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Tahoe Rim Trail: 170 Miles Around Lake Tahoe

In: Trail Notes

Things I have Learned About Hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail

Battling summer heat, dehydration, bad blisters, skin rashes on my feet and having my hiking poles stolen are among few things I have endured while hiking the 170 mile Tahoe Rim Trail.  Wearing wrong type of hiking shoes is the worst decision I’ve made on this thru-hike.  After buying a pair of Salomon X Ultra Hiking Shoes at REI and 140 miles later into my trip, I had 4 terrible blisters on each foot, losing one of my toenails completely, and finishing my last 25-mile stretch wearing my water shoes.  A lesson I learned is to never leave your hiking poles unattended, and  do my research on long distance hiking shoes prior to starting my trek.  I started my trek in Tahoe City going clockwise with one resupply in South Lake Tahoe.  After two weeks on the trail, here are some of the things I want to share. 

Things that have helped me to avoid summer heat and preventing any kind of heat exhaustion issues on the  trail is starting early in the morning and hydrating well the night before.  Finding water on the trail, I use Guthhook App which helped greatly with finding small streams and creeks of water including on the east side of Tahoe Rim Trail.  On the east side, well pump at the Marlette Lake campground is not always operational.  I fill up my water at the creek which is approximately .75 miles south of TRT/Hobart Hobart road intersection (toward Marlette lake).  I also strongly recommend getting a Mosquito Head Net.  Wearing it, helps greatly with dealing obnoxious mosquitoes!

Tahoe Rim Trail is marked for travel in both directions, using a system of signs, trail-markings, and posts.  Some of the trail markings include posted signs, simple creosote posts, and various markers nailed into trees.  The signs exist along the entire lengths of the Tahoe Rim Trail.   In some sections, the TRT coincides with another developed trail and shares signage with that trail.  The longest example of this is the 50 miles it shares with Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), where markers for both are placed.  Distance between markings varies.  In some areas, markers are placed every half mile or so; within wilderness areas you will encounter few if any.

Cellular reception is limited and unreliable along the TRT.  Where a signal exists, often it is only sufficient for text transmission, not voice.  Although useful, electronic technology, such as smart phones and GPS receivers, can provide a false sense of security.  I strongly recommend carrying a Tahoe Rim Trail Topographical Map.   

If you plan on thru-hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail, you must obtain permits for the Desolation Wilderness. I got my permit at Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Another office where you can get your permit is Pacific Ranger District in Pullock Pines, Ca. To bypass the quota system, contact the LTBMU Supervisor’s Office to obtain your permit.  Phone number to call is (530)-543-2694. For any additional information and trail conditions please visit the Tahoe Rim Trail Association website.