Marmot’s Top Tahoe Activities Picks
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FROM THE LAKE
- MT. ROSE MEADOWS
Mileage round-trip: 1.5 miles.
A beautiful, flat hike through a high alpine meadow and forest. Take Mt. Rose Highway from Incline Village about 9 miles. About 1/2 mile before the summit, look for a large pullout and a drive to a parking lot on the right hand side. There is a trailhead sign and restrooms.
- DIAMOND PEAK LAKEVIEW OVERLOOK
Mileage to Overlook: about 1 mile, to Mt. Rose Hwy on Incline Flume is about 4 miles.
Not pristine as the hike is up a service road at a ski resort, but you are rewarded by the best views of the lake offered anywhere. Bring your picnic lunch! From downtown Incline Village, take Hwy 28, (Tahoe Boulevard), toward South Lake. Make a left on Country Club and a quick right on Skiway. Take Skiway to the upper lot at Diamond Peak Ski Resort. Climb up the well-worn service road. If you have kids, take a brief detour to the base of the Crystal Express chair and catch some pollywogs! Keep right at all junctions and follow the road to the Lakeview Lodge which is at the top of the Lakeview chair. Pick a nice place on the deck and soak up the sun. For extra credit, return the way you came but at the first junction, make a right on the service road and follow it up. Just as it becomes steep, the Incline Flume crosses the road. Go left for great views. This trail will take you all the way to Mt. Rose Highway. This flat, traversing trail is popular for both families and trail runners.
- MARLETTE LAKE
Moderate to difficult
Mileage one-way: 5 miles
Park at the Spooner Lake Trailhead, located in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, just north/west of the Highway 50/28 junction. A parking fee is charged. Dogs are allowed on leash. A moderate five mile uphill hike leads you through picturesque North Canyon, lined with aspens, to Marlette Lake Dam. Following the trail along the west side of the lake takes you to the world-famous Flume Trail which traverses a steep hillside 1000′ above Lake Tahoe. Following the trail along the east side takes you to the Tahoe Rim Trail… another world-class adventure.
IN AND AROUND TRUCKEE
- MARTIS VALLEY
Round trip: 4 miles
From Northstar, take Hwy 267 toward Truckee. In the middle of the Martis Valley, look for a pullout and parking area on the right hand side. Park here at the trailhead and begin a loop through the valley.
- TAHOE RIM TRAIL, BROCKWAY SUMMIT TO MT. ROSE MEADOWS
Moderate to hard
Round trip: as long as you want it to be!
From Northstar, take Hwy 267 toward Lake Tahoe. About a 1/2 mile from the summit, as you begin to descend toward the Lake, look for a parking area on the right. If you cross Hwy 267, the TRT will take you toward Mt. Rose Meadows and beyond. Stunning lake views. We recommend taking the scenic overlook that branches off to the left about 1 mile up the trail. This provides a nice picnic spot that has views both to Lake Tahoe and toward Truckee.
- TAHOE RIM TRAIL, BROCKWAY SUMMIT TO WATSON LAKE
Moderate to hard
Round trip: as long as you want it to be!
From Northstar, take Hwy 267 toward Lake Tahoe. About a 1/2 mile from the summit, as you begin to descend toward the Lake, look for a parking area on the right. Start at the parking area and descend on the TRT. The descent quickly turns to a climb as you work your way toward Tahoe City via Watson Lake. Stunning lake views in a deep forest.
From Downtown, head east on Brockway Road. At the first light (Palisades Drive) turn right. Turn right again on Silver Fir, and then left on Thelin. The USFS 06 road is on the right. Turn here and proceed ¼ mile to the trailhead on the right. This trail is a winding single-track loop through a mix of high desert and Jeffrey Pine Forest. It gains and loses the same 200 feet numerous times throughout its course. Some of the standout features of this trail are the two overlooks into the Truckee River Canyon, and the available connectivity to other routes on the Mt. Watson trail network. Popular as a day hike, trail run, or mountain bike ride. Total loop is 9 miles.
From Downtown, proceed northeast on Donner Pass Road. At the roundabout with SR 89N, merge onto SR 89N. Proceed 4.5 miles to the US Forest Service facility called Donner Camp picnic area on the right side of the road. Note 1: the section from Donner Camp to Prosser Creek is often one of the last parts of the trail to dry in the spring. If it is still wet and snowy here, proceed north on SR 89 N another 2.5 miles to the pullout at the Prosser Creek Bridge. Note 2: Later in the year, the trail can be accessed from many pull outs on Alder Creek Drive, which the trail parallels for 3 miles (access by making a Left from Hwy 89 onto Alder Creek Drive after leaving downtown Truckee.) However, in the spring, the Alder Creek crossings may be impassable.
This very popular trail offers rolling, not-rocky, wide single-track through high desert scenery. The trail winds through sagebrush, seasonally wet meadows, and Jeffrey Pine forests. The total trail length, from the Tahoe Donner Campground to Stampede Reservoir is over 15 miles, but, as it is an out-and-back, go as far as you want to go! Popular for early season hiking, early season wildflower and deer viewing, running, and mountain biking. Can be hot in mid-summer, but there’s a nice big reservoir in which to swim (Stampede) at the end point of this trail.
