Mt. Houghton and Relay Peak Hike
If you have been to Lake Tahoe or live in the area, you have likely heard of Mt. Rose. It is the highest peak on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe and stands at 10,776 feet above sea level. What you may not have heard of though is Mount Houghton or Relay Peak, both of which are challenging climbs and reward you with some amazing views.
I set out for a hike yesterday with my parent’s dog, Charlie, along for company. We decided to take the trail less traveled and try something new. We were not disappointed and had an amazing time, although both of us might still be walking funny today.
We started from the trailhead at the summit of Highway 431. From there, you follow the trail as if you were going to Mt. Rose Summit. It is well marked and not easy to miss. After about 2.5 miles, you will reach an incredible waterfall. If you wanted to summit Mt. Rose, you would cross the creek here and continue on the trail. Instead, we traveled up the waterfall and stayed on the Tahoe Rim Trail.
After about two miles of beautiful trail and switchbacks, you will reach a sign for Mt. Houghton and Relay Peak. We followed the trail to Mt. Houghton, which was about 1 mile further. The views from the top of Mt. Houghton are beautiful. You can see Lake Tahoe, Donner Lake, Stampede Reservoir, Boca Reservoir, and even Mt. Shasta in the distance. Although it was pretty hazy from some fires we have been getting, it was still beautiful. The elevation on the top of Mt. Houghton is 10,490′.
We traveled back down the mountain and on a whim, decided to go to Relay Peak, which was about another mile away. Relay Peak stands at 10,335′ and offers some incredible views of the Lake. After we hit that summit, we came back down and ended up following the fire road to get back to the Rim Trail. This worked out perfect because we came across gorgeous Mud Lake (it’s name doesn’t do it justice) and Charlie got to swim and fetch sticks for a bit. He was one happy, but exhausted dog at the end of the day. All in all, our big loop was about 12 miles. Check out the video below of our adventure!
Taking the trail less traveled lead me to some amazing places that I have never been before. There is nothing like exploring and coming across something new that many others will simply overlook. Do you ever take the trail less traveled? Where has it led you?