▲Panoramic views of Lake Tahoe ▲Ancient firs
Shadowing the rugged peaks of the Carson Range, this trail segment weaves between the huge trunks of ancient firs and over sun-splashed granite outcrops. Ridge top crossings showcase panoramic views of the Tahoe Basin and Carson Valley. Open stands of Jeffrey pine alternate with the cool stillness of red fir forests and the cheerful rustlings of aspen groves. A diverse array of birds and small animals inhabit the area and alert hikers may catch a glimpse of marmots frolicking across boulders or coyotes and mule deer slipping between the trees.
From Spooner Summit (7150'), the trail switchbacks upward through fragrant conifers and across small meadows brightened in spring by the cheerful yellow blooms of mule's ear. Nearby stand aspens whose broad trunks bear inscriptions carved long ago by lonely Basque Shepherds. A long traverse up the volcanic flanks of South Camp Peak (8866') leads to the highest point on the segment (8830') and a stunning view that sweeps across the entire length of Lake Tahoe. Along the descent to Kingsbury, dense woods occasionally part to reveal glimpses of sparkling water framed between the branches of lush firs. Just south of South Camp Peak, a dirt road crosses the TRT and rises steeply to the top of Genoa Peak (9150'), overlooking Carson Valley.
1. Spooner Summit South: On S side of Hwy 50 at USFS Picnic Area. Paved and horse trailer parking, vault toilets.
2. Kingsbury North: From Hwy 207 just W of summit turn N onto Benjamin Dr (which becomes Andria Dr) and drive 2 mi to dead end. Limited roadside parking no facilities.
3. Kingsbury Grade South: From Hwy 207 just W of summit, turn S onto Tramway Dr and follow signs for Heavenly Stagecoach parking lot. No facilities.
The trail from Spooner Summit (7,150’) to South Camp Peak (8,866’) is generally wide, hard packed and sandy. It is somewhat narrower and sometimes rocky between South Camp Peak and Kingsbury North (7,920’). Most of the trail maintains a 10% or less grade. The route is marked with light blue triangular signs.
This section is open to hikers, bikers and equestrians.