Tahoe Meadows to Brockway Summit


Summary

Difficulty 5 Advanced
Length 11.7 miles one-way
Starting
Elevation
8550 feet
Cumulative
Elevation
Change
+2100, -3650 one-way
Navigation Road, map and compass
Time Very long day
Season Late December through mid-April
Snowmobiles Not permitted in Mt. Rose Wilderness (miles 1.4 through 5.5) and moderate use elsewhere. [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Mount Rose and Martis Peak
Start Southwest end of Tahoe Meadows on Highway 431, 6.6 miles northeast of Highway 28 and 1.5 miles southwest of Mt. Rose Summit.
End Highway 267, 0.5 mile north of Brockway summit. Park in the plowed area on the east side of the road.


Description

Without doubt, this tour along windswept, corniced ridges overlooking dazzling, blue Lake Tahoe is the preeminent “classic” tour in the Tahoe area. The trip starts at Tahoe Meadows on Mt. Rose Highway at 8,550 feet and ends at Brockway Summit at 7,000 feet. Ahhhhhh, a net elevation loss of 1,550 feet. Better yet, after quickly climbing to the tour’s highest point, the remainder of the tour is downhill with short climbs to the several peaks that are traversed.

This tour surpasses the Sugar Bowl to Squaw Valley tour (not yet available in this guide) as the best all-around tour in the Lake Tahoe area because of the combination of terrain and scenery. However, the ridges in this tour, which make this a classic tour, are no place to be in foul weather. Pick a fair weather day so that you can enjoy both the skiing and the views.

There is also one part of the tour that can be downright unsafe when icy or when snow conditions are unstable (see mileage log). Plan your trip accordingly. And while this tour can be done throughout the winter, the time required to complete the tour makes spring the optimum time.

Mileage Log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Miles: 0.0 - 0.5
Elevation change: -150 feet

From the trailhead (1) ski west and descend for a total of 0.5 mile until you reach Third Creek (2).

Miles: 0.5 - 1.4
Elevation change: +900 feet

Cross Third Creek and ascend west, at first on a broad shoulder, for at total of 0.9 mile until you reach a broad saddle (3) located between rocky Peak 9773 and Peak 9561. These two peaks are visible from the starting point.

Miles: 1.4 - 2.0
Elevation change: -50 feet

Traverse around the south side of Peak 9773 for 0.6 mile until you reach a location north and slightly above Mud Lake (4). Start the traverse very close to Peak 9773. There is a sign pointing up the peak at Sullivan Chute — definitely only for crazies. Caution — the traverse is across a steep slope that is not safe when icy or when snow conditions are unstable.

Miles: 2.0 - 2.4
Elevation change: +350 feet

Climb south onto a ridge and then ascend the ridge northwest for a total of 0.4 mile until you reach Rose Knob Peak (5).

Miles: 2.4 - 4.0
Elevation change: +350, -450 feet

Ski west along a ridge for 1.6 miles until you reach Rose Knob (6).

Miles: 4.0 - 4.7
Elevation change: +100, -250 feet

Ski southwest and then west along a ridge, past Peak 9499, for a total of 0.7 mile until you reach the location where the ridge forks (7). Rifle Peak is nearby to the north.

Miles: 4.7 - 5.5
Elevation change: +100, -250 feet

Ski along the ridge that heads southwest (left fork) for 0.8 mile until you reach Mt. Baldy (8).

Miles: 5.5 - 7.0
Elevation change: -800 feet

Descend southwest along the ridge for 0.1 mile and then descend northwest (right) along the ridge for 1.4 miles until you reach the southeast side of a small knob (9).

Miles: 7.0 - 7.4
Elevation change: -50 feet

Ski around the south side of the knob for 0.4 mile until you reach a saddle to the east of Martis Peak (10).

Miles: 7.4 - 7.7
Elevation change: +300 feet

Climb west at a steep angle for 0.3 mile until you reach the summit of Martis Peak (11). A shorter and less steep alternate route is to traverse southwest and intersect Martis Peak’s south ridge and the main route at mileage point 13. This is a good choice if you are tired and/or running out of daylight.

Miles: 7.7 - 7.8
Elevation change: -50 feet

Descend northwest for 0.1 mile until you reach the Martis Peak Lookout (12) where you should find a road .

Miles: 7.8 - 8.5
Elevation change: -300 feet

Ski south on the road for 0.7 mile until you reach a road junction (14) on Martis Peak’s south ridge. From here to the end of the tour you will be on a road well used by skiers and snowshoers. Although snowmobile traffic is not heavy, you are likely to find the road tracked by them.

Miles: 8.5 - 9.8
Elevation change: -700 feet

Turn west (right) and follow the road for 1.3 miles until you reach a flat area (15) where several roads connect and a drainage descends southeast.

Miles: 9.8 - 10.4
Elevation change: -50 feet

Continue to follow the main road south (straight) for 0.6 mile until you reach a road junction (16).

Miles: 10.4 - 11.7
Elevation change: -550 feet

Turn west (sharp right) and descend on the road for 1.3 miles until you reach the Highway 267 (17).

Elevation Profile
Elevation profile
Link to elevation profile
Link to waypoint data
Map 1 for tour Map 2 for tour
Link to full page map
Link to see and submit reviews and corrections about tour