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About Lake Tahoe : Hiking : Round Top-Carson Pass South

Hiking/Backcountry Skiing on Round Top and the Carson Pass Area

The Vitals elev.-10,380 Rock-Granite, Shale, and Igneous
Click here for Topo Map

The Carson Pass area provides some of the best winter recreation in the Tahoe area. The North side of the road holds peaks like Red Lake and Stevens Peak. The South side holds treasures like Round Top, Elephant's Back, the Sisters, Moon Couloir, Life on the Edge and more. Both areas are also very popular in the summer as lakes, flowers, and views are abundant. In addition, the Pacific Crest Trail bisects the area.
This has always been one of my favorite areas. Each year a group of friends camp underneath Round Top for what has always ended up being an epic adventure. There are a number of tours that can be started at Carson Pass and ended at a car dropped at Kirkwood, Red Lake, Hope Valley, or even Blue Lakes. Heading up the trail towards Round Top is a relatively easy three mile hike or skin. In winter it is basically a long left hand traverse. As you head out note the lines directly across the small valley you are traversing around. They provide excellent terrain for low visibility days here. Once you make it to Elephant's Back, your choices begin. It's at this point you should decide whether you are heading to Round Top proper or points beyond, the East Ridge and the bowls above Winnemucca, or to Elephant's Back. On clear days this is all layed out for you to see. One of my favorite tours is to head to the East Ridge of Round Top. Ski off the backside and then cut left (east) into the Forestdale Creek area. From here you can yo-yo ski your way back to Dead Tree bowl above Red Lake (where your car is hopefully waiting).

Round Top Gallery photos Carson Pass Photos Carson Pass Photos Carson Pass Photos Carson Pass Photos Carson Pass Photos Carson Pass Photos Carson Pass Photos Carson Pass Photos Carson Pass PhotosCarson Pass Photos Carson Pass Photos He enjoyed it too. Carson Pass Photos Carson Pass WildflowersCarson Pass Photos Carson Pass Wildflower PhotosCarson Pass Photos Carson Pass Photos Carson Pass Photos Carson Pass Photos Carson Pass Photos

Carson Pass requires five dollars for parking in summer, and a sno-park permit in winter.
When entering the backcountry, proper precautions should be taken, including avalanche beacon and the know-how to use it, shovel, compass or GPS, friend, weather information, and common sense. Click here for the latest avalanche advisory info. You can also find more info on our gear pages.

Ski Aware, It's Big out there.

A great resource for the rich history of the Carson Pass area.

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Last Updated September 17, 2008