Views from the summit of Freel Peak are spectacular. A 360 degree view will provide views of Lake Tahoe, Star Lake, Fallen Leaf Lake, Desolation Wilderness, Carson Valley and much, much more! Freel is the highest peak in the Lake Tahoe Basin at about 10,800 feet above sea level next to its sister peaks, Job’s Sister and Job’s Peak. The hike is about 4.5 miles out one way and you’ll gain an elevation of about 2,500 feet.
I’ve done this hike once before, but had the opportunity to do it again this past Sunday. What an enjoyable hike. My friend and I started quite early, getting to the trailhead around 7:30am trying to beat the early heat and crowd. The crowd isn’t usually too bad on this trail, but the heat hiking 1,200 vertical feet in the last mile can be pretty tough with the sun beating down on you. We started over a small bridge into the woods where the trail goes up pretty quickly. Once you reach the top of this section, you will see some posts with signs for the Rim Trail. Below are some pictures.
Follow the sign that says Star Lake, 5 miles. We traveled through the pretty flat trail with a few ups and downs. You’ll hug the side of the mountain on your right, with beautiful views on your left. Once you go through a set of switchbacks you will reach the top of the ridge that catches up with the Tahoe Rim Trail and gorgeous views of Lake Tahoe. Below are a few more pictures.
The next part is by far the toughest. You are pretty much above the tree line and it can be quite hot and steep. Following several rock steps to start out you will continue up to where the sand can make it even more difficult. It’s a tough section, but totally worth reaching the top. When you get to the top you can see Star Lake looking towards Carson Valley. Job’s Sister and Job’s Peak are right in front of you when you get to the top as well. Finally, you can’t miss Lake Tahoe. Make sure to sign the book at the summit! Below are more pictures. Enjoy!
There are a few ways to reach Freel Peak. You can leave from a trailhead off of a dirt road from Luther Pass, Armstrong Pass or Big Meadow taking the Tahoe Rim Trail. Like I said, we started the trek off of a dirt road from Luther Pass. To get there, drive on Highway 50 towards the “Y” in South Lake Tahoe. Make a left at the “Y” towards Meyers. Make a left on Highway 89 or Luther Pass. Travel almost all of the way to the end, but prior to the end you will see a turnoff on the left. The road is extremely rocky, so you may want to make sure you have 4-wheel drive just in case. Go a decent ways, maybe 3-4 miles and you will see parking on your left.
Freel Peak is a great hike for a good workout and gorgeous views, plus you can say you hiked to the highest peak in Tahoe Basin! Take a look at my MyTracks. Have you hiked to Freel Peak in the past or have it on your to do list? Make a comment below! Also, follow me on twitter @sberei!