A nice half day outing off the I-80 Corridor near Lake Tahoe. During the Winter Months, this is prime Snowshoe, Ski, Snowboard, and Snowmobile country.
From both the East and West, Take I-80 to Castle Peak off ramp a few miles west of Truckee. Parking is on the South Side of the Freeway East of the Boreal Inn. In the Winter months, a Sno-Park pass is required to park here, so make arrangements to get one prior to showing up or suffer the consequences.
From the parking area, head back under the freeway to the north side of I-80. Here is where the trail begins. Follow the road past the gate and to the prominent Y and stay to the right. You will now begin to see Castle Peak come into view on your right side above the meadow. Continue on up this trail (really a road)for almost 2 miles where you will gain Castle Pass. At the pass you will now turn to the left and traverse along the Ridge to Andesite Peak. The route is evident in both summer and winter so route finding should not be a problem unless you are in winter white out conditions.
Aside from the 10 essentials for all seasons, during the warm months, basic hiking gear, snacks and water will suffice for this half day outing. During the winter it can get quite cold and windy so prepare accordingly. I have experienced days where the high temp never rose above 14 degrees with steady 45 mph winds and gusts up to 60. Make sure your water supply is not subject to freezing when the temps are low, and have plenty of snacks.
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