Tag: hiking

Discover This Hidden Hike In Peru’s Forgotten Incan Refuge

Peru is a hiker’s dream as the country is a blend of various geographies and biomes. Deserts, jungle, windswept coast, and more clash together. As a hiker, you can expect to experience deep ravines and fast running rivers first hand, but the best reason for hiking in Peru is the Andes. 

Pushing Past The Foothills Of The Andes

These are the mountains that makeup fantasy worlds, except they exist in South America just waiting for someone to explore. Although the mountains in Peru are the foothills of the Andes many of their peaks stretch up to 20,000 feet tall over a comparably small area.

To visit this hidden refuge in Peru, you must hike about 40-miles in total, looping back to the start location. Initially, the hike takes explorers through a high-altitude desert and then into a tropical forest in the mountains. At about 10,000 feet you officially enter the foothills of the Andes. The hike keeps away from the more significant peaks, and this hike is one of the best ways to experience standing in the shadow of a mountain. 

Many of those who have made their hikes up to Machu Pichu can attest that spending days among the greenery that makes up the many folds of these mountains is life changing. Most of the hike will take place nestled into the ridges of the Andes, navigating with the ravines and the high mountain ridges.

Machu Picchu Has A Little Sister

The purpose of this hike is to find the final refuge of the Incas, a Citadel in Choquequirao. The Incas, a not-forgotten but still ancient culture which left many clues of their way of life. The Incan empire dates from about 1438 to 1532 AD and the construction as well as agricultural plotting shows the advancement of the Incas who began settling this expansive land.

Although many people make their way to Peru every year to climb the magnificent mountains and step foot into the mysterious Machu Picchu, there are more unanswered questions about Choquequirao. 

The Inca Emporer Pachacuti commissioned Choquequirao for unknown purposes although the Citadel makes it clear there is some divine presence. It is clear to historians that this same Emporer called for the establishment of Machu Picchu for religious purposes, but the fact that Choquequirao is so far from the rest of the Inca settlements baffles researchers. 

Choquequirao translates to “Cradle of Gold” and sits near a small village on the very edge of Cusco that is nearly impossible to access. Hiking to Choquequirao is a daunting task that has no modern conveniences or guidance.

How Choquequirao Was Found And Then Found Again

The trails are as challenging to walk today as they were nearly 500 years ago when the Incas sought their last place of refuge from invading Spaniards. To get to Choquequirao hikers must use the trails set out by the Incas. After the Incas used these paths in the mid-1500s, they would sit untouched and growing wild until 1909.

Hiram Bingham III found Choquequirao, unfortunately for the many explorers of the world, when he discovered Machu Picchu, he forgot all about this city on the edge of the world. It’s no doubt that the stunning sight that sat between curtailed mountaintops grabbed his attention. Choquequirao would sit forgotten again until 1968. 

For explorers the lore of the Incas fall in less than 100 years and the wild nature that has overtaken it make Choquequirao a must-see location. 

Machu Picchu has gone through an assault from the overload of visitors, and now literally sinks into the hills of the Andes. The nature that bloomed and thrived there is dying from pollution and human presence. All the while that Machu Picchu was becoming known as the explorer’s paradise, Choquequirao was making its way onto the Official Register of Archaeological Monuments. 

Hiking Up To Choquequirao

As with many of these mountain trails that run through untamed regions of nature, it’s always best to hire a local guide. Be sure that before hiking up to Choquequirao you know you’re in peak physical condition as the altitudes are high and the hike is demanding.

Any local guide should have a wealth of knowledge about the flora, fauna, local culture, and Inca history or lore. Although all anyone can do is speculate about the purpose of Choquequirao’s existence, many guides can offer insight into the advancements and agricultural methods that the Incas brought to our world.

Choquequirao is known as the edge of the world, although when you finally hit the top of your climb, you’ll realize it doesn’t have all the finality the weight of its nickname carries. Standing at the entrance to Choquequirao you have an unremarkable overlook of the Andes. 

