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Mt. Rose, Lake Tahoe

Conquer the summit of Mt Rose and enjoy the waterfalls, alpine lakes and great Lake Tahoe views.

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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 10 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Mt. Rose may be the second tallest peak in Tahoe basin and prominent feature of the northern Lake Tahoe skyline, but despite its... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead - Mt. Rose Pass

You'll find the trailhead on Nevada's state route 431 at Mt. Rose Pass at a large parking lot. The beginning of the hike is located behind the big restroom block.

2. Junction: Mt. Rose Summit Trail

Take a right at the well signed junction at the beginning of the trail. We'll be taking the direct route up Mt. Rose and on the return journey considering whether to take the slightly longer Old Mt Rose trail back to the trailhead.

3. North slopes of Tamarack Peak

Cutting a path around the north side of Tamarack Peak, weathered pillars of volcanic rock rise on both sides of you.

After some initial elevation gain the climb levels out, eventually leading past a waterfall on the left and a meadow to the right before heading for Mt. Rose.

4. Junction: Mt. Rose Trail

Make a note of this junction around 2.5 miles into the hike, as it's here on our return journey that we'll be diverging from our direct route.

It's now that we begin our Mt Rose ascent in earnest, but you'll be pleased to know that there's only 1700ft of climbing left before we reach the summit.

5. Junction: Saddle

At the 9,700ft mark we reach another junction at the saddle. A sign indicates the Easterly direction towards the Mt Rose summit. The Big Meadows hike to Bronco Creek will have to wait for another day.

6. Switchbacks

A narrow ridge of pine marks the last of the trees, as you leave them behind to hike up a series of rocky switchbacks.

7. Mt. Rose Peak

Congratulations! You'll know you've reached the top when there's nowhere left to go. On a clear day views are impressive in all directions. Whether it's the Sierra Buttes and the distant Lassen Peak in the north, the Reno valley floor to the east or the basin of Lake Tahoe.

On windy days you'll be grateful for the rock wall cairns to shelter... More

8. Return Journey

The return route around the south side of Tamarack Peak is only slightly longer than our outbound trip, and definitely worth considering. We like it because by this time of day the light is beginning to fade and it's a better place to watch the colors of dusk proceed over Lake Tahoe.

9. Junction: Tahoe Rim Trail

Turn left when you reach the junction with the wide Tahoe Rim Trail, and proceed to follow it back to the trailhead.