Hiking Mt. Rose Waterfall, North Lake Tahoe

The past couple of weeks I have been so stoked to have one of my good friends get into trail running with me. Don’t get me wrong, I love running trails by myself or with my little sidekick of a dog, but being out there with a friend who is learning to love running is so much fun. I am running on trails that I don’t usually run and just having fun with it since a lot of our runs are run/hikes because she is working on building a foundation.

Last week we decided to run to the Mt. Rose waterfall, which is part of the Tahoe Rim Trail. Earlier this year I hiked this section when I bagged Mt. Houghton and Relay Peak, but I had never really run it. I am glad we did and I will definitely be back for more, even if the trail did beat me down.

Getting There:

View of Lake Tahoe from the trail.

View of Lake Tahoe from the trail.

The trailhead is located at the top of Mt. Rose Highway (State Route 431). Once you approach the summit, you won’t be able to miss the very large parking lot and bathrooms located on the West side of the highway. Park here, walk around the back of the bathrooms, and follow the trail South. After a couple hundred feet, you will see a sign and some stone steps up to the right. Follow these steps up and you are on the trail. If you decide to continue going straight, you will be taken on the longer mountain bike route, which is still a great trail.

Dirty and bleeding, but made it to the waterfall.

Dirty and bleeding, but made it to the waterfall.

The first quarter mile of the trail is moderate and has a slight ascent, which you definitely feel when you are running! After this first part, the trail flattens out and has some slight ups and downs for the remaining 2.25 miles to the waterfall. There are no real ways to deviate from the trail, so if you are unfamiliar with the area, you should be able to make it to the waterfall without any trouble, unless you are like me.

We were running along and at about the half mile mark, a rock in the trail jumped out of nowhere and took me down. And when I say “took me down,” I mean flattened me on the trail. I chest planted, tossed my phone, ripped my new running capris, tore a hole in my knee, scraped up my forearms, and sprained something in my rotator cuff. Oh well. I guess I’ll add some more battle scars to my list. I was still able to get up and keep running. I wanted to see that waterfall!

  • Total Distance: 5 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate, then easy
  • Pros: The waterfall and beautiful views
  • Cons: It can be really dusty and crowded in the summer

One Comment on “Hiking Mt. Rose Waterfall, North Lake Tahoe

  1. Pingback: Mt. Rose Summit Hike | Running Primal

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