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Tahoe Rim Trail - Spooner Lake North

Lake Tahoe

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July 22nd, 2001

4.5 miles
1105 vertical feet
Total Time: 4:02

Rating: 7/10

Directions:   View Driving Map

Jean, Jennie, Leslie, Phil, and I drove to the Tahoe Rim Trail trailhead at Spooner Lake along Highway 50. There were about 10 other cars parked in the lot, and we found one of the last spaces.

The sign at the trailhead had a plague warning -- it said that squirrels in the area could be plague carriers. Nice to know. Interestingly, I didn't see any other such warnings on our other hikes in the area.

Sufficiently warned, we headed north up the trail, starting off around noon. It's never really steep, and climbs steadily through a lovely forest. It's an open forest, the kind which would be great to snowshoe through in the winter. Unfortunately, the trees partially obscure views of Spooner Lake to the west near the beginning of the hike.

View of Lake Tahoe thru the trees

We encountered very few people on the trail, which was a nice change from the previous two days. After a half hour or so, we found a nice spot amongst some rocks to rest and get a glimpse of Lake Tahoe through the trees.

Me getting set to take a picture (photo by Philip Haine)

Resting on the rocks

After our break we continued up the trail. Trees obscured most of the views, but there were places where we could see views of Lake Tahoe to the west, or the Washoe Valley to the east. We stopped at the top of a rise above a clearing and brought out our lunch. Flies buzzed around us, but didn't otherwise bother us. The sun was strong and prompted us to reapply our sunscreen.

Lunch break

After lunch we backtracked along the trail and found a nice rocky spot with pretty clear views of the Washoe Valley. We stayed here for a while, taking pictures and admiring the view.

View of the Washoe Valley

Leslie checking out the view

Group on the rocks

We continued along the trail, enjoying the serenity of the forest, which was mostly pine trees. This is one of the few open-ended hikes I've done. There was no particular destination. We would decide to turn around when we had to in order to get back at a certain time. A bit past 3pm, we decided we had to turn around. I would love to explore the trail further, but I can do that another day -- perhaps in the winter when it'll be much different.

We retraced our steps, descending all the way back to the car in just about an hour. At the trailhead there was a group of people with free refreshments (drinks, snacks). I think they said they were with Campus Crusade for Christ. We chatted a bit before heading back to our car and driving back to our cabin.

Return to 2001 Lake Tahoe trip report.

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