Outdoorswoman Pamela Stroude again joined Mother-Rucker Dave Gebauer for an upcountry hiking adventure day amidst the spectacular views and endless wildflowers surrounding Lake Winnemucca, near Tahoe. 

“We hiked the 5.1-mile moderate trail from Woods Lake to Lake Winnemucca via the Pacific Crest Trail, but you can also go the other way around the lake, from Carson Pass,” Gebauer said. “It was like unwrapping a Christmas present on the way up; each step of the way up revealed these amazingly beautiful, rugged views and when you get to the top, you get the prize; an incredible, amazing, breathtaking view. The wildflowers are blooming all across the meadow, over the whole mountain ... it was truly one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.”

April through October are the busiest times on this trail, but it is open all year; in the summer, thousands of beautiful wildflowers of every color paint the meadow, while the winter is snowy, consistent with nearby Kirkwood.

This makes the trail excellent for year-round use, as there are so many activities to do solo, with friends, or with the kids and family (including four-legged family members!). Backpacking, cross country skiing, hiking, horseback riding, backcountry camping, snowshoeing, trail running, wildlife or bird watching on the frequently trafficked trail will leave you memories of incredible views to enjoy on horseback or with your canine. 

“You may feel the elevation gain, so we take it slow at first until we are warmed up,” Pamela said. “There are all kinds of great people on the trail, kids, dogs, people from all over California, the U.S. and other countries. People from all over the world hike through this area, making their way north from Mexico up to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail.”

According to frequent hikers on the Lake Winnemucca from Carson Pass via Pacific Crest Trail, clear-weathered weekdays are the prime visiting time, as weekends can be packed.

There is a $5 summer day-use fee to park in the lot at Carson Pass just off of Highway 88; please deposit payment via the green iron ranger near the trailhead. From November 1 to May 30, a $5 Sno-Park permit is required, which is available at a U.S. Forest Service Ranger Station. Wilderness permits are required for overnight stays and are also available at Forest Service Ranger Stations. 

For more information per the U.S. Forest Service, search Woods Lake to Winnemucca Trail 18E06 or click here or here for trail information. 

Be sure to download the Interactive News app on your mobile device to watch this week’s Mother-Rucking Interactive News video featuring Dave Gebauer and Pamela Stroude hiking the Alpine Lake Winnemucca via the Pacific Crest Trail. Look for the next installment of Mother-Rucking to see what adventures we get up to.