Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
2,413.00 ft (735.48 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
13.70 mi (22.05 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Relay Peak Loop is a captivating 13-mile journey that showcases the natural splendor of the Lake Tahoe region. Starting from the Tahoe Meadows Trailhead, this clockwise loop takes hikers up the Tahoe Rim Trail to the summit of Relay Peak, offering panoramic views before circling back to the trailhead. This adventure is perfect for those seeking a challenging hike with rewarding vistas, diverse ecosystems, and a sense of accomplishment upon reaching one of Tahoe's notable summits. This trek is considered moderately difficult, with an overall elevation gain of 2,413 feet, and is suitable for hikers, backpackers, and trail runners.

Begin your hike at the Tahoe Meadows Trailhead, where ample parking is available. The initial section of the trail meanders through lush meadows, bursting with wildflowers during the summer months. As you join the Tahoe Rim Trail, the ascent gradually steepens, guiding hikers through dense forests of Jeffrey pine and fir.

Relay Peak, with an elevation of 10,338 feet, is the highest point on this loop and the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT). Located northeast of Lake Tahoe, it stands as one of the highest peaks in the Lake Tahoe Basin, though it is often overshadowed by Mount Rose.

This loop is described in a clockwise direction, though either way would be suitable. 

FLORA AND FAUNA

This region is home to a rich array of plant and animal life. Hikers can expect to see fields of wildflowers, including lupines and mule's ears, in the meadows. The forests provide habitat for creatures such as squirrels, chipmunks, and a variety of birds, including the mountain chickadee and Steller's jay. Keep an eye out for larger mammals like deer, and if you're lucky, you might spot a black bear (from a safe distance).
TRAILHEAD PARKING
The Tahoe Meadows Trailhead offers free parking, but it can fill up quickly during peak season. Arriving early is recommended to secure a spot.

CAMPING AND PERMITS

Dispersed backcountry camping is allowed with a permit from the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Always practice Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment. Fire regulations vary by season and region; check the current restrictions before planning any campfires. More information about permits can be found at https://tahoerimtrail.org/regulations-permits/

WATER

Information about water sources along the trail can be found at https://tahoerimtrail.org/water-sources/.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Tahoe Rim Trail - Trail Conditions

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Wildflowers. Peak bagging. Scenic Vistas.

Cons

Can get crowded in some spots.

Trailhead Elevation

8,705.00 ft (2,653.28 m)

Highest point

10,338.00 ft (3,151.02 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Bird watching

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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