IMPROVED USER EXPERIENCE EXPECTED WITH PCT/TRT TAIL REROUTE NEAR ECHO SUMMIT
Sierra Rec Magazine- December 7. 2017 – Tahoe Rim Trail / Lake Tahoe – Often when we think about our weekend adventures on the Tahoe Rim Trail we think of the amazing vista views of Lake Tahoe or maybe our favorite backcountry lake to fish or backpack into for an evening or two. Most of us have never hiked the entire loop, but if you have ever hiked the portion near Echo Summit and Hwy 50 you know that the sound of the constant traffic noise on the PCT / TRT segment is not why we go to the trail. In 2018 The Tahoe Rim Trail will be raising funds to start a re-route project in this region that is very exciting for the future of the trail and the experience near Echo summit.
The Tahoe Rim Trail Association, in partnership with the Pacific Crest Trail Association, the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and the Eldorado National Forest, would like to reroute a 1.3 mile section of the joint PCT/TRT near Echo Summit. The proposed route would take the trail away from the busy highway and instead traverse the far side of a ridge that offers more pristine views and less traffic noise.
On giving Tuesday the Tahoe Rim Trail was able to reach about 53% of their $22,000 project funding goal through donations of community members and local business. But they still need help in funding this project. The end of the year is often a great time to support your local trail associations, as they provide clean and safe trail access in your region year-round through a group of dedicated volunteers.
Have you ever joined the Tahoe Rim Trail Association on one of their guided hikes or outdoor camps? Have you ever wanted to learn how or where to take friends and relatives when they visit Lake Tahoe? Or have you been inspired to explore more by the amazing pictures you see on your Instagram or Facebook pages, but just don’t know how to start? The Tahoe Rim Trail Association is here to help.
The mission of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association is 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.
On Thanksgiving weekend this year, we joined the Tahoe Rim Trail Association for a guided hike at Van Sickle Bi-State Park, in South Lake Tahoe, in efforts to better understand how the TRT Assoc. team operates and to experience first hand the opportunities the TRT volunteers provide visitors and locals alike. Doing a guided hike is a different type of experience than just parking the car and heading out on the trail for the day. On a guided hike you meet new people from all over and with so many variables in experience, as part of a group hike with a TRT Volunteer you also get a ton of local insight and knowledge along the hike that most of us just miss on our journey to a destination or eye towards the horizon for the perfect picture. Another fantastic element of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association efforts is the added element of education. Be it wildlife, plants, geology or historical figures. On our hike at VanSickle, we were introduced to Snowshoe Thompson and learned about the journey, complications, and victories of our local mail service trail hero. Of course, my favorite fun fact of the day came when he reminded us that Lake Tahoe was actually referred to as “Lake Biggly” back in the day.
Throughout the year the Tahoe Rim Trail Association has dozens of programs. Some are Free while others are pay to play type events. However, all are in line with their mission to help practice and inspire stewardship of this beautiful area as we explore together. The Tahoe Rim Trail association provides experiences all year round; from Snowshoeing day trips and Full Moon snowshoe treks in the winter, to beginner backpacking trips, trail hikes and guided through hike experiences in the summer.
The Tahoe Rim Trail is still such a young trail, started in 1984, the first trailhead opened in 1990 at Big Meadow Trailhead on Luther Pass. but it was not until 2011 after 200,000 volunteer hours and 17 years that the entire 150-mile loop was finished at the California/Nevada Stat Lines in North Lake Tahoe, and declared open for recreation use. Trail changes and updates are constantly at work and the Trail Association continues to look for ways to improve the experience for the public while protecting an preserving the scenic beauty of what the trail access provides. In 2011 the addition of Van Sickle Bi-State Park was added providing a great access route to the Tahoe Rim Trail from South Lake Tahoe Downtown, and in 2014 the Rim to Reno trail Route was open on the Northside to Mt. Houghton. In 2016 a group of Volunteers participated with Google to provide a Google Street view of approx. 100 miles of the trail, and in 2017 the infamous through hike experience was officially opened to everyone for Free.
In 2018 make it a goal to join the TRT Association on one of their events. Choose from Guided Day Hikes, Guided Segment Hikes or a Guided Thru Hike. Or maybe you are up to a Thru-Hike Challenge in 2018 or just want to learn how to backpack in our region.
As 2017 approaches an end, remember that are many ways you can be involved in improving and preserving our local trails. Volunteering, participating and donating to a local trail association in your region items to ponder before the year ends. For the Tahoe Rim Trail Association donation made today can help improve the experience tomorrow. And if you are looking to experience the trail and the Association a little more before giving, check out their next planned event in January. A Guided Snowshoe Trek to Lower Echo Lake on January 20th in partnership with the Sugarpine Association.