Tahoe Rim Trail: Spooner Summit to Kingsbury South Connector

Lake Tahoe

Heavenly

This relatively short section traverses the west side of the Carson Range through lush conifer forest, stands of aspen, and flowery meadows.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
28 km
Ascent
1 km
Descent
830 m
Duration
6-7 hrs
Low Point
2.1 km
High Point
2.7 km
Gradient
10˚
VIEW ON MAP
Tahoe Rim Trail: Spooner Summit to Kingsbury South Connector Map

Description

From Spooner Summit to Kingsbury, the Tahoe Rim Trail winds through dense forest on the west-facing slopes above Lake Tahoe. A 1-mile section called The Bench grants incredible, non-stop views over the lake. Other than that, most of the trail is concealed in the shade of lush firs and aspens, with occasional open meadows.

Begin by climbing steadily up from Highway 207 at Spooner Summit, passing in and out of shade and sun, through stands of conifer and fields of flowers. When you come to groves of aspen trees, look closely for old carvings in the trunks. Shepherds who moved here from Spain in the 1800s lived in isolation among these mountains with their sheep, and would sometimes draw on the trees to abate their boredom. Observe these traces of history, but please do not add marks of your own to the trees.

On the flank of South Camp Peak, the gradient levels out and the trail crosses a huge volcanic talus slope. This is The Bench, with its wonderful vantage over Lake Tahoe. The trail trends downward from here and enters more dark and quiet woods, through which it meanders for several miles.

Signs of civilization reappear near the neighborhoods of Kingsbury. The route intersects a few other trails near town, then passes close to some houses before reaching Highway 207. Continue across the road and head uphill once again, crossing a small creek and wet meadows over the course of a few miles, then crossing two ski runs of Heavenly Mountain Resort. This marks the end of the section, and a half-mile connector trail down the ski slopes leads to a trailhead on Quaking Aspen Lane.

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area