Lake Tahoe is one of the most pristine alpine lakes in the world. There is nothing better than watching a sunset reflecting off the clean water basin lighting up the sky in a fiery orange color. I have climbed many mountains in the Lake Tahoe region. Here is a list of them: Mount Tallac, Mount Ralston, Pyramid Peak, Freel Peak, Dicks Peak and Mount Rose.
All of these mountains have well maintained trails that go right up to their summits. Some of them require bouldering on the final stretch to their summits which typically turns into a class 2/3 climb but it’s definitely manageable for experienced hikers. Wheeler Peak in Nevada standing at 13,167 feet is another mountain that is currently on my hiking bucket list.
Mount Rose Trail in Northeastern Lake Tahoe
My recent hike up Mount Rose was my second time climbing the mountain. My first time was in 2019. I found out about it online on the All Trails app. This is a unique summit because it sits on a high mountain pass which makes the trail easily accessible right off the main highway. It was a spontaneous hike that I planned with two friends five days in advance.
I’m pretty good with planning last minute adventures and they always turnout great (for the most part). I quickly found out that Mount Rose is a local favorite in the Lake Tahoe area because it allows for some of the best views of Lake Tahoe from the north side. Due to its northern location, the best town to base yourself for this hike is Incline Village or Reno, Nevada.
Reno is known as the biggest little city in the world and gives off Vegas vibes. If you have money to spend, I recommend that you give Reno a visit! Incline Village offers some great accommodations next to Lake Tahoe and is within walking distance to many amenities. Things here can get pretty pricey though so make sure you keep a close eye on your budget.
Summiting Mount Rose for the Second Time
We started the Mount Rose Trail at 8am. It was a day hike with a little over 2,500 feet of elevation gain. The summit stands at 10,775 feet but a high mountain pass allows for easy access to the trailhead. We were a group of three. Only I made it to the summit. My two other friends turned around about halfway because the snow made the hike quite difficult.
However, I was relentless in my quest to bag this summit for a second time so I kept trekking forward like any wilderness warrior would. I summited the mountain at 2pm (the snow made it extremely difficult because I was post-holing the entire way). I got back down to the car around 7pm. Total distance covered in mileage was about 10 miles round trip.
The terrain on this summit hike can vary depending on the time of year you do it. There was a lot of snow when we did it so it was very difficult. An essential piece of equipment that we needed but didn’t bring were snowshoes. I just didn’t expect there to be so much snow still. Anyway, the scenery from the top was awesome, especially with the snow covering.
I enjoyed panoramic views in all directions, especially of Lake Tahoe looking from the north – this definitely added to the view and setting. In my opinion, this was a very strenuous hike in the snow but if done in the summer with no snow, it is moderately strenuous. I think any avid hiker who likes moderately strenuous trails would definitely have fun on this hike!
If you are out of shape, are lacking cardiovascular stamina or haven’t summited any similar mountains before, I would not recommend this hike right off the bat but it’s definitely something to build up towards as you get more comfortable with hiking longer distances in higher elevation.
My Best Memory from this Hike
My favorite memory of this hike was from when I ticked it off my list back in the summer of 2019. During the summer months, the butterflies come out because they migrate from north to west and I remember the prettiest sight of these butterflies flying around at the summit of Mount Rose. It was a gorgeous sight and one of those special moments you never forget.
12 Tips for Hiking up Mount Rose
- Access your fitness level
- Take into consideration snow levels and what equipment you need.
- Carry at least three liters of water
- Wear solid hiking shoes with ankle support
- Carry a headlamp in case the sun goes down if you are not back at the trailhead yet.
- Watch where you step and stay on trail. If there is snow cover – follow the footsteps.
- Make sure you pack enough snacks for one full day
- Wear warm layers in the snow
- Bring sunglasses – snow blindness is a real thing
- Bring snowshoes if there is a lot of snow, especially if you don’t want to post-hole on the way back as the sun melts the snow.
- Micro spikes will prove to be useful so carry them
- Don’t forget to have fun!