Loop Around Lake Tahoe
By Lone_Star on 8/6/2013
Distance: 174.00 Miles Duration: 11 days
The Tahoe Rim Trail is one of the world’s premier trails. It passes through two states (California and Nevada), six counties, one state park, three National Forests, and three Wilderness areas. This spectacular trail is 165 miles of single-track multiuse trail, winding from peak to peak around Lake Tahoe. It is a trail that offers something for everyone! Hiking and horseback riding are allowed on all portions of the trail, while mountain biking is allowed on the trail except in wilderness areas, Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, and on trail segments that overlap the Pacific Crest Trail.
The TRT was one of my two planned extended thru-hikes for 2013 (the JMT was the other). It took me 11 days to complete, but I hiked at a reasonable rate always reminding myself it was not a race. Instead, I was focused on enjoying the experience and taking good photographs and video.
Unlike most people, I hiked in a counterclockwise direction, starting at Kingsbury North and ending at Kingsbury South. Hiking in a counterclockwise direction allowed me to run into more people on the trail, including PCT thru-hikers heading north to Canada.
The Nevada side of Lake Tahoe was drier than the California side. Locating water sources for resupply was a major planning factor on this hike. In some sections you had to hike 15-20 miles over mountainous terrain to get to the next viable water source. The net result was you had to carry a lot of water in some sections, adding to your already heavy pack weight.
The scenery was incredibly beautiful. I was very fortunate in that I had perfect weather for the entire 11 days. Blue skies, sunshine, moderately warm temperature, and no rain or precipitation.
Desolation Wilderness is arguably the most scenic part of the trail. This area requires a permit that costs $10. I purchased mine at the William Kent Campground near Tahoe City.
Some parts of the trail are for hikers and horses only. Other parts of the trail also allow mountain bikes. I had a few close calls due to mountain bikers riding too fast and I was perturbed to see mountain bikers riding in sections where mountain bikes were not allowed (e.g., the wilderness areas).
All in all, this is a great place to hike and backpack. I highly recommend it!