Snowshoe Hike to Hawk’s Peak

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My plan for the day was to do a relatively short snowshoe hike.  It had been at least 2 years since I’d gone up Hawk’s Peak in the Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center and the weather was forecast to be sunny and clear –  so I decided to hike to the top of Hawk’s Peak for the always-wonderful views.  I ended up making a semi-loop path, with the loop part at the bottom of the hill and an out-and-back section for the top half.

GPS track

GPS track

I hiked on groomed cross-country ski trails.  It had been a couple of weeks since the last significant snowfall, so the snow was pretty well packed down.   Here is a look at the berm created by the grooming machines along the Andromeda Trail.

picture of grooming berm along the trail

Grooming berm along the trail

To get from the Day Lodge to Hawk’s Peak there are several possible routes, and they all lead up!  The top is about 1100 feet higher in elevation than the Day Lodge.

Elevation profile

Elevation profile

Sundance Hut, at 7048 feet, is almost halfway up, elevation-wise.  A little bit further, along Crazy Horse, there was a really nice view into the Euer Valley.  It was kind of amazing to be able to see skiers down below, as tiny dark specs moving across the brilliant white snow.

photo looking down into the Euer Valley

Looking down into the Euer Valley

From a nearby location just around the next curve I had a great view of Hawk’s Peak, my destination.  There was still more climbing to do at that point.

image of destination ahead: Hawk’s Peak

Destination ahead: Hawk’s Peak

After completing the rest of the climb I simply enjoyed the views in all directions from Hawk’s Peak.  For example, to the east is the Carson Range.

picture of snow-covered Carson Range, from Hawk’s Peak

Snow-covered Carson Range, from Hawk’s Peak

To the southwest is a ridge leading to the Drifter Hut and beyond to Donner Ridge.

photo of Drifter and Donner Ridge

Drifter and Donner Ridge

To the north, more distant peaks were visible between lower intervening hills.  I think this might be Mt Lola.  It’s actually only about 6 miles away, though it seems farther because one of the most popular ways to get there involves about a 15-mile drive followed by a 5-mile hike!

image of Mt Lola(?) from Hawk’s Peak

Mt Lola(?) from Hawk’s Peak

To the south I could see a few peaks, just visible over a tree-covered ridge.  Too bad I can’t identify which they are!  But I imagine that the tallest one must be in the 9000-foot category.

picture of snow-covered peaks to the south

Snow-covered peaks to the south

After enjoying the views and a lunch break, I headed back down the hill.  After the halfway point I took one of several alternative paths back to the Day Lodge.

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2 Responses to Snowshoe Hike to Hawk’s Peak

  1. Pingback: Cross-country skiing at Tahoe Donner XC to Drifter Hut | trailhiker

  2. Pingback: Tahoe Donner snowshoe hike to Hawk’s Peak | trailhiker

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