It’s the TRT (Tahoe Rim Trail) for Me

Last spring and summer, I section hiked 135 miles over some of the first 12 segments of the Colorado Trail. I hope to complete the remaining sections over time, as well as one day thru-hike the trail in one go.

Segment 12 of the Colorado Trail

Part of Segment 12 of the Colorado Trail.

But working the 9 to 5 puts a damper on the amount of consecutive available days for hiking. Those 135 miles, done only on weekends and days off, took many hours to hike but arguably more hours to drive to, constantly going between Denver and trailheads.  I got an itch for a trail I could complete without quitting my job. And so, made possible by not using a single vacation day between last September and this July, Alex and I will take on the…(insert obligatory drumroll)…

Tahoe Rim Trail! Shoot, you don’t seem surprised. Must have something to do with the article title.

But seriously, we are so excited for this trail. First, check out Jim Rahtz’s article for a comprehensive trail profile.

The Stats

Days on Trail: 13
Average Mileage: 13.2 mi/day
Longest Planned Day: 18 mi
Shortest Planned Day: 4 mi
Resupplies: 2-3

The Why

How did we pick the Tahoe Rim Trail, you may ask? This trail is a Goldilocks of sorts, for us. It’s short enough to fit in our vacation days, but long enough to be our longest backpacking trip. It allows for a beginner sense of a thru-hike by including on-trail resupplies but has the convenience of being a loop. Its location exposes us to a beautiful part of the Sierras but is not remote enough to significantly increase our travel time.

There are several personal benefits as well. Our friends are getting married in Tahoe City, so we “have” to be in town anyway. Provided we can feel our legs by the end, we can cap off our hike with a fun (hopefully fully vaccinated) party with our friends. Furthermore, Lake Tahoe is a really special place for Alex’s family; they’ve been camping at the lake every summer for going on 20 years. I’m just excited to get a taste of the Sierras, spend my vacation in the mountains, and complete my longest backpacking trip to date.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe on an early morning.

The How

Of course, we have a lot of things to prepare: our gear, our food plan, our muscles. We feel decently comfortable with our gear, which, while not totally ultra-light, is tried and tested. We’ve started exercising more regularly to strengthen our bodies and plan to do several shakedown hikes before the trip.

We’re also taking some precautions to “covid-proof” our trip as best we can. We’ll drive to Tahoe from Denver, which adds convenience for getting to and around the trailhead in addition to allowing us to stay isolated while traveling to and from California. We need to resupply but hope to do this without hitchhiking. And of course, we’re excitedly awaiting our vaccinations.

Giant bug

A GIANT bug discovered on our tent in the middle of Nevada, the last time we drove from Colorado to California. Nalgene for scale.

As someone who has nearly as much fun planning trips as experiencing them, I’ll be thoughtfully considering some important questions in the next few months:

  • Can Alex and I share a UL 2p tent for 2 straight weeks without killing each other?
  • Is it possible to fit 5+ days of food for two people into one bear container? Does eating purely mac and cheese impact the answer to that question?
  • How many lunges are enough lunges to prepare our legs?

Stay tuned as I try to answer these questions!

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