Features: Views — Wildflowers
Great views combined with reasonable grades and broad, sandy tracks on the north half of the trail. The second half is more rocky as it crosses open slopes.
Travel high above the sparkling waters of Lake Tahoe and Marlette Lakes on this striking segment of the Tahoe Rim Trail
. Enjoy lush meadows, conifer stands, flower-dotted slopes, and amazing views.
From the Mt. Rose Summit Trailhead, the trail passes quickly through the Mt. Rose Campground and into the depression of Tahoe Meadows (parking is available at the Tahoe Meadows Trailhead too).
Ahead, a minor climb leads past the intersection of the Ophir Creek Trail
. Keep an eye-out for chickadees as you travel the broad sandy track below "Chickadee Ridge." The trail begins a long gradual descent as it continues through rolling woodlands. On either side, gaps in the trees afford great views of the Tahoe Basin and Washoe Valley below.
At ten miles, a steady switch-backed climb up the northeast flank of Herlan Peak ushers in a rockier tread as the trees soon dwindle away and the route ahead opens up. A worthwhile detour along Christopher's Loop
travels right up the edge of a cliff overlook, with stunning views of the basin and Sand Harbor below (this detour will add a little over a mile to the trip).
The high point of the trail is reached at 18 miles as it crosses the bare rock of Snow Valley Peak. This section is quite pretty especially in the fall as the aspen groves of North Canyon turn a vibrant gold. Past the peak, the trail quickly enters into the pines as it steadily descends toward the Spooner Summit Trailhead over the final miles.