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General Information:

This indistinct peak located just north of Carson Pass is the place where John Fremont became the first nonnative American to see Lake Tahoe. From the top of Stevens Peak, Fremont described a huge, beautiful mountain lake just to the north. The view from the top of this 10,059 foot peak has changed little in the last 150 years. From the top you can still see Lake Tahoe, the Crystal Range, Meiss Meadow, Scott's Lake, and the high country to the south. Stevens Peak is a wonderful place to sit and take in the majesty of the High Sierra.

Click here for a trail map and elevation profile

Where To Start: In the summer, park in the lot on the north side of Highway 88 just past the Carson Pass ($3.00 fee required). In the winter, park in the Sno-Park on the south side of Highway 88. ($5.00 pass required, available at the Shell station in Meyers). Cross the road to the north side and start just west of the pass.

Trail Description: Follow the Meiss Meadow trail that heads west from the parking area towards Meiss Lake and Showers Lake. This is a well maintained trail and is easy to follow. When the trail splits, take the trail to Meiss Meadow. Just after the trail passes a small pond, an indistinct trail heads to the northwest in the direction of Stevens Peak.

You will also see the craggy outcroppings of Red Lake Peak. The trail from here to the summit comes and goes, but in general, it climbs steadily to the northwest. If you lose the trail, be sure to stay high as there are several cliff bands that you want to pass above, not below. At about 9450 feet, the trail turns more to the north and you should be able to clearly see the rock pinnacles of Red Lake Peak to the southwest. From here, continue north until you attain the saddle between Red Lake Peak and Stevens Peak. There is a trail here, but again, it comes and goes. Once on the saddle, Stevens Peak is staring you in the face from the north. The last 500 feet of elevation gain is over loose rocky tails.


Summer: Simply reverse your route back to your car.

Winter: In the winter, many people leave a car a mile or two east of Red Lake on Highway 88 and then drive a second car to Carson Pass. This allows them to ski off the back side of Red Lake Peak, past Crater Lake and get an extra 1400 feet of descent.


Environmental Concerns: The high alpine environment is extremely fragile. Try to avoid tramping wildflowers and bushes as they take years to regrow. As always, please be sure to pack out all that you pack in.

Advisory: Stevens Peak is along perhaps the most avalanche prone area near Tahoe. Highway 88 is closed ALL THE TIME for avalanche control. Avalanche conditions introduce a distinct element of risk that the skier/boarder/snow-shoer accepts by stepping foot on the mountain. Always check the avalanche forecast before skiing/boarding this peak.

This can be very cold country even in the summer. The wind can really whip up here producing significant wind chill. In the shoulder seasons of September/October and April/May, the weather can get downright wicked so be prepared! Always carry a map, compass, and enough extra clothing to get you through a night.

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NOTICE: While the information on this site is thought to be accurate and reliable, it is offered only as a guide and cannot replace sound personal judgement.

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