dogs on leash
off road driving
cross country skiing
Great hike. Great views. Went in early October and the weather was perfect. The ridge line before the final push is really beautiful. A more scenic spot for a lunch is tough to find. The switch backs next to cliffs after you leave the ridge are beautiful as well. Snow patches an inch or two deep dotted the final ascent. Definitely a great hike. Tahoe is beautiful.
Nice day hike. Quiet and peaceful with lots of fallen leaves to cushion noise. Mixed oak and conifer woodland keep the hike interesting. Moderate rating is good although the last little bit by the creek is steep but short. No bugs this late in the season. Highly recommended.
Almost unbelievable that there are so many reviews for a little hike that is so remote. My wife and I did this about 10 years ago and never saw another person in midsummer. I left her sleeping on a rock and circled the lake. As I jumped off a large low granite rock into a small clear spot I almost got gored by a pretty big buck. He was laying down sleeping and I startled him and was just inches away from "feeling" him. Great little hike with a few spots to scramble. There really wasn't a trail around the lake at the time but it wasn't hard to navigate around. There were so few people doing the hike at the time we shared our lunch with a family of ducks that had no fear of us with the little ducklings sitting in our lap eating the bread from our sandwiches. A memorable day...
incredible views. wonderful hike. dog friendly but be prepared for lots of sharp granite on the trails. wore out the pads on my dogs feet . he is an experienced hiker also...
this hike was one of the most beautiful I have been on in years and is exactly what you hoped to see in the Tahoe Basin. It does not disappoint.
backyard hike for me :)
Date: February 26, 2012
Trail: University Falls, Quintette
Temp: 43 Degrees
Mileage: 5.8 Miles (plus we had a small detour Â¾ mile)
Elevation Gain: 1200 Feet (600 to falls, plus 2-300 foot drops)
Time: 2 Hours 45 Minutes
I had already hiked University Falls once, back in July when my son was only 4 weeks old but my girlfriend and I had started the trail around 10am. Today, trail blazers Shannon and Eric joined me, and we got a late start â 2pm.
To get to the Falls you drive 11.8 miles outside of Georgetown on Wentworth Springs, to the yellow logging gate. There is limited street parking.
During the high season this trail is well traversed by tourists from near and far, and inevitably, each year, someone is Life-Flighted out of the Falls.
Itâs a popular spot because in the summer months the river runs shallow and people can slide down the first two falls (but thereâs always a risk of cracking your head open on the granite). What many people do not know is that the third fall is too much of a drop, and people have died attempting it.
In the last week or so, my husband and I had decided we would be tackling Mount Whitney without our son. We had done research on the altitude and some hairy parts of the trail involving rope guides and slippery slopes and decided it wasnât worth it to take him. Nonetheless I am continuing my training with my son, who weighs in at 18 pounds and is nearly the exact weight Iâll be toting up to the Summit.
Shannon and Eric and I (Hubby was sturgeon fishing) had intended on starting around 3pm, but it was closer to 4pm when we hit the trail head. The plan was to do the hike down in less than an hour and once at the Falls have dinner. I had just purchased a new Flash Jetboil and a few dehydrated meals. We would then trek back up, hoping to be to the car by 6:15.
But after only the first Â½ mile we ended up on a Â¾ mile detour, as my greyhound bombed off down a trail at the first Y, and since she runs about 45 miles an hour we were not able to recover her, except to follow her down the trail head. Eventually we caught up to her and started back on the trail to the Falls. Tuck was in my new Deuter wire frame pack and had fallen asleep.
Technical aspects as follows: Itâs 2.8 miles in total from the yellow gate at Wentworth Springs, with two 300 feet declines, and then a final 600 feet to the Falls. The trail is an old logging road, and thus wide enough for large vehicles. Itâs a half mile to your first turn- a sharp left at the Y marked 12N67B, you will then traverse around the mountain ridge and will have a stellar view of the snow capped Sierra Nevadaâs.
This is where I need to add a note to the city slickers â If you want to come up to El Dorado County to enjoy our back country and wilderness areas, please leave your spray paint at home. The big blue spray paint marking the trail everywhere is a real eye sore for the rest of us that live here, and make directional references out of wood carvings.
Traveling another mile downhill you will reach the irrigation water ditch, here you need to turn right to follow the ditch for about another mile. You will come to a point where there is an opening in the forest, and a tree is marked âFallsâ turn left here and begin your 600 foot decent to the Falls.
This area is narrow, steep and rocky, itâd be best with walking sticks, but without them take the trail down the wash out in the middle. During your trek, keep an eye out for the Suzuki Samarai wreck and also the old Chevy wreck. They are gruesome and look like something out of a horror movie, great photo opp.
At the bottom of the decline you hit a shallow part of the river and follow the trail to the left, after a few more feet you will see the Falls in all their glory.
At the top of the Falls decent, we were losing day light rapidly, but were too close to turn back, as Shannon and Eric had never seen the Falls. We had already anticipated that we would be completing the last leg of the trail when dark was setting in. The trail was desolate.
We quickly snapped off a few pics at the bottom of the Falls and started our trek back up. We had about 15 minutes of daylight left, and wanted to make it to the wide part of the trail where we would have stable footing before we lost light completely. Eric packed Tuck out for me.
A snow storm was expected to hit the Sierraâs late this evening and the weather was shifting quickly. Eric took off his sweatshirt and created a sling over my shoulder for which I wrapped Tuck in, at this point I hiked him the remaining 2.5 miles and 1,000 feet out of the Falls in my arms.
It was a team effort, with Eric taking the wire frame pack and Shannon carrying the bottle to comfort him as we hauled up the mountain in the dark. I had strapped a small LED light to my frame pack earlier in the day, and Eric u
This was a great day hike even in the heat of summer. More than half the trail is heavily shaded and by the time the trees are gone the wind is strong enough to need a windbreaker. The view form the top is amazing. You may also fined the true kings of the mount (Chipmunks) to be so friendly that if you sit still for long enough the will jump on top of you.
The view is worth every step. I saw a picture of this view years ago and told myself I had to go there.
I'm a fairly competitive crossfitter, I've done half marathons, triathlons, etc. About a mile from the top I was SORE. Also do NOT under estimate the rocks here. I had trail tennis shoes and they were NOT adequate. You need ankle support here folks. It is absolutely stunning. I brought about 2L of water, quest bars, almond butter. It took me from 9:30am until 4:30pm. Highly recommend but be well prepared and I cannot stress ankle support boots enough! Enjoy!!!