Hike to Ward Peak from Lake Tahoe’s West Shore   Leave a comment

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By Tim Hauserman

 

Looking for a Tahoe hike away from the crowds on an August weekend with spectacular views? Try spending your morning hiking to the top of Ward Peak like I did this past Saturday. While I only saw two people, I was treated to views of Ward Canyon, the Granite Chief Wilderness and Lake Tahoe along the route and from the 8637’ summit of the peak.

Begin your hike at the base of Alpine Meadow’s Sherwood Chairlift. To get there: Take Pineland Drive off Highway 89 just south of Sunnyside Lodge, and follow it to a Y and a sign that says “Ward Valley.” Follow the road as it winds through Pineland and becomes Ward Creek Blvd.. Soon you emerge from the houses and enjoy a three mile jaunt along Ward Creek climbing through Ward Canyon. The road becomes Courchevel when you reach Alpine Peaks. Follow to the end where you find parking on your left.

The hike follows the Alpine Meadows maintenance road to the top of the Sherwood Chair. It’s a steady, but gentle climb through open terrain with constant views of Twin Peaks, Lake Tahoe and the Pacific Crest above. Enjoy the soft crinkling of drying mule ears rustling in the breeze, as you rise, the views of lake and mountains seeming to get better with each step. Eventually you reach the top of the Sherwood chairlift and the end of the dirt road.

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Now, take a quick steep jaunt up a slope to the remains of an old cat track, which switchbacks further up the ridge towards Ward Peak. A few steep turns and you reach the open nearly flat ridgeline above the famous F-Tree at Alpine Meadows. After about an hour of steady walking this can be your destination as it gives you 360 degree views of Lake Tahoe, Twin Peaks, Ward Peak, Alpine Meadows, and the Truckee River Corridor.

If you got it in ya’, however, take another 15 minutes of ridgetop climbing to reach Ward Peak’s summit. Follow the obvious route and do a bit of rock scrambling and you will soon enough be atop the peak where you find a bunch of cell towers and a helipad. From here, a whole new panorama opens up of Granite Chief Wilderness and the Pacific Crest Trail below you to the west. Once you’ve had your fill, retrace your steps and go jump in the lake.

 

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THINK OF ME, LYNN RICHARDSON, FOR ALL OF YOUR LAKE TAHOE AND TRUCKEE REAL ESTATE NEEDS!

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