Backpack Granite Chief (2 Days)

Rate this Adventure Granite Chief Trail

Distance

14 Miles

Activities

Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

A 14 mile out-and-back trek to the top of Tinker Knob. Ascending to an 8,950ft summit with views of the peaks of the Granite Chief Wilderness. Duration: 2 days.

Heading out on the Granite Chief Trail, you'll start with a challenging 3.5 mile hike to meet up with the Pacific Crest Trail. During this part of the trek, you'll gain approximately 2,000ft. The good news is that most of this hike is forested, so you'll get a little coverage to protect from the sun. The few openings you'll cross offer up great views of Lake Tahoe and surrounding peaks. Once you meet the Pacific Crest Trail, at an elevation of 8,200ft, head north to Tinker Knob. If you're beat from the first 3.5 miles, the good news is that the next 3.5 aren't as bad. The trail turns into a slight grade along the top of the ridge until the one challenge - a downhill to uphill climb. Finished that? Great! Now you hit the saddle via a series of switchbacks, leaving a 0.25 mile ascent to the top! The summit of Tinker Knob sits at 8,950ft and shows you surrounding peaks, the American River Canyon, Donner Lake, and Lake Tahoe.

You can spend the night in the Granite Chief Wilderness, so you can choose to camp before the hitting the summit or after depending on when you're looking to make it up. To get back to your car, it's the same route as the approach. If you want a shorter version of this trip, you can park a shuttle car at the Coldstream trailhead near Donner Memorial State Park, which makes this more of a full day hike at 11 miles.

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $63/night

Outsite Heavenly

South Lake Tahoe, California

From $120/night

Falling Waters Oasis

Grass Valley, California

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Distance

14 Miles

Activities

Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

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