It 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. You will pass several fire roads along the way, but
stay on the Tahoe Rim Trail which is always a single track and usually
marked with the blue Rim Trail marker. At about 6 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. 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 over rocky terrain
until you realize, "I'm going to the top of that slope!"
And you'll be correct. The trail tops out at an elevation of 8750
feet on a wind swept slope with a large bench cut from whole logs
on which to sit, eat a snack, and enjoy some of the best views Tahoe
has to offer.
are now 7 mile into the wilderness and, if you choose to continue,
have 6 miles and nearly 1600 feet of descent to look forward to! The
hike down towards Spooner is less interesting and includes an area
of old forest fire and lots of manzanita slopes. The trail is at first
rocky and uneven but after a mile or so, turns into a fairly smooth
path. Still, it is steep and requires caution. 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 trail finishes in
the Tahoe Rim Trail parking lot where, hopefully, you parked your
Concerns: We know the experts say small forest fires
are necessary for good forest health, but they sure ruin the beauty
and feel of a hike. Please be especially careful about fire in this
There is no water on this section of the trail and it can be a hot
and thirsty hike so be sure to bring lots of water. This trail is
used not only by hikers, but mountain bikers and equestrians as well.
Hikers should move off the trail and let both mountain bikers and