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Trip log:

  • 09:58pm - Start out from High Meadows Trailhead
  • 10:10am - Reach the first bridge crossing Cold Creek
  • 11:41am - Reach High Meadows and take a break
  • 11:55am - Move on along Monument Pass Trail
  • 01:01pm - Stop moving on because of too much snow and end up climbing to the top of a pile of rocks aside the trail
  • 01:30pm - Climb down the rocks
  • 01:43pm - Back to the trail
  • 03:53pm - Back to the car

Last week when we were taking a short walk along Cold Creek Trail, another hiker told us that this trail goes all the way to High Meadows, which we hadn’t heard of before. Curious about the so-called High Meadows, we went back to the same trail this weekend, starting out from High Meadows Trailhead located in a quiet residential neighborhood.

The very first part of the trail is mostly flat and wide, thus unnoticeable in the pine forest. Once reaching the first wooden bridge, the path narrows down and starts to gradually ascend.

The trails alternated between snowy and soft dry grounds. Someone is playing hide-and-seek!

After hiking nearly 3 miles along Cold Creek, we reached High Meadows. Hooray!

From High Meadows we were able to gaze at various snow-capped peaks visible in the Tahoe Basin, including Freel Peak, the tallest summit in Carson Range, Trimmer Peak and Job’s Sister. The view is breathtaking.

This can be a nice place to chill-out and read in summer and fall. After studying the map, we decided to move on to Monument Pass Trail to get more exercise.

With the vegetation getting sparser along the trail, some big pine trees stand out, with trunks and branches nicely curved, almost like bigger versions of bonsai.

Because the snow on Monument Pass Trail became thicker and thicker with the increase of altitude, eventually we gave up moving forward and climbed up to the top of a huge pile of rocks to rest and enjoy the mountain view.

It’s always nice to have a warm coffee during winter hikes. “Honey, you see that peak? We were there last summer …”

PS: Cold Creek Trail is also a mountain bike trail, so be aware of bikes when walking!

See also, Wilderness Press’s Afoot and Afield: Tahoe-Reno Trip 97, pages 223-224