“High Sierra trail running at its finest.”
— Jco25 Colby
Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This section of the Tahoe Rim Trail
has the highest elevation of the whole rim, with spectacular views of South Lake Tahoe and the Carson Valley.
Need to Know
Be sure to bring plenty of food and water.
This is a burly route with high elevation, no drinking water, and steep grades.
Beginning from behind the stagecoach lift at Heavenly Mountain Resort, the Tahoe Rim Trail
quickly gains elevation on switchbacks, immediately rewarding you with phenomenal views of the Carson Valley. There is a bench with a lookout as you begin this trail. Multiple granite steps on switchbacks will begin to fatigue your quads.
The Tahoe Rim Trail
traverses the top of Heavenly Valley before losing elevation and returning to the South Lake Tahoe side (western aspect) of the mountains beginning a series of climbs and descents on crumbling granite. You'll reach Star Lake, one of the most beautiful high alpine lakes in the Tahoe basin, serving as the turn-around point.
From here, head back the way you came.
History & Background
The Tahoe Rim Trail Association has received grant funding from REI since 1999. See their site
for more details.