Hike Date: June 2, 2010
Distance: ~ 6 miles
Trail(s): Tahoe Rim Trail
Where’s it at? Nevada. North Tahoe Area. Hwy 50 just past Hwy 28
The Tahoe Rim Trail surrounds Lake Tahoe along ridges, and this is the second portion of it that I’ve pesonally hiked. I found a trailhead right along Hwy 50 beyond Hwy 28 before dropping into Carson City and hiked northward toward Spooner Summit. The area is beautiful and lies in the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. You’re hiking through a forested area with some elevation change. This hike offers excellent viewpoints to the east into the Carson Valley, South along the Sierra Mountain Range, and West into the Lake Tahoe Basin. It offers excellent views of Mt. Tallac and gives you a real sense of the difference in slope to on the west side of the Sierras vs. that of the east side. The latter being a very steep and quick decent/ascent for 2000+ feet.
You can backpack in this area also, and someday I plan to head back and do longer portions of the Tahoe Rim Trail. This hike I went about 6 or 7 miles total and in fact there was still a ton of snow on the summit of Spooner, so I turned around prematurely due to not having my snowshoes and having just finished a grueling solo backpacking trip in Desolation Wilderness. Plus I had some gambling to do in Harrah’s and Harvey’s! Still was able to obtain a good exercise and take in the great scenery, including a good amount of wildlife.
The weather was turning bad quickly on me as I reached the apex of this hike, further confirming that I should turn around. It was a thunderstorm rolling in and I didn’t want to get struck by lightning or be dealing with any snow on this day.
I think my favorite part of this hike was the cleanliness and feeling of wilderness in this portion of the trail. I also really enjoyed the view eastward from the Sierras which is one I need to take in more often. The drastic slope of the mountains and snow covered peaks rising above 10,000 feet in elevation was amazing. Most of this hike took place between 6,500 and 7,000 feet in elevation. I would very much like to return to this trail soon.
Photos from Tahoe Rim Trail to Spooner Summit(click to enlarge)
Useful Links about Spooner and Tahoe Rim Trail
Directions to Spooner Summit Trailhead
View Hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail to Spooner Summit in a larger map