If only the day had started out that way. It was just one of those mornings. The alarm goes off – 6am – a late start for me and I just roll over and hide. “Buuuhhhhhh” I moan. “Can’t we just sleep in, we don’t have to go.”
Directions to trailhead:
Length/time of hike:
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Absolutely stunning. You get a great view of both Lake Tahoe, Truckee area, and Reno.
Yes. There were lots of dogs on this hike, only saw ours on the summit trail although it is very doable for a dog. Not a lot of tough rock or scree until the very end. Click here to learn more about paw protection on the trail. More than half the people had their dogs off leash, although I believe the trailhead has signs that pets must be leashed. Also, no mountain bikers is a plus.
This trail is pretty crowded if you don’t start early (see below). 3/4 of the people are only really headed to the waterfall or just past. We hardly saw a soul on the way up and encountered most of the traffic on the way down. It isn’t as crowded as a Colorado 14er (click here for 14er tips), but there was still a crowd.
My tip is to ALWAYS start early. Think of when the average person would want to start a 10-mile hike to a summit, then start two hours earlier than that. We hit the trailhead by 7:20 am and I would say that would be the absolute latest time to get going – 6:30 would have been perfect. We had a good 10 minutes on the summit by ourselves, stuck around for another five minutes or so then headed down. Low and behold, on the way down we easily passed 10 groups within a quarter mile of the summit. I just have an inkling for when to start and I frequently end up just missing or completely beating the crowd. Getting up early to hike always pays off. Also, be weather aware! Do not attempt this hike if there is bad weather and watch your surroundings. Storms can roll in quickly and given this is the highest point for miles I would not recommend exposing yourself to bad weather above treeline.