South Lake Tahoe, CA: Tahoe Rim Trail

Take two weeks to hike through superlative Sierra Nevada country on a 165-mile circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe. Ranging in elevation from 6,240 feet to 10,338 feet, the TRT spans two states (California and Nevada), six counties, one state park, three National Forests, and three Wilderness areas.
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Take two weeks to hike through superlative Sierra Nevada country on a 165-mile circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe. Ranging in elevation from 6,240 feet to 10,338 feet, the TRT spans two states (California and Nevada), six counties, one state park, three National Forests, and three Wilderness areas.

Major trip-planning beta below.

RESUPPLY MADE EASY
On a thru-hike starting at Echo Lake, you’ll never have to carry more than four days of food. Rest and resupply at these three spots.

#1. Tahoe City, CA
MILES FROM START 52
SHOP Save Mart Supermarket, 100 River Rd.
INDULGE Burgers and beers at Bridge Tender (530) 583-3342; 65 West Lake Blvd.

#2. Incline Village, NV
MILES FROM START 90
SHOP Raley’s Supermarket, 930 Tahoe Blvd.
INDULGE Ceviche Taco Salad at Hacienda de la Sierra (775) 831-8300; 901 Tahoe Blvd.

#3. Zephyr Village, NV
MILES FROM START 130
SHOP Safeway, 212 Elks Point Rd.
INDULGE Waffles and banana splits at Red Hut Café (775) 588-7488; 229 Kingsbury Grade

GUIDEBOOK AND MAP
The Tahoe Rim Trail, by Tim Hauserman ($13; wildernesspress.com); Tom Harrison Maps Lake Tahoe Recreation Map ($10; tomharrisonmaps.com)

HYDRATION
Water gets scarce starting in July. Tank up before these sections: Tahoe City
to Mt. Rose Highway (38 miles; consider a cache at Brockway Summit); Kingsbury North to Spooner Lake (20 miles); Spooner Lake to Ophir Creek (18 miles).

PERMITS
Required only in the Desolation Wilderness. Half kept for walk-ups ($5/
hiker/night; 530-543-2694; fs.fed.us/R5/ LTBMU/). Thru-hikers must pay fees, but aren’t subject to site quotas.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 270.5

Waypoints

TRT01

Location: 38.833766, -120.042377

From Lower Echo Lake trailhead), hike along the
eastern edge of four small lakes dotted with
granite islands. Also, here you'll find the Echo Chalet Forest Service outpost.

TRT02

Location: 38.847194, -120.087484

At mile 3.1, enter the wilderness where the TRT and the Pacific Crest Trail merge

TRT03

Location: 38.865545, -120.130261

Stop at the boulder-strewn shores of Lake Aloha for a swim beneath Pyramid Peak and the spired crest of the
Crystal Range-watch for marmots near the pile of rocks known as Cracked Crag

TRT06

Location: 38.877922, -120.1346

In spring and early summer, an outlet creek creates a snowtunnel waterfall perfect for showerin

TRT07

Location: 38.879264, -120.126699

At mile nine, camp at Susie Lake with views of 9,974-foot Dick's Peak. Push

TRT08

Location: 38.904128, -120.139116

Push 1,600 feet to Dick's Pass the next morning, where, after a few hours of climbing, you'll have huge views of a dozen lakes and 130-mile visibility north to 10,462-foot Lassen Peak (on clear
days).

TRT09

Location: 38.921425, -120.152498

The next 2.5 miles drop 1,000 feet to Fontanillis Lake, where you can rest your dogs in crisp, clear water.

TRT11

Location: 39.024358, -120.21198

Richardson Lake, a tree-lined tarn with
campsites on the northwest corner

TRT12

Location: 39.049266, -120.244305

The last 6.7 miles to Barker Pass (12) traverse rolling
terrain through dense forest dotted with
meadows. End at Barker Pass trailhead.

