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Loon Lake to Tahoe in One Day?

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Loon Lake to Tahoe in One Day?

Postby sierrabruce » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:00 am

Hi All,
I have been toying with an idea to hike the entire route from Loon Lake to Lake Tahoe in one day. I am not so concerned with the distance (well, actually I need to keep the route to less than about 21 miles). I will be making the trip with a running partner who is an ultramarathoner. He has completed the Western States 100 and believes my past marathons and hiking experience should get me through. The questions I have are:
1. What would be the most efficient route? The lowest passes, shortest distance, least amount of difficult granite climbing, etc.
2. What is the best exit point? For this I am looking for most scenic routes, easiest to be picked up (or ideally find public transportation to Tahoe City or Squaw Valley, where I would most likely be staying the night). I would consider anything along Hwy 89.
3. Is it possible, or too unpleasant, to hike/run along the Rubicon Jeep trail? I would pick it up along the way, most likely at Buck Island Lake. Hopefully there would not be too many off-roaders on a weekday. I would certainly think this would be considerably easier than traveling into Desolation and crossing multiple passes.
I appreciate any feedback and advice.
Thanks,
Bruce



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Re: Loon Lake to Tahoe in One Day?

Postby TahoeJeff » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:00 am

I've never hiked the Jeep trail, and I don't think I ever will. It seems like it would just be too dusty and rocky and the dodging of 4X4s doesn't seem too fun. It is the first direct E-W route north of Desolation, however. I think if you went Loon to Rubicon Res. then bushwacked up to the PCT, cross General creek to Genevieve lake on the cut off trail, then down to Meeks TH, you might make it in a long day. But I think the bridge over Meeks creek is out and that could be problematic early in the season.
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Re: Loon Lake to Tahoe in One Day?

Postby paul » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:46 am

I'd stay off the OHV route. The parts of it that I have seen are mostly basketball-sized rocks, horrible to walk on. And at this time of year, probably very muddy wherever it isn't rocky.
If you went via Spider lake, rockbound lake, up the rockbound valley to Camper Flat, then by way of the Velmas and out to either Eagle Lake/Eagle Falls or Granite Lake/ Bayview campground, I think you'd be right around the mileage you have in mind and you'd have a real nice walk - especially if you go out by way of Bayview campground and have time for a quick side trip to the top of the southern Maggie's Peak.
You would have to cross the Rubicon a couple times, so be prepared to wade!
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Re: Loon Lake to Tahoe in One Day?

Postby sierrabruce » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:10 pm

Thanks Paul and Jeff. Those are good observations. Although it would be easier, I think I would lose most of what is great about this span of wilderness by staying on an old road/Jeep trail. I will definitely wait for the water levels to drop. Both those routes look great! I will take a look at the total mileage and elevation and see if it could work.
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