Hiking to Ralston Peak

Mt. Ralston Peak Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Xavier Salgado

Distance: 7.0 miles out and back. Duration: A few hours or overnight camping. Elevation gain: 2,735ft (from 6,500 - 9,235ft). Amazing views. Permit required.

Starting at the lower lot it's less than a mile to access the trail. The hike starts off in shade through a lot of red fir forest and continues at a steady upward route. Approximately 45 mins into the hike you'll come across a sign that says you are entering desolation wilderness. The forest will gradually recede as the trail takes you to higher elevation with views of Lovers Leap and Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort. Once you have reached approximately two thirds of the way up, the evergreens clear up to rocky terrain and grasses. The trail becomes less visible at this point, but you should be able to see the summit of the mountain to keep you in route ( the trail is even less visible during the winter months where snow tends to blanket the trails towards higher elevation ).

The views from atop the summit of Mt. Ralston are astonishing and definitely worth the effort of the steep hike. Desolation Wilderness, Echo lake, Mount Tallac, and Lake Tahoe are all within eyesight. Make sure to prepare for this hike with the precaution of weather variables. Temperatures can switch substantially do to the elevation change. Permits are free for daily use but should be obtained before heading into Desolation Wilderness.

Once you are done, hop over to the Strawberry Lodge (Kyburz CA.) for a Tuscan Chicken sandwich (Grilled chicken with roasted Red Pepper, bacon, Romaine lettuce, and pesto aioli) and some house cut french fries or chips.

For the location of this hike google these coordinates: 38.803861,-120.117389

Distance

7 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

2375 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Scenic
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

From $63/night

Outsite Heavenly

South Lake Tahoe, California

From $120/night

Falling Waters Oasis

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From $137/night

White Wolf Lodge

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From $130/night

The Vineyard

Acampo, California

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

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great views and a nice workout

I've never done this in the winter, but it's on my to-do list for backcountry ski trips. However, it makes for a great summer hike to get in some good elevation gain. The views from the top let you see right into the heart of Desolation Wilderness, you can see south all the way to Ebbet's Pass and you can see parts of Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake. Overall a great peak to summit in the Tahoe area.

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