Back to index Mt. Rose and Tamarack Peak Hike
Trip Date:  06/25/2014

: 11.5 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1100'

Group Size: 1

Hike Rating:  Easy  Moderate  Hard  Strenuous
Mt. Rose and Tamarack Peak route
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Mt. Rose Tamarack Peak Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 39 18.789, W 119 53.857     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take the Mt. Rose highway from Incline Village north or from Reno south, and park at the summit area parking lot at the posted coordinates.  It is an access point for the Tahoe Rim Trail, and is very clearly marked.
Hazards of Note:   Dry area with limited available water
High winds at the summit
Crowd Factor:   Moderate; popular with dog walkers
General Notes:
Start the hike on the trail behind the information building and bathrooms at the south end of the parking lot.  Right away you will have the choice to either take the old road (Forest Road 051)  or up some stairs to your right which is marked as being for hikers only.  This is the 'new' Mt. Rose trail, and the slightly faster way to the summit.
The first 2 and 1/2 miles are relatively smooth with very little elevation gain.  You will be walking along the north side of the Tamarack ridge, coming to a waterfall that is part of the Galena Creek where there is another signed junction to either head west toward Relay Peak or to turn north toward the summit of Mt. Rose.  Head north.  
From this point the trail climbs significantly, as you gain over 1300 feet on your way from here to the top of the mountain.  This mountain is known for its constantly windy conditions, and a windbreaker is highly suggested.   The top has great views north toward Reno and south toward Lake Tahoe, and there are a couple of wind breaks there to have a nice place to have lunch and rest up from the steady cold winds.
On the way back down, to get to the Tamarack Ridge, take a right at a signed junction (old access to Relay Peak) and head up above the waterfall passed by earlier to a meadow area where a couple of springs come out of the rocks and start the Galena creek.  Just before this trail joins up with a signed junction for Forest Service road 051, head cross-country up the ridge in a NNE direction until you attain the summit of Tamarack Peak.  There were a few use trails that I picked up across the top, but once you have gained the ridgeline the elevation gain is relatively easy.
At the eastern edge of the ridge you can either pick up the New Mt. Rose trail by heading down on the north side, or pick up the Tahoe Rim Trail by heading down the south side (my path.)  

The view south across Tahoe Meadows toward Lake Tahoe is very nice even from the beginning of the hike before you gain much elevation. Tahoe Meadows and Lake Tahoe
Even early in the hike Mt. Rose looms over the trail to the north. Mt. Rose looming
Looking down the canyon into the very dry Carson Valley to the east. Carson Valley View
At the Galena Creek waterfall is a very nice view of Mt. Rose across a pleasant meadow.  The trail ahead only hints at the steep elevation to come from this point on. Meadow below the peak
This particular trail has many options for where you go, and you have to just keep heading on in the direction of the summit. Options everywhere
The Galena creek waterfall is a very pleasant stop halfway up the mountain. Waterfall
A fortuitous picture of the Tamarack Ridge which I didn't realize at this point I would be hiking on top of on the way back.
Tamarack Ridge
Views of Castle and Basin peaks far to the west, along with Stampede Reservoir in the foreground. Castle and Basin Peaks
The view of Reno from the peak (click on the picture for the zoomed shot.) Reno from the peak
View of Lake Tahoe and Desolation Wilderness in the distance. Lake Tahoe and Desolation
View of Lake Tahoe and the south shore area in the distance. Lake Tahoe and South Shore
A look back at the parking area from high atop the Mt. Rose summit. Looking down at the parking area
Part of the trail heading back down from the summit. The general feel of the trail
Looking up at the Tamarack Ridge while looking for the best way to access it (far to the right.) Looking at the way up
Checking out Mt. Rose again from Tamarack Peak. Mt. Rose from Tamarack Peak
Tamarack Peak is almost 1000 feet lower but still has great Tahoe views. Lake Tahoe from Tamarack
Looking down at Tamarack Lake from the peak. Tamarack Lake from the peak
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike