Freel Peak Trail [PRIVATE PROPERTY] is a 9.7 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 best used from July until October.

Length9.7 miElevation gain3,763 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsBird watchingForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeBugsRockyScrambleSnowPrivate propertyNo dogs
Description
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The hike up to Freel Peak is a hard, primitive, sandy and rocky trail. Located in the Carson Range in the Sierra Nevada near South Lake Tahoe, the hike offers great views of Lake Tahoe, High Meadow, Crystal Range and Desolation Wilderness. To get to the trail you can start at the Fountain Place Trailhead and follow the Armstrong Pass Connector trail to Armstrong Pass, then take a right on the Tahoe Rim Trail to begin the ascent of Freel Peak. There's also an option to start at Stat Lake at the end of Marshall Trail off Pioneer Trail. Freel Peak Trail is part of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Area.

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Reviews (65)
Photos (410)
Activities (43)
Completed (182)
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Kevin Patrick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 4, 2019
Hiking

As the highest peak in Eldorado County and the highest of the Tahoe rim this hike was a must for me. Spectacular views of the area and down into Nevada as well as Lake Tahoe. Good for wild flowers but it is a strenuous hike especially the last mile or so.

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Bernie Milligan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2019
Hiking

this is was long hike and lots of vertical climbing,I did this from the Star Lake to Cowboy Camp to the trail up to Freels Peak,so there was no private property crossing

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Nicholas Coleman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2019
Hiking

If you had to choose between Freel or Tallac as the biggest butt kicker in the Tahoe Basin it has to be Freel.

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Ed Moylan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 2, 2019
Hiking

The coral trail actually crosse the creek at the top at the closed gate. The trail shown on this map follows the drainage up to the saddle. The other old trail use to cross the meadow there at fountain place which is completely grown over now. The new reroute is actually faster than the red line taking you to the saddle. going up the drainage really adds hours to the hike. People using the red route in this map, are tresspassing once they go beyond the locked and last gate at the top of the gravel road. The black dot connector trail may be longer, but its faster and doesn't cross private property.

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D Kaplan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2018
Hiking

IMPORTANT EDIT: "To get to the trail you can start at the Fountain Place Trailhead and follow the Armstrong Pass Connector trail to Armstrong Pass, then take a LEFT (not a right) on the Tahoe Rim Trail to begin the ascent of Freel Peak."

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Kayla Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 8, 2018
Hiking

You need a high clearance vehicle to navigate the dirt road to the trailhead. Good trail with nice views of Lake Tahoe.

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Chris Haynes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2018

Wouldn’t be a bad way to do it if you didn’t have to trespass. All trails should not show this as a route. The beginning location is silly since you shadow the road for 2 miles. I’ve past the private property it is fine primitive trail up to the pass. Then from the pass to the summit it is a well maintained trail.

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Chris Haynes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 30, 2018
Hiking

this would be a decent trail if you didn’t have to trespass to do it. I don’t understand the starting point as you basically mirror the road, then you enter private property. Once out of the private land trail is rugged and undeveloped. Once at the freel pass it is well developed and maintained to the top.

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Sally Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2018

Such an amazing hike! Full of gorgeous wild flowers currently.

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Peter J
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 9, 2018

Adding to Anthony’s post. Also check out my review on Freel, Jobs Sister, and Jobs Peak. Enter off Forest Service Road 051 — put the following coordinates in Google maps (38.7913412,-119.9328102). Definitely recommend an AWD vehicle with high clearance. If you’re hitting Jobs first (counter-clockwise, I think people recommend that) drive to the very very end. The road does end. If you’re hitting Freel first (clockwise), park at the first round about.

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Anthony Cupaiuolo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 31, 2018
Hiking

This is for S T, the review below mine...Just a heads up, that gate you crossed is private property and not the trail to Freel. It makes sense that you didn't find a real "trail" following that route. If you wanted to stay on single track the whole way to Freel, you would've gone right at the top of the pavement on toe Armstrong Pass trail which connects with the TRT at Armstrong Pass. Really, the description here on All Trails is pretty bad. I can't see why they'd recommend hiking up Corral and Armstrong Connector. Those are trails that are used predominantly by mountain bikers and don't offer much in the way of views and just add distance to the route. If you don't want to take advantage of driving up Fountain Place to the top of the Pavement and you want a longer, but scenic route to Freel, you can also start at Stagecoach (Heavenly, Nevada side) and do an out and back on the TRT. Or, the easiest route, is to take FS road 051 between Luther Pass and Pickets Junction. This brings you to 1 mile of Armstrong Pass and the TRT.

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S T
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 28, 2018
Hiking

We hiked up from the Corral to the Armstrong Connector all the way up to the Freel gate. Past the gate was what started as a extremely wide two track on a slight uphill rise. About a half a mile in we were met by several large downed trees which had fallen over the trail. The trail continues to be fairly wide until you hit a private property which is clearly marked (unlike the trail) where the trail starts to funnel down into a single track once it hits the creek. At this point the “trail” becomes almost unrecognizable and the only way to continue on track is to follow a barely noticeable goat trail (roughly 1 mile from the peak) which cuts through thick brush. As long as you follow the creek you’ll eventually hit a clear path up to Creel. Pretty not so straight forward up and down but with a decent view from the top if you can get to it.

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Aubrey Biscoe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 28, 2018

tough hike, started in the parking lot on the mountain bike single track and went all the way up, tough final scramble to the top but the posts about the scree being impossible and miserable are way overstated, it's just a really really steep last heave. gaiters recommended if not just for the last mile, and also...this hike is absolutely amazing.

