Where can I buy a map of the TRT? (return to questions )
TRT maps are always available through the TRTA website or through the TRT office. Many area outdoor stores, including REI Reno, US Forest Service offices around the lake, Alpenglow in Tahoe City, and the Visitor Center in Incline Village carry our maps as well.
Are there designated campgrounds along the TRT? Where can I camp?(return to questions )
• On the majority of the trail there are no designated campgrounds.
• As of October 24, 2003 backpackers, horse-packers or mountain bikers (where permitted) are allowed free dispersed camping up to 14 days, in undesignated sites within 300 feet on either side of the Tahoe Rim Trail, and the Basin portions of the Pacific Crest Trail.
• In Nevada State Parks, between Tunnel Creek and Spooner Summit, camping is restricted to two designated campgrounds. You must camp at either the Marlette Peak Campground (about 10 miles north of Hwy 50 from Spooner Summit) or the North Canyon campground, which can be accessed by a 1.4 mile side trail that is 4.7 miles north of Hwy 50 from Spooner Summit. Both of these campgrounds have a pit toilet and picnic tables. For more information contact Nevada State Parks at 775-831-0494.
In Desolation Wilderness there are no designated campgrounds, but a backcountry permit is required. Contact the USFS for camping and stove permits at (530)543-2600. For more details on camping along the Tahoe Rim Trail, click here...
Are mountain bikes permitted on the Tahoe Rim Trail?(return to questions )
- Yes, mountain bikes are permitted on just over 50% the trail. On the west shore, the Tahoe Rim Trail shares 50 miles of trail with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The Forest Service does not permit the use of mountain bikes on the Pacific Crest Trail.
- Additionally, because mountain bikes are not permitted in federally designated wilderness areas, the Tahoe Rim Trail does not allow mountain bikes on any wilderness sections of the Tahoe Rim Trail. These areas include the Desolation Wilderness and Mount Rose Wilderness located on the west and north shore of the basin.
- Only the TRT leading through Tahoe meadows is open to bikes. Please follow the TRT signage through this area. Except for the TRT, all the new trails in the West Tahoe Meadows Trail System are open to hikers only (no bikes or horses) to protect the meadow and surrounding area.
Finally, there is a section of the Tahoe Rim Trail running north from Spooner Summit past Snow Valley Peak to Hobart Road that does not permit mountain bikes because there is a parallel trail system supporting the famous flume trail that covers this same area. For information on the Flume Trail, click here...
Where can I ride my bike on the TRT?(return to questions )
Mountain bikes can be ridden on just over 50% of the Tahoe Rim Trail. Below is a listing of all eight segments of the TRT and details on mountain biking opportunities on that segment. For more information on each of these sections go to the Trail Use section:
- Tahoe City - Brockway Summit : mountain biking is permitted on this entire section of trail.
- Brockway Summit - Mt. Rose / Tahoe Meadows : Mountain biking is allowed between Brockway Summit and the Mt. Rose wilderness boundary, which is roughly 7 miles. Starting at the Mt. Rose summit trailhead one can take a small section of single track to a dirt road and then bike roughly 3 miles uphill to Relay Peak and the Mount Rose Wilderness boundary.
- Tahoe Meadows - Spooner Summit : mountain biking is allowed on even numbered days (i.e. June 2nd , but not 3rd ) between Tahoe Meadows and Tunnel Creek Road. This is approximately 9.2 miles. From Tunnel Creek Road to Hobart Road, mountain bikes are always permitted. From Hobart Road to Spooner Summit mountain biking is not allowed. Bikers can take Hobart Road down to Marlette Lake and then out to Spooner.
- Spooner Summit - Kingsbury Grade : mountain biking is permitted on this entire section of trail.
- Kingsbury Grade - Big Meadow : mountain biking is permitted on this entire section of trail.
- Big Meadow - Echo Summit / Echo Lake : Bikes are allowed for the first 5 miles from the Big Meadow trailhead to Meiss Meadow where the TRT joins the PCT. The PCT does not allow bikes.
- Echo Summit / Echo Lake - Barker Pass : Bikes are not allowed on this entire section as it goes through wilderness area and because the TRT overlaps with the PCT.
- Barker Pass - Tahoe City : Bikes are allowed from twin peaks to Tahoe City. However the first 5 miles, from Barker Pass to twin peaks, bikes are not allowed as it is also the PCT.
What are the TRTA office hours?(return to questions)
The Tahoe Rim Trail Association office is open Monday - Friday 9am - 5 pm. However, please call the office before stopping by to be sure a staff person will be in the office and not out in the field. We can be reached at 775-298-0012.
Where can I park a horse trailer?(return to questions)
Parking a horse trailer can be a bit tricky at certain spots and much easier at others. Below is a list of all trailheads and details that relate to trailer parking Visit the main equestrian page for more details.
- Tahoe City : The 64 acre site has spaces for a horse trailer, but they can be narrow. Also note that during the summer they can be filled by regular vehicles and no space will be available. The Fairway trailhead this is not designed for horse trailers and is not a good place to try to park one.
- Brockway Summit: There are three parking options for this site. There is TRT parking along the southern side of the Hwy at the actual start of the trail. However parking here is limited and you would have to unload your horse on pavement next to the traffic. You can drive a short distance up the dirt road on the Northern side of the highway and park approximately three trailer rigs but you have to check first if there are cars there or not. This road has terrible access from the highway and is not highly recommended. The last option is 0.2 miles past the actual summit on the Truckee side heading toward Truckee; on your right is a road leading up to Martis Peak. Drive up the road approximately 3 miles and there is a road from which you can leave the pavement and gain direct access to the TRT. You will need a good map and experience on backcountry roads for this adventure.
- Mt. Rose Summit : There is room for a few trailers to park; however, like Tahoe Meadows this is a popular destination, and space is limited. This is an entirely paved parking lot also. Note: this trailhead should be used only for heading toward Brockway. If you are heading toward Spooner Summit please park at the Tahoe Meadows trailhead.
- Tahoe Meadows : The Tahoe Meadows' trailhead was designated for horse trailers, but be advised that on busy days this is a very popular place to park. There is also room on the shoulder. Note: this trailhead should be used only for heading toward Spooner Summit. If you are heading toward Brockway please park at the Mt. Rose Summit trailhead.
- Spooner Summit : The paved parking area on the north side of the highway at the trailhead is not designed for horse trailers but close by on the North side of Hwy 50 there is parking specifically for horse trailers. This can be found off of Hwy. 50 on the North side of the road, ½ mile east of the summit on the Carson City side. It is west of the sand shed. There is no signage or turn lane for this parking area. There is a connector trail from this parking to the trail toward Spooner. If you are heading toward Kingsbury Grade the trailhead has parking; however it can get crowded so come early. On the South side of the highway there is a well established parking area that accommodates horse trailers.We recommend that you park on the same side you intend to ride, as highway 50 is a major 4 lane highway with heavy traffic.
- Kingsbury Grade North : The parking here is off a quiet subdivision road. There is room for a few horse trailers.
- Kingsbury Grade South : This large Heavenly ski area parking provides plenty of room for a horse trailer.
- Big Meadow : This parking lot has designated horse trailer parking. Unfortunately, at times when it is very crowded people without horse trailers park in those designated spots. Also note that the parking lot has sharp turns that can be a challenge. If you are heading towards Freel Peak, you can park along the road near the Armstrong Pass trailhead and then use that connector trail.
- Echo Summit : This paved parking lot is located on the south side of Highway 50 at Echo Summit in the Snow-Park lot. The large Sno-Park area is gated closed. There is parking outside the gate for about 6-8 cars and NO parking for trailers. There is a small dirt area two small rigs can park on; however, there are huge NO PARKING signs everywhere.
- Echo Lake : There is very limited parking here, especially during the summer months as this is a very popular destination.
- Barker Pass : There is plenty of room to park up here. From here one can access the trail in either direction.