From Downtown Truckee, turn right onto Brockway Rd. At the junction with SR 267, turn right again, and stay on SR 267 for about 12 miles. At North Lake Blvd in Kings Beach, turn left. At the CA/NV border, North Lake Blvd becomes NV SR 28. Proceed on this road. Turn left into Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, and follow the signs to the trailhead. As this trail can be linked with other trails for varying experiences, routes vary. Here are a few suggestions:
- Arrange a pick-up shuttle with the Flume Trail Bike Shop at the bottom of Tunnel Creek Road. Proceed up North Canyon Road to Marlette Lake. The Flume Trail begins on the opposite side of the Lake, by the Dam. Take the Flume Trail to its terminus at Tunnel Creek Road. Descend Tunnel Creek Road, where your shuttle awaits. Note: Bicyclist, please descend with caution! Tunnel Creek Road is steep and sandy and high speed washouts leading to injury are common!
- 23 mile loop: Proceed up North Canyon Road to Marlette Lake. The Flume Trail begins on the opposite side of the Lake, by the Dam. Take the Flume Trail to its terminus at Tunnel Creek Road. Turn right on Tunnel Creek Road, and right again on the Tahoe Rim Trail. Take The Tahoe Rim Trail to Marlette Lake, and return down North Canyon Road.
- Do the above loop in reverse, with an out-and-back to Tahoe Meadows, on the Tahoe Rim Trail. This route adds about 12 miles to the overall distance, with a lot of climbing (and descending in return). Proceed across Tunnel Creek Road on the TRT to add this spur onto the loop. Physical difficulty increases to strenuous to very strenuous.
Note: Due to use conflicts, a not mandatory, but strongly advised guideline has been put in place: From Tahoe Meadows to Tunnel Creek Road, bicycles are discouraged from using the trail on odd numbered days. On even days, hikers that believe this guideline is law are often openly belligerent to bicyclists, so please do this ride on even-numbered days.
From Downtown head west on I-80 for 10 miles to the exit marked Boreal Ridge Road/Castle Peak. Turn Right onto Castle Valley Road and park at the end of the pavement. Proceed on Castle Valley Road for 1.5 miles and the trailhead will be on the left. It is a bit obscure and is tucked away in a grove of big Red Firs. If you end up at the junction of Castle Valley Road and the PCT, you went a mile too far. The trailhead at the Soda Springs end of the trail is accessed at the Soda Springs/Norden exit of I80. Turn right at the off ramp and park on either side of the road by the fire station. Respect the No Parking signs.
This ride is a yearly must-do for the Tahoe mountain biker. The trail’s technical challenge combined with the alpine beauty and numerous lakes make it one of the more popular trails in California. It also makes for a great hike and trail run, and the wildflowers are not to be missed! For a nice hiking loop, take the Hole in the Ground out, turn right on the Sand Ridge Trail, and the right again on the PCT, back to the trail head. Note: this hike is CLOSED TO BICYCLES. With the construction on I-80, and the lack of an official right-of-way between I-80 and U.S. 40, cyclists are urged by the Land Managers to ride the HitG as an out and back this year.
From Downtown, turn east onto Brockway RD. At the junction with SR 267, turn right. At the Northstar stoplight, turn right again, and follow the signs to the park. Often known for the mountain’s extremely technical but fun downhill trails, Northstar has beautiful rolling single tracks as well. Northstar has excellent facilities, including a knowledgeable staff, good maps, pubs, restaurants, and a bike shop. Inquire with a Northstar person for routes best suited to the experience desired.
From Downtown, enter onto I80 West, exit at Squaw Valley/CA 89 exit, take roundabout under the freeway and stay straight on CA 89, follow CA 89 to squaw valley/Olympic Valley, take right at squaw valley Olympic flame monument, take first left and park your vehicle at the squaw valley park. Paved bike and walking path with painted direction striping. Beatuful scenery along the Truckee River with multiple locations to stop and swim or enjoy the scenery. Trail proceeds to Tahoe City Park where there is ample parking as well.
- EMERGENCIES: 911
- MARMOT VACATION RENTALS
- ROAD CONDITIONS:
California – (800) 427-7623
Nevada – (775) 793-1313
- WEATHER CONDITIONS:
- ROAD SERVICE (24 hours):
All North Shore, West Shore and Truckee – (530) 587-6000 / (530) 581-1000
AAA Members – (800) 222-4357
NAC Members – (530) 583-5502
Tahoe Forest Hospital (Truckee) – (530) 587-6011
Incline Village Community Hospital – (775) 832-4110
Incline Village Urgent Care – (775) 833-2929
- DENTISTS( on call 24 hours):
Dr. Faul, Tahoe City – (530) 583-8646
Dr. Kucharski, Kings Beach- (530) 546-5678
- HIGHWAY PATROL:
California Non-emergency – (530) 587-3518
Nevada Non-emergency – (775) 687-5300
Nevada County, CA – (530) 582-7842
(Truckee, Donner Lake, Donner Summit)
Placer County, CA – (530) 581-6300
(North Tahoe, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows)
Washoe County, NV – (775) 832-4110
(Incline Village, Crystal Bay)
- VETERINARIANS/LOST PETS:
Nevada County Shelter – (530) 582-7830
Placer County Shelter – (530) 546-4269
Washoe County Shelter – (775) 785-2275
Incline Veterinary Hospital – (775) 831-0433
North Lake Veterinary Clinic – (24 hour/Tahoe City) (530) 583-8587