Jim had a series of conference calls and it was too nice of an afternoon for Shelby and I to stay inside. Neither of us are big shoppers and we had already completed a round of postcard hunting to add to her impressive collection. So we decided to set off on our own girl-power adventure.
As we research trails we are learning to look at not just the total miles, but the total elevation gain is really important information too. The Incline Flume trail was listed as moderate with 100 foot elevation gain, and the trailhead is on the north side of Lake Tahoe not too far from where we’re staying. This all sounds doable.
During the late 1800’s much of the land surrounding Lake Tahoe was logged to keep up with growing lumber demands of the time. The timber around north lake was placed on an incline railway where it was taken up 1,400 feet and then dropped by a gravity flume down the eastern side of the mountains. Hence, Incline Flume trail.
The trail traverses through red fir and Jeffrey pine and the vegetation changed as we moved in and out of the forest. We saw a few wildflowers but we’re already on the backside of the season. During the middle portion of the hike we enjoyed a beautiful view of Lake Tahoe as we hiked along the side of the mountain. After a couple switchbacks we began a steep descent and we both wondered if this might be a net 100 