OverviewThe southwest ridge of the Mount Rose Wilderness extends all the way to Lake Tahoe near Kings Beach. Rose Knob Peak (9710') and Peak 9773 are two notable peaks along this ridge. They are easily accessible during summer months via a trail from Incline Lake Road. They can be hiked any number of ways.
Rose Knob Peak and Peak 9773 are side by side one another and therefore justify one page. Both are easily accessible via offshoots (less than 1/10th of a mile) from the Tahoe Rim Trail.
Getting there from the nearest Tahoe Rim Trail parking area at the Relay Peak Service Road is quite long (Over 7 miles one way to get to Peak 9773). However, a trail from Incline Lake Road leads to the Tahoe Rim Trail in less than 1 1/2 miles, just below the two peaks.
Views of Lake Tahoe are spectacular from this trail, and especially from Rose Knob Peak. There are also excellent opportunities for rock climbing and scrambling. Once atop the Tahoe Rim Trail, you can also hit nearby Rose Knob, about 1 ¼ miles west of Rose Knob Peak. Peak 9561 is also an easy hike from the ridge below Peak 9773. It only adds a couple hundred feet in less than 1/2 mile.
The best time to hike here is probably July through October when the Tahoe Rim Trail is free of snow. Any earlier in the season and there is greater risk of losing the trail and then getting lost in the woods. It has happened to me twice - both times on the descent. You need to be very aware of where you are going, as there are trails in multiple directions in the vicinity of Incline Lake, that can easily cause confusion.
The coordinates for Peak 9773 are 39.297, -119.9517.
The coordinates for Rose Knob Peak are 39.293555, -119.95782.
Getting ThereFrom Reno take Highway 395 to the Mount Rose Highway (431). The Mount Rose Highway runs for about 20 miles between Reno and Incline Village. Take 431 as it winds up the mountains. At the top of the road is the Mount Rose Summit at 8911’. Go past it. There are at least a couple good spots to start the hike, but two primary areas off of Mount Rose Highway.
The most straightforward way is to head about 1 1/2 miles past Mount Rose Summit to the edge of the Tahoe Meadows. On the right side of the road is a dirt road and parking area. This is Incline Lake Road. A gate blocks automobile access. Park anywhere around here.
If you want a little longer trail all the way up, head about 3 miles past Mount Rose Summit going towards Incline Village. Pass the phone booth on the right hand side of the road, and look for a dirt road on the right, about a mile past it. Head down the road, which terminates after a couple hundred yards. Park here, and look for the trail below. It is unmarked, but is right by the end of the road on the right hand side. The greatest challenge is finding the trail, but it goes right up the woods along the north side of a creek.
Route InformationRoute #1 – Incline Lake Road
Just across from the edge of Tahoe Meadows is Incline Lake Road. It is a fire road closed to motor vehicles, so you must park at the beginning of the road at about 8575’. Follow the road as it descends for about 1/2 mile. When the road loops around there is a cairn marking a trail. Take the trail which descends and connects to a trail heading north towards the peaks. The trail is confusing at times, especially when there is snow. You run into the connector trail described in route #2. Continue north up the trail as it heads around the north side of Peak 9561. After about a mile up the trail you should reach the ridge at about 9365’. The spires below Peak 9773 are just above you.
Follow the trail down slightly, and it soon connects with another trail. This is the Tahoe Rim Trail. Head left to reach Rose Knob Peak. For Peak 9773, you have two option. Either head right on the Tahoe Rim Trail to the right side of the spires. You can climb the north side of Peak 9773, which involves some rock scrambling. Or you can continue en route to Rose Knob Peak and head up the south side of Peak 9773. If climbing both peaks this way, you can do so with only 5 miles total round trip. Rose Knob Peak requires some light scrambling to reach the summit.
Either route to Peak 9773 is about 2 1/4 miles one way and about 1400 feet up. The one way distance to Rose Knob Peak is also about 2 1/4 miles and about 1350 feet.
Route #2 – Connector Trail
This route starts off a dirt road 3 miles past Mount Rose Summit heading towards Incline Village. Finding the trail is the most difficult thing to do. It actually goes right up to the road, but isn’t perfectly obvious. Use your best judgment. It crosses a creek with a big piece of flat wood, and then skirts the base of Peak 9561. The dirt road is at about 8200’. The trail will climb up through the forest to the main ridge between Peak 9773 and Peak 9561 in about 2 miles, gaining about 1265 feet in the process. Once at the ridge, you will see the spires below Peak 9773. Follow the same route described above to the summits.
The one way distance to Peak 9773 is about 3 miles and about 1600 feet.
The one way distance to Rose Knob Peak is also about 3 miles and about 1550 feet.
Alternate Route from Incline Village
It is also possible to approach from Incline Village, as a connector trail heads up to the Tahoe Rim Trail from just above a neighborhood. Take Marlette Way up to Jennifer Street, and follow it to the end (7416’). This route hits the Tahoe Rim Trail after a steep hike of over 2,000 feet, in less than 2 miles. The total elevation gain is about 2300 feet and one way distance of 2 ¼ miles.