Washoe County High Point Trip Report

Mount Rose (10,776 ft)

Date: June 9, 2002
Author: Peter Maurer

We approached the trail head from the west, Lake Tahoe, and passed the two dirt parking areas used for the summit hike. Fortunately there is a wide turnaround 1/4 mile beyond at the summit. There is also a new paved parking area with restrooms and visitor center on the south side of the highway, but another quarter mile or so from the trail in the opposite direction. Nevertheless, we got off to a mid-morning start up the first 2 1/2 mile stretch on the old dirt road.

A fresh dusting of June snow and a brisk north wind gave this the feeling of a late autumn hike rather than early summer. The first stretch is quite gradual, and after rounding a shoulder away from the south-facing slope, a lot of large snow packs impeded progress to some degree. Fortunately, that lasted only a mile. The trail diverges from the Tahoe Rim trail at a well marked junction, passes through a low gap and drops down into a series of large meadows. The trail swings north again, climbs up through a steep gully, the steepest stretch of a rather moderate hike, before entering the Mt. Rose Wilderness area at the saddle. From there it is a relatively easy climb along the ridge and up a series of switchbacks to the summit. Two dry stacked rock shelters have been built over the years, which provided a welcome respite from the wind. No register could be found.

Thanks to the wind (let's look at the silver lining) visibility was outstanding, with views as far to the north as Mt. Lassen, endless basin ranges to the east, Sierran peaks trailing off to the horizon to the south, and Lake Tahoe and the Sierra crest in the foreground to the west. The descent was uneventful, except to note that by the end of the afternoon, Mt. Rose, which was completely white when we started the hike was clear of snow due to the sun (but not due to warmth)!

Total mileage is 12, elevation gain approximately 1900 feet.