently, then more steeply until you realize, "I'm going to the top of that slope!" And you'll be correct. The trail tops out at 8816 feet on a wind swept slope.

You are now 7 mile into the wilderness and have 6 miles and over 1600 feet of descent to look forward to! As you head down the other side toward Spooner Summit, the trail is quite a bit steeper than the climb up. Again the trail will intersect several fire roads (as well as an old fire!) but the trail always picks up again just across the road. The last 3 miles of the descent are the steepest which requires some intermediate turning ability. The trail finishes in the Tahoe Rim Trail parking lot where, hopefully, you parked your shuttle car!

Environmental Concerns: None.

Advisory: Nothing but the usual winter travel considerations.

 

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