Tahoe Rim Trail Advice

AKA lies they told me about the Tahoe Rim Trail

Note: I had a great experience on the Tahoe Rim Trail and I’m totally not upset… but I definitely had some misinformation going into the hike.

“There are bad bugs on the Tahoe Rim Trail.”
LOL. No. “Bad bugs,” hahahaha. I am sure sometimes there are, but from what I heard before the hike, I was to anticipate bad bugs until nearly the end of the season.

“You have to camp at Marlette Campground.”
NOPE. Get a map. It’s totally possible to camp within the national forest and well away from the state park. Again… get a map so you don’t break the camping rule, but you absolutely don’t have to camp at Marlette Campground. (That being said, Marlette was a lovely place to stay, aside from the folks who came into camp at 10:30PM and left at 4:00AM who had no headlamp etiquette…).

“It’s an easy hitch to South Lake Tahoe from Echo Summit.”
LOL whut. Took me over an hour and I still didn’t get where I needed to go. That hitch was one of the suckiest of my entire life… and I’m female. God help you if you’re a scruffy dude. Thank goodness for the trail angel list. They are wonderful human beings and turned my day around.

“The climb out of Tahoe City isn’t so bad.”
ROFL. Yes it is.

“The Desolation Wilderness is the best part.”
Sure it is, if you want to hike in a lineup of 400 dayhikers. It was gorgeous but I was thrilled to leave.

“The mountain bikers are really considerate of hikers.”
HA which mountain bikers? On what trail? Yes yes, “not all bikers,” etc. Unfortunately, with how many bikers use the trail, there are bound to be many bad apples. I jumped out of the way more times than I can count, with several close calls. I saw bike tire tracks in wilderness areas and knew of bikers on a section that was closed to bikes that day (there were six signs…six!).  Bikers and hikers can coexist on trails that have less traffic, but my experience on the TRT taught me that a busy trail should not host both bikers and hikers. Someone is going to get killed. Or at least severely maimed.

“You can just get off the South Lake Tahoe bus at The Ridges.”
Well, sure, you can. But you can also get off at the next stop, Stagecoach Lodge, and then you could spit to the trail. If you don’t know where Stagecoach is, just ask the bus driver. The bus drivers are very friendly and helpful.

“You can get your Desolation Wilderness permit on a Saturday.”
Honest to God, that’s what I was told by the Forest Service when I called them. Turns out, not actually true — they are closed. Haha, psych!

“You need to get the app!”
It’s unnecessary. This trail is easy to follow with lots of traffic, so you can glean information from other hikers or bikers.

“It’s not so bad to get water at Spooner Lake.”
I didn’t do this, so I can’t really say for sure that this is a lie… but man, I was SO HAPPY to not have to hike downhill to the lake. To add insult to injury, there is now a fee for walk-in users. It’s not much; it’s more the principle of the thing. If you can possibly finagle a water cache at Spooner Summit, you should do it. You’ll be so happy. (My cache was a surprise gift from Gray Ghost, to whom I am forever indebted.)