Back to index Marlette Flume Hike
Trip Date:  05/25/2014

: 10.6 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1800'

Group Size: 2

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Marlette Flume Trail Route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Marlette Flume Trail Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 39 14.124  W 119 55.799     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Park right on the west side of Highway 28 (Tahoe Blvd) just across from
the intersection with Tunnel Creek Road.  The Tunnel Creek Cafe is directly
across the street from this location, and offers car shuttles for those
wanting to make this a one-way trek from Spooner Lake.
Hazards of Note:   Steep dropoffs
Long sections with little shade
Significant early elevation gain
Crowd Factor:   Busy, especially on weekends.  This is a very popular mountain biking trail.
General Notes:
This trail starts off on the paved Tunnel Creek road, which quickly turns into a dirt road for a couple of miles before veering off to become the Marlette Flume Trail near a historical explanation sign about 2.9 miles into the hike.  A little bit past this turn is a trail junction, where one can continue on the Flume trail, head up toward the Tahoe Rim Trail or off toward Twin Lakes.  Keep on the path to the right to continue on the Flume hike.  
The trail soon gets to a narrow section, where even bikers will have to walk their bikes due to rocky sections and a very narrow trail at times.  The drop-offs are significant, but the views of the entire Lake Tahoe area are outstanding.  The elevation change at this point is negligible, making for very easy hiking along the flume section itself.  Most mountain bikers are heading north from Spooner Lake, so they are easy to avoid.  On the way back, you need to keep a sharp ear out for them, especially on the significant downhill section in the last three miles as they can build up a lot of speed and be unable to stop on the gravelly trail.

Views are great even at the start of the hike. Views on the way up
So maybe this view isn't quite so good... Not quite as good
Always off looking for a cache. Always looking for a cache
Most of the uphill is in the first couple of miles, but that leads to consistently amazing views. Another great view
There are a number of places along the way where the old flume is still very evident. Part of the old flume
From the Flume Trail the views down toward Zephyr Cove and South Shore were pretty spectacular. Flume views
The perspective into Desolation Wilderness from this spot was something I haven't seen much before.  Mt. Tallac is on the left, and Dick's Peak is on the right. Desolation Wilderness
From this spot on the trail you could look down 1200 feet at Sand Harbor below. Sand Harbor
Shot of a pretty typical section of the Flume Trail which mountain bikers readily frequent. Typical section of the flume
An unusual but impressively carved mountain monkey guarding Incline Village below. Mountain Monkey
We only took this 'shortcut' on the way back down.  It would have been miserable the other way! Shortcut
GPX image of the hike. GPS track of hike