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FREE Guided Hikes around Lake Tahoe

Hiking season has arrived and Reno Tahoe is home to one of the most pristine trails in the world – the Tahoe Rim Trail. And there’s no better way to explore the wonders of the 165-mile route than to join the Tahoe Rim Trail Association on a FREE guided tour. With hikes ranging from 2 miles to 16-mile overnight excursions, there’s something for everybody, no matter your experience. Discover this fun and easy way to exercise, socialize and visit beautiful vistas overlooking Lake Tahoe.

runnerThursday, June 28 & Saturday, July 21 – Deuter and Tahoe Mountain Sports Pack Testing Trek (6.5 miles) – Are you in the market for a new pack? Deuter and Tahoe Mountain Sports are sponsoring this fun gear-testing trek. Demo packs of all shapes and sizes; from small, light hydration haulers to daypacks and expedition size packs. Travel from the Mt. Rose trailhead to Galena Falls where the wildflowers are in full bloom and enjoy a sponsored snack, pack fitting discussion and photo opportunities before returning to the trailhead. All participants will receive a cool piece of gear from Deuter and Tahoe Mountain Sports!

Friday, July 6 – Van Sickle Family Friday Hike (2.2 miles) – The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS) and the Tahoe Rim Trail Association are sponsoring this fun, family friendly interpretive hike each Friday in July. Participants will enjoy interesting facts about the history, flora and fauna of Van Sickle State Park and Tahoe. This is the perfect hike for families.

Additional hikes are scheduled for:

  • July 13
  • July 20
  • July 27

Friday, July 6 – Tahoe Mountain Sports Leave No Trace Sunset Family Hike (3 miles) – Tahoe Mountain Sports, the Leave No Trace Center for Ethics and the Tahoe Rim Trail Association are teaming up for a fun and educational hike that will include interactive Leave No Trace activities, night hike games and prizes for the entire family. Tahoe Mountain Sports will also provide a variety of headlamps to demo. Bring your dinner for a sunset picnic on a ridge overlooking lovely Lake Tahoe!

Tuesday, July 17 – Hawley Grade History Hike (6 miles) – Journey into the past and explore a portion of the original trans-Sierra emigrant route and Pony Express trail through the Sierra.  Learn a little of the history of the early settlers as you hike from the Tahoe Valley floor near Meyers and climb to the junction with the Tahoe Rim Trail just past Echo Pass.

Saturday, July 21 – Big Meadow to Echo Summit Backpack (about 8 miles/day) – Complete a beautiful segment of the Tahoe Rim Trail on this overnight backpack trip led by experienced guides. Beginning at Big Meadow trailhead, this hike will follow a scenic journey through wildflower covered meadows and past the shady shores of Round Lake. Participants will enjoy an overnight camp at picture perfect Showers Lake. Hikers must be in very good physical shape and able to carry a backpack weighing 25-35lbs plus some group supplies.

Monday, July 30 – PCT Travels the TRT (7 miles) – The Tahoe Rim Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail share more than 20 miles in Desolation Wilderness. Hike the rocky terrain of both trails to Lake Aloha from the Upper Echo Lake, where you will ride a water taxi. Lake Aloha has a unique landscape with windblown trees and small flat, rock islands. Enjoy snacks and lunch on the rocky shores of Lake Aloha before returning to the Echo Chalet. Fees: $20 cash for water taxi/person, as well as cash for ice cream and a cold drink at Echo Chalet after the hike.

Be sure to register in advance for these summer hikes. Online registration is now required for all TRTA programs and can be completed on the TRTA website at For more information call 775-298-0012 or email Jaime at

For more summer adventures on the endless trails in Reno Tahoe, check out our hiking page.


Spring has arrived and summer is inching closer. REI-Reno is pleased to partner with the Tahoe Rim Trail Association for the return of the April Speakers Series. This year’s presentations will include information for everybody, but, in particular, we will give attention to hikers and mountain bikers.  Get expert information on where to go, what to bring with you and how to have fun while respecting others and the environment.

3177701313_0c5f322ce2_z All in all, this should be a spectacular not-to-be-missed series.  Here are details on each presentation:

1. “Trail Tactics for The TRT,” Wednesday, April 4, from 6:30 to 8pm

We kickoff this season’s Spring Speaker Series with tips and tricks for segment hiking or day hiking the 165 mile Tahoe Rim Trail.  We will give detailed information on each trail segment.  Questions such as: What amenities are available?  Is there a better place to start/finish?  Do I need permits?  May I bring my dog?  Any special attractions?  Anything I should be aware of? . . .and much more.  This presentation by TRTA staff will be invaluable for planning a fun and safe hike around the Lake.

2. “Mountain Biking the TRT,” Wednesday, April 11, from 6:30 to 8pm

The Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) is a multi-use trail open to hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.  This presentation will focus on the unmatched mountain biking opportunities for all levels of rider experience.  In this presentation we will discuss the various trail characteristics, including sights, skill levels, gear requirements, trail rules, regulations, etiquette, time and safety considerations.  The TRT mountain bike trails are only a part of the mountain bike terrain offered in the Tahoe Basin. We will include in our discussion other trail opportunities that you will not want to miss.

3.   “The Properly Equipped Hiker,” Wednesday, April 18, from 6:30 to 8pm.

This presentation is essential for both segment and thru-hikers.  REI hiking experts will discuss gear, clothing and back country skills that will help you enjoy your time on the trail.  They will also help you to distinguish between essential gear versus what gear is nice to have.  Gear and clothing selections will also be reviewed for weight, cost, durability and ease of use considerations.  This session will also serve as an unveiling of the newest in 2012 gear.  Backcountry skills will focus on hydration techniques, navigational skills and Leave No Trace principles.  Combine this class with the first class and you will be ready to hit the Tahoe Rim Trail this summer, dressed and outfitted for success.

