Back to index Snow Valley Peak Hike
Trip Date:  10/07/2014

: 12.9 Miles

Vertical Gain: 2000'

Group Size: 5

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Snow Valley Peak Route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Snow Valley Peak Trail Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 39 06.257, W 119 53.825     End Coordinates:   Same as start coordinates
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 50 east from California to Spooner Summit.  Park on the north side of the highway at the parking area provided for the Tahoe Rim Trail hike.
Hazards of Note:   Long gradual climb up 2000' from the starting point to the top of the mountain. Crowd Factor:   Moderate.  The Tahoe Rim Trail is very popular but this is a lesser-travelled section of it by the general public.
General Notes:
From the parking at Spooner Summit head north along the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT.)  The first couple of miles will be in forested area, climbing gradually up to the ridgeline.  Once there, you have great views of both the Lake Tahoe side and the Carson Valley to the southeast.  As you near the summit of Snow Valley Peak, you will be hiking out in the open, will full exposure to the sun (and the wind on some days.)  Continue past the actual summit along the base, and when you get to a trail marker for the TRT the road to the east will lead directly to the top.  
Do not pass up at this point the chance to take a 4/10 mile detour along this same road to the left, until you get to a viewpoint above Marlette Lake that is the highlight of this entire trip.

Yours truly at the trailhead. At the Trailhead
Michelle and Max checking out some of the Carson Valley views early along the trail while we were still in the heavily forested section. Checking out the views
After a couple of miles we had our first clear glimpse of Lake Tahoe, and the views would just get better and better along the way. First Tahoe sighting
Most of the climb was gradual, but every so often there is a set of switchbacks that let you gain some elevation pretty quickly. Heading up
The first glimpse of Marlette Lake about 4 miles into the climb toward Snow Valley Peak. Lake Marlette sighting
This is a great trail even in the fall, as the colors were spectacular along this part of the ridgeline. Fall Colors
This trail is pretty easy to stay on but there were signs here and there that provided helpful information at the junction spots. Getting close     
Just below the peak you are hiking out in the exposed mountain and the sun was pretty warm on this day. Below the peak
Looking back down the general area we climbed provided more color displays for our eyes. Back down the valley
Looking back at this junction is the way we came.  To the left is the road to the peak and to the right is the diversion to Marlette Lake overlook. Junction
This spot is amazing.  The view of Marlette Lake and then Lake Tahoe 1000' feet below is phenominal. Wow.
Members of our hiking group stopping to check out the sights from high above. Our lunch spot Our lunch spot
The last climb to the peak is a little bit of cross country if you go straight up like we did.  The road to the left would be easier but less fun! On to the peak
Looking southeast from the peak toward the Carson Valley. Views
Looking southwest from the peak toward Lake Tahoe and Desolation Wilderness on the other side of the lake. Views
Max making his way up to the top of Snow Valley Peak. Max heading up
The rest of the group making the final ascent to sign the summit register at the top. On their way
We took the fun way back down from the peak as well to pick up the Tahoe Rim Trail a little further below. Fun way again.
GPX image of the hike. GPS track of hike