TRT04

Location: 38.876337, -120.14625

Nav tip: At the northern side of Aloha, turn east away from Mosquito Pass toward Glen Alpine; it's a frequently missed turn.

TRT05

Location: 38.878352, -120.138667

In half a mile, reach Heather Lake, encircled in
flowers and hemlocks.

TRT10

Location: 38.933407, -120.149473

Pass Upper and Middle Velma Lake (10), each with nearby camping. Water up here, as the trail enters an eight-mile dry section through firs to Richardson Lake

TRT47

Location: 38.832037, -119.91221

ARMSTRONG PASS

TRT39

Location: 39.157551, -119.886984

BACK TO TRT

TRT24

Location: 39.280206, -120.030868

BEST VIEW YET OF LAKE

TRT49

Location: 38.789673, -119.999519

BIG MEADOWS

TRT26

Location: 39.289819, -119.979406

COOL CINDERCONE

TRT22

Location: 39.257926, -120.065866

BROCKWAY ROAD CAMPSITE

TRT52

Location: 38.801534, -120.036387

ECHO SUMMIT

TRT13

Location: 39.09352, -120.243631

FIRST BIG VIEW OF LAKE TAHOE

TRT48

Location: 38.802183, -119.977933

GRASS LAKE TRAIL

TRT31

Location: 39.313246, -119.897141

HACIENDA DE LA SIERRA MEX FOOD

TRT42

Location: 39.062286, -119.899784

HUGE LAKE VIEW

TRT34

Location: 39.249625, -119.95303

INCLINE VILLAGE STARBUCKS

TRT38

Location: 39.16491, -119.898004

MARLETTE LAKE

TRT37

Location: 39.19097, -119.889143

MARLETTE PK CAMPGROUND

TRT45

Location: 38.917527, -119.889828

MONUMENT PASS

TRT25

Location: 39.277345, -120.001088

MT ROSE WILDERNESS

TRT28

Location: 39.293815, -119.953094

MUD LAKE

TRT41

Location: 39.086401, -119.887842

NEAR GENOA PK RD CAMPSITE

TRT30

Location: 39.322762, -119.940292

OLD CHAIRLIFT

TRT15

Location: 39.108375, -120.236937

PCT TRT JUNCTION CAMPSITE

TRT29

Location: 39.315434, -119.94698

RELAY PEAK

TRT20

Location: 39.214274, -120.158704

ROAD CAMPSITE

TRT50

Location: 38.751614, -120.003585

ROUND LAKE

TRT44

Location: 39.00636, -119.948965

S LAKE TAHOE BEACH

TRT51

Location: 38.742664, -120.034152

SHOWERS LAKE

TRT14

Location: 39.105691, -120.236654

SIERRA CREST PANORAMA

TRT27

Location: 39.29163, -119.957448

SKIRTING RELAY PEAK

TRT40

Location: 39.104604, -119.896963

SPOONER SUMMIT

TRT44

Location: 38.960675, -119.886363

STAGECOACH SKI LIFT

TRT46

Location: 38.876824, -119.889802

STAR LAKE CAMPSITE

TRT19

Location: 39.174711, -120.136316

TAHOE CITY CAMPGROUND

TRT32

Location: 39.307336, -119.908001

TAHOE MEADOWS TRAILHEAD

TRT23

Location: 39.234605, -120.018442

THE CHAR PIT KINGS BEACH

TRT18

Location: 39.16236, -120.152341

TRUCKEE RIVER

TRT36

Location: 39.219262, -119.9043

TUNNELL CREEK ROAD

TRT17

Location: 39.140484, -120.191759

WARD HIGHWAY

TRT35

Location: 39.26875, -119.898722

WASHOE LAKE VIEW

TRT21

Location: 39.224628, -120.13658

WATSON LAKE

TRT33

Location: 39.249517, -119.955639

WILDFLOWER CAFE

TRT43

Location: 39.005878, -119.947456

ZEPHYR COVE RESORT