Top Trails Lake Tahoe
by Mike White (Wilderness Press)
© 2015 Mike White/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.
Ralston Peak Trail
Length:6 total miles
Elevation Gain:2,875 feet
Skill Level:Moderate to Difficult
Season:July - October
Trailhead Elevation:6,360 feet
Top Elevation:9,235 feet
This is one of my favorite hikes. It is extremely challenging as it’s almost 3000’ elev gain in 3 miles – but the view at the top is sooooo unbelievable! The trail starts beyond the parking at the freeway – if you’re lucky you can go up that dirt road, past the church and park up at the sign – trust me you’ll be glad you have that much less to hike! The trail brings you up through the nice shady forest via lots of switchbacks – then about 1-1/2 hours up you’ll break through the forest edge and be up above the tree line with views of granite all around. You’ll see the “false” top from here, but believe me you still have a ways to go! When you get to the sort of flat area with tall pines at the base of the steepest part, where it will remind you of a camping area – don’t follow the trail that goes slightly downand to the left – go up. Yes it is tough, but it gets you to the rocky peak where all the world is at your feet! Youll have to go over a pile of fractured granite – but it’s soooooo worth it. This time we went left instead – it’s longer but more gradual. the hike down is tough. It took us 2 hours and I do not believe I could go down any faster unless I was being chased by a bear! I used poles both ways – the steep steps up boulders, combined with the slippery pine needled trail is not the greatest surface, There is a watering hole about half ways up for the dogs,but that’s about it so make sure you pack plenty. it took 3-1/4 up and 2 hours down.
Steep, Steep... Very Steady
Rewarding Downhill Gallop...
Best Hike of the Season
Jawdropping Beauty, I found it hard to leave the peak.
100+ Frames shot, some Percarious Locations, Age, Complexity...
My New Favorite Spot
This is the perfect training hike. Steep, lots of stairs type rocks to climb up, and views the whole way up of Sierra at tahoe. After a scramble at the top, you can see four lakes and panoramic views. I have read different reviews that this hike is actually closer to 8 miles, so bring plenty of water and layers, base was 70 degress and summit was 42 when i went. Happy Hiking.
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