Monday, June 23, 2008

Tahoe Rim Trail - Brockway Summit to Tahoe City - June 22

In the morning, we packed up our horses from our camp spot at Spooner Summit and headed to Brockway Summit. We pulled off on the dirt road right about 1/8th mile past the TRT trail head parking on 276 at the top of the Summit - it has some antennas, weather stations, and leads to Robie Park. We found a good vacant lot that had a Sierra Pacific sign on it and parked in there, about 100' from 267. We were the only vehicle at 8 am on a Sunday.

We saddled up and headed towards Tahoe City. This time, we did not drop provisions as we heard there is plenty of grass and water in the Truckee River. But we did pack lots of water again, for fear there may not be much on this segment either.

The trail winded through lovely forests that gave us sporadic, but majestic, Lake views. Within 5 miles, we can to Watson Creek which provided the horses with water and grass and a break. So far, the footing has been nice forest floor - dirt - with moderate grades, so we trotted a bit more on this section since it is a lot longer at 19.2 miles. Within a mile or so, we arrived at Watson Lake. We didn't stay long since the horses and PacMan both had a good drink and break at the creek. I noticed a turn off trail between the creek and the lake, and I though this was the trail that would connect you to Robie Park. Yes, that was the case when I looked at the map afterwards. That would be a fantastic place to park if you didn't want to do the whole 165 miles as Logan and I intend.

After Watson Lake, the high spot for the day, we went downhill for a while and started to see more bike traffic. Turns out that this is one of the nicest places to bike on the whole TRT. I can understand that as the footing and grades for the horses was fantastic as well. The view of Lake Tahoe were so amazing as we switchbacked down.

At the headwaters of Burton Creek, we found more green grass and a few water holes. I am afraid if you wait a few more weeks that water will disappear. Heading towards Painted Rock, we got the most spectacular views of the Truckee River Canyon, and Squaw Valley, and Granite Chief and the rest of the Crystal Range. The granite on the mountains is so massive.

Coming around Cinder Cone we encountered some of the most rockiest trail I have ever seen. Shale, pumice, lots and lots of smaller rocks. I took lots of photos so that you can see for yourself. I didn't boot up PacMan because he looked fine over the rocks, but at the first sign of soreness, we were ready with his boots. The rock section is probably about 3-4 miles long as you head into Tahoe City, and I mean it is rocky. Good thing each horse had on Epics on all 4 hooves.

Once we arrived at Tahoe City, we headed towards the Truckee River to get water, but we noticed that HW 89 was in the way. So I found a nice grassy area and let the horses eat. Logan got in the cab and had the rig back within an hour. Cab ride cost $50. A lovely woman who lives near the trail head stopped to talk with me the whole time Logan was gone, and she helped hold the horses and get them untacked. Then we headed home after a quick bite to eat.

This section was started at 8:30 and finished at 4:30. We walked through the rocks, and trotted some on the good footing. I just really love the views so we went slower than some would take it. TONS OF WILDFLOWERS this time of year!

Dogs: PacMan did fine. We carried water for him and offered it to him every hour. We took a couple 30 minute breaks in the middle for him to rest. I though he woul have a problem on the rocky section, but no worries. Of course, he has a gravel driveway and a lot of the trails we ride on are graveled, so his pads are really tough. I would recommend dog boots for the rocky sections for most dogs.

Other Trail Users: Lots of Mountain Bikes. Maybe 30? Limited hikers, perhaps 10?


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