Tahoe Rim Trail
Tucked among the northern Sierra Nevada and Carson mountain ranges, the Tahoe Rim Trail roughly circles Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America. The mountain vistas, dense fir and hemlock forests, granite rock outcroppings, and views of the waters of Lake Tahoe offer stellar scenery, while the access to numerous off-season ski towns make this trip a complete package.
“The best description of this trail comes from my friend Chris, who calls it the Nieman Marcus of long distance trails,” says LaRuffa. “It’s very well maintained and marked, and because it’s designed for multi-purpose use, the terrain is somewhat forgiving in the way that it’s graded. And you can hitch a ride to town everyday if you want a hot meal.”
Time to Complete: 2 weeks
Terrain: Elevation ranges from 6,240 to 10,335 feet, but the 30,000 feet of elevation gain and loss is in more manageable doses than most of the other high elevation trails.
Best Segment You Can Do In a Day: Relay Peak from Tahoe Meadows (9.25 miles round-trip). This route is packed with alpine mountain views and leads to the Tahoe Rim Trail highpoint at 10,335 feet.
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