Where can I park my car if I plan to camp overnight on the trail?(return to questions)
If you are going to be gone for a long period of time, we recommend telling a friend or a relative where you're going and for how long. You may also want to let them know where your car will be during this time.
- A car can be left at any of the designated parking areas for however long you are out hiking.
- You are assuming the risk when you leave your car overnight. We highly recommend not leaving any valuables in your car.
How do I join the 165 Mile Club?(return to questions)
To become a 165 Mile Club member you must first become a Tahoe Rim Trail Association member. Membership information can be located on this website or at the TRTA office. Please call (775) 298-0012 for more information. After submitting the appropriate TRTA membership form, you are then eligible to start the process for 165 Mile Club memberships. First, obtain a 165 Mile Club brochure from this website or the TRTA office with club details and trail tracking information. This will allow you to track your progress as you hike, bike, or horseback ride on the TRT. Do it all at once or in sections. Once you have completed the TRT, submit your form to us at the following location:
948 Incline Way
Incline Village, NV 89451
Upon receipt of this form we will give you a number and record this information for our files. We will send you a certificate and post your name on our website and in our newsletter. Horses, dogs, or any other pets are welcome in the 165 Mile Club.
Where can I get the 165 Mile Club forms?(return to questions)
165 Mile Club forms are available on TRTA's website and at the TRTA office. We would be happy to send or fax a form whenever requested. Please contact the office at (775) 298-0012 for more information.
When is the TRT free from snow?(return to questions)
The areas of highest elevation around Lake Tahoe often receive over 600 inches of snow annually. There are several factors for determining whether the place you want to go will be out of the snow in the spring or summer and some general rules governing the area's snow pack. Winter storms arrive primarily from the west, leaving lots of snow near the Sierra crest. There is less snow as you travel further east from the mountaintops. The west side of Lake Tahoe gets considerably more snow than the east. Elevation also determines the amount of snow on sections of the TRT. Over the course of a season, high elevations receive considerably more snow than lower elevations. As a result of these conditions the entire TRT may not be free of snow until mid July . Some sections of the TRT on the East shore may open as early as late May to early June depending on the snow pack. Please check out the trail conditions updates on our website at www.tahoerimtrail.org under trail conditions or call the office for more information.
How late into the fall can I hike on the TRT?(return to questions)
Once the first snow flies in the Sierras it becomes increasingly more difficult to follow the trail. Normally, the first snow falls in early November. The trail is not marked well enough for winter use. Many enjoy snowshoeing in areas near the TRT but once covered in snow, it is almost impossible to determine the trail's true location. For information on places to snowshoe contact the office at (775) 298-0012.
Do I need permits to camp anywhere along the TRT?(return to questions)
You will need a permit to enter the Desolation Wilderness ( Echo Lakes to Barker Pass ). Overnight permits must be reserved and printed online at recreation.gov or picked up at one of the USFS offices mentioned below. You may submit an application for an overnight permit by visiting the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit- Forest Service website (www.fs.usda.gov/ltbmu). You will need to get your permit prior to your hike. If you would like more information on camping permits, please contact the United States Forest Service at (530) 543-2600.
Are fires permitted around the TRT?(return to questions)
Campfires are always prohibited along the TRT, though portable stoves are allowed on USFS land with a valid California Campfire Permit. The permit is required for stove use on USFS land throughout Lake Tahoe Basin, even though it is called "California" Campfire Permit. The permit is available free of charge at any USFS office or fire station throughout California. Improved camping areas are available at Watson Lake and Luther Pass campgrounds. The latter is down the road from the Big Meadow Trailhead. These two campgrounds have designated campsites, which include metal fire rings. If Fire Restrictions are not in place, campfires are allowed in the metal rings with a valid campfire permit, but users should please always extinguish their fire completely before leaving.
Campfire permits, information on the new camping regulations, including maps defining areas open and closed to camping, are available at the Forest Supervisor's Office, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe. Call (530) 543-2600 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m or the Carson Ranger District 775-882-2766.