Take In Everything Before You Go

The trail takes a turn that requires patience and caution. The way down is through a stairway path that is nearly a vertical descent and goes on for about 50 stories. 

At the bottom you enter the Rio Apurimac, pass the Playa Rosalina and enter a small farming community. You continue through many farming towns and a massive amount of untouched wilderness. 

The citadel is small, and it’s no doubt that this refuge wasn’t planned to act as the last place of hiding for the Inca people. Before leaving, be sure to observe the small details in craftsmanship as well as the stunning views. Use your imagination to recreate pilgrims making this great journey, as well as the last wave of Incas retreating here for safety. 

Don’t forget to see the Llamas del Sol or to walk among the many other terraces. One of the perks of making this hike is the ability to visit Choquequirao both in the day and night. Many explorers love to camp in the citadel and gaze at the open sky above them. 

Because Choquequirao has gone through waves of restoration, you can see where rebar is present for doorway reconstruction. These days Choquequirao is still a location that only explorers have any interest in and has not seen half the attention that Machu Picchu could have in a year. Who knows how long Choquequirao will stay empty.

First Woman Completes The Calendar-Year Triple Crown Hiking Trip

Only five men have ever managed to complete the adventurous Triple Crown of hiking—the longest, most treacherous hike of all time—in less than 365 days. For many, traveling across the globe in this short length of time is an impossible feat, but the first woman has just completed the Triple Crown, in a record-breaking 251 days.

The Most Gorgeous, Intense Hike Ever

The Triple Crown is the most intense hike ever invented. In order to complete the journey, one must hike the 2,190-mile Appalachian, 2,650-mile Pacific Crest, and 3,100-mile Continental Divide trails. Each trail normally takes five or six months to complete, allowing the average hiker up to three years to attempt the Triple Crown.


But the most adventurous hikers, they attempt to walk each trail in one year—a challenge known as the Calendar-Year Triple Crown. This would be one of the most gorgeous travels, and on November 8, the first woman, Heather “Anish” Anderson, became the sixth person to complete this feat.

Famous For Her Hikes

Anderson is a recognizable name with hikers. Before her recent trip, she’d already attempted the Trip Crown two times. She broke the record for Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail.


But she wasn’t going to stop there. She was determined to complete the Triple Crown in less than a year to honor the 50th anniversary of the National Trail System Act, an act to establish trails in urban and rural settings for people of all ages, interests, skills, and physical abilities.

Anderson said, “These trails have been really important in my life and in my hiking career.”

A Question Before She Left

Anderson’s hiking trip began on the Appalachian Trail on March 1, 2018. But before she could begin her journey, her boyfriend had an important question for her.


He proposed to her on Springer Mountain right when the couple reached the top. He had to ask her to marry him before the dangerous trip, and she happily said yes.

Beginning The Long Trek

After the proposal, Anderson started walking, first north on the Appalachian Trail until May, exiting at the Connecticut River in New Hampshire. Then, she spent a few weeks on the Continental Divide trails before starting on the Pacific Crest Trail, where she walked with her fiancé as he worked to complete his first Triple Crown.


In August, the couple continued south in Glacier National Park to northern Colorado. Then, in October, they were back to the Appalachian Trail to walk south from Maine to New Hampshire before making her way through the Midwest to Colorado again.

Then, Anderson hiked her last few miles on November 8 to her final destination: Grants, New Mexico.

Overcoming The Challenges

Anderson’s trip wasn’t easy. While you would think the terrains would be dangerous (and they were), the real challenge was the severe weather conditions. Spring and fall months are hazardous seasons in the mountains. Anderson faced icy rain, flooding, thunderstorms, and more.

But no matter what conditions she faced, Anderson successfully completed the Calendar-Year Triple Crown on November 8, in a record-breaking 251 days, 20 hours, and 10 minutes. She was obviously relieved to accomplish her goal.


Now, she can enjoy controlled climates, regular showers, write a book, and start planning her wedding.

5 Hiking Boots To Keep You Warm This Winter

Is it possible to hike during the cold winter months? If you ask an avid hiker, they will agree there is nothing better than being outdoors in the winter season, walking in the snow and being surrounded by nature.

