Fedak left for two weeks on the Tahoe Rim Trail yesterday without so much as an aloha or arm wave, but I don’t blame him: overexposure to my ramblings no doubt left him two options: go out of his mind or get out on the trail. The TRT, just finished in 2001, is one of California’s gems. Tim Hauserman, whose Tahoe Rim Trail is the authoritative guide to the trail, as written quite a bit about it outside his book. From Gorp.com:
The now 164-mile Tahoe Rim Trail circles one of the world’s most beautiful lakes, and winds through two states, several wilderness areas, National Forest and state park lands, and an incredible diversity of geology, flora, and fauna. The trail accesses both the Sierra Nevada and its Carson Range spur, each with a unique personality. It winds through aspen meadows, skirts high mountain peaks, and runs for miles along ridgetops with stunning views. You can walk for miles under a forested canopy, or saunter through meadows. You can venture above treeline for long stretches. That the trail is a big loop, a circle, may be its best feature. Wherever you set off, as the days and weeks go by, you can follow the circle back to where you began. Across the big, blue expanse of the lake, you can pick out where you were a week ago, and where you will be again in another week. A multi-use path, much of the Tahoe Rim Trail was constructed for the pleasure of hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers, using modern trail-building techniques, with the goal to not exceed an average grade of 10 percent.
Hauserman also penned this piece for Backpacker Magazine.
A full loop of the TRT makes an ideal two-week vacation. With eight sections, all reachable by major roads, accessing the trail and nearby towns is a breeze. Start at Kingsbury Grade (just west of South Lake Tahoe) and hike clockwise to reach Tahoe City midway through your trek. This is perfect timing for resupply–and you’ll pass within 100 yards of a supermarket. Choosing campsites will depend on your pace, but two must-sleep spots are the shores of emerald-green Star Lake and the base of hulking 9,974-foot Dicks Peak. The former has three 10,000-foot spires sitting like exclamation points on the horizon. The latter is along a section of trail that traverses the quiet Desolation Wilderness, replete with bonsai-size whitebark pines.
Speaking of Backpacker, this Susie Lake/Pacific Crest Trail hike looks like a great weekender.
- Marion Vemazen did a day hike on the trail the other day.
- Recent Flickr pix from the trail.
- The Wikipedia entry.
- Len Glassner’s 2007 trail journal (Len has hiked over 1,000 miles of the PCT this summer).
Also, Rick from Calgary is planning a TRT adventure this summer.
The TRT looks like a great option for introducing yourself to high-country hiking and backpacking. You’re never too far from civilization, you’re not in a national park with the attendant mobs, you’re not in the really high country that gets a bit hairy when the weather changes.