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Hiking & Walking: California > Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Quick Facts

Pacific Crest Trail - Hwy. 88 to Hwy. 50

Beginning Elevation: 8,560 Feet (2668.3 Meters) at Carson Pass
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation Gain: 1,320 Feet (411.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 7,240 Feet (2256.9 Meters) at Hwy 50
Length, One-way: 13.4 Miles (22.33 Kilometers)

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This portion of the Pacific Crest Trail leads from Highway 88 near Carson Pass, to Highway 50 at Echo Summit Snow Park. A challenging trip, great views of the Upper Truckee River Basin and Lake Tahoe reward the serious hiker. Two cars are needed for a day hike. Plan to leave one car in the Carson Pass area and one at the Echo Summit Sno-Park located on Highway 50. Follow directions from the previous hike to Showers Lake. The Pacific Crest Trail continues across the lake's only outlet at the north end and then begins a steep ascent past an impressive, overhanging volcanic point. Gradually curving northward, the trail crosses numerous creeklets, traverses large meadows and follows forested crests with many ascents and descents. The trail eventually leads to the Echo Summit Sno-Park.

Directions from South Lake Tahoe: To reach Carson Pass, take Highway 50 south to Highway 89 and turn left. Continue to the intersection of Highway 89 and 88 and turn right. Continue past the Carson Pass Sno-Park one mile, turn left on the dirt road and park in the dirt parking area. The trailhead is located on the other side of the highway, just across from the parking area.To reach Echo Summit Snow Park, follow Highway 50 southwest from South Lake Tahoe.

Seasonal Information:
Recommended Season: Spring through Fall .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking PCT
ICON Hiking & Walking Pacific Crest Trail - Hwy. 88 to Hwy. 50
ICON Lakes & Reservoirs Upper Truckee River Basin, Lake Tahoe
ICON Snow Play Echo Summit Snow Park
ICON Viewing Scenery Great views of the Upper Truckee River Basin and Lake Tahoe.
ICON Viewing Wildlife Lake Tahoe Basin

Related Activities
Hwy 88 to Showers Lake - Experience expansive meadows with views of Round Top (10,381'), Elephant's Back (9,585') and Red Lake Peak (10,063').

Hwy. 88 to Meiss Lake - This trail begins south of Lake Tahoe, near Carson Pass and leads to Meiss Lake. Meiss Lake is scenic and good for swimming.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, 870 Emerald Bay Road, Suite 1 , South Lake Tahoe, CA, 96150, Phone: 530-573-2674


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