But it can be difficult to find the best hiking boots and snow boots to safely navigate the sleet and snowy weather conditions. Luckily, we have gathered five comfortable, sturdy boots to take on your next hiking trip. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors.

Perfect For Frozen Puddles

For navigating icy trails, we recommend the Garmont Momentum WP Mid. The specialized boots grip onto frozen puddles, hard-packed snow, and slush. According to one reviewer, “I never had to grab the nearest tree to hold myself up.”

With a rubber outsole, the boots are studded with tiny fiberglass particles, which provide perfect traction on the slickest hiking trails. The boots also warm your toes on the coldest winter days. A thin strip of webbing wraps around the boot’s heel and cinches tightly, comforting your toes for a snug fit.

Best Pick For Mountain Climbers

These boots are for the most skilled hikers. The La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX appeals to mountain climbers, but it’s also attractive to the more amateur hikers. While it’s not the warmest boot on our list, the boots have insulated lining, which provides more heat during the winter season.

The Extreme is lighter than most boots, offering more comfort on the longest ice and mountain-climbing adventures. The boots are compatible with every hiker. If you believe there’s a hiking boot for everyone, this is the boot for you.

Something Special For Trail Runners

Who says you can’t run in the winter months? The Salewa Speed Beat Gore-Tex is the perfect running shoe to handle harsh weather conditions. The shoe’s rubber Pomoca outsole withstood slush and muddy conditions.

If you’re preparing for a treacherous trail run, don’t worry. The Speed Beat’s durability will assist in your travels. Even if you’re running at a fast rate with rocks and debris, the shoes have a snug heel, so you’ll never slip.

Perfect for Snowy Hikes

Maybe you love to hike in the snow, but you’re unsure about the best boots to wear for the snow-covered trails. The Keen Terradora Wintershell boot keeps your toes snug and warm without excess bulk, making it popular for female customers.

The boots are made of charcoal bamboo insulation, making them warm, but they’re the lightest shoes on our list. If they get wet, they dry faster than others with its waterproof membrane.

Just Like Bedroom Slippers

You probably don’t think hiking and snow boots can feel like your bedroom slippers, but that was before you wore the Danner Mountain 600 Insulated winter boots. The boots have a fleece lining, adding a sense of comfort unseen in other boots.

Rubber in the boot’s midsole adds more durability, and a waterproof membrane keeps your feet dry. So, even if you’re hiking in the deepest snowfields, your feet will stay warm and snug in the best snow boots this winter season.

Grand Canyon National Park Is Turning 100: Everything You Need to Know to Plan Your Adventure

A backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. And with the park turning 100 years old in 2019, there’s no better time to take the plunge.

Centennial events planned throughout 2019 will guarantee plenty to do–but you can expect the crowds to be much larger than usual as well. In a normal year, the park gets more than 6.25 million visitors in all, so it’s always hopping. But don’t let that deter you from your hiking adventure–most guests never move beyond Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim.

There, you can find scenic overlooks, self-guided tours, the visitor center–and plenty of camping supplies, in case you forgot anything. Once you’ve moved onto the park’s 358 miles of breathtaking trails, you’ll have plenty of space to yourself.

Here’s how to make the most of your time in this astonishing destination:

Things To Know

The Grand Canyon is split into three distinct areas: The South Rim, the North Rim, and the West Rim. The West Rim is technically on Hualapai Indian land and is not part of the park, therefore it requires a separate entrance fee.

With its sweeping views, a wide variety of guest services, and nearby lodging, the South Rim is by far the most popular Grand Canyon destination–but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best. Many visitors prefer the more heavily-wooded North Rim for its undisturbed nature and pristine trails, while others want to experience the West Rim’s popular SkyWalk.

Grand Canyon SkyWalk at the West Rim

No matter what, it’s important to remember that the Grand Canyon is in the desert. As such, a trip during the summer months can be deathly hot. While it tends to be cooler at the top, temperatures at the bottom of the canyon typically exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit between the months of June and August. If you absolutely must take your trip during the hottest season of the year, head to the North Rim, where it’s roughly ten degrees cooler than the South Rim.

