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A week of hiking near Tahoe (coming down from Oregon)

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A week of hiking near Tahoe (coming down from Oregon)

Postby adamschneider » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:25 am

Hi all... I just joined the board because I'm driving down from Portland this weekend and will spend 5-7 days day-hiking in the Northern Sierra, using a motel in South Lake Tahoe as my "base camp." I'm a newbie to the area; I visited Yosemite once 20 years ago, and I went to Castle Crags & Lassen in 2012, but that's as close as I've come.

So I've been spending far too much time browsing around in Google Earth and CalTopo.com, and I've got Mike White's "Afoot & Afield" book. I thought I'd post a list here of some of the hikes I'm interested in and see if people have any thoughts/suggestions. Two things I get really excited about are (1) wildflowers, and (2) granite. (We have wildflowers up here in the Cascades, but not much granite!)

LONGER HIKES
• Glen Alpine - Lake Aloha - Tamarack Trail (loop)
• Squaw Valley - Granite Chief – Shirley Lake (loop)
• Woods Lake to Winnemucca Lake and Round Top summit (loop)
• Mt. Rose, up the normal way and descending its SE ridge (half-loop)
• Big Meadow to Dardanelles Lake (out and back)

SHORTER HIKES
• Pyramid Creek & Horsetail Falls
• Eagle Lake (maybe making a loop through Maggies Peaks to Bayview?)
• Lake Margaret (with possible bushwhack loop through Kirkwood CG?)
• Upper Blue Lake to Granite Lake (Mokelumne Wilderness)
• Castle Rock
• Carson Pass to Frog Lake
• east side beaches

Any glaring omissions, or hikes I shouldn't bother with?

Oh, I should mention that I'm a pretty experienced hiker; my longest day hikes are in the 10-15 mile range, and I can handle a few thousand feet of elevation gain. I have no qualms about going off-trail if it looks like it'll be more fun that way; I love scrambling.



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Re: A week of hiking near Tahoe (coming down from Oregon)

Postby TahoeJeff » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:58 am

You have a pretty darn good line up there Adam! But don't count on too many wildflowers with the lack of water from such a sparse winter.
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Re: A week of hiking near Tahoe (coming down from Oregon)

Postby adamschneider » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:45 am

TahoeJeff wrote:don't count on too many wildflowers with the lack of water from such a sparse winter.

Yeah, I know... on the other hand, a dry year allows me to go wherever I want in June without having to worry about snow conditions.

I've also found that "a lousy year for wildflowers" in a given spot only matters if you've been there before in a good year. :) I'll be happy just to see stuff I haven't seen before, even if it's not filling entire valleys with solid color.
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Re: A week of hiking near Tahoe (coming down from Oregon)

Postby JohnS » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:02 pm

Hiking north on the PCT from Carson Pass to Meiss Meadows flowers bloom earlier here than the trail to Round Top. http://tahoecnps.org/index.php/recommended-hikes

On the Shirley Canyon hike, Squaw offers free rides back down on the aerial tram from High Camp. http://squaw.com/things-to-do/other-sum ... ies/hiking

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Re: A week of hiking near Tahoe (coming down from Oregon)

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:04 pm

- Add Ellis Peak, it has great views.
- Lake Margaret up towards Carson can have some great wildflowers, but who know
this year, and it is a bit early.
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Re: A week of hiking near Tahoe (coming down from Oregon)

Postby adamschneider » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:50 pm

JohnS wrote:On the Shirley Canyon hike, Squaw offers free rides back down on the aerial tram from High Camp.

Cool, I didn't know that. I was going to go up the Granite Chief trail and down Shirley Canyon, but I if I'm feeling lazy I could modify it to go up Shirley Canyon, take service roads and unlabeled trails from there up to the GC summit, and then ride down the tram. Sound like a decent plan?

maverick wrote:- Add Ellis Peak, it has great views.

The descriptions of the Ellis Peak/Lake hike aren't inspiring me, but while looking it up I discovered Barker Pass (and Barker Peak and Barker Meadows), and that might be worth spending a half-day on...
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Re: A week of hiking near Tahoe (coming down from Oregon)

Postby Fran » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:05 pm

My sister lives in Myers and we have done lots of day hikes. Best flowers I've seen are in the Carson Pass area between Frog Lake and Winnemucca. It looks like your plan skips that stretch. People have been known to burst into "The Sound of Music" in that area! However......It is rather early for the peak bloomage, even though sis reports that lots of flowers are early this year probably due to early Spring weather.
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Re: A week of hiking near Tahoe (coming down from Oregon)

Postby adamschneider » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:14 pm

Fran wrote:Best flowers I've seen are in the Carson Pass area between Frog Lake and Winnemucca. It looks like your plan skips that stretch.

Well, this is why I posted! I could certainly do a different loop in that area; maybe skip the westernmost bit (near Lost Cabin Mine) and do Carson - Frog - Winnemucca - Woods - Carson instead. Or I could just do an out-and-back from Carson Pass to Round Top's summit via Winnemucca.
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Re: A week of hiking near Tahoe (coming down from Oregon)

Postby brvoyles » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:09 pm

Recommendations not on your list:
Mount Tallac (or Peak 9269 for similar views with no crowd)
Castle Peak
Emerald Bay
Peak 7766 (great views for minimal effort)
Donner Peak (museum is worth checking out too)
Old Man Mountain

I'm not a Granite Chief fan. I would recommend Twin Peaks over it.

Have fun.

Brian
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Re: A week of hiking near Tahoe (coming down from Oregon)

Postby Tollermom » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:33 pm

granite! I would add the Bayview trail (at Emerald Bay) to Dicks Lake and Fontanellis Lake in Desolation. Lots of beautiful granite and killer views of Emerald Bay headed up. I'm headed there this Sunday.
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Re: A week of hiking near Tahoe (coming down from Oregon)

Postby adamschneider » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:56 pm

brvoyles wrote:I'm not a Granite Chief fan. I would recommend Twin Peaks over it.

What's wrong with GC?
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Re: A week of hiking near Tahoe (coming down from Oregon)

Postby Tom_H » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:14 pm

Hi Adam, welcome to you and brvoyles both. I was just in Desolation and the wildflowers were sparse. Aloha has great granite, but I will echo brvoyles on climbing Mt. Tallac. The view of the lake from the top is magnificent. There are two trails up, one from Glen Alpine Spring via Lake Gilmore and the other from the NW corner of Fallen Leaf Lake. It is a great one day hike.

Horsetail Falls has excellent granite. When I drove by today the flow level was moderatel/low. Other places with pretty water on granite are the outlet of Fontanillis as if flows down a pluton, and Cascade Falls (the water on that fall was moderate/low today). Following the Meeks Creek Trail from Meeks Bay, there is some nice granite backdrop for a series of lakes, in particular Genevieve, Crag, and Stony Ridge, though other places mentioned in the thread are even better.
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