This past week we hiked a piece of Tahoe’s rim.
The Unofficial Alpine Meadows Ski Report
Produced by Andy Wertheim
Our real estate website: www.tahoeriverfrontrealty.com
This past week we hiked a piece of Tahoe’s rim. A portion of the hike followed the Pacific Crest Trail/Tahoe Rim Trail, and a portion diverted to a lovely string of lakes do to lack of a water source.
Our three day trip began at the Pacific Crest Trailhead atop Barker Pass (just passed the end of the paved road that winds through Blackwood Canyon). We heaved our backpacks onto our shoulders and began hiking south along the wooded trail. Amazingly, wildflowers are still in bloom in the more moist areas. We walked for about seven miles before arriving at Richardson Lake. This is a pretty lake that is home to the Ludlow Cabin, and a number of rustic campsites. You can drive into Richardson Lake from the Mckinney-Rubicon Road. The group rested here, taking in the cool blue site, while enjoy our first simple lunch. We wandered on in the cool shade of forested areas with occasional stops to soak in far off views. No day in the wilderness is perfect, and this was not an exception. It was not long before tender feet began to heat up and blister form with little warning on certain members feet. In addition, one hiker fell to his knees in pain as his weak ankle rolled, collapsing and leaving him wiggling in the dirt. His fortune changed after a second fall that appeared to realign the ankle back to its original location. A change of footwear assisted with ankle support, but skin bubbled up on the heel of this hiker as the higher boots caused friction where it was not welcome.
As the afternoon progressed, we realized that our original goal of camping along Phipps Creek a little to aggressive. However, we were walking along a ridge line with no lake or creek in sight. In an attempt to find a place to camp with water, and a place to take off our boots, we left our designated route and dropped down a faint trail to General Creek (a creek that flows out to Meeks Bay). To my surprise, and my companions, General Creek was dry. Tired and thirsty we pulled out the map one more time, and realized that our only real option was to head for Lake Genevieve. As we arrived at Genevieve, a beautiful lake with a perfect level camping spot, the only other people in residence were just packing up to leave. We spent the night at this lovely lake in peace and quiet under a clear star filled sky. You can access Lake Genevieve easily, as a day hike, from a trailhead located off Highway 89 in Meeks Bay.
Our new route took us along a string of lakes the next morning. This was really a wonderful hike that skirted Crag, Hidden, Shadow, Stony Ridge, and Rubicon Lakes before heading up to Phipps Pass where we stopped for lunch and stared out into the Desolation Wilderness. Our destination for the evening was Middle Velma Lake which we reached around three in the afternoon. There was a little wind, and the water was a little cool, but it did not keep us from enjoying an afternoon swim. Our camping spot was perfect, just beside the lake, and in a location that allowed us to watch the sun set into the early evening while relaxing on slabs of smooth granite.
The last day of this journey took us around Fontanillis and Dicks Lake in the morning, and up and over Dicks Pass to Gilmore Lake, sitting under Mt. Tallac, in the early afternoon. Incredible views of many lakes and mountain peaks are offered along this section of the trail. Wildflowers covered the hillsides, especially in the section between Dicks Pass and Gilmore Lake. We finished the hike at the Mt. Tallac Trailhead near Fallen Leaf Lake. This was about a 28 mile hike. There are a number of possible long day hikes that one could do to view these areas without carrying all the gear needed for an overnight.
Enjoy your day. Andy