4.   “Trail Repairs and Mountain Bike Gear,” Wednesday, April 25, from 6:30 to 8pm.

Mountain bikers will be stoked about this session.  It will not only focus on the latest after-market gear, but will include typical trail repairs, as well as how to inspect your bike before your ride.  REI’s bike experts will go over the essentials of a pre-ride inspection, which will keep you safer on the seat this summer.  They will cover typical trail repairs including: flat tires, bent spokes, broken cables, suspension problems, chain issues, derailleur malfunctions, etc.  They will also cover your options if your bike cannot be repaired.  Gear will be discussed from a number of points of view so that you can decide what is best for your style of riding.  Combine this class with the second class and you will be ready for some Flume Trail fun in 2012.


WildflowerMeadow (2)Mice_Meadows (2)Desolation 123 (2)Our late snow melt is providing impeccable hiking conditions all summer! Reno Tahoe has the perfect combo: spring’s rolling green hills with late blossoming flowers and summer’s warm weather.

This July, join the Tahoe Rim Trail Association for FREE guided hikes every week. There are hikes for all abilities so anyone can discover this fun and easy way to exercise, socialize and visit beautiful vistas during the summer months in the Tahoe Basin.

Saturday, July 9 – Grandma, Grandpa & Me Hikes

10am, at the Tahoe Meadows Trailhead

10am, at the Big Meadows Trailhead

Happening at two locations due to popular demand, kids will learn about neighboring animals, their habitat and wilderness safety on this unforgettable adventure.

Saturday, July 9 – Castle Rock

8am, at the Kingsbury Grade North Trailhead

Hike the awe-inspiring Tahoe Rim Trail over rolling terrain with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe along the way to Castle Rock.

Saturday, July 16 – Dardanelles Lake

8am, at the Big Meadows Trailhead

Passing through shallow creeks, strikingly beautiful cliffs and the Big Meadow, you’ll reach the Dardanelles Lakes.

Saturday, July 23 – Echo Lakes

8am, at Echo Summit North Trailhead

This 10.6 mile trek will pass spectacular granite formations, allowing you to enjoy the deep blue surface of Lower and Upper Echo Lakes.

Sunday, July 24 – Birds, Views and Falls

7am, at the Mount Rose Trailhead

Hike from the Mount Rose Trailhead to Galena Falls to enjoy the birds and soak in great views before arriving at Galena Falls and the surrounding alpine meadows. Possible avian participants are Green-tailed Towhee, Clark’s Nutcracker, Mountain Bluebird and MacGillivray’s Warbler.

Saturday, July 30 – Barker Pass

8am, at the Barker Pass Trailhead

Not only will you enjoy some great vistas and wildflowers on this hike, but you will also learn how TRTA Trail Builders build and maintain this incredible trail. Don’t worry, this is a “hands-off” trail building lesson.


Friday, July 15 – Mt. Rose

7am, at the Mt. Rose Parking Plaza and Trailhead

Friday, July 22 – Freel Peak

6:30am, at the Big Meadows Trailhead

Friday, July 29 – Mt. Tallac

7am, at the Glenn Alpine Trailhead.


Friday, July 15

7:30pm, at the Tahoe Meadows Trailhead

Not a member of the TRTA? Join! Afterwards, enjoy a three mile moonlit tromp through the Tahoe Meadows up to the Tahoe Basin ridge. Expect casually paced hikes for all ages, while slowing down to enjoy the flora and fauna and to explore with your nighttime senses.

You must register in advance for these summer hikes. Online registration is now required for all TRTA programs and can be completed on the TRTA website at For more information call 775-298-0012 or email Tom at

For more Lake Tahoe hiking trails click here.


Freezing our Feathers Off!

FREE Family Fun Snowshoe Hike

Birds of a feather flock together and fly south for the winter, right?
Well…almost right. Did you know that there are actually some birds that stick around and tough out the cold, sierra winters? Are they a bit cuckoo or do they actually like snowstorms and frigid temperatures? You will learn the answers to this question, and more when you convince your parents to join you on a FREE family snowshoe hike sponsored by the Tahoe Rim Trail Association! We will explore the amazing world of winter and try to determine how birds and other animals survive the winter months, all while practicing our snowshoe skills. And…after playing and having fun in the snow, there will be some hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and treats waiting for you at the end.

This hike will wind through the trees and flat meadow. This program will go from 10 am – noon. Families with children, ages six and up, are encouraged to sign up for this hike. Please leave your cute puppies at home! Because it can be so cold and windy in the meadows, it is a good idea to leave very small children and infants at home with a family member or caretaker. The hike will not be strenuous, and will be broken up with games, stories, and other hands-on activities. Please be prepared for the temperamental weather of the  Lake Tahoe Meadows. Please do not dress yourselves or your children in cotton, as it will leave all of you damp and cold. Gloves, beanies, mittens, long underwear, warm socks, waterproof boots and winter jackets are necessary. Each person in your group should have a couple water bottles, because walking and active games work up a good thirst! If you are bringing your own snowshoes or are renting snowshoes, please practice putting them on before the hike, so you know how the bindings work! Note that the high elevation level (8740 ft.) can be a challenge, especially for those of you who live at sea level.

Date: Saturday, February 27th, 10am – noon
Meeting Place/Time: Tahoe Meadows non-motorized side, down by the tree-line, 9:45 am, meeting time
Distance: 3 miles, approximately
Level: Easy
Hours: approximately 2

More Information: 775-298-0012 or