It is also worth noting that all park amenities on the North Rim are closed from November through April, and the road into the park closes in December. If you plan on visiting during that time, you will need to hike, snowshoe, or otherwise manually transport yourself in.

The North Rim offers views that most visitors never get to experience

Permit System

No matter when you plan your trip, be prepared to fill out some paperwork. Like many of the nation’s more popular parks, Grand Canyon National Park is notorious for making it difficult to secure the proper permits–and sometimes it doesn’t even matter how much you prepare. Many adventures, such as camping in the backcountry or spending the night at the Phantom Ranch at the canyon’s bottom, require winning a lottery to get a permit–so once you’ve entered, it’s all up to chance.

The Camping Basics

Camping anywhere below the rim requires a backcountry permit. To apply for one, you need to fill out an application form. Officials will want to know your desired route, estimated daily hiking milages, and nightly campsites. The National Park Service recommends submitting your application no later than the first of the month that is four months prior to your desired start date. The cost is $10 per permit, plus $8 per person per night in the canyon.

These permits are, again, issued lottery-style–so submitting one does not guarantee that you’ll get your desired camping spot (or any spot). In addition, the park service says to allow up to three weeks for processing, so don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back right away.

There’s also the chance that the park service may contact you asking for more information. If you’re a solo hiker, officials will want to know your emergency contacts, the color, and style of your gear, and your desert hiking experience. They may also try to dissuade you–especially if you apply for a camping permit during the summer months.

What happens if you don’t get your permit?

If you don’t get chosen in the lottery, or you just forget to submit your application on time, there are several things you can do:

  • Show up at the park’s backcountry office. There’s always the chance that another camper had to cancel and their permit is now up for grabs. If you show up at the park’s office, you may be able to snag one. Unfortunately, for those who have to travel a long distance to get to the canyon, this is often not an option.
  • Get on the waitlist. If you show up at the backcountry office and there aren’t any permits available, the rangers can give you a waitlist number. The next morning, they will start issuing permits at 8 am, starting with #1 on the list, until they run out. If your number doesn’t get called, you can get back on the list for the following day, with a lower number.
  • Take a day hike. Hiking the Grand Canyon for a day may not be your dream trip, but it’s still an amazing experience. If you can snag a hotel room nearby, stay for a few days and choose a different route each morning.

Hiking The Grand Canyon

If you’re planning a day hike and want to avoid the crowds, check out the Cape Final Trail on the North Rim.  Due to the trail’s remote location crowds are sparse, and it offers some of the best views on that side of the canyon. At only four miles roundtrip, it should only take about two hours total, even for a hiking novice. Fun fact: it is possible to camp on the Cape Final Trail, but officials only offer one permit per night! If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on it, you’ll have the whole trail to yourself for the evening!

Views of the Grand Canyon from the South Rim Hermit Trail

If you’re on the South Rim, try the Hermit Trail. Conditions are tougher than some of the more popular trails, but you’re rewarded for your work with spectacular vista views and stops at not one, but two, natural springs. From the trailhead to Santa Maria Springs is 4.5 miles round trip, and from the trailhead to Dripping Spring is 6.5 miles.

For overnight trips, try the South Rim’s Kaibab Trail. As the most direct route to the canyon floor, it can get a little crowded, but it’s worth it. While most canyon trails follow inner canyons, Kaibab sticks to the ridgelines, offering incredible views. As you near the bottom, you’ll encounter the Kaibab Suspension Bridge–a great spot to stop for pictures and take in the splendor of the rushing Colorado River. The downside? There is little to no shade or water for the length of the trail, so you’ll have to pack a lot (or rent a mule).

Of course, the mother of all hikes is going rim to rim. That means hiking down own side, crossing the river, and climbing back up the other side. While it is possible to complete it in one day (the current record is 2 hours and 39 minutes), most people choose to stop overnight at least once. At a total of 21-miles, half of it uphill, it can be brutal on the knees if you try to do it all at once! Once you reach the other side, you’ll have to arrange for a friend to pick you up or grab a ride with the Trans-Canyon Shuttle for $90.

