Back to index Dick's Peak Hike
Trip Date:  09/02/2016

: 16.0 Miles

Vertical Gain: 4100'

Group Size: 3

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Dick's Peak Trail Route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Dick's Peak Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 56.768  W 120 05.883     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 89 to Emerald Bay on the west side of Lake Tahoe to the Bayview Campground parking area, directly across from the Emerald Bay Inspiration Point turnout.
Hazards of Note:   Significant uphill climb during the entire hike, a long distance to the peak and some class 3 climbing involved heading up to the peak. Crowd Factor:   Moderate to High.  This is a popular entrance into Desolation Wilderness and many of its most popular destinations.  Get there early on a weekend to find parking near the trailhead.
General Notes:
Heading up from Bayview Campground trailhead, be sure to take the correct trail on Bayview and not toward Cascade Lake.  There are many switchbacks along the way, and at one point less than a mile up there is a magnificent overlook of Emerald Bay from just a little off the trail.  Granite Lake is just a little over a mile and a half up, nestled into a little bowl at the base of the two Maggie's Peaks.  The trail eventually hits the saddle between the North and South Maggie's Peaks a little over 2 miles in, levelling off for a short time.  The trail then bends west, and will intersect with the Eagle Lake trail in another mile.  Continue on the Bayview trail, and take the junction to Dick's Pass around 4 miles into the trip.  
From here the trail heads across open granite, climbing up toward Dick's Lake before joining with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at around mile 5.  Turn left (north,) and switchbacks will lead you up the ridge on the east side of Dick's Lake, offering views of the summit you will be climbing to as you head up toward Dick's Pass.  At the pass is a small wood marker, and the trail continues on up and over and then down for a short way before it then bends sharply to the right (north) once again.  At this point you will leave the main trail and follow the use trail to the west which is obvious and climbs up toward the false Dick's Peak summit.  
To attain the peak, stay to the left of the false summit, or you will be faced with a dangerous rocky climb of more than 50 feet that is nearly vertical.   The summit is another 3/10 of a mile to the west.
Since this is a hike into Desolation Wilderness, you will need a day permit (free at the trailhead) and the group size limit is 12.

Our group at the trailhead, making sure we go the right way into Desolation and NOT to Cascade Falls. Clowning at the trailhead
Not even a mile up the Bayview Trail, there is a memorable viewpoint just off the trail to the right overlooking Emerald Bay.   Awesome Emerald Bay
A view of Granite Lake from a little earlier in the summer, with South Maggie's peak high above. Granite Lake
The first junction to be sure to take to head up to Dick's Pass.  Missing this one will take you to the wonderful Velma Lakes basin. First major junction
Lake Aloha with Mt. Price and Little Pyramid in the background. First glimpse of Dick's Peak in the distance
The further up the switchbacks on the eastern side of Dick's Lake you go, the better view you have of both the lake and the destination peak behind it. Dick's Lake and Peak
The climb up to Dick's Pass covers about 3500' of elevation gain from the trailhead, and there is still a good amount to go. Reaching Dick's Pass
Just over the crest of the pass you will suddenly be graced with an amazing view to the south, of Susie Lake in the nearest foreground and Lake Aloha in the back tucked at the base of the Crystal Range and pointed Pyramid Peak. Aloha view
Views to the north of Dick's Lake and Lake Tahoe in the far distance are just as amazing as those the other direction. North View
Along the use trail toward the top of Dick's Peak, you have a view of the false summit as well as Jack's Peak in the distance to the left. Destination
Bill climbing up to a spot which we ended up stopping at for lunch.  The trail to the summit should skirt around this area to the south (left side of this picture,) as the rocky terrain her is too dangerous for climbing without equipment. Climbing up
Mt. Tallac is clearly visible nearly due east from the summit, and with a telephoto you can see some of the many peak baggers who attain that peak each day. Mt Tallac
To the north, also with telephoto you can clearly make out the distinctive Rubicon Peak, a scenic location where many Lake Tahoe tourist brochure pictures have been taken from. Rubicon Peak
At the southern base of Dick's Peak are the (hidden) Alta Morris Lake as well as the visible Half Moon Lake seen below.  This is a rarely-visited lake due to the access trail being relatively long and only and in and out destination. Half Moon Lake
GPS track of the hike. GPS track of hike