This hike was special for two reasons: it was on one of my favorite segments of the Tahoe Rim Trail and it was a pleasant group hike. The route was from the Kingsbury North trailhead near Daggett Pass to the Spooner South trailhead next to US 50 at Spooner Summit. This section of the TRT is entirely within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Hiking from south to north as we did, the trail begins at a higher elevation (7800’) and finishes at a lower elevation (7200’). A trail overview is shown in the GPS track and elevation profile.
On the way from Kingsbury to The Bench we actually took a detour to hike to the top of Genoa Peak, which I’ll write about separately. The highlight of this segment, and the reason it is one of my favorites, is the panoramic view of Lake Tahoe from The Bench – which has been kindly built and placed at the highest point of the TRT segment near South Camp Peak. The view is fantastic at any time of year (well, it’s very difficult to get there during the snow season). Last October, when I completed my hike of the entire Tahoe Rim Trail, I specifically planned that my last segment hike would be to The Bench; I couldn’t think of a better way to put a wonderful punctuation point on my “grand adventure”.
Here is an example of the view from The Bench across Lake Tahoe toward Emerald Bay.
As is evident, the snow pack from last winter still had significant remnants at the higher elevations, even in late July. In general, the East side gets less snow, so the ground clears sooner than on the West shore. As we left The Bench to continue north, however, we encountered a small snow patch on the trail (elevation: 8600′).
Because of the terrific water content of the snow pack, the wildflowers were great this summer. Here is one example which I liked because of the red-white-and-blue theme.
A bit later we encountered an entire hillside covered with wildflowers.
As the trail descended toward Spooner Summit, we were treated to pretty views to the north.
We were fortunate to have a car shuttle so that we could hike this segment point-to-point.