It’s also worth noting that if you’re interested in a guided hike, the Grand Canyon Field Institute offers several fantastic options. For many first-timers who aren’t familiar with desert hiking or the local environment, this is a great jumping-off point.

Camping In The Grand Canyon

There’s something to be said about getting away from city lights and spending a night under the stars. If you don’t camp at the Grand Canyon, you’re missing out on half the fun. After all, the colors that paint the sky at nighttime are breathtaking–and best experienced from a tent on a remote trail in the middle of nowhere. Even better? Snagging a permit for a weekend with a full moon.

While summer months see temperatures soar over 100℉, winter storms often bring snow to the canyon’s upper elevations.

Whether you’re staying on the South Rim or the North, there are plenty of great places to pitch a tent (or park a trailer). Here are just a few of the options:

South Rim

  • Mather Campground: Mather is the park’s largest campground and is open year-round. It’s centrally located near stores and museums in Grandy Canyon Village and offers easy access to lots of trails. As the park’s most popular campground, sites fill up fast–so be sure to book at least six months in advance.
  • Desert View Campground: If you don’t want to be near the hustle and bustle of the Village, Desert View might be more your style. Located near the entrance and removed from all the commotion, it offers a more rustic camping experience. Sites are first come, first serve, so show up early if you want to grab a spot.
  • Trailer Village: Trailer Village is the choice for RV campers who want hookups. The campground is concessioner-operated but located next to Mather in Grand Canyon Village. Sites can be reserved in advance.

North Rim

  • North Rim Campground: North Rim is the only campground located within the park on this side of the canyon. Sites are located close to the visitor center and hiking trails and offer plenty of amenities. Reservations are required.
  • Jacob Lake Campground: This campground is run by the National Forest Service, but is not located within the park. Located just outside, sites are comfy and offer amenities. Some can be reserved in advance, others are first come, first serve.
  • DeMotte Campground: Another National Forest campground, closer to the park entrance than Jacob Lake, but with fewer amenities. Some sites can be reserved.


If you want to camp in the backcountry, it’s a little more complicated. There are three main types of camping areas, including:

Corridor Use Area — The corridor use area is made up of three trails (Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, North Kaibab Trail) and three campgrounds (Indian Garden Campground, Bright Angel Campground, and Cottonwood Campground). These have facilities, like toilets, water spigots, and ranger stations. This area is recommended for campers without previous Grand Canyon experience.

Designated Sites — The slightly more remote use areas that are still well-traveled have “designated sites.” These have pit toilets and marked campsites.

At-Large Camping — Some use areas have “at-large camping.” These have no campsites or facilities. You choose where you camp, within the boundaries of the zone.


There really is no “best way” to hike the Grand Canyon. The trip you take will depend on your level of experience, who you’re traveling with, and your desired Grand Canyon experience. No matter how you do it, it’s a journey not to be missed.

Tackle Hiking The Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim

The Grand Canyon is indeed a natural wonder of the world. This ancient picturesque gorge measures 277 miles in length, 18 miles wide, and over a mile in depth. Outdoor enthusiasts have trained for the pure purpose of challenging their bodies to cover the Grand Canyon from rim to rim. Only a small percentage of visitors to the Grand Canyon, come with the mission to either hike or run the distance of the landmark from rim to rim. Breathtaking sights, hidden dangers from wildlife, and extreme changes in temperature and sea level are all part of the hiking adventure. Hiking or running rim to rim should not be taken lightly, and the canyon deserves the utmost respect.

Choose Your Destiny

The Grand Canyon has four different points of interest, with different trails for you to hike or run. Ideally, if you wish to traverse the Grand Canyon from rim to rim, it is better to start from the Northern Rim and work your way toward the Southern Rim. Most hikers will prepare themselves to cover about 21 to 23 miles on foot, which can be completed in a day, or over several days for comfort. The Northern Rim receives a lot less foot traffic and has fewer accommodations, but it is cooler and less crowded than the Southern Rim.

