Backpacking, Bikepacking and Thru-Hiking

Check out our FAQs and other resources for information on permits, re-supply access points, transit information, maps and more!

Everyone travels at a different pace. It is recommended to hike a segment or assess with comparable mileage from another hike. 

It is not possible to thru ride the Tahoe Rim Trail because the trail passes through designated wilderness areas and other locations where land managers have prohibited biking. See our Mountain Biking page for more information on use restrictions.

One great thing about the trail is that regardless of whether you go clockwise or counter-clockwise your elevation gain and loss will always be the same. However, most thru-hikers tend to complete the trail by travelling clockwise.

Summertime temperatures vary but expect highs in the 70s and lows anywhere in the 40s-50s. Snow and freezing temperatures are possible during any month of the year. The Sierras are known for having storms roll in on summer afternoons, so always check the weather before your departure.

Every year is different and spring and summer snow levels are difficult to predict early on in the year. Average snow years the trail mostly melts out by the end of June. At higher elevations and on north facing slopes the snow tends to hang around longer, sometimes well into July or even early August. Visit our current Trail Conditions page for more information.

The United States Forest Service and Nevada Division of State Parks require all food to be stored in bear proof containers or using bear proof techniques. The Tahoe Rim Trail Association strongly encourages the use of bear canisters as the preferred method of food storage on the entire trail. Please note that many high elevation locations on the trail do not have trees that are sufficient for hanging bear bags.

Fires are generally prohibited along the Tahoe Rim Trail. For regulations click here.

Extended parking at the trailheads is not recommended. The Tahoe City Public Utility District does allow extended parking but they do require you call ahead and provide details about your vehicle. They can be reached at 530-583-3796.

This is mostly personal preference but yes there is adequate tree coverage on most of the TRT for hammocks. Places you may struggle to find trees are at higher elevations and in Desolation Wilderness.

Yes. We offer two Guided Thru Hikes of the entire Tahoe Rim Trail usually around the end of July and the end of August. Registration for these trips sells out fast. If you are interested in joining the waiting list for 2017 or be put on the interest list for 2018, click here.

The maximum group size in wilderness areas is 12 people. Elsewhere the max group size is 15 people per party.

While cell phone service is available from some locations along the trail, there are many areas where service is unreliable or non-existent. You should not expect to have cell phone coverage during an extended trip, and should not rely on cell phones for communication or navigation. 

The Tahoe Rim Trail is well marked compared to other long-distance trails but all trail users should always carry up to date topographic maps and/or a detailed guidebook that covers the entire area they will be travelling in. Always carry a compass and know how to use it, even if you are also carrying a GPS device. Do not expect to see confidence markers or mileage signs except at major trail junctions. Please note that the TRT is NOT signed for winter use, and snow pack can often obscure both the trail and trail signs.

 

It’s easy! Anyone who has joined the Association as a member and traveled over the entire Tahoe Rim Trail can fill out the application here. There is no time limit for completing the trail – you can do it all in one season or over the course of 30 years. All 165-mile club members receive certificates, patches and are added  to the TRTA book of records. Please note that club applications are processed only once a year, usually in late fall or early winter.