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Hiking Stats as of 11/21/2018
Total Trips:
Total Distance:
Total Elevation Gain:
 325
 3,891.68 miles
 1,060,050 feet

Sep 13, 2015 - Huckleberry Mountain / Peak 8920

 

Partners: (None)

Distance: 7.95 miles

Elevation Gain: 2,080 feet

Trip Time: 3:14

Maps and Stats:
Day 2 of my easy weekend in Tahoe, and with the smoke from the all of the CA wildfires around it really wasn't a good time to be spending all day outdoors anyway. So I pulled up the list of peaks within 10 miles of the Tahoe house using Peakbagger, and decided to pay a visit to Huckleberry Mountain and the nearby and higher Peak 8920. Huckleberry Mountain is known as the high point of the Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski resort, an easy peak to bag in winter if using the ski lift but still not all that hard to get to in summer either.

There were 2 apparent routes to getting there, either via the PCT starting from Echo Summit, or from the parking lot at Sierra-at-Tahoe. I decided to try the latter option, and following a 20 minute drive I found myself at a locked gate just below the parking area. This would do fine, but as I started out a security car pulled up to the gate and asked what I was doing. I said I wanted to hike up to Huckleberry, and he said that was fine. I started walking up, and a couple of minutes later he drove by again and offered me a ride past all of the parking areas and up to where the rough dirt road starts. Score! I saved a quarter mile and a couple hundred feet of gain which was nice. I followed the dirt road up, as it wound under the ski lift and past a half dozen trail markers. As I got higher up the smoke continued to get worse, essentially robbing me of any views at all. At least the smoke wasn't causing me any breathing issues.

Up near the top I ran into what must be a kiddie play area, complete with little decorative buildings and such. The always fun abandoned mines, great for kids were present too. This was right below the summit, which was a short walk up a ski slope above. On top I saw the Gondola for the Grand View Express, and the 360 BBQ. The actual summit was tough to determine, there were a couple of competing highpoints so I climbed both, finding a plaque on one but believing the other one to be higher. The views were marred by the smoke, so I only stayed long enough for the Sierra-at-Tahoe webcam to take a picture of me before continuing on.

It was another 1 mile walk to get Peak 8920, largely cross country but easy enough. The top was a rounded hill, nothing too exciting, and with the smoke I had no views to enjoy. From there I went back towards Huckleberry, peeling off at a ski junction thinking I could take this way back down. This worked, sort of, as I got lower, but eventually I ran into a boundary sign, but rather than go back uphill to find another way I kept going, and was surprised when I ran into a maintained trail, although it wasn't going where I wanted it to. So I had to go cross country up a few hundred feet of a steep hill to get back to the ski run area, and when I got to the top I was a bit disturbed by the presence of "Explosives" warning signs, how nice to put them up here where I could only see them after walking through the supposed mine field. Now back on Sierra-at-Tahoe land it was easy to get down, past all of their equipment and back to the entrance. The locked gate was now open, and I walked back to my car, satisfied with today's activities.

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