It is best not to hike or run alone but to bring a friend in case of a mountain lion attack, fatigue, or injury. When venturing rim to rim, it is better to take Bright Angel Trail instead of the South Kaibab Trail. Bright Angel has rest stops along the path like Indian Garden, where you can find respite from the heat in the shade, use toilets, refill your water bottle, or visit the ranger station. Make sure to plan ahead regarding lodging if you are going to take more than a day to travel rim to rim. Leave emergency information and your itinerary with a loved one, as there is no cell service.

Go The Distance

Prepare yourself mentally and physically before surmounting the challenge of hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim. Typically, hikers can take an average of 9 to 14 hours to complete the distance. It is best to attempt a rim to rim hike or run during mid-May close to May 15th or visit the canyon in September. During these two times of the year, the temperatures are a bit more bearable, especially if you start your hike from the cooler North at a higher elevation. Try to start hiking early, so you can sit out the hottest part of the day in the shade. Beware of hiking in “the box” which is where you enter the Inner Gorge from the North Kaibab Trail. Temperatures in the canyon can easily reach 100 degrees to 120 degrees.

Record holders like runner Tim Freriks managed to travel rim to rim in 2 hours 39 minutes and 38 seconds, covering 21 miles. Female runner Cat Bradley ran the distance of rim to rim to rim in 7 hours 52 minutes and 20 seconds. Condition yourself for the physical challenge of the Grand Canyon and train for at least 12 months in advance if you are not in top shape. Pack a daypack weighing no more than 30 pounds, and carry snacks that cover protein, carbohydrates, and electrolyte needs. Make sure to have at least a minimum of 3 liters of water to stay hydrated, and prepare to stop at rest stops to refill. The risk of dehydration, heat stroke, rattlesnake bites, scorpion stings, or being ill-prepared is real.

Health Risks And Hydration

As you hike along the Grand Canyon from rim to rim, you will encounter a descent in sea level, and then the challenge of climbing back out to higher elevation. Your heart, muscles, and fluid levels will be challenged by plummeting temperatures or sweltering heat depending on the time of year and your location in the canyon. It is easy to underestimate how much electrolytes and water your body can lose through sweating, leading to the risks of severe fatigue, dehydration, or hyponatremia.

Ranger stations are located at Indian Garden and Phantom Ranch year round, so it is best to get acquainted with their position along your chosen route. Know the signs of dehydration, and be prepared with extra water bottles, a water bladder, and a first-aid kit in case of emergency. Every hiker is responsible for their health and safety and should avoid hiking in the high heat at specific locations where there is no shade or water available. It is best practice to drink half or one quart of water or electrolyte-based fluids every hour of your hike to replenish what your body loses.

Prepare Your Mind And Body

Hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim requires mental fortitude and physical conditioning. Train your body for the event by doing 20-mile endurance runs, and strengthen your legs for ascending the canyon with squats and lunges. You will want to do research ahead of time to plan your route and grab the right gear. Stock up on waterproof sunscreen, lip balm with SPF, and sunglasses with adequate UV protection. You can refill your water bottles at Cotton Ranch, Phantom Spring, 3 Mile House, or other rest stops.

When hiking, you may want to change clothes once you become drenched with sweat, or if you need to layer up because of dropping temperatures. Pack an extra hat, pairs of socks, electrolyte capsules, water, and ready-to-eat protein bars, trail mix, and healthy salty carbs. Make sure the hiking boots you wear have already been broken in to prevent blisters, and make the trek more comfortable on your feet and legs. It is best to wear cotton t-shirts for layering and keep a first-aid kit handy for minor injuries.

Majestic Beauty And Wonder

The Grand Canyon attracts thousands of visitors during its visiting hours, and many beautiful pictures of the landmark are taken at its Southern Rim. The Southern Rim is 7,000 feet above sea level and is usually where many first-time visitors come to glimpse a view of the gorge. If you don’t mind crowds and are looking for plenty of amenities to start, you can begin your descent into the canyon, hiking rim to rim from the South. If you visit Grand Canyon West, located on the Hualapai Indian Tribal Lands, you can check out the views on the skywalk, or visit the nearby Havasu Falls.

