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Hike of the week: Ward Creek to Tahoe City

July 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Extreme Tahoe

Vistas, Lakes and Wildflowers: Ward Creek to Tahoe City

Description: Every Saturday during the summer, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association will feature a hike that highlights an amazing vista, a beautiful alpine lake or a meadow blanketed in beautiful wildflowers. All of the hikes begin at 8am. Please register for all TRTA guided public guided hikes by visiting this link.

Ward Creek to Tahoe City: Join us for a hike that will meet at the Tahoe City South trailhead, and then shuttle to Ward Creek Blvd, where the TRT crosses the road. Join us at 8am on Saturday, July 30th or try this hike on your own (Just know that you will have to figure out a car shuttle to Ward Creek Blvd)! If you would like to join the TRTA, please register here.

This hike begins to by climbing the Tahoe Rim Trail, north towards Tahoe City though a forest of white fir and Jeffrey Pine. The trail will turn left onto a dirt road a quarter of a mile down the trail and will climb a steep hill. At 0.6 mile, the trail will flatten out at another junction. Here, the TRT will turn to the left and take you to the end of the road. The trail will venture into Page Meadows, which is five interconnected meadows that are popular in every season for hikers, mountain bikers and cross country skiers.

The TRT is actually built a 1/2’ above the meadow to help to preserve this important ecosystem. As you are traveling through Page Meadows you will meet another trail that is traveling east. This trail will lead you into three other meadows, as well as take you to Tahoe City. However, if you stay on the TRT as we are going to do on this hike, you will also end up in Tahoe City.

In Page Meadows, be sure to enjoy the lovely views of Twin Peaks, the groves of Quaking Aspens, and the brilliant wildflowers. Be aware that Page Meadows is quite saturated at the moment and the mosquitoes are out in full force. Please help to preserve the meadow system by staying on the trail, which means you may have to travel through some muddy spots.

The TRT will eventually turn to the right and will begin to head downhill for about 1.3 miles with some gentle uphill. Then the TRT will bend to the left and begin a 0.6 mile descent down a little canyon. You will travel nearly 1 mile downhill where you will arrive at a trail junction on the Truckee River. Turn to the right and follow the trail 0.1 mile east to a gravel road where the trail tread ends. Splash some cold water on your face from the Truckee River and then head to the parking lot on a dirt road, upstream.

Hike right through the National Forest 64 Acres parking lot and enjoy a cold beer at The Bridgetender; a great reward after any hike!

Distance / Expected Duration: 5 miles

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate Difficult Strenuous Herculean

Starting Elevation: 7,400’ down to 6300’ at the Truckee River

Fitness Level and/or Special Skills Necessary: This is a great hike for beginner hikers. There is a bit of a steep climb at the beginning, but then it levels out and is all downhill. This hike is appropriate for those who can hike 3 – 5 miles easily. This is also a good hike for out of town guests, because you actually lose elevation traveling downhill to Tahoe City.

Water on the Trail: Carry water on this hike

Trailhead/s: Tahoe City South Trailhead: On W side of Hwy 89, just 0.25 mi S of Hwy 28, in Truckee River Access and Recreation lot. In the summer, there are usually port-a-potty’s.

From Incline Village / East Shore of Lake Tahoe / Carson City
Take 50 till hwy. 28.
Then take 28 into Tahoe City.
At the traffic light go left onto Hwy. 89 South.
Make a right 0.2 miles after traffic light into the parking area. There is a sign that says Truckee River Access. It is before you get to Granlibakken Road.

From West / South Shore
Take Hwy. 50 to Hwy. 89
Then take Hwy. 89 North toward Tahoe City.
After Granlibakken Road you will make a left into a parking area. There is a sign that says Truckee River Access. If you get to the Bridgetender and the Tahoe City stop light you have gone too far.

From Truckee / Reno / Auburn / Sacramento / San Francisco
Take Hwy 80 (east or west) to exit 185- toward Squaw Valley / Tahoe City / Lake Tahoe
Take HWY 89 South to Tahoe City.
Just before the Tahoe City traffic light make a right onto Hwy. 89 South.
Make a right 0.2 miles after traffic light into the parking area. There is a sign that says Truckee River Access. It is before you get to Granlibakken Road.

Hike smart this summer!
• Make sure you carry sufficient water and snacks.
• Dress appropriately for the weather. Bring layers of clothing. The weather changes quickly in the Sierra.
• Wear proper footwear. Take care of your feet to prevent blisters and other foot issues.
• Tell someone where you are going, and when you are expected back.
• Carry a cell phone that you can use to call for help, if you get into trouble.
• Pack a simple first-aid kit in your pack.
• Stay within the limits of your ability and let common sense be your guide before and during your adventure.
• Leave no Trace this summer! Follow the LNT 7 principles. Care for our wild places and trails!

Trail Etiquette
• Cyclists yield to hikers and hikers and cyclists yield to equestrians
• Always travel at a safe, controlled speed and alert other trail users as you approach from behind.
• Never approach or harass wildlife or domestic animals on the trail. Please do not feet wild animals. It negative impacts their health and survival.
• Stay on the trail. It’s there for a reason!
• Please do not pick wildflowers. Let everyone enjoy them. Some wildflowers are protected by law, and you could get fined for picking th

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