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Brent Frantz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 21, 2018
Hiking

Loose sand makes for one hell of a hike. Pretty rewarding at the top. Tracking poles recommended. Snow cover for the last half mile of the summit is tough but not impossible. Recommend waterproof gear if possible. No clear path to top without stepping through some snow

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Ande Norman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 11, 2017

We just completed this hike. The trailhead was slightly confusing and we ended up having to circle back around and park in a designated lot versus along the side of the road. It was raining lightly at the bottom and that quickly turned to snow flurries at 8200 ft. At 9000 ft we made it into the gorge where the wind and snow was being bottlenecked and making this trail feel like K2 rather then Lake Tahoe. Visibility was near zero and when we turned southeast on the last large switchback we made our ascent slowly because the trail was hard to follow with 6 inches on the ground and we didn’t want to lose one another. It took nearly 2 hours to conquer the last 1/2 mile and the wind was blowing hard. We stayed at the summit for lunch but the below freezing temperature and high winds made the choice easy. We made it back to the gorge and the wind and weather calmed down and we were a little surprised to see that most of the snow had melted completely. Overall an amazing hike! One of my most challenging yet! We left a WHOLE PACK of granola bars in the cache so if you’re the next hiker! You’re welcome!

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Tatyana G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 9, 2017
Hiking

If you can't find the trail head for this hike, it's because there really isn't one. Take the Armstrong connector and then follow the gated off fire lane to the left of Armstrong Pass. It's EXTREMELY creepy though. There's a fallen tree that has "Private Property. Turn Back" spray painted on it and a little bit further up a proper "No Trespassing" sign..But we researched it and the land doesn't seem to actually be owned by anyone. As you're making you're way up, past the No Trespassing sign there's a "camp". It has an old woodstove, old fishing poles and some makeshift gated area made out of fallen trees. We knew we were on the trail but looked at the trail map to make sure and it all checked out. Now the trail itself was great. But expect to hike almost vertically up nothing but sand after you make it through the brush. The view was absolutely beautiful and definitely worth it, just bring extra socks, lots of water and go really early because it's a long one. We didn't see a single soul on the trail, or any of the trails surrounding, but keep in mind the parking is really limited when it is busy. If anyone has any other info on this hike or maybe we went the wrong way (even though it all looked right on the map?) feel free to let me know.

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Mary Anne Damian
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 9, 2017

We hike this last Saturday. This trail we didn't find it. We took the Armstrong pass trail, it's around 17 mile round Trip hike. It was a great trail. Alot of people doing mountain biking.

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Terah Malsam
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 8, 2017

This is probably my new favorite Lake Tahoe Basin peak to bag. All around beautiful views of the lake and surrounding mountains. We really appreciated the time and care that went into construction of the trail as it meandered through subalpine conifers and large Granite boulders. The only thing I would recommend, is to wear Gators or tall boots to keep all the little tiny Pebbles out of your boots.

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Stuart Meyers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2017

Beautiful hike bring plenty of water and snacks allow plenty of time

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Bill Clements
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2017

Monday only had a couple of hikers. Annual hike up Freel Peak was such a challenge. Soggy mud and endless sand. But the last mile up to the peak was its own reward. Felt so good I went to Job Sister and then realized going back up Freel Peak was even a greater challenge late in afternoon. Glad to be able to check those of my list :) Smoke from the tragic fires did leave the sky gray and no too good for the air. Be sure to study the sir quality before you meet this challenge

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Zeke Muir
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2017
Hiking

Not quite sure what AllTrails is doing with this hike. The starting marker is way off. Look elsewhere to figure out how to get to the trailhead. I included two other peaks on a hike it was about 12 1/2 miles and 5000 feet of elevation gain. The two other peaks are Job and Job's sister. This trail affords wonderful views of Lake Tahoe And Nevada. There is lots of old growth. Definitely a lot of the trail is almost Sandy granite. Do you research and you'll have a wonderful experience.

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Enrique Fernandez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 28, 2017
Hiking

Definitely a hard, sandy trail. Also, I tracked the hike as being 6.85 miles total. I did this with a buddy in mid-Aug 2016. The first 1.5 miles of the ascent were smooth, but--until we hit the TRT around 9,600 ft.-- the journey upward was a sandy struggle. Having to constantly stop to dump decomposed granite out of my shoes every few mins until we hit TRT, it took us about 3 hours to get to the peak. Conversely, our descent was ONLY a 50 min slide down the same sandy slope. The views are well worth the hellish struggle up to the "saddle." Be sure to bring at least 2 liters of water and a hat. There's not much tree cover towards the peak. Note: There's a muddy section of the trail about 1 mile in... I suggest wearing waterproof boots. I made the mistake of wearing running shoes and had to deal with wet shoes (but, I guess, the sandy section of the trail did dry them up quickly).

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Joshua Dehoff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 30, 2016

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.

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Manny TheWise
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 18, 2016
Hiking

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

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Matt Frost
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2016

Overall not a super tough hike and it was nice to make it to the highest peak in the Tahoe.

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Francesca Orvis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2016
Hiking

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.

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Stan Renbarger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2016
Hiking

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.

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Jasmine Szetela
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2016
Hiking

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

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Shane Silvey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 11, 2016
Hiking

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.

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Erik Carlow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 9, 2016
Hiking

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.

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