The Grand Canyon East is known for Horseshoe Bend, where you can take a picture of the scenic Colorado River in the background. The Northern Rim is a lot quieter because it is at a higher elevation of 8,000 feet, has fewer amenities and nearby lodging, and sees heavy snowfall. The Northern Rim is a peaceful start to a rim to rim hike and is open only from mid-May to mid-October.

Everything You Need To Know About Hiking The Tahoe Rim Trail

Ready to plan your Lake Tahoe adventure? The 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail is one of the best ways to reach the more remote vistas, peaks, and lakes. It’s open to hikers, bikers, and equestrians for most of its length–and it’s an epic journey. From hemlock forests to volcanic rock, there’s something new to see around every bend of the trail.

Below is all the information you need to make the most of your trek, from stats and planning to camping and supplies. Let’s get going!

Everything You Need To Know About The Tahoe Rim Trail

  • There is no “average time” for completing the entire trail on foot–it depends on your personal level of fitness and experience.
  • Most hikers tend to complete the trail clockwise, but you can go in either direction.
  • Summertime temperatures vary, but highs tend to be around 70 degrees and lows around 40 to 50 (also note that snow and freezing temperatures can happen at any time of year!)
  • The trail is well-marked and easy to stick to, but only major junctions have signs. Experts recommend carrying a topographic map and compass, even if you are using a GPS device.
  • Snow tends to melt by June but sometimes hangs around as late as August. Check the trail conditions page for information.
  • Fires are generally prohibited, so make sure you pack plenty of layers to keep you warm!

Hiking The Tahoe Rim Trail

The Tahoe Rim Trail is known for being one of the most scenic and accessible thru-hikes in the country. But despite its ease-of-use, any 10-15 day hike still requires some forethought. Here’s what you need to know:

Getting Permits

Most of the trail is accessible without permits, but any trail users entering Desolation Wilderness will need to obtain a permit.

  • Permits for day use are self-issued and available at all trailheads entering the wilderness.
  • Permits for camping are issued through a quota system and must be obtained in advance through recreation.gov or in person at the USFS visitor center.


The Tahoe Rim Trail is a loop, so you start and end up in the same place. There are 10 official trailheads and half of them are clustered around South Lake Tahoe. It is recommended to start in either of the two major cities that border the lake (Tahoe City or South Lake Tahoe) so you can stop in the other one halfway around to resupply. Note: it is not recommended to park longterm at any of the trailheads.

When To Hike

If you want to attempt a thru-hike, July through September is the recommended timeframe. The trail is open yearlong, but some sections are closed in winter. In addition, trails are not marked for winter use and snowpack will likely obscure any signage.

Camping On The Tahoe Rim Trail

When planning any multi-day hike, it’s helpful to plan out your camping destinations in advance. Some of the more popular camping sites include:

  • Watson Lake: A popular destination for both hikers and car campers, but it offers a little less solitude than some other spots.
  • Marlette Peak: This location might be in the backcountry, but it has a vault toilet, picnic tables, and fire rings!
  • Star Lake: At 9,100 feet, this spot offers some unbeatable views.

Note: always have a backup in mind in case you arrive at your ideal location and it’s already occupied.

Where To Resupply

The goal of most backpackers is to carry the lightest ruck possible while still being well-supplied. In that spirit, there are a few places you can stop along the trail to stock up (instead of trying to jam everything into your pack from the get-go).

Tahoe City post office: Sending your own gear and supplies in advance to be held at the post office is one of the oldest hiker trips in the books. Just put the package in your name and mark it to be held for general delivery. Alpenglow Sports is another convenient location that will allow for package pickup.

Spooner Summit: If you have someone local that can meet you at the top, it’s a great place to resupply as it’s the midway point through the east shore.


The Tahoe Rim Trail is an amazing experience whether you’re attempting a thru-hike for the first time or you’re an old-timer–ensure your hike is a success by doing a little planning and keeping an open mind.

