A Great Day hike in South Tahoe to Castle Rock
Location: Tahoe Rim Trail. South Lake Tahoe, The Brautovich Trailhead
Destination: Castle Rock
Distance: 4 mile loop in and out.
This hike is for everyone. Has mild elevation gains and some Rock path areas that can be little difficult, but I saw several kids in the complete this hike with ease. Starting at the Brautovich Trailhead west up the hill towards Lake Tahoe. The first 1/2 mile is uphill as you climb over the first butte. This is a moderate gradual climb that gives some of the first glimpses of what is going to be a great day to take pictures of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding peaks.
The trail loops around and is mostly down hill for approx. the next mile, you will see a branch off the trail heading North, that will take you towards Spooner summit. (Don’t turn here) the path will literally take you in a “u” at this point as you are on the back stretch of the loop. Near the bottom of the hill you will find a path again heading west and uphill. This is the Castle Rock Trail. This is the most strenuous portion of the trail but provides you plenty of opportunity for water breaks and shade along the way.
About a 1/2 mile up the mountain you will be given the choice to go around Castle Rock to the left or to right. I suggest the Right for the best photos and if you like to be a little adventurous with your climb you can climb up to the top of Castle Rock and feel like you are on top of the world.
The trip back from Castle Rock gives you a second option. You can either head back the way you came and make the trip a little longer. Or you can complete the loop by continuing south and following signs back to the parking area. Going the longer way is much prettier and makes you feel like you had a good hike when finished, but finishing the loop is also a good route has less of a climb and is about 1/2 mile shorter and really makes this hike a great feel good day hike in the Tahoe Region.
I highly recommend the Castle Rock Hike in exploring the Tahoe Region. If you are staying at a resort on the South side of the lake you are literally minutes from the trail entrance and this a great group hike.
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