Top of Heavenly by foot
Publisher’s Note: On Aug. 24, eight days after the author’s hike, Heavenly issued the following statement: Due to the recent mountain lion sightings on Roundabout, we will be closing the California trails for hiking and biking. This closure is indefinite. There will be signs placed at California base locations to indicate that the trails are closed due to the mountain lion sightings. If you come across hikers/bikers on the mountain, please advise them of the danger and request that they leave immediately. If you do see a mountain lion, stay in your vehicle and alert Dispatch immediately.
By Kathryn Reed
Skiing down Roundabout is about as easy as it gets at Heavenly.
Hiking or biking up it when the snow is long gone is another story. Suddenly the terrain seems steep in places. It is definitely not a green route in this direction.
It’s not that the hike it super strenuous, it’s just that it keeps going up. Most trails around the South Shore have a more gradual grade, with some straight-aways and even a descent along the way. Not so with this trek.
Some summers Lake Tahoe Community College offers sunset hikes, with the ascent to the top of the tram as one of the destinations.
Being on any ski trail without snow always is disconcerting for the skier/snowboarder because things just don’t look the same. But warmer weather also allows time to linger — taking in the views, not needing to have fingers turn blue while taking pictures.
The top of Patsy’s reports the elevation at 8,290 feet. Another hundred feet or so and the lake sprawls beyond Gunbarrel. The Stateline casinos, Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course and Nevada Beach are off the right. In the other direction are Ski Run Marina, Tahoe Keys and Camp Richardson.
Access the trail by driving past the California base lodge of Heavenly Mountain Resort, meander through the neighborhood and enter where the green US Forest Service gate is at the end of the road. Take lots of water, much of the trail is exposed.