Cold Stream at bridge on Mt. Lola Trail

Today M. and I did a nice early season hike on the Mt. Lola trail in Tahoe National Forest. There was patchy snow at the trailhead elevation of 6600 ft, and pretty much full snow cover above 7200 ft. I would suggest snowshoes to go to the peak now. We hiked to the bridge over Cold Stream, then returned via the forest road. As you can see in this photo taken from the bridge, there’s lots of snowmelt. The temperature today was around 50-55 F, cloudy with occasional light rain.

Trailhead directions (map): North on CA Hwy 89 from I-80 to the Little Truckee Summit (sign to Jackson Meadow Reservoir). Turn left (west), go 2 miles and turn left on a gravel road (sign to Independence Lake). Cross the one-lane bridge over the Little Truckee, continue to a four-way intersection and turn right. This is the Henness Pass Road (unmarked except for a couple of scenic tour guideposts along the way); it’s close to the path of historic Henness Pass pioneer trail of the 1850s and 1860s. Drive west about 3 miles to the Mt. Lola Trailhead. A forest service sign on the main road marks the entrance to the parking area. After the heavy rain and snow this winter, the Henness Pass Road has several areas with partial washouts and today was partially flooded at “Dean’s Crick”. A little muddy and rutted in a other few places, but not much danger of getting stuck. 4WD recommended.

5.76 mi (2.45 mi uphill, 2.81 mi downhill, 0.46 mi flat)
~1000 ft total ascent – 15.0 % uphill grade, 17.0 % downhill grade
3:12:55 total time (2:52:29 moving, 0:20:26 stopped)
0:29:54 pace (2.0 mph average speed, 8.3 mph max speed)
12.207 difficulty, 21.003 effort