Best Places to Enjoy winter on the Tahoe Rim Trail

The Tahoe rim trail is one of the most popular summer destinations for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts in the Tahoe basin. But come winter the trail give easy access to some of the best Snowshoe / Cross country experiences in the Tahoe basin making it a four season wonderland for outdoor recreation.

Here is our list of the best locations to enjoy the Tahoe Rim Trail during winter.

North Kingsbury Trailhead

If the paved parking and heated trailhead bathrooms are not enough, how about some of the best winter views of the LAke Tahoe Basin to go along with your trek. Several loop trails here including the Castle Peak loop which are local favorites. Typically gets great snowpack and is a popular place as well for families with sleds.

Spooner Summit

All though most snowshoers and cross country skiers here stay low at Spooner Lake, there is some beautiful country with slight climbs available on both sides of HWY 50.

Tahoe Meadows/ Chickadee Ridge

Snowshoe North Lake Tahoe Tahoe Chickadee Ridge

Roadside parking and crazy crowd levels at time this is a kind of the All sport winter destination on the list. Challenge yourself to find Chickadee ridge and experience one of the most reviewed experiences in all of Lake Tahoe.

Van Sickle State Park

All though Parking is a little bit of a bear here, Van Sickle State park is a maze of cross country options and great mountain views of south Lake Tahoe region in winter.

Echo Summit/ Echo Lake

Echo lake will freeze over in winter and the Tahoe Rim trail will quickly become well packed along the ridgeline around the lake into desolation wilderness. Parking at the Lake can fill quickly so over flow parking a mile out and hiking in is a good option,

Tahoe Rim trail Info:

The Tahoe Rim Trail never officially closes. However, the trail isn’t marked for winter use. Expect trail junctions, confidence markers, and signs to be covered under snow.

DOES THE TAHOE RIM TRAIL ASSOCIATION OFFER ANY GUIDED WINTER OPPORTUNITIES?

Yes- The TRTA hosts guided Snowshoe Treks almost monthly from January to March and a two day/one night Snow Camping 101 course. Visit our events calendar for more details.

ARE THERE ANY SECTIONS OF TRAIL THAT AREN’T ACCESSIBLE DURING THE WINTER SEASON?

Yes- Barker Pass’s seasonal gate closure prevents road access from October until June. Additionally, the Kingsbury South Trailhead is shared with Heavenly Stagecoach Ski area and is off limits for trail use during the ski season.

Sno Park Permits maybe needed for parking some areas. check local requirements. Here’s a list the TRT provides with Sno Park Permit vendors.

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