Archive for the ‘popular hikes at Lake Tahoe’ Tag

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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Go Take a Hike, Part 8. Into Desolation Wilderness   Leave a comment

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By Tim Hauserman

 

Tahoe is full of things to do outdoors in the summer. You can bike, swim, paddle, sit on the beach, grill up some burgers along the shoreline, or motor around the lake. But a hike into Tahoe’s own Desolation Wilderness is a trip not to be missed by anyone visiting Lake Tahoe.

While in the summer it is way too busy to feel like its name, you can still find plenty of places to enjoy the quiet and mystery of Desolation Wilderness. It’s a land of crystal clear mountain lakes, high granite and volcanic peaks, and waves of wildflowers. The easiest trailheads into the wilderness from the North side of Tahoe are at Meeks Bay and Emerald Bay.

Known also as the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail the Meeks Bay entrance to Desolation brings you in five miles to Crag Lake (first you reach Lake Genevieve, but take the extra quarter mile to get to the much more compelling Crag). The lake is classic Desolation. A mix of smooth granite and pine and fir forest along the shore, with a few bonsai tree topped islands.

 

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Heading into Desolation at Emerald Bay takes you in five miles to five awesome lakes: Dicks, Fontanillis, and the Upper, Middle and Lower Velma Lakes. The lakes are granite rimmed gems surrounded by high peaks, which often hold snow well into the summer. They are also just begging for a swim, although given the brisk temperatures, swim might be an exaggeration of what usually is a quick dip, and then a concentrated effort to remove yourselves from the water quickly. The hike is quite challenging with a steady, fairly steep ascent for the first two and a half miles.

The lakes are accessed either by the Eagle Falls or Bayview Trailheads. Since they are at Tahoe’s most popular attraction, the trailheads are busy and parking is at a premium. If you can hike on a midweek day, do so. The lakes are also prime backpacking terrain, but excessive popularity has led to a permitting system, which means you have to plan in advance for a trip, and perhaps be flexible where you camp. Day hiking for many is the easiest option and it also has less impact on the fragile ecosystem.

Whichever method or trail you choose, Desolation is an amazingly pretty place, and well worth the effort.

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

Tahoe Rim Trail: Hike it all at once   Leave a comment

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By Tim Hauserman

The Tahoe Rim Trail is a 170 mile trail that circles Lake Tahoe. It passes mountain lakes, crosses high alpine passes, and runs for miles through deep forests of red fir, hemlock and majestic white pine…but most importantly, it gives you miles and miles of opportunities to gaze down into our favorite big patch of blue.

The trail is divided into eight sections of between 15 and 32 miles. These bite sized chunks give TRT hikers and mountain bikers, regardless of their physical condition, a chance to enjoy the trail. But have you ever thought of becoming one of the few who have thru-hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail? Here’s a few reasons why you should:

-The trail circles the entire lake. Which means that if you hike it all you can start out in one place and about two weeks later end up right where you began. What is especially cool about this is that for much of the journey you can gaze across the lake at where you have been, while also envisioning where you will soon be.
-If you join one of the annual thru-hikes put on by the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, someone else will handle much of the logistics and provide you with food and water at key points. You will also have a group of companions that are sure to become great friends, and you will be supporting the TRTA in it’s mission to maintain the Tahoe Rim Trail. For information go to http://www.tahoerimtrail.org
-Make no mistake about it. Thru-hiking the TRT is not easy. It’s a tough, bucket list challenge…but it is one that normal humans who hike about 13 miles a day can do in two weeks, as opposed to hiking twenty grueling miles every day for four and half straight months to conquer the Pacific Crest Trail.
-When you finish, you will have the pride of becoming one of the heralded members of the Tahoe Rim Trail 165 mile Club, and obtain a number. Mine is #11.

Need more information? Pick up a copy of my official guidebook to the Tahoe Rim Trail, now in it’s 3rd edition. Its’ available at local bookstores and outdoor shops.

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YOUR FRIEND IN HIGH PLACES

Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

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