TMS Ambassador Justeen Ferguson aka @SummitHunnies tackled a major pedi-project this summer. She hiked a new trail in the greater Lake Tahoe area each day for 30 days and reported back to us with details. Most were family-friendly. Some involved 4WD roads, some were strictly singletrack, and several were straight-up bushwhacks. Here are the second ten descriptions of her 30 hikes. Catch up on the first ten here, and stay tuned for the final ten, coming soon to your favorite outdoor sports blog.
What: #11 – 20, 30 Tahoe Day Hikes in 30 Days
When: July- August, 2014
Gear Used (and sworn by):
Lake Tahoe Basin Adventure Map, Lightweight Women’s Hiking Shoes,Eco-Friendly “Soft” Water Bottle, Organic Trail Snacks
*Take this information and use it as you will. Tahoe Mountain Sports is not responsible for accident, injury, or anyone getting lost trying to replicate this Summit Hunnie’s routes.
Day 11 – Coyote Mountain aka Cowboy Peak
Right in the heart of Meyers lays a nice little mountain; I went into this thinking, Oh, piece of cake. I’ll get a nice hike in before work. I was so wrong! This trail starts behind the Humane Society and practically goes straight up, and the trail back down is also really steep. Once you are covered in sweat and your legs are on fire, there is a wonderful view of South Lake Tahoe and Echo Summit. This hike is recommended for someone who wants a quick yet fulfilling workout.
Day 12 – Desolation Wilderness behind Fallen Leaf Lake
The trailhead is located on the southern end of Fallen Leaf Lake, the same trail used to get out to Grass Lake from Day 1 of my 30 Tahoe Hikes. This route takes you out and back over a beautiful bridge and alongside some amazing mountains. You’re given a number of route options: continue traversing along the mountain side, make your way even further out toward a variety of lakes, or, if you are up for it, eventually make your way to the top of Mount Tallac. It’s a perfect place for all levels and abilities because hikers can decide how strenuous they want their hike to be. It is beautifully covered with both trees and wild flowers, and has great views of Fallen Leaf Lake.
Day 13 – Back of Dunlap Mountain
This trail is a trip! I accidently stumbled upon it on my way to Angora Lake. The beginning of the trail is just before the main gate to Angora Road. It’s a singletrack that takes you the opposite way of Angora, along the backside of Tahoe Mountain (from day 10) and all the way down to the infamous Camp Richardson. This is an easy hike, great for trail running or beginning mountain bikers, and ideal for walking the dogs. There is also a lovely view of Tallac almost the entire way. Beware of fallen trees…there’s some mandatory log-hopping but it’s a lot of fun!
Day 14 – Big Chief
This amazing rock/mountain trail is near the town of Truckee. It’s a perfect little hike that leads to the Big Chief climbing area [link to big chief climbing Tahoe Info page] where we stopped to do some rock climbing! I like this hike because the trek out isn’t too tough and there are some rad trees and amazing rock formations to gander at. If you’re not a rock climber you can still enjoy the beauty of this cool rock! Try playfully climbing around and up the back of it to enjoy the view from the top! There are trails that take you beyond the Big Chief climbing area and out toward the woods with pretty views of the mountain ranges. The area has a very relaxing feel and is great for all abilities of hikers, bikers and trail runners. However, if you want to be adventurous and climb Big Chief, I highly recommend finding a buddy and making it happen. It makes the hike that much more rewarding!
Day 15 – Five Lakes
The Five Lakes trail starts on Alpine Meadows Road and winds its way between the Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley ski resorts, providing wonderful scenery the entire time. Eventually you’ll reach the top of a private, seemingly obsolete chairlift, but the hike doesn’t stop here. It leads to five small lakes in the Granite Chief Wilderness that are ideal for a quick swim or a lunch break – at least, in the two largest of the five lakes. There are a few spots along trail that get pretty steep; the beginning mile or so is the worst but it mellows out once you reach the top. Connecting the lakes is a fun adventure filled with wonderful forests and beautiful wild flowers. Another great hike to bring the pups along on! There are also plenty of side trails to take on and explore, like heading a little further west to hike some of the Pacific Crest Trail (stretching 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada).
Day 16 – Angora Road to Fallen Leaf
I began this hike thinking I was going from the gate of Angora Road to Angora Lake, however once I got to the Angora lookout I saw a dirt singletrack that looked like it went down to the lake. I decided to follow it. To my surprise, it led me to the side of the Angora Lake parking lot before traversing the ridge above the southern end of Fallen Leaf. The view was great! I was high enough to see all of Fallen Leaf, and even over to Lake Tahoe. There are a few more trails that fed off this one, one taking you down to the marina, another to Angora and another that went up behind Angora Peak. This is a beautiful, long and easy hike great for the whole family.
Day 17 – Van Sickle Bi-State Park
Van Sickle is located at the base of Heavenly Ski Resort, underneath the Gondola. This trail up the mountain is pretty strenuous but worth the hike, as it provides exquisite views of the entire lake as well as the town of South Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains! There is a creek to cross, and a small waterfall (hopefully!) surrounded by beautiful greenery and a variety of wild flowers. This trail takes you up Heavenly and well over the state border into Nevada. This is also a super fun trail for avid mountain bikers, as the climb provides an amazing workout and the ride back down is loaded with fun features. If the dark doesn’t scare you, this is an ideal evening hike to catch a sunset over Lake Tahoe. The view from the top of the rocks is unbeatable.
Day 18 – Scott’s Lake (Tahoe Rim Trail)
This trailhead is way out there, almost to Hope Valley, but is part of the Tahoe Rim Trail so it’s clearly marked and easy to access. The hardest part is the beginning where it gets a bit steep at times, but nothing too bad. Once you reach the top and find the marker pointing toward Scott’s Lake, the trail gets practically flat. Then, about three miles after the lake, it goes back downhill. Due to the current drought, the water level at Scott’s Lake is extremely low, but it still looks neat with the mountain sloping upward behind it and the mountain ranges visible in the distance. Scott’s Lake is a great spot to have a snack and relax before making your way back down the trail. I recommend doing this hike early in the morning or later in the afternoon as it can get pretty crowded midday.
Day 19- Round Hill Mountain
This mountain is adjacent to Nevada Beach Campground and is short, but another straight-up trek so you can still get a decent workout from it. The trail is a bit difficult to find at first, but once you do there are only a few switchbacks that climb to the top. Once at the peak, you get an amazing view of Nevada Beach and Zephyr Cove. This is another hike I would recommend for enjoying one of Tahoe’s spectacular sunsets. It’s an easy hike that is great for anyone just wanting to get outside and perfect for taking the dogs out to play.
Day 20- Angora Peak
Angora Peak was by far one of my favorites of this project, however there is no trail that ascends the mountain so you get some good bushwhacking, sand sliding, and lots of lifting yourself onto and leaping between rocks. This hike is recommended for someone who no only wants a good workout, but is not afraid of heights. Once you reach the tip-top of Angora Peak, you can see for-e-ver! You’re literally on a cliff-side and can take a seat and let your feet dangle in the wind! It’s one of those hikes that leaves you feeling accomplished for making it to the top. Getting down is the tricky part, with mandatory rock-hopping and dirt-sliding, but regardless the view from Angora Peak makes all the sweat (and a bit of blood, in my case) totally worth it.
Want more info about day hikes around Lake Tahoe? Check out TMS’s Lake Tahoe Day Hikes page!
Vapur Element Soft Water Bottle – 1 Liter
Nathan Trail Mix Hydration Belt
Kelty Upslope 1.0 Trekking Pole – Single