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Castle Peak, Tahoe National Forest

Whether you're approaching on foot, in snowshoes or on cross-country skis this is a great sierra adventure for all.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6.5 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview:  Castle Peak is a popular destination all year round, a great hike and also possibly the best way to continue your alpine workouts... more »

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Points of Interest

1. I-80 Trailhead

Only a stones' throw from the interstate 80 near Donner Summit, Castle Peak offers a snowshoe hike as challenging as many backcountry trails. Park up at the Castle Peak/Boreal ski resort exit, and strap on the snowshoes at the trailhead located on the north side of the freeway.

2. Gradual incline

The noise of the freeway quickly disappears as you head up the gently sloping uphill trail, which gradually warms up muscles that you'll need for the steeper grades later on.

3. Andesite Ridge

The well defined trail leads you up onto Andesite Ridge from where you can find even more great views. If you still have an appetite for more, then continue towards the final ascent of Castle Peak.

4. Castle Peak Summit

The final hike to the summit may not really be at a 45-degree angle but it sure feels like it. Climbing snow and ice in snowshoes at this angle of elevation can be pretty difficult. During one of our frequent breaks, we watched enviously as another hiker demonstrated how much easier the ascent is with an ice-ax in hand.

Views at the top are... More