Douglas County High Point Trip Report

East Peak (9,591 ft)

Date: July 9, 2003
Author: Scott Casterlin

Having hiked up several county highpoints which others had driven, we didn't feel too guilty about using the gondola to get to East Peak. Here are some vitals for those using this method to get to East Peak.

On US 50, about two blocks west of the stateline on the south shore of Tahoe, is the Heavenly gondola station in a new little complex of stores, time-shares, and other tourist stuff called Heavenly Village. Park for free at a casino and walk over if you want since parking is limited in the immediate area.

Tickets are $20 and the six-passenger gondolas leave every few seconds. You'll probably be able to have your own gondola since they go so frequently. It's twelve minutes to the top and you should get out first at the Observation Deck stop (9,123 ft) to look at the view since the gondola won't stop there on the way down and the upper, final stop doesn't have a great view.

At the "Top Of The Gondola" (9,136 ft), get off and start your very short hike over to East Peak, visible less than a mile to the NE with little radio towers on top. You may have picked it out from your ascending gondola, too. Follow some green trail markers put in by the ski area to the peak area, walk by a large first aid building, and scramble up rocks to the top.

The top of the Olympic lift is very near. Higher mountains are nearby on the CA side. There's water and snacks at each of the two upper gondola stops.

Gondola hours are 10 a.m. to sunset daily until Sept. 28; 9 a.m. to sunset Friday through Sunday; and, from Sept. 29 to Oct. 26, they're only open Fri-Sun 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. You can get a $4 discount if you join a "Peaks" program.

Heavenly Valley phone is 775-586-7000.