Biolite Energy: Innovative Camping Gear

Biolite Energy sells really unique products across the board. There aren’t a lot of companies that produce multi-purpose stoves. But impressively, Biolite does. The Camp Stove 2 and the Cook Stove both use superb engineering to use the heat that’s generated by the stove to charge a battery (which ultimately you can use to charge your electronics).

Biolite’s impressive use of renewable biomass and solar energy makes their products significantly more sustainable than most camp gear. Rather than tossing batteries that have a limited life, Biolite technology offers a ton of reusable camping options.

The company’s goal is to bring energy everywhere™, and they’re planning on doing it in a sustainable way. And they’re succeeding. Not only has Biolite Energy transformed camping as we know it, they’re having a global impact by bringing this technology to far away places. Because energy isn’t just a convenience, it’s also related to health, climate change and overall growth. So what products do they sell?

Biolite Highlights
1-year limited warranty
Biolite stoves use renewable biomass (sticks, pine cones)
Dunk proof batteries

Biolite’s Camp Stove 2

Camp Stove 2
Biolite Camp Stove 2

MSRP: $129.95
Weight: 2.06 lbs (935 g)

I had the opportunity to take the CampStove 2, the Kettle Pot and their Coffee Press out to Utah for about a month.

These products never ceased to surprise me with their efficiency. All of this gear packs down to an impressively small size (you can put the stove and coffee press inside the kettle pot).

The Cook Stove

MSRP: $79.95
Weight: 1.6 lbs

The Cook Stove is the older version of the Camp Stove 2. While it’s still incredibly impressive, it’s a little less efficient than the Camp Stove 2.

The dashboard is a little bit different than the Camp Stove 2’s dashboard. And it produces about 50% less energy. But it still offers the same type of innovation.

The Base Camp Stove

MSRP: $199.95
Weight: 17.92 lbs

The Base Camp Stove uses all of the same concepts as the Cook Stove and the Camp Stove 2. It’s just a bigger stove. So you can use small pieces of firewood and branches to fuel your stove. This option would be best used in a long-term camping or backyard setting.

Stove Accessories

Coffee Press – $14.95

Kettle Pot – $49.95

Portable Grill – $59.95


Biolite brings some game-changing options to the table when it comes to power. Varying from efficient solar panels to rechargeable batteries, these products make your journey a lot easier.

Solar Panels

Solar Panel
Solar Panel 10+


Solar Panel 5+
5 Watt panel. You can charge all of your basic electronics using a panel like this.

Solar Panel 5
Removes the battery for a minimal option. Powers phones, tablets, basic electronics. 12 ounces. USB port.

Solar Panel 10+
This setup offers 10 watts of usable electricity.

Biolite Batteries

Charge 40
Biolite Charge 40

Charge 10, 20 and 40
2600 mAh- 10400 mAh

Biolite has a number of rechargeable batteries that vary in size and weight. And they’re all very competitive with similar products.

Biolite Energy’s Lighting Options

While you can always go with a traditional headlamp when you’re on an adventure, it’s kind of exciting to know that there are products like lanterns and solar homes to add a sustainable twist.

$24.95 – $129.95 The new SunLight is self-reliant. It packs down easily. Other lantern options have rechargeable batteries. All of them are above average in terms of efficiency and re-usability.

String Lights
$19.95 – $29.95 Varying from string lights to a little orb, these are a nice option for adding some style and efficient lighting to your setup.

Biolite Solar Home
The Biolite Solar Home

Solar Home 620
$149.95  The Solar Home 620 is a bundle of a bunch of products. The package includes a solar-powered light, a battery, and a radio. It’s basically your home away from home.

Final Thoughts About Biolite Camp Gear

The cool thing about BioLite’s products is that they complement each other very well. Meaning you could use one of their batteries to power their lights. And if you’re using a stove, you can use the heat to power the battery. The engineering of these products is second to none.

Biolite’s line of energy-optimizing products are really innovative. If you spend a decent amount of time road tripping or backpacking in groups, the weight and cost of this gear is totally worth it.


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