The Sierras are snowy now and although I lost another toenail today as a result of hiking the TRT I look back on the journey very fondly. I’m inspired to other adventures now, so here are the final details of my hike while they’re still fresh in my mind. Go here for a list of water sources.
Maps & Mileage Mileages vary from map to map but on this trail a map is almost unnecessary as long as you know the distance to your next water. Most trailheads have free paper maps of the abutting sections and signage as well trail markers are abundant (quite different from the Colorado Trail in 2007, when I biked for hours at a time wondering if I was on the correct trail.) The consensus is that the TRTA maps’ mileages are high.
Water Water is abundant and of excellent quality, even now, at the end of a very, very dry summer. Sources average 6 miles apart. See my TRT Water Report for a full listing of sources, locations and evaluation.
Resupplies Many amenities, including Echo Lakes Resort, and the Forest Service permit office as well as the campground at Tahoe State Park, both in Tahoe City, close on Labor Day, so keep this in mind when planning your food and where to begin your trek. There are several grocery stores and post offices around the lake but there are really only two places to resupply without hitchhiking: Tahoe City and South Lake. Watchout out for erroneous address information on google maps. Call 1800-ASK-USPS for current post office phone numbers and addresses. The post office on Kingsbury Grade does not accept general delivery mail and forwards it 1.5 miles out of town to Zephyr Cove so it’s best to use the one on Al Tahoe Boulevard if you need to receive mail in South Lake.
Essentials Travel as light as possible, you’re feet will thank you.
Cell Service Coverage on Verizon was excellent except in Desolation and the AT&T users I talked to had similar experiences.
Getting There Starting and finishing at Brockway Summit is ideal since it breaks you’re longest dry stretch in two (6 + 13 miles) but requires a ride. It costs $4 to take RTC Intercity to Carson City and transfer to TART to begin at Daggett Pass, or you could also bus to Tahoe City via Truckee. A seasonal bus runs to Eagle Falls from South Lake or Tahoe City, allowing you to see a little bit more of Desolation Wilderness than you would otherwise. It is also possible to do the trek entirely on foot from Reno via the Rim to Reno route up Taylor Creek but this adds a considerable among of mileage and elevation gain.
Side Trips There are numerous opportunities for adding miles and photo ops to your hike. Here are the highlights:
Mt Rose My favorite, 4.6 miles roundtrip and +/- 1700′
Mt Tallac A very popular hike in Desolation, 3.2 mi RT and +/- 1400′
Freel Peak Short and rumored to be worth the arduous ascent, 2 mi RT and +/- 1100′
Martis Peak Fire Lookout An easy hike to a quaint lookout, 1.5 mi RT and +/- 500′
Eagle Falls Spectacular in the spring, 4.6 mi RT and +/- 1750′
Gray Lake Serene, 1.2 mi RT and +/- 450′
Sand Harbor Overlook DO NOT MISS THIS, 1.2 mi RT and +/- 100′
Twin Peaks great westward view of the PCT, 1 mi RT and +/- 400′
Marlette Lake 2 mi RT and +/-500′