A WEEKEND BACKPACKING

TRIP IN TAHOE NATIONAL FOREST

WHY TAHOE NATIONAL FOREST

Tahoe National Forest (THN) is 871,400+ acres of breathtaking mountains, wildflower meadows & crystal clear reservoirs. It's one of the most popular national forests in the country, and you don't need a permit to explore its backcountry, aka Granite Chief Wilderness. TNF is located northwest of the popular Lake Tahoe, but swap the crowds for climbing the Sierra Buttes, section hiking the Pacific Crest Trail & swimming in the Yuba River. TNF has got it all. 

· Directions To Trailhead

· Check Forest Alerts & Notices

· View TNF's Interactive Visitor Map

TRIP · 3-day backpacking trip

FOR · Pals & new backpackers 

VIBE · Fun & challenging
COST · $

DRIVE · 3.5 hours from SF

IDEAL DATES · May - September
PETS · Welcome on trails & campgrounds!

STUFF YOU
NEED TO KNOW

🚘 The last 12 miles to the trailhead is a bumpy forest service road. It's doable in a car, but 4WD is recommended.

🔥 Apply for & print out a CA campfire permit before your trip. It only takes a few minutes to complete online.

🐻 Welcome to bear country! Rent a bear canister to store your food overnight.

😷 Face masks & social distancing are

    required. Recreate responsibly!

 

ITINERARY

 
DAY TWO
MAKE BREKKIE, PACK UP & PACK OUT 

Top off your water supply, snack up & scan your site for any litter!

     

RETURN TO CROOKED LAKE TRAIL & HIKE TO 5 LAKES BASIN
Hike along Crooked Lake Trail towards Island Lake
- Crooked Lake Trail --> Round Lake Trail 
- Round Lake Trail --> Grouse Ridge Trail 
- Grouse Ridge Trail --> Glacier Lake Trail - Enjoy lunch or a late-afternoon break at Glacier Lake 
- Glacier Lake Trail --> Sand Ridge Trail
 
SET UP CAMP AT 5 LAKES BASIN & UNWIND

What. A. Day. Prep a delicious meal & warm up with your favorite bevvie.

Soak up your last night in Tahoe National Forest. Tomorrow's an early start!

CAMP TO CAMP: 7.5 miles | 1220 ft. of elevation gain | 4 - 5 hours

DAY THREE
COOK UP BREKKIE, PACK UP
& PACK OUT BEFORE 10 AM

Load up your backpack, snacks & refill your water supply for the return hike 
👀 Clean up around camp & throw away any random pieces of litter

TREK BACK TO LINDSEY LAKES TRAILHEAD

Continue hiking along Sand Ridge Trail towards Grouse Ridge Trail

- Grouse Ridge Trail --> Round Lake Trail

- Round Lake Trail --> Carr Lake Campground --> Walk along Forest Service Road 17 

- FS Road 17 --> Lindsey Lakes (see map for directions)

HEAD HOME!
CAMP TO CAR: 7.1 miles | 728 ft. of elevation gain | 4 - 5 hours
 
ESSENTIALS
CLOTHING
ACCESSORIES

GEAR

 
DAY ONE

Dinner

WILD ZORA SUMMIT SAVORY CHICKEN

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Vegetarian recipes

Dessert

PACKIT GOURMET BANANA PUDDING

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Gluten-free recipes

FOOD

DAY ONE
LEAVE SF BY 10 AM & SWING BY
IKEDA'S COUNTRY MARKET FOR LUNCH

Located at 13500 Lincoln Way in Auburn, CA

Locals love their chicken pot pie & fruit pies!

Open everyday | 9 AM - 7 PM

LAST PIT STOP · 76 - 25 Canyon Creek Road, Dutch Flat
 

DRIVE TO LINDSEY LAKES TRAILHEAD
BEGIN YOUR BACKCOUNTRY ADVENTURE

Hike along Lindsey Lake Road towards Rock Lake

- Lindsey Lake Road --> Lindsey Lake Trail 

- Lindsey Lake Trail --> Crooked Lake Trail
 

ARRIVE AT PENNER LAKE & SET UP CAMP

Set up your tent on the NE side of the lake, and treat yo' self to a late-afternoon snack. OR if you're feeling ambitious, scramble up the ridge for a brilliant view!

Prep dinner, dessert & enjoy an evening of relaxing & stargazing. You made it!

CAR TO CAMP: 4.5 miles |1040 ft of elevation gain | 2.5 hours

GIVE A LITTLE, GAIN A LOT

Your experiences camping in Tahoe National Forest helps everyone have a safe & memorable time in nature. Tell us how your trip went & bonus points if you used this itinerary!

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LAST UPDATED: April 19, 2021

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READY TO GO CAMPING?

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