Backpacking in Tahoe National Forest

posted in: Weekend Travel 0
Setting up the tent

Day 1 – 08/13/2012
Monday after work, Kirk and I take the truck & trailer back on the road – and J.T. is on board as well, of course! We’re heading into the Sierra mountains again, following I-80 to Yuba Gap and park the trailer at Lake Spaulding Campground, off Hwy-20 at 5,500 ft elevation. Out of the approx. 13 sites here, we find the perfect spot at site #3 (while using all blocks to level the trailer!).

And if it wasn’t for the trains we hear on and off throughout the night, you’d think we’ve gone off the grid!

Day 2 – 08/14/2012
After closing up the trailer in the morning, the 3 of us leave it behind on its site while we take the truck and our backpacks off-roading … up forest roads 18 and then 14 (rough, dirt, steep and 5 miles long), we cover another 2,000 ft elevation to get to Grouse Ridge Lookout & Trail-head.

We’re soon off to our 4.5 mi trek, down 600 ft elevation, through a meadow and back up again 600 ft elevation (phew, someone’s not all that in shape! or is it just the thin air up here?) and after about 2 1/4 hrs we reach our destination: Glacier Lake.

A family of 3 (plus 2 dogs) had passed us earlier and is now setting up camp on the south side of the lake, but we quickly find a spot for us as well. Not perfect, but good, so we take a quick break and then leaves our bags while we explore the surroundings for a potentially better site. And just a few steps down the rocks, right by the water, we find the perfect site! Suddenly re-energized we grab our gear from where we had left it and get ready to claim our site for the rest of the day and tonight!

It’s a beautiful, warm afternoon and after we set up the tent as well as our “kitchen”, we’re ready to relax, swim in the (chilly) Glacier Lake and relax some more.

Dinner is not all that great … when at 7,500 ft elevation, preparing backpakers food or MREs, you really have to follow the instructions. Otherwise it won’t taste right.

Despite the high elevation, it does not get too cold overnight and we’re fine in the tent without the raincover on. But we sure do miss the memory foam mattress pad we have in the trailer!

Day 3 – 08/15/2012
I’m up early,  and while everyone else around the lake is still asleep, J.T. and I go for a walk exploring the rocky areas around our site and enjoy the beautiful view over the 5 Lakes Basin as the sun is coming up.

Then it’s soon time for breakfast (following the instructions on the bags step by step!) and the site gets packed up again. No trails left behind – and by mid-morning we’re hiking back the way we came the day before.

Never happier to see the truck (it must be the thin air!), we reach the trailhead and climb in for a dirt road ride back to our trailer.

The afternoon is spent with cleaning up (thanks to the water spigot right by our site!) and getting some rest. Tonight we won’t hear any trains … just sound asleep on our soft bed!

(Continue reading – Day 4: Rollins Lake Camping 2012)

Here are the photos!

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