Freel Peak Trail is a 6.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from July until October.
This is a HARD trail - Very primitive. Very sandy, rocky. Difficult to get traction last 2 miles up. About a mile in you hike through some tall dense grasses and shrubs. Trail only 6" wide and very wet. Easy to get stuck and slip. From there it's sandy and pretty soft the rest of the way. Bring bug repellent or don't go! Amazing views and you are walking on snow packs at the top - even in July! Will take you 4-6 hours depending on shape. Would recommend for experienced strong older teens and up. Wear proper boots, pack out plenty of water and make sure you have good walking stick - especially for way down as you are literally sliding back down the sandy paths.
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.
beautiful views from the summit, the hike was challenging but only to where the trail meets the TRT... if you've thought about hiking a steep sandy trail, look no further
Overall not a super tough hike and it was nice to make it to the highest peak in the Tahoe.
We had a very hard time finding the trailhead. We passed it and went into Big Meadows where we asked for help. They had us turn around and we went into an unmarked forest service road on our left hand side driving back towards Luther Pass. After a very rough road, (make sure you have an SUV or truck) we finally found the trailhead. Again, not marked. The trail was difficult, I would say, and we made it to the summit in three hours. Very sandy and rocky, but absolutely stunning. From the top, the view was incredibly breathtaking. From Freel, we then continued on to tackle Job's Sister, where we lost the trail but trudged and rock climbed our way up. From there, we basically sand surfed our way down to the saddle between Job's Sister and Job's Peak. From Job's peak we took the normal trail which eventually led us back to our car. It felt like a real adventure, and fifteen miles and three summits felt like a real accomplishment.
Thankyou hiker Stan! Everything you have stated is absolutely spot on! Trailhead is NOT marked. Look for the service road behind the gate...that's it. Starts out wide and like Stan said...goes narrow. This is by far one of the hardest hikes we have ever done. I will never look at sand the same way ever again! Did this to help train in higher elevations and wow...it worked. My ankles are still mending. Take poles to help. Trail once you hit the TRT is hard to find but we did make it to top. Stan the Squirrel will be there waiting! Came home via the TRT to Armstrong Pass so all in all total hike was 14+ miles! Great view...but will never do again.
Trail was about 7.5 miles from trail head to peak and back. This is a HARD trail - not moderate. Not heavily travelled. I believe some of the reviews here are about another - longer trail that seemed to be more widely travelled. Most of way trail is 65 degrees steep. Very primitive. Very sandy, rocky. Difficult to get traction last 2 miles up. About a mile in you hike through some tall dense grasses and shrubs. Trail only 6" wide and very wet. Easy to get stuck and slip. From there it's sandy and pretty soft the rest of the way. Bring bug repellent or don't do! Amazing views and you are walking on snow packs at the top - even in July! Will take you 4-6 hours depending on shape. Would recommend for experienced strong older teens +. Wear proper boots, pack out plenty of water and make sure you have good walking stick - especially for way down as you are literally sliding back down the sandy paths.
Trail was great!!! Who ever said its only 6 miles is lying it's 8.5 up and 8.5 down... Going down is worse but over all it's beautiful
I didn't complete the Freel Peak Use Trail however I do have some information to add that may aid in helping someone who may want to do the use trail. I didn't allow enough time one evening to complete the hike. It is a steep trail that starts off easy enough and makes you think that it will be easy. Since I always hike in shorts, I attempted this trail in shorts as well. I would not recommend doing this because the trail is not well maintained once you break off of the wide path. In summary, if you want to do this trail, give yourself plenty of time to complete the use trail if you want to go up that way and wear pants. I gave this trail a five star because I am sure the views at the top are worth it.
Did this one the long way, via Armstrong Pass.
Great hike, especially the last few miles under the summit. The trail passes three little steams surrounded by lush vegetation.
The elevation, scree and steepness of the last mile definitely makes you feel like your on a mountain. Watch out for the one sheer drop-off in the stretch.
Hung out with a very friendly squirrel (which had no issue sitting on my shoulder) at the summit. Rain clouds and thunder chased us off the summit. Will be returning to do this one again using the shorter route.