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.

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Backpack
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water
  • Food for 2 days
  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamp
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RT Distance 14 Miles
Activities Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

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