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Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT): Mt. Rose Summit to Spooner Summit

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Mount Rose Wilderness

Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT): Mt. Rose Summit to Spooner Summit is a 25.4 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Reno, Nevada that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 25.4 miles Elevation Gain: 2,929 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash



cross country skiing



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing


bike touring

bird watching









wild flowers


HIGHLIGHTS Christopher’s Loop (the most photographed section of the TRT) and Marlette Lake View. Between Tahoe Meadows (8740′) and Spooner Summit (7150′), the TRT roams high above sparkling Lake Tahoe and Marlette Lakes, through sun-warmed conifer stands, and across steep, flower-strewn slopes. This segment is celebrated for its magnificent views, stretching across Lake Tahoe and the high Sierra and past the jagged ranges of the Great Basin. The route is rich in historical reminders, skirting lakes and flumes built to supply water to distant miners on the Comstock. It traverses both dense forests that sprang up after clear-cutting a century ago, and ancient red fir stands spared the ax by their remoteness. Between the lush grasses of Tahoe Meadows and Twin Lakes, the trail winds through rolling, wooded terrain. Breaks in the trees showcase grand vistas of the Tahoe Basin and Washoe Valley. The steeper, often open interior of the segment travels through Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park including possible side trips to North Canyon Campground and Marlette Lake. A TRT spur leads to Christopher’s Loop and a glorious cliff perch that seems to float above Lake Tahoe’s translucent shallows and Sand Harbor at the trail’s most photographed spot. The trail segment reaches its highest point as it threads between the bare rock of Snow Valley Peak (9214′) and shimmering aspen groves that turn North Canyon to gold each fall. Near Spooner Summit, the trail slips back into the pines, but still offers occasional panoramic lake and valley views.

It is not hard for me and my dog Mochi, she is small breed Shihtzu and she enjoys it. Lots dirt and she gets dirty easily. Many hiking trails along this road Mount Rose highway, and we will do one at a time.

8 days ago

I am backpacking the TRT in sections and I planned to do Mt Rose Summit to Spooner (25 mi.) over the course of 2.5 days. I parked in the parking lot right at the summit and crossed the highway waking in on Mount Rose Summit Ski Rd (the road that leads to Mt Rose Campground); there is a trail head there. I couldn’t park at the Tahoe Meadows parking lot because the gate was locked. I began at 3:30 in the afternoon so that I would cover 8-9 miles and then set up camp for the night. I did it that way because camping inside Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park (between Tunnel Creek Road and Spooner Summit) is only allowed in designated campgrounds, and I didn’t want to hike 16 miles to get to Marlette Peak Campground. So at 8.7 miles I found a nice spot to set up for the night on the east side of the trail. The next morning my friend and I hiked about 8 miles to get to Marlette Campground (filling up our water at Twin Lakes). Make sure to take the Christopher Loop detour, even though you may be tired from just climbing 700’ it is worth the extra effort. It’s a great place to kick off your boots and have a snack. On the trail it is not called “Christopher’s Loop” the sign says “Sand Harbor Lookout.” When you get to Marlette peak you either go right or left. We opted for the easier route and turned left (the East face of Marlette Peak). Good thing we did other wise we would not have crossed a small stream flowing about a 1/4 mile just before the Campground since we did not know that the water pump had been broken for over a year. Some workers were actually trying to fix the pump the day we were there and said they replaced all the top components of the pump but were still unable to draw water. The problem they said was down at the bottom of the well and they were going to have to do some more research on how to fix it. All that to say, don’t count on water at the pump, hike back to that stream I mentioned. We arrived at the Campground at 1pm which was great because we were able to set up camp, ditch our gear and hike down to the lake for a swim. It was so refreshing and well worth the 1-mile, 500’ climb back up to camp. The morning of the third day we finished off the 9 miles of the trail by noon and went into Incline Village for a much craved, well deserved burger and a beer at Inclined Burgers. It was an amazing trip!

Tue Sep 04 2018


Thu Jul 26 2018

This is a very large section of the Tahoe Rim Trail. I started off early in the morning and was finished just as the heat of the day was full on. Christopher's Loop is marked as "Sand Harbor Overlook" by signs on the trail. This whole section is very well marked on the trail as to just where the TRT is, sometimes determining it looking at various online maps makes it somewhat questionable. They've done a great job with this section!

7 days ago

11 months ago

11 months ago

Fri Aug 31 2018