Cascade Fire – Lake Tahoe

October 2nd, 2014

This closure has been lifted as of 10-9-14. 

South Lake Tahoe, Calif. –

The Cascade Fire burning near Snow Lake on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe continues to hold at 30 acres. The wildfire is located entirely in the Desolation Wilderness and poses no threat to structures at this time. No evacuations and no road closures are in effect, and the Forest Service is working closely with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office to ensure they have the information they need to protect local communities.

In addition to Bayview, Eagle Falls, Tallac, Glen Alpine and Stanford Camp trailheads, and Bayview Campground, the Forest Service has closed Inspiration Point and the Taylor Creek Sno-Park for public safety and to allow for suppression operations.  Due to these trail closures, access to the PCT from Lake Tahoe is not possible.  California State Parks has temporarily closed vehicular access to the Vikingsholm parking lot in the event it is needed for fire suppression equipment.

CalTrans and the California Highway Patrol have closed turnouts in the Highway 89 corridor from Spring Creek to the Vikingsholm parking lot to keep the highway traffic flowing to enable fire apparatus and crews ready access to the area.

Here is a link to the closure on the LTBMU website

King Fire – Lake Tahoe area

September 19th, 2014

This closure has been lifted as of 10-9-14.

The King Fire has closed portions of the PCT and is resulting in extreme smoke conditions in some areas that remain technically open. The trail is closed in Desolation Wilderness on Eldorado National Forest, and travel is strongly discouraged because of danger to health and safety up into Granite Chief Wilderness on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

PCT hikers should avoid the trail at least between Donner Pass (mile 1155.6) and Echo Summit (mile 1092.9).

Echo Lake to Donner’s Pass- snow, obstacles and water

By: Pound Hound
June 20th, 2014

Going north from Echo Lake to Donner’s Pass, the trail has about 1/2 mile of snow on the north side of Dick’s Pass obscuring the trail. As it is switchbacking there, following tracks and using GPS allows you to find the connecting trail. Otherwise, there is patchy snow on shadowed sides of the mountains and many downed trees blocking the trail, but none are insurmountable with care. There are still many seasonal streams running so water is not an issue except from 1143-1155 where there is nothing.

Barker Pass to Sierra City

July 1st, 2012

A very important piece of info about this section – At around 1148 on Halfmile’s maps one summits an ascent to reach Tinker Knob. At the top of the ascent is a signed junction. If coming from the south, the apparent correct direction of travel is down the other side towards Truckee. DO NOT GO THIS WAY!! Go left to reach Anderson’s Peak (if hiking from the South). The signage is confusing and the direction of travel appears to be to go down (I was not the only one to make this mistake). If you go down you will be very much off-trail!

July 1, 2011

June 28 to July 1, 2011 -Trail out of Echo Lake is clear for 2 hours of hiking – lulls you into a sense of exuberance, then you hit the snow, big time. Desolation Wilderness is snowed in, min 2-3 feet with drifts up to 15 feet. Sign at Barker Pass barely visible in 6 feet of snow. GPS with halfmile’s data extremely useful. Microspikes also useful, especially in the am. Some areas where the trail is covered, an ice axe would be useful (we didn’t carry one). We bailed at Heavenly Valley Ski Resort and got a ride to a friends home in Squaw Valley. Going was slow, 1-2 mph. Got off trail more than once, even with GPS. Miller Creek and the one following were challenging, mostly to find a safe crossing point. If you go in here, be prepared, take extra food, unless your name is Malto. Jack and the Kiwis

June 28, 2011

Hiked the PCT from Echo lakes to dicks lake before dropping down to Emerald bay. June 23-26. Most of trail ( 99% ) above echo lakes under 3 to 10 feet of snow. Navigation very difficult. Only one party in front of me. Two Rim hikers thanks Julie and Ned for leading the way.

All upper lake still frozen over, Water plentiful except at highest altitudes. May need extra fuel to melt water or plan your water pick ups as appropriate. Ice axe and micro spikes recommended. As of Saturday two very steep ( 50-60 degree) snow fields to cross below Dicks Pass.

Was going to do section to 80 but after the rest of the party quit the first night and traveling solo. I did not think it prudent to continue beyond Emerald bay. The snow pack and high altitudes to the north appear to be just as frozen in. Of approximately 25 miles traveled 22 or more were on deep snow, some drifts appear to be over 12 feet deep. Melt out not likely for Weeks some places August.

Photo by: Henrik Frederiksen