If you didn’t already know – I love hiking!  This past month I was able to knock off a hike on my bucket list and in a part of the U.S. I had yet to truly experience – the West Coast! I hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail in California/Nevada July 13-25. It took 3 resupplies, 12 blisters, lots of ice cream and one toenail falling off and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Each day provided views of immaculate glory and challenges I had only previously experienced on the East coast. Let me tell you, holy dry heat. I expected to consume a lot of water but I did not expect to need to carry so much with me.  There were dry sections of over 20 miles and water sources you wouldn’t dream of touching. I always carry 3 liters but there were parts of the trail where I carried an extra gallon and a half and still only made it to dinner with just enough water to make a cup of hot cocoa/tea. It sounds gross but its mint tea. Trust me, it tastes great.

I used different gear than I did on my previous thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail.  My new gear included: Outdoor Tech Kodiak Power Bank, Goal Zero Nomad 13 Solar Charger for my phone/camera, Kelty TraiLogic SB 32 and a Platypus Gravity Works 2.0 water filter.  I will provide a gear review on this new tech in subsequent posts.

California and Nevada terrain and views are very different from our home mountains in Virginia.  I now can understand pushing through the heat for the west coast views.  I have always admired anyone who pushes themselves beyond their mental and physical limit for the love of the outdoors.  If you are looking for a challenging, state-side hike then consider the Tahoe Rim Trail.  It took me 12 days with a group of friends.  Next time I will see just how fast and how far I can go at it alone.  Happy Trails.

Gear Check:

A view on the Merrell Moab Mid Hiking Shoe: I used my Merrell Moab boots for hiking. I broke them in before taking them onto this trail and they made it the whole way. I will be replacing the insoles with new Merrell insoles but I recommend them to anyone on a budget who needs a mid-size waterproof boot. I did not wear gaters and not one night did I have a rock, piece of stick, or excessive amounts of dirt in my shoe. I think my high socks helped but I also believe the tongue of the shoe is fabricated to hold tight but comfortably against the ankle and it did just that. I loved the extra cushion around the ankle and did not receive any blisters or rubbing around that area. It’s all about that liner.

My Hike:

Day 1: Tahoe City to Walker Lake

Day 2: Walter Lake to Grey Lake

Day 3: Grey Lake to Ophir Creek

Day 4: Ophir Creek to Marlette Lake

Day 5: Marlette Lake to Spooner Lake Overlook

Day 6: Spooner Lake Overlook to South Lake Tahoe City

Zero day in South Lake Tahoe City

Day 7: South Lake Tahoe City to Star Lake

Day 8: Star Lake to Showers Lake

Day 9: Showers Lake to Aloha Lake

Day 10: Aloha Lake to Richardson Lake

11: Richardson Lake to Ward Campsite

Day 12: 7 miles from Ward Campsite to Tahoe City