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Suggestions: Dayhikes from Tahoe

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Suggestions: Dayhikes from Tahoe

Postby kpeter » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:53 pm

I find unexpectedly that I will be in Tahoe Sunday through Tuesday, and am looking for one or two dayhikes to do with my wife--who does not normally backpack with me. She likes walking but does not have the stamina for very long, extremely vigorous hikes. Therefore, I am looking for trails no more than 8 miles round trip, no more than 2000 feet elevation gain, sticking to trails, to keep this reasonable for my wife

I have previously backpacked to Middle Velma and environs, I've done a couple of hikes out of Wrights Lake, and I have hiked from Carson Pass to Round Top--so I am up for something new.

I've never hiked from Echo Lake or Fallen Lake, nor have I been to Lake Aloha, Susie Lake, etc.

Any favorites out there that fit the bill?



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Re: Suggestions: Dayhikes from Tahoe

Postby tim » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:21 pm

Lake Aloha is a nice easy day hike from Echo Lake, especially if you take the boat shuttle in one or both directions (a few photos from 2011: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6993). It's 5 miles each way if you hike it all, but only about 3 miles each way if you take the boat. 800ft of climbing on the way there, 300ft on the way back. I like the southern end best, particularly the granite ridge just across the dam there (not the outlet stream). That's where my second photo is taken from - it has great 360 degree views. If you climb it look for the obvious grassy ramp rather than going straight up the granite.
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Re: Suggestions: Dayhikes from Tahoe

Postby Tom_H » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:56 pm

I'll second the hike from the upper end of Echo (via water taxi) to Aloha. The view of the Crystal Range and Pyramid Peak is magnificent. The taxi is $12/person in each direction. If nobody else is ready to ride with you, it's a minimum of $36 per trip. There's a phone at the upper end for calling the marina when you get back to the pickup point.

I can think of only one hike that has something more breathtaking, and that is the view of Tahoe itself from atop Mt. Tallac. The climb is about 5.25 miles in each direction with a net elevation gain of around 3200 feet. That's a bit more than you asked for, but looking straight down from Heaven and overlooking every bit of that gargantuan lake is stunning. You drive by Fallen Leaf Lake and park at Glen Alpine Spring trailhead. Plan on the full day.

Two weeks ago I hiked from Echo to Aloha to Susie to Gilmore to Glen Alpine. Any place that still had moisture had enough mosquitos to be a mild nuisance if you were stopped to get water. While moving on the trail, they were no problem. There was still water at several places between Glen Alpine and Lake Gilmore; no water between Gilmore and the summit. There also was no fresh water (just a couple of semi-stagnant ponds if you have a good filter) between Echo and Aloha, but there were mosquitos in Haypress Meadows at the trail junction to Lake of the Woods.
Last edited by Tom_H on Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suggestions: Dayhikes from Tahoe

Postby balzaccom » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:10 pm

The other obvious hike is the Rubicon Trail on the cliffs above Lake Tahoe itself.

We also like hiking in the Carson Pass area: Lake Winnemucca, Granite Lake, Lake Margaret. All nice hikes, and not too hard.
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Re: Suggestions: Dayhikes from Tahoe

Postby kpeter » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:24 am

Great ideas! Is the Rubicon usually done as a shuttle, and if so, is there public transportation to connect the trailheads?

I have been itching to see Aloha since last summer my daughter and I did not quite make it up Mosquito pass on our hike our of Wright's Lake/Lake Doris.

Thank you for the suggestions, and the mosquito and water reports :)
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Re: Suggestions: Dayhikes from Tahoe

Postby balzaccom » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:44 am

Don't know about a shuttle for the Rubicon, but we just do it as an out and back
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Re: Suggestions: Dayhikes from Tahoe

Postby kpeter » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:52 pm

Many thanks. Armed with your advice, my wife and I did two dayhikes in the area.

The first day we had only a few hours, so we hiked part of the Rubicon Trail. There was no parking to be had until 4pm when the beach crowds began to leave the state parks. We entered into Bliss State Park and started from the Lighthouse Trailhead, hiking over the hump to see the restored lighthouse (looks surprisingly like an outhouse!) and joined up with the Rubicon Trail. We hiked from there north to Rubicon point, then back on the Lighthouse trail to our trailhead. The little loop took us slowpokes about 2 1/2 hours. We were deeply impressed with the Rubicon Trail, cut out of the cliffs and overlooking the lake. The Lighthouse Trail was rather uninteresting.
IMGP3005.jpg
Evening along the Rubicon Trail

Yesterday we took the water taxi to the end of the Echo lakes and began a dayhike over to Aloha lake. I thoroughly enjoyed the day. The taxi ride was exhilarating, although I was stunned to see so many fancy cabins surrounding this lake/reservoir. The trail from the end of Echo to Aloha was neither too far nor too steep for my wife, but she did have a hard time with her footing on the many long stretches of very coarse crushed rock.
IMGP3024.jpg
Looking back at Echo lakes

She did better with the older, more primitive trails that were not "improved" with blasting and sledgehammers. It reminded me of how foot placement is an acquired skill that can grow rusty--and how much more energy it takes a beginner just to tread an uneven trail. But aside from that, it was a very pleasant outing with Aloha sparkling in the midday sunlight when we stopped there to eat our lunch.
IMGP3032.jpg
Aloha lake from our lunch spot

A note on the water taxi. Conditions are so dry that the resort anticipates that the taxi will have to stop running at some point in August--the channel between the upper and lower lakes is getting very shallow.
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