Tahoe Sierra Backpacking
Explore the "quiet side" of Tahoe as we hike the hidden trails of the Tahoe National Forest on this weekend getaway, only forty miles away from majestic Lake Tahoe. We'll backpack through fern-carpeted cedar forests on our way to a streamside backcountry camp, our home for three nights. From our wilderness basecamp, we'll explore an open granite basin dotted with alpine lakes, all the while surrounded by the rugged summits of Old Man Mountain and the Black Buttes. Carrying only a daypack and our lunch, we'll hike to hidden lakes and cascading mountain streams well off the beaten path, the perfect place for a cool mountain dip! On our last day, we'll backpack back to civilization across rocky ridge tops with expansive views of the granite-tipped Sierra Nevada. An easy getaway from Reno, Sacramento, or the San Francisco Bay Area, our time in the Sierra Nevada will give you fresh perspective on this stunning mountain range and the beauty it has to offer. This is an ideal trip for both the novice and experienced backpacker, and a beautiful introduction to hidden gems in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Tahoe Sierra Backpacking Itinerary:
Day 1 Meet your group and guides at the trailhead in the Tahoe National Forest before setting off for your adventure in the Sierra Nevada, and our campsite near an idyllic creek.
Day 2 Heading out with only daypacks, we’ll explore mountain lakes and granite domes today with our enthusiastic, knowledgeable guides.
Day 3 The Fordyce Creek basin awaits us as we meander on seldom-used trails, keeping a sharp eye out for the perfect swimming hole.
Day 4 One more delicious backcountry breakfast before we break camp and follow a different route back to our trailhead.
Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control including weather and terrain conditions. This trip is operated rain or shine.
Contact REI Adventures prior to purchasing your airline tickets to confirm that the trip has the minimum number of participants required to operate.
Professional instruction and guiding; three nights tent camping at primitive backcountry campsite in 2-person tents; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; campsite and permit fees.
Transportation from your hometown to group meeting point; insurance of any kind; alcoholic beverages; guide gratuities and items of a personal nature. Participants over the age of 21 may bring alcoholic beverages of choice in suitable backpacking containers, no glass please.
Sacramento California, 90 miles, 1.75 hrs; or Reno Nevada, 61 miles, 1.25 hrs.
There is no reliable transfer service from any airport to our meeting place. Anticipate renting a car if flying in for this weekend getaway.
This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3-4]. Participants will be carrying their own backpacks (weighing 30-35 pounds) for distances of 3.5 - 4 miles on days 1 and 4. Only a daypack is required on days 2 and 3, but we will be hiking 6-8 miles on those days with elevation changes between 400 and 1,700 feet. We will be traveling at an altitude between 5,500 and 6,900 feet where the thinner air can have an effect on your performance. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip, we strongly encourage participants to be involved in a training regimen before the trip. Of paramount importance to your enjoyment of the trip is your overall fitness level.
Daytime temperatures usually range between 60-80°F, with evening temperatures dropping to the 40s and 50s. Early- or late-season trips will experience a wider range of temperatures. Thunderstorms are a possibility at any time in the mountains, making adequate raingear a necessity.
This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Weekend Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and detailed pre-trip information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).
We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.
Tahoe Sierra Backpacking
- Tents (3 season, 2 person)
- Cooking gear
- Stoves and fuel
- Water filter
- Trip leader first aid kit
- Bear canister
- Backpack: large internal frame or external frame (65-85L)
- Pack cover, waterproof
- Lightweight, compressible day pack (REI Flashpack is a good example) for days 2 and 3 (highly recommended)
- Sleeping bag (20° - 25°)
- Sleeping pad (inflatables are best)
- Hiking boots: heavy duty, waterproof, and well broken-in, should rise above ankle
- Water-friendly sandals for stream crossings and in camp (optional)
- Rain jacket and pants, lightweight waterproof and breathable
- Midweight fleece jacket or wool sweater
- Midweight thermal top and bottom made of synthetic or wool
- Hiking pants, quick-drying, lightweight (zip-off legs are great and negate the need for shorts). No denim.
- Hiking shorts, quick-drying, lightweight OR the shorts from your zip-off pants
- T-shirts, synthetic
- Hiking socks, 2 pairs, wool or synthetic
- 2 pairs sock liners, silk or synthetic (optional)
- Sun hat with brim
- Wool or fleece hat
- Lightweight wool or fleece gloves
- Hydration system (optional)
- 2 Nalgene-type 1-quart water bottles, even if you have a hydration system
- Headlamp with new batteries and bulb
- Plastic bowl, spoon, fork, mug
- Sunglasses and retainer strap
- Sunblock, minimum SPF 25 (small)
- Lip balm (unscented)
- Personal medications
- Insect repellent (small)
- Toothbrush and trial-sized paste
- TP system: Place items in one 1-gallon Ziploc bag: ½ roll of toilet paper, 1 Ziploc 1-quart bag, sanitation trowel, small bottle of hand sanitizer. A few wet wipes can be a nice addition.
- Bic lighter
- 1 large plastic garbage bag
- Down vest or jacket (highly recommended)
- Trekking poles (highly recommended)
- Small pack towel and/or washcloth
- Head net for mosquitoes
- Baseplate compass
- Ear plugs
- Paper and pen
- Camera and spare batteries
Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.