Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 38.78000°N / 119.97°W
Activities Activities: Hiking, Scrambling, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 9497 ft / 2895 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Waterhouse Peak is located south of Lake Tahoe, a short distance from Luther Pass. Its close proximity to Highway 89 allows for year around access. The peak provides fantastic views of the Carson and Luther Pass regions, Lake Tahoe, and the Desolation Wilderness. The great views from the summit can be had for minimal time and effort.

The summit can be reached via easy class 1 terrain from Highway 88 or 89. The peak is a half day trip from these locations. For a more adventurous journey, it is possible to traverse from Carson Pass to Luther Pass. Red Lake, Stevens, and Waterhouse Peaks can be bagged along the way. In order to complete the loop you will have to have a shuttle arranged, thumb a ride, or retrace your steps.

Waterhouse Peak is on the Tahoe OGUL Peak List.

Waterhouse PeakWaterhouse Peak

Getting There

Trailhead Route Difficulty Elevation Gain One Way Distance
Luther Pass North Face Class 1 1800ft 2 miles
Carson Pass South Face Class 3 3500 ft 9 miles
Highway 88 South Face Class 1 2400 ft 2.5 miles

Luther Pass (38.788° N, 119.946° W): Located on the south side of Highway 89, approximately 8.5 miles east of the Highway 50/89 junction or 2.5 miles west of the Highway 88/89 junction.

Carson Pass (38.695° N, 119.990° W): Located on the south side of Highway 88, approximately 70 miles east of Jackson or 9 miles west of the the Highway 88/89 junction.

Highway 88 Turn Out (38.765° N, 119.940° W): Located on the north side of Highway 88, approximately 1.5 miles west of the the Highway 88/89 junction.

Waterhouse PeakWaterhouse Peak

Red Tape

Waterhouse Peak is regulated by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and thus is free from most of the regulations that inhibit wilderness areas. No permit is required for day hiking or overnight camping. Parking at the Luther Pass and Highway 88 trailheads is free year around. During the summer there is a $3 fee to park at Carson Pass. During the winter parking at Carson Pass requires a Sno-Park Pass.

When To Climb

Highway 89 is open year around allowing all season access to peak. The peak is generally snow free from July through September. The area is popular with hikers, snowshoers, and skiers: do not expect solitude in any season.

SummitSnow Storm on the Summit


Developed campgrounds can be found at Kirkwood Lake, Caples Lake, Woods Lake, Hope Valley, and Blue Lakes. Fees and facilites vary.

Mountain Conditions

The Luther Pass area is subject to a variety of weather conditions, including heavy snowfall in the winter. Weather forcast can be found HERE.

The avalanche advisory can be found HERE.

External Links

Pete Yamagata's Northern Sierra Peaks Guide

Bob Burd - Carson Pass to Luther Pass - May 13, 2005