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Backpacking the South Upper Truckee River | High Sierra Backpacker

Comments: South Upper Truckee River trailhead through Burnt Area

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 13 March 2011

This is the place for your Questions-Comments-Experiences:
The lower section of the South Upper Truckee Trail South out of Meyers in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Register to post your own page in this forum about your experiences and advice for other hikers on this trail.

This page is the feedback page for the two trail guide pages between the lower South Upper Truckee trailhead and the Dardanelles trail junction pages on the trail guide. 

1>South of the trailhead.

2>To the burnt area.

Post up your thoughts and impressions about hiking up out of the South Upper Truckee Trailhead. Comments, questions, updates, trail and trip reports welcome.

The trail up to the Big Meadow trail junction has been significantly re-routed and lengthened over the years between 2009 and 2012. What are your impressions of this work?

Have a guess at the current distance from trailhead to Round Lake? I say it's been stretched out to four miles now. What do you say?


South Upper Truckee Trail trailhead to the Dardanelles Lake trail junction

     1.13 miles South of the South Upper Truckee trailhead we encounter the perimeter of the burned area.
About 8 or 9 years ago a small fire broke out here. (2002 or 2003?) The remarkable thing about this fire is that the Forest Service was able to put it out. The reason this was remarkable bury the forest floor around you.

Hiking up to the burnt area you will likely have noticed that this dense forest has a deep cover of forest floor litter beneath it. This is the legacy of decades of fire suppression. These dangerous conditions stretch North, all the way around the deeply forested Western shore of Lake Tahoe.

In 2007 the Angora fire, which happened only a few short miles from our position here, gave warning about the potential for a massive conflagration involving the Western Forests around Lake Tahoe.
Homeowners within and along these forests are freaking out when the forests dry out each Summer, and they have good reason for concern. This 1998 article illustrates that these extreme dangers have been building for quite some time.

Entering the burned area brings us to a nice flat that is high enough above the tree tops to get a good view of Lake Tahoe and its surrounding Basin, for a moment. Above the burned flat we lose the view when drop back into the folds of the densly-forested drainage.

I use the burned flat as a snow camping site, but not during Summer. See the trail guide for more information on hiking plans through here.

We'll be hiking and switchbacking up past various positions along the Eastern flank of this valley for another 1.45 miles past the burned flat up to the Dardanelles Lake trail junction, which will bring us to a total of  2.58 miles South of, and 1280 above, the South Upper Truckee trailhead.

From the Dardanelles Lake junction we have another .81 of a mile to Round Lake. But the recent rerouting of the trail (2008 and on) has likely increased our total hike up to the Big Meadow trail junction by at least a half-mile.


More Information

Trail Guide Pages

Entering Meiss Roadless   Into the Burnt Area  



Meyers to Carson Pass


Miles and Elevations

South Upper Truckee Trailhead to Carson Gap

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