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Enjoying winter on the Tahoe Rim Trail

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 8:20 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Winter has arrived up on the Tahoe Rim Trail, giving outdoor enthusiasts some seasonable opportunities they don’t get during the warmer months.

“We can go off-trail, which is really nice,” said Lindsey Schultz, the Outdoor Programs Director of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association. “It’s one of the perks of recreating in the winter.”

The deeper snow and wider paths make it a popular destination for cross-country skiers and hikers with snow shoes. But some areas are susceptible to avalanches, so you’re encouraged to check the conditions before you go. And always come prepared.

“Bring extra water than you think you need, bring extra food than you think you need,” added Schultz. “Bring an extra pair of gloves. Wear layers.”

And make sure whatever you do bring with you; you pack back out. It’s part of the TRTA’s principles of “Leave No Trace”.

“It breaks my heart,” admitted Schultz. “There’s no one out there to clean up after you when you go out and recreate in the winter, so it’s really important for us as trail users to be responsible for ourselves.”

That includes picking up after your dog, and yourself, since most restrooms are closed. And if you place it in a biodegradable bag, those need to be taken with you, not just left on the ground. And if you’re sledding, make sure you pack out any broken pieces that are left behind.

“It’s a huge, huge issue up here in Tahoe,” stressed Schultz.

Another big issue is the pandemic. It greatly affected funding for the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, the local non-profit that takes care of and maintains the Trail.

“We unfortunately had to cancel our major fundraiser of the year, which happens in the spring. And we also had to cancel a lot of our guided hiking programs, which bring in a lot of funds for our organization,” said Veronica Palmer, the TRTA’s Development Manager.

They are holding a year-end fundraising campaign right now, where anyone who donates $100 will get a Tahoe Rim Trail Association neck gaiter. And all of the money raised will go to support their programs for next year. It’s an organization that despite a lack of funding, was able to get a lot done in 2020.

“A major project up at Echo Summit, re-routing the trail away from Highway 50 up there. We also installed some new trail in the Van-Sickle Bi-State park, including a new bridge that went in there,” added Palmer. “So we were able to accomplish quite a lot with not the same resources that we’re used to.”

You can also support the Tahoe Rim Trail Association year-round by becoming one of their members. To get more information on the organization, and find great resources about the Trail, just click on the link below.

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