Tahoe Rim Trail Association 


To maintain and enhance the Tahoe Rim Trail system, practice and inspire stewardship and preserve access to the natural beauty of the Lake Tahoe region.

History of the Association

The Tahoe Rim Trail Association is a volunteer, non-profit 501(C)(3) organization established in 1981 to plan, construct, and maintain the Tahoe Rim Trail. 

While atop a peak in the Tahoe Basin in 1977, Glen Hampton, a US Forest Service Officer, dreamed of a trail connecting the beautiful mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe. At the time, only 30 percent of all forest service land in the area had developed trail systems. For the next few years, Hampton, an avid hiker, set about exploring the Lake Tahoe Basin on his time off to identify possible trail routes. His research included investigating aged pathways used by early pioneers, Basque Shepherds, and the Washoe People. In 1981, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association was founded, and in 1984, construction of the Tahoe Rim Trail began.

About the Trail

This 165-mile, twenty-four inch, single-track trail is open to hiking, equestrians, and mountain biking (in most areas). The trail encompasses the ridge tops of the Lake Tahoe Basin, crossing six counties, and two states. The Tahoe Rim Trail overlaps with approximately fifty miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.


The trail exists because of the dreams and dedicated efforts of thousands of volunteers to plan, build, and maintain over 165 miles of trail. Starting in 1984, volunteers dug the first dirt and began constructing the trail which took until 2001 to complete the initial 165-mile loop. Volunteers who were involved in the early years of the organization were committed to not only building the dream, but also managing administrative duties, fundraising and the long range planning of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association.

Three decades later, our volunteers continue to remain dedicated to our efforts and the future of the Tahoe Rim Trail. Anywhere from 300-500 volunteers contribute over 15,000 volunteer hours annually to the work of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association. Many volunteers lead and partake in trail construction and summer preservation crews, along with guided hikes led by trained hike leaders. Others assist with coordinating events, administrative tasks, recruiting members and volunteers and outreaching in the community. The continued support and hard work of volunteers is the key link to preserving this unique and treasured public resource for future generations.