Treadmill Rating (out of 10):
Distance: 6.5 Miles
Max Elevation: 7,338 ft.
This post is not for the entire 165 miles of the Tahoe Rim Trail. This is only for the first 6.5 miles of the Tahoe Rim Trail accessed from the Van Sickle Bi-State Park in Stateline Nevada. The Van Sickle Trail connects Stateline in Nevada and South Lake Tahoe in California with the Tahoe Rim Trail. More information about the Tahoe Rim Trail can be found at this helpful site: http://www.tahoerimtrail.org/
On a recent trip to a convention in South Lake Tahoe I was able to escape from my hotel and make my way to this trail head that leads to part of the Tahoe Rim Trail. I hiked about 6.5 miles of the trail and found it to be a beautifully scenic experience for a day hike. I hope to hike the whole thing one day, but likely in sequences as opposed to tackling the whole Tahoe Rim Trail in one trip.
HOW TECHNICAL IS THE HIKE?
The part of the trail that I hiked was very well maintained. The elevation was manageable and increased gradually. I hiked this in late September, when it was unusually summer like, and there were still several streams running across or under the trail. I would rate this trail as medium as far as being technical is concerned only because of its length and how quickly you are far away from any type of civilization. There were also some spots where the trail deviated or two trails would lead off from one, so it could become fairly easy to get lost, especially in diminishing light. I would highly suggest a trail map and a GPS or other type of navigation. A cell phone would be important also. Again, this post is only for the first 6.5 miles of a 165 mile hike, so beyond that its hard to say how more difficult the trail can become.
WHO CAN DO THIS HIKE?
For the day hike I chose, pretty much anyone in medium physical condition can complete this hike. Its not too steep, although it it is a continuous incline for a good 3.5 miles till you hit the Tahoe Rim Trail. It’s at a higher altitude than I am use to hiking in, so I noticed that my heart was beating much faster than usual and I went through a lot more water than usual. I suggest bringing more water than you would usually bring for this reason. The air was really dry.
WHEN SHOULD I GO?
Summer time is the best to hike this trail in my opinion, unless it is too hot. I would probably not go in Spring, Fall or Winter because it is a snowy area. Plus, all the green trees, the heat of the sunshine on my face, and the light streams I came across all made it a much more enjoyable summer time hike than I can imagine it would be in the other seasons.
- TRAINING ADVICE
- With a few miles of steady incline on this hiking trail, you will want to be in good hiking shape. I saw several hikers who had become winded and stopped by a stream to rest shortly after the trail head at Van Sickle Bi State Park…only about 2 miles in. I think this was due to the elevation and the heat of the day. Using the treadmill or even better hiking for 2-3 miles at an incline would be good training. Bring plenty of water if you go in the summer and keep hydrated. I would not recommend this hike for anyone in less than good cardio shape. The hike is at elevation, so I noticed that my breathing and heartbeat were elevated beyond usual and that my water consumption was also more than usual.