For details on campfires along the Tahoe Rim Trail, click here....
If I am traveling the Tahoe Rim Trail, and campfires are not permitted, why then, do I need a "campfire permit?" (return to questions)
For all backcountry campers traveling the Tahoe Rim Trail and PCT in the basin, use of portable stoves is now required. Rather than create a separate permit system, the LTBMU will be using the campfire permit as an appropriate permit mechanism to authorize the use of stoves. It's a similar situation to the Desolation Wilderness. The wilderness permit is used as the permit mechanism authorizing the use of portable stoves.
What is the rational for restricting campfires along the Tahoe Rim Trail? (return to questions)
By restricting camping to the use of approved camp stoves, this brings the designated sections of the Rim Trail and its connections with the Pacific Crest Trail and Desolation Wilderness, into a more unified management with respect to use of camp stoves. This also encourages the use of Leave No Trace ethics in basin backcountry areas. The Rim Trail corridor is heavily used. The trail passes through many areas with heavy hazard fuels accumulations, with high risk of wildfire from human sources of ignition. Although a significant wildfire event has not yet occurred along this corridor, the increased use has led to numerous incidents of abandoned campfires, with a high probability of fire spread into nearby residential areas. Besides possible fire spread, the heavy use of this trail has resulted in negative impacts from accumulations of campfire rings. The use of stoves will enhance the Rim Trail environmentally and visually.
Where can I find out about the trail conditions?(return to questions)
You can find out about TRT conditions on our website. Just click the icon next to trail conditions and an updated list of trail conditions listed by trail segments will appear. You may also contact the TRTA office to find out what the most current trail conditions are. We welcome updates from trail users as well, so feel free to send us an email or call the office if you have an update.
How can I sign up to volunteer on the TRT?(return to questions)
There are many ways to become a TRTA volunteer. Either send an email to Shannon Skarritt, Director of Membership & Outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office for more details. Volunteer forms and opportunities are also listed on the website. See our volunteer brochure for a listing of all of our volunteer opportunities. Our website is tahoerimtrail.org. You can also register for volunteering at a trail building workday on our website.
Are dogs permitted on the TRT?(return to questions)
Regulations for dogs on the Tahoe Rim Trail:
Nevada State Park - dogs are allowed on the Tahoe Rim Trail in Nevada State Park. They must be under voice command control or on a leash.
Dog restrictions are regulated by each county. However the US Forest Service does not enforce county regulations. The US Forest Service requires that dogs must be under owner control. The dog owner will be cited if the dog is harassing wildlife or has bitten or injured a human.
Remember to pack extra water and even a snack for your dog when they accompany you on a hike or ride.
If you would like to check with the counties on the specific county ordinance, please contact them by phone:
El Dorado County 530-577-1766
Placer County 530-546-4260
Washoe County 775-832-4107
Carson City 775-887-2171
Douglas County 775-782-9935
Alpine County 530-694-2231
What should I bring when hiking the TRT ?(return to questions)
Aside from sun block, be sure to carry a basic survival kit! This should include more water than you think you will need. Carry a First Aid kit that is regularly updated. Try to wear moisture-wicking clothing rather than cotton. Wear good hiking boots or a supportive athletic shoe or one of the newer type of hiking sandals. Bring enough clothes; temperatures can change quickly. You may also want to bring a Tahoe Rim Trail map or guidebook available at our online store or at the TRTA office. Also, rain gear is not a bad idea because weather can change rapidly in the Sierra. Trekking poles/sticks are helpful in downhill situations and for balance. Always tell someone where you're going and when you expect to return from a journey on the TRT.
Where can I find water along the TRT?(return to questions)
Be sure to avoid drinking any untreated water in the Sierra Nevada. Giardia, a microorganism that occurs in many bodies of water here, can create havoc in your intestines. To prevent Giardia or other bugs from getting into your system, be sure to filter, boil, or treat with iodine any water that you draw from a natural source. Our Elevation-Profile Trail Map is a perfect resource for water spots along the TRT and can be found at our office or on our web-site.
The TRT's rim-top location results in a shortage of water along many sections of the trail, especially on the sections along the east shore. Although water is easier to come by in the spring, it's always wise to plan ahead and make sure you have enough water to get you through the section you will be hiking. On hot summer days, you will need at least two to three quarts of water. Please visit Trail Water Sources for more information.
Where is the TRTA office located?(return to questions)
We are located in the heart of beautiful Incline Village, Nevada, about 24 miles from Reno, and three hours from the San Francisco Bay Area. For more directions, please contact us at (775) 298-0012.
DWR Community Non-Profit Center
948 Incline Way
Incline Village, NV 89451
Can I break the TRT into smaller segments ?(return to questions)
Yes you can and here are five common breaks in some of our segments. Please call our office for more specifics information.
Tahoe City - Brockway (19.2mi): Can be shortened in both directions by way of Watson Lake. Watson Lake can be accessed by a paved road entrance that is west of Highway 267 and north/west of TRT Trailheads on Brockway Summit.
Distances: TC - Watson Lake (12.5mi.)
Brockway - Watson Lake (6.7mi.)
Tahoe Meadows - Spooner Summit (22.3mi.): Can be shortened in both directions by way of Tunnel Creek Rd. Tunnel Creek Rd. connects to the Ponderosa Ranch parking lot so there is plenty of parking where Tunnel Creek Rd. comes out on Highway 28. Once you reach the TRT/Tunnel Creek Rd. junction, take Tunnel Creek Rd. to the west and this will take you down to Ponderosa Ranch.
Distances: Tahoe Meadows - Tunnel Creek Rd. (9.2mi.)
Spooner Summit - Tunnel Creek Rd. (17.1mi.)
Kingsbury Grade South - Big Meadow (22.8mi.): Can be shortened a couple of ways but most common is to leave a 4wd or high clearance vehicle at Armstrong Pass. This 4wd drive road can be accessed from Highway 89 just south of Luther Pass. It is labeled as Forest Service Rd. 051 and it's a 4-5 mile bumpy ride up to Armstrong pass from 89.
Distances: Kingsbury South - Armstrong Pass (13.7mi.)
Big Meadow - Armstrong Pass (9.4mi.)
Echo Lakes - Barker Pass (32.5m.i): **Remember: permits are needed for travel through Desolation Wilderness** There are several ways to shorten our longest segment, but the most common is the Bay View Trail, which is only 4 miles from the TRT/PCT junction(s). Bay View is also a campground just north of Emerald Bay State Park off of Highway 89. The Bay view Trail junction(s) are found on two parts of the TRT/PCT. North junction is just south of Middle Velma Lake and the south junction is 1.7 miles north of Dicks Pass. There is a 1.9 mile stretch of TRT/PCT separating the two junctions. The Bay View trail will always take you east from the TRT/PCT whether you are traveling north or south.
Distances: Echo Lakes - Bay view Tr. (15.3mi.)
Barker Pass - Bay view Tr. (15.3mi.)
Are there places to lodge around the TRT??(return to questions)
There is plenty of lodging around the Tahoe area especially in the North Lake, West Shore and South Lake Tahoe Areas. Here is a link to the area chambers of commerce and coming soon will be a complete list of TRT- partnered lodging facilities.
North Lake Tahoe:
TahoeChamber.com - Lake Tahoe Chambers of Commerce and Visitors Centers
South Lake Tahoe:
South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, South Lake Tahoe, California
Are there any shuttle services available for the Tahoe Rim Trail?(return to questions )
There is a shuttle service for anyone interested in mountain biking from the Tahoe Meadows trailhead to Spooner Lake. Information on this shuttle service can be found at Tunnel Creek Station for more information.
Shuttle It- Will shuttle anywhere in the Tahoe Basin. www.hikeandbiketahoetours.com or call 530.544.3249
Wanna Ride- provides point-to-point shuttle service to mountain bikers throughout the South Tahoe region. Please visit www.wannaridetahoe.com or call 775.588.5800 for more information