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 trailheads 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. Prices range from $175-$275 per person, per day based on group size and trip length; inclusive of meals, tents, cookware and permit fees. Some personal backpacking equipment is required.

Five Lakes to Donner Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail
Total Mileage: ~18 miles
Terrain: Moderate to Difficult (+3900 ft.)
Recommended Length: 2-3 days
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.
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Donner Summit at I-80 to White Rock Lake
Mileage: ~20 Miles Round Trip
Terrain: Moderate to Difficult (+2100 ft. - 1400 ft.)
Recommended Length: 3-4 days
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. It 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!
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Donner Summit at I-80 to Peter Grubb Hut (with Day Hike to Paradise Lake)
Mileage: ~18 miles
Terrain: Moderate (+1800 ft. -1100 ft.)
Recommended Length: 3 days
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.
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Donner Summit at I-80 to Paradise Lake (with overnight stop near Peter Grubb Hut)
Mileage: ~18 miles
Terrain: Moderate (+1800 ft. -1100 ft.)
Recommended Length: 2-3 days
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’ll enjoy the afternoon swimming and relaxing at the lake before enjoying a hearty meal. On the final day, we’ll hike back the same way we came in!
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Warren, White Rock, Paradise Loop
Mileage: ~22 miles
Terrain: Difficult (+5500 ft. - 4000 ft.)
Recommended Length: 4-5 days
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.
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Spooner State Park to Marlette Lake
Mileage: ~24 miles round trip
Terrain: Moderate (+1200 ft. - 400 ft.)
Recommended Length: 2 days
Description: Starting from Spooner State Park, this trip follows a beautiful section of well-maintained forest road for six miles up to Marlette Lake, once used as a water source for one of Lake Tahoe’s most famous, yet highly reclusive residents. We’ll enjoy a beautiful night by the lake shore before heading back to the trailhead on day two.
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Old Highway 40 to Lake Azalea via the Pacific Crest Trail
Mileage: ~6 miles
Terrain: Easy (+500 ft. - 400 ft.)
Recommended Length: 2 days
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.
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Old Highway 40 to Azalea Lake (and out to Donner Summit Sno-Park)
Mileage: ~4 miles
Terrain: Easy (+500 ft. - 400 ft.)
Recommended Length: 2 days
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.

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