Some of the most incredible sights of the Sierra Nevada Mountains can be found above Lake Tahoe in Tahoe National Forest. Our Adventure Trip, LLC has a commercial use authorization allowing us to guide snowshoe tours day hiking, backpacking, and camping trips in the area. We specialize in treks that follow the Pacific Crest Trail.
Our guided day hikes and overnight backpacking adventures will leave you inspired and recharged. Many of my favorite sections of the PCT are in Tahoe National Forest. The views of Lake Tahoe from the numerous ridges and peaks along this part of the PCT can't be reached by car and pictures just don't do it justice. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, making it perfect for outdoor adventure trips. Please contact us directly to customize your own adventure vacations or ask any questions.
Near Lake Tahoe Backpacking in Tahoe National Forest
Donner Summit Backpacking (Easy)
This guided backpacking tour at Donner Summit along the Pacific Crest Trail is perfect for those who prefer a shorter hike to the campsite with more time relaxing at camp. This tour is good for those who are not in the best of shape, or those who prefer more time relaxing at camp and less time getting there. The shorter trek is also great for those with children.
We will be hiking some on the Pacific Crest Trail. There will be fantastic views of Castle Peak, Donner Lake, and the surrounding area. There will be lots of commentary about the natural history, flora, and fauna of the area. We will camp in a wilderness area 200 feet from Flora Lake and next to a spectacular overlook with views of Donner Lake and the surrounding mountains. I will prepare delicious campsite cooked meals for you to enjoy.
This backpacking tour will be Donner Summit / Donner Pass area named after the famous Donner Party who became snowed in and trapped in the area during the winter of 1846-47. The trek in is only 1.5 miles to the campsite. The incredible views and many interesting things to see are packed in along the hike to camp. At the campsite I will get a campfire going as long as fire restrictions are not in place. Fire restrictions are sometimes in place if there is very dry conditions.
We will hike past several interesting points including stunning views of the volcanic Castle Peak towering another 2,000 feet above Donner Summit at 9,100 feet. Castle Peak is the tallest mountain in the nearby area. The yellowish and greenish color of Castle Peak is due to the sulfuric acid in the volcanic rock. We will see lodgepole pine trees which were once used as tepee poles by Native Americans due to their long, thin, straight, and lightweight properties. We will see giant boulders called glacial erratics deposited by melting glaciers at the end of the t ice age. We will pass rock formations with excellent examples of exfoliation. Exfoliation happens when water inside the rock freezes and expands causing parts of the rock to break away leaving visible markings on the rock.
We will see a few small lakes before reaching an incredible overlook of the surrounding mountains and of Donner Lake where the famous Donner party camped in the winter of 1846-47. The Donner party was migrating to California before becoming snowed in and trapped. Finally 2 brothers in the party made it over Donner Summit by fashioning snowshoes by binding branches together and binding them to their feet.
The following morning I will cook up a delicious breakfast with coffee and we will have some time to enjoy relaxing at camp and enjoying the view some more before starting the trip back to the trailhead.
We'll begin our trip at 10 AM in the PCT parking area near Donner Summit just off I-80 exit 176 which is approximately 9 miles west of Truckee. More detailed directions will follow booking confirmation.
Paradise Lake Backpacking (Moderate to Difficult)
This is an 8 mile out and back overnight backpacking and wilderness camping tour mostly along the Pacific Crest Trail. There will be lots of commentary about the natural history, flora, and fauna of the area.
The hike will follow the Pacific Crest Trail over Castle Pass at 8,500 feet of elevation where there will be fantastic views of Castle Peak and the surrounding area. The yellowish and greenish color of Castle Peak is due to the sulfuric acid in the volcanic rock. We will descend into Round Valley before reaching the historic Peter Grubb Hut built in the 1930’s. The Peter Grubb Hut is a popular wilderness ski hut maintained by the Sierra Club.
We will continue around the west edge of Basin Peak before descending into Paradise Valley. We will leave the Pacific Crest Trail and hike about a mile to Paradise Lake. Paradise Lake is incredibly beautiful with granite slabs and cliffs surrounding the lake.
At the campsite I will get a campfire going as long as fire restrictions are not in place. Fire restrictions are sometimes in place if there are very dry conditions. I will cook up a delicious meal for everyone to enjoy.
The following morning I will cook up a delicious breakfast with coffee and we will have some time to enjoy Paradise Lake some more before starting the trip back to the trailhead.
We'll begin our trip at 10 AM in the PCT parking area near Donner Summit just off I-80 exit 176 which is approximately 9 miles west of Truckee. More detailed directions will follow booking confirmation. Participants must be at least 18 years old and must sign an acknowledgment of risks and photo release forms.
Experienced guide certified as Wilderness First Responder (medical training), Leave no Trace Trainer (low wilderness environmental impact training), and California Food Handlers Card (safe food practices)
Food (fresh cooked meals) and backcountry dinnerware
Water purified by filtering from lake or stream (bring your own 1 litter personal water bottle)
Backpacking Pack (everyone carries the provided gear and some group gear / food ihgn this pack. The pack weighs about 25 pounds when fully packed.)
Tent (one or two person tents)
Rain poncho if needed
First Aid Kit
Transportation to the trailhead meeting site is not included (most non-locals rent cars)
Warm Cloths (at an altitude of 7,000 feet nighttime temperatures in the summertime can be in the 40s Fahrenheit and daytime temperatures are usually in the 70s. Synthetic layers such like polyester dry quickly. Please don’t wear cotton since sweat or rain can soak cotton and it drys slowly causing you to become cold. Layers that unzip in the front will allow heat to escape when desirable but can be zipped up at night.
Personal 1 litter water bottle (we will provide refills filtered from lake or stream)