Day 15: A Loop Around The Lake
Monday, July 5, 2021 8:59 pm
Location: Tahoe City (171.3 miles)

Today was our last day on the Tahoe Rim Trail.

With one last day on the trail — and only seven and a half miles to go, we were not especially quick to get up, especially since our ride from Tahoe City to Reno would not pick us up until after 5 pm.

While we were packing up, James and Paula stopped by our campsite to let us know that they were visited by a bear last night! A bear showed up in the evening scratching at a tree very close to where they’d set up their tent. After they scared it off, James checked out the tree it was scratching, and found a termite nest — the bear just wanted its own tasty snack! Later, they thought the bear had come back, when they saw eyes in the woods; after a while, it became clear that it was a deer, and not the bear.

We wished each other well as they hiked on.

Ward Creek
Ward CreekA waterfall on Ward Creek.

The trail continued down the mountain, and joined a logging road. CareFree briefly felt at home, with hiking on a dirt road through a monoculture pine forest feeling very similar to her native Thuringian forests.

As we descended, the tree mixture started to change, with aspens added to the mix in addition to the dominant pines.

Yesterday, we tried to reschedule our ride from Tahoe City to Reno from 5 pm to 2:40 pm since we got much further than planned, but weren’t able to due to lack of signal. Once we did get signal this morning, as we hiked through a meadow, given our rapid pace down fairly easy trail, we realized that we’d be done even earlier. We thought we’d be finished hiking before noon, which meant a 12:40 pickup option at Tahoe City became possible. We were able to confirm that reschedule, and were happy we wouldn’t have to burn five hours sitting around in a kind-of expensive resort town.

Soon, we saw the clear signs of civilization, a trailhead parking lot and cars. Off in the distance, screaming kids seemed to be having fun.

The trail brought us along the Truckee River, which was had a fair number of both swimmers and people floating down the river on inflatable rafts. It seemed like a fun lazy way to spend the day.

Truckee River
Truckee RiverRafters float down the river, the outflow from Lake Tahoe.

Shortly after, at 10:37, we reached the trailhead sign that marked the end of our hike, completing our 171.3 mile loop around Lake Tahoe in just under 14 days.

But, we had one last thing we needed to do. We had hiked all the way around Lake Tahoe, but we had never touched Lake Tahoe. So, we walked back from the trailhead to town, picked up our boxes that we’d left at AlpenGlow, and walked perhaps a tenth of a mile to the commons beach.

Partly due to the sun’s location, and the haze in the site above the lake, it was hard to clearly see the mountains on the other side of the lake that we’d hiked. But now, at the edge of Lake Tahoe, this wonderful journey has come to its end, and it’s time to relax.

Until next time!

Longstride and CareFree at Lake Tahoe
Longstride and CareFree at Lake Tahoe