Backpacking

Backpacking
Backpack the High Sierra!

Tahoe Adventure Company has a High Sierra Guided Backpacking Adventure for every experience level. A variety of options exist for 2 to 8 day overnight backpacking excursions. The Sierra Nevada mountain range has an extensive trail system with many trail-heads providing access to incredible terrain. Alpine lakes are strewn along the glacial and volcanic range offering pristine camp sites. Backpacking routes and options are endless. Guests gain wilderness and navigation skills and the appreciation of our untamed areas.

Guided backpacking adventures are currently offered on a custom basis with a 2 person minimum and tiered pricing based on group size. Routes travel along the Pacific Crest Trail and other trail systems with various itineraries offered throughout the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee Region.

All trips are inclusive of knowledgeable guides, logistics, route planning, meals, camp equipment for food preparation, water filtration, and camp safety (stoves, water filters, bear canisters, cookware, etc), tents, and permit fees. Backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and mess kits are required and can be rented from us if needed. Custom dates available during May through October.

Please call 530-913-9212 for more information and detailed itineraries.




Lessons and ToursMileageLevel of TerrainLengthBook
Old Highway 40 to Flora Lake via the Pacific Crest Trail5+ milesEasy (+500ft., - 400 ft.)2 daysContact Us
Old Highway 40 to Flora/Azalea Lake (and out to Donner Summit Sno-Park)4 milesEasy (+500ft., - 400 ft.)2 daysContact Us
Donner Summit to Peter Grubb Hut (with Day Hike to Paradise Lake)18 miles Moderate (+1800 ft., -1100 ft.)3 daysContact Us
Donner Summit to Paradise Lake (with overnight stop near Peter Grubb Hut)18 milesModerate (+1800ft; -1100ft)2-3 daysContact Us
Donner Summit to White Rock Lake20 milesModerate to Difficult (+2100 ft., - 1400 ft.)3-4 daysContact Us
Warren, White Rock, Paradise Loop22 milesDifficult (+5500 ft., - 4000 ft.)4-5 daysContact Us
Five Lakes to Donner Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail18 milesModerate to Difficult (+3900 ft.)2-3 daysContact Us
Spooner State Park to Marlette Lake/Marlette PeakUp to 24 milesModerate (+1200 ft. - 400 ft.)2-3 daysContact Us


Old Highway 40 to Flora Lake via the Pacific Crest Trail

Description: This backpacking trip is oriented to those that have never backpacked before but are interested in gaining experience in the outdoors and learning how to plan and prepare for backpacking trips in the future. Beginning at the trailhead at the side of historic Old Highway 40, this trip follows the Pacific Crest Trail for about 2.6 miles to Azalea Lake, where we’ll learn camp craft and the basics of cooking and preparing delicious backpacking meals. On day two, we’ll discuss the basics of orienteering with a map and compass before hiking out the way we came in.

Mileage: 5+ miles.
Level of Terrain: Easy (+500ft., - 400 ft.).
Length: 2 days.


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Old Highway 40 to Flora/Azalea Lake (and out to Donner Summit Sno-Park)

Description:This backpacking trip is oriented to those that have never backpacked before but are interested in gaining experience in the outdoors and learning how to plan and prepare for backpacking trips in the future. Beginning at the trailhead at the side of historic Old Highway 40, this trip follows the Pacific Crest Trail for about 2.6 miles to Azalea Lake, where we’ll learn camp craft and the basics of cooking and preparing delicious backpacking meals. On day two, we’ll discuss the basics of orienteering with a map and compass before enjoying a brief 1.5 mile hike out to our pick up location at Donner Summit Sno-Park.

Mileage: 4 miles.
Level of Terrain: Easy (+500ft., - 400 ft.).
Length: 2 days.


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Donner Summit to Peter Grubb Hut (with Day Hike to Paradise Lake)

Description: Starting close to where the Donner Party made their infamous attempts to get over the Sierras, this trip heads north and links up with the Pacific Crest Trail just before reaching Castle Pass. From the pass, it’s a short downhill hike to the camping area near the Peter Grubb backcountry hut. The next day, enjoy a 10-mile round trip day hike to enjoy the cool alpine waters of Paradise Lake. We’ll return to our base camp for the second night and then hike back out over the pass on the final day.

Mileage: 18 miles.
Level of Terrain: Moderate (+1800 ft., -1100 ft.).
Length: 3 days.


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Donner Summit to Paradise Lake (with overnight stop near Peter Grubb Hut)

Description: This trip starts with a 4-mile first day hiking over Castle Pass and down into the valley where the Peter Grubb backcountry hut sits. On day two, we’ll pack up camp and follow the Pacific Crest Trail about five miles to find the spur trail up to Paradise Lake. We will spend the afternoon swimming and relaxing at the lake before enjoying a hearty meal. On the final day, we hike back the same way we came in!

Mileage: 18 miles.
Level of Terrain: Moderate (+1800ft; -1100ft).
Length: 2-3 days.


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Donner Summit to White Rock Lake

Description: Starting from the historic Donner Summit, this route follows a popular four-wheel road for the first few miles before linking in with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at Castle Pass. From the pass, you’ll enjoy views of the back side of Castle Peak and the rolling Sierras heading off in all directions. Our trek continues along the PCT through several beautiful high alpine valleys before culminating at the shores of White Rock Lake. Enjoy a dip in the lake and a cool drink of (filtered) Sierra water before setting up camp and enjoying a night under some of the brightest stars you’ll find anywhere!

Mileage: 20 miles.
Level of Terrain: Moderate to Difficult (+2100 ft., - 1400 ft.).
Length: 3-4 days.


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Warren, White Rock, Paradise Loop

Description: Starting from the Pacific Crest Trail head at Donner Summit, the first day of this hike will cover about 6 miles. It takes us up and over Frog Lake Overlook, down through the valley on the east side of Castle Peak, and up and over another ridge before dropping down into Warren Lake. On day two, we’ll skirt Warren Lake and hit the trail on the north side of the lake, which will take us further north to White Rock Lake (about 5 miles total). We’ll enjoy night two at White Rock Lake before moving approximately 4.5 miles back south on the Pacific Crest Trail to Paradise Lake for night three. On our final day, we’ll cover about 6.5 miles as we hike out southbound on the PCT.

Mileage: 22 miles.
Level of Terrain: Difficult (+5500 ft., - 4000 ft.).
Length: 4-5 days.


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Five Lakes to Donner Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail

Description: Experience a beautiful extended section of the famed Pacific Crest Trail between Alpine Meadows ski resort and the pass that is named for the infamous Donner Party. With options to summit two distinct peaks on the Sierra Crest, this adventure is best for hikers and backpackers with moderate experience and the desire to cover some ground while enjoying some of the best views of Truckee and Martis Valley that the Sierras have to offer! This trip can also travel in the opposite direction.

Mileage: 18 miles.
Level of Terrain: Moderate to Difficult (+3900 ft.).
Length: 2-3 days.


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Spooner State Park to Marlette Lake/Marlette Peak

Description: Starting from Spooner Lake State Park, and utilizing established campgrounds, this itinerary is suited for beginners who want to spend time on learning camp craft and backpacking skills as well as more experienced backpackers who want to cover some miles. Several route lengths and options utilize a combination of beautifully maintained forest road and single track with a stop at picturesque Marlette Lake. Panoramic views of Lake Tahoe top off these routes through this lightly traveled region.

Mileage: Up to 24 miles.
Level of Terrain: Moderate (+1200 ft. - 400 ft.).
Length: 2-3 days.


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