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7 Top Places to Explore Along The Tahoe Rim Trail

In: Olya On The Trail

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 165 mile Tahoe Rim Trail.  Hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail nevertheless is a one thru-hike I highly recommend. The trail is well-marked and easy to stick to.  After hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail,  here are my personal tips I would like to share.

1. Mosquitoes on the west side of the Tahoe Rim Trail prior to hitting Barker Pass are the worst vs. hiking the east side of TRT. Carrying a bug spray, or wearing long pants and a shirt with long sleeves helps.

2. Avoiding summer heat and preventing any kind of heat exhaustion issues, starting early in the morning and hydrating well the night before helped me greatly on the trail.

3. 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, loosing one of my toe nails completely, and finishing my last 25 mile stretch wearing water shoes.  I will never buy another pair of Solomon “X Ultra” hiking shoes again!

4. 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 TRT.  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).

Tahoe Rim Trail permits can be purchased at  Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit located in South Lake Tahoe.  Another office to get your permit is Pacific Ranger District in Pollock Pines, Ca.

Tahoe Rim Trail parking areas are available around the lake.  Tahoe City Transit Center is the place where I parked my car.  No problems with leaving my care there for two weeks.   

7 Top Places to Explore Along The Tahoe Rim Trail

I started my thru-hike in Tahoe City going clockwise with one re-supply in South Lake Tahoe.  While hiking the TRT, I made an extra effort to check out some of the scenic most rewarding spots and side trails I could find along the TRT. Here are some of the spots to check it out. 

1.  [video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”HxI7B_iKfp8″ frameborder=”0″ width=”640″ height=”480″ anchor=”Sand Harbor Overlook”] (a.k.a Christopher Loop Trail)   Mile 52.8
Sand Harbor Overlook is one of the the side trails I enjoyed exploring, and in my opinion offers one of the stunning views of Sand Harbor!  It is about .8 miles away from the TRT trail junction. I highly recommend checking it out.

2.  Marlette Peak (Mile 54.1)
Views of Marlette Lake, Lake Tahoe and Sand Harbor from the top of Marlette Peak are absolutely mesmerizing! It is 1.2 miles one-way from the TRT.  A good place to camp prior to your summit is Star Lake. 

3. Freel Peak (Mile: 91.4)
Freel peak is Tahoe’s tallest mountain tucked high above South Lake Tahoe.  It sits at 10,881 feet, and it is mostly treeless top.  From the Tahoe Rim Trail junction, it is .84 miles  to the summit.  A good place to camp before heading to the top is Star Lake.  From Star Lake, you’ll take the Tahoe Rim Trail southwest for 2.2 miles.  You’ll only climb about 500 feet in these two miles.  

4. [video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”NoNILlWG6dQ” frameborder=”0″ width=”640″ height=”480″ anchor=”Lake Aloha”](Mile 128.1)
Lake Aloha is a large shallow back country reservoir located at an elevation of 8,116 feet in the Sierra Nevada Range, west of Lake Tahoe in El Dorado County, in eastern California. The reservoir is located in Desolation Valley, within the federally protected Desolation Wilderness area.  It is a beautiful place to stop and have a lunch, or camp out for the night.

5.  [video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”TEKShJZjSiE” frameborder=”0″ width=”640″ height=”480″ anchor=”Dicks Pass”] (Mile 135)
Dicks Pass sits at 9,390ft. in the center of the Desolation Wilderness.  Situated in the geographic center of the wilderness area, it has superb views of Lake Tahoe, the Crystal Range, the Carson Range, and the entire northern Sierra Nevada. On a clear day, you can see Mount Diablo, the Sutter Buttes, the Trinity Alps and the Shasta-Lassen area from the summit. Dicks Pass is a relatively straightforward climb from the Pacific Crest Trail.  It can also be easily climbed via the north ridge from the Fontanilis Lake area. I highly recommend getting to the top before the sunrise!  It is well worth it!

6. [video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”ZCR_EQYkESE” frameborder=”0″ width=”640″ height=”480″ anchor=”Mt. Tallac”] (Mile 132.9  Gilmore Lake & Mt. Tallac Trail Junction)
Hiking to the top of Mt. Tallac has been on my bucket list for the longest time.  Mt. Tallac trail junction via TRT from Gilmore lake is 1.6 miles one-away which makes hiking to the top  much easier climb vs. climbing to the top from downtown with an elevation gain of 3,300 feet with no shade at all.  From downtown, the trail is mostly sun-explosed and it is 4.5-mile steep hike to the summit making it a challenging nine-mile round trip.

7.  [video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”socoM4LbwxU” frameborder=”0″ width=”640″ height=”480″ anchor=”Dicks Lake”] and Fontanillis Lake(Mile 137.3-138)
Dicks Lake is a place to remember and hard to ignore!   As you descend down the Dicks Pass on the north side, you will be rewarded in my opinion to one of the many beautiful alpine lakes on the Pacific Crest Trail.  The lake is absolutely gorgeous! [video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”AGZ7YsYHyUc” frameborder=”0″ width=”640″ height=”480″ anchor=”Fontanillis Lake”] is another beautiful place to stop and enjoy wild alpine views along the Pacific Crest Trail.  Fontanills Lake is not far from the Dicks Lake.  The two lakes are separated by only about a third of a mile. Both lakes press up against 9,374-foot Dicks Peak.  The lake is another place to enjoy the wild Desolation Wilderness views.