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Houghton Loop

Intermediate

Trail

10.7 mile 17.3 kilometer loop
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,785' 544 m
Descent: -1,784' -544 m
High: 10,444' 3,183 m
Low: 8,918' 2,718 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)

Dogs

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Map Key

Trail shared by Lori Bellis

The Houghton Loop includes parts of the Tahoe Rim Trail, Mount Houghton Spur, and the Relay Peak Road.

Lori Bellis

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Overview

High elevation hike in the Mt. Rose area with many spectacular views, a beautiful waterfall, and abundant summer wildflowers. The route passes through a variety of terrain, keeping it interesting.

Need to Know

The restrooms at the trailhead were closed in 2018.

Description

Park at the Mt. Rose Summit Trail and follow the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) signs heading west. The trail winds gradually upwards, with great views of Lake Tahoe to the South. The waterfall is 2.5 miles from the trailhead and is part of the headwaters of Galena Creek and the Mt. Rose Wilderness. Continue on the TRT up the switchbacks beside the waterfall. The trail continues ascending with views down the Galena Creek drainage.

The spur trail to Mount Houghton Summit is 4.6 miles from the trailhead. It's 0.8 miles to the 10,490 ft summit, where you'll enjoy outstanding views in every direction. After returning from the summit, continue on the TRT to it's intersection with the Relay Peak Road. Return to the trailhead via the road, which descends down toward Frog Pond and continues around the west and south sides of Tamarack Peak. At approximately 10.0 miles, take the well-marked spur trail back to the trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Lots of wildflowers in the summer. I've seen a black bear in the Galena Creek meadow area below the waterfall. Marmots are plentiful.

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Oct 21, 2019
Jennifer H
Great hike. The only reason I gave it 4 stars was the road for the back half of the hike. We made great time on the road, but it wasn't as scenic. 10.7mi — 4h 52m

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#3

in Lake Tahoe

#3225

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Hike Rankings

#3

in Lake Tahoe

#34

in Nevada

#3,225

Overall
51 Views Last Month
558 Since Jan 17, 2019
Intermediate

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Photos

Houghton trail looking toward Relay Peak
Jan 17, 2019 near Incline…, NV
Trekking pole pock marks guide your path on a winter ascent of Mt. Rose.
Aug 15, 2016 near Incline…, NV
View to the NW from Mount Houghton.
Jan 17, 2019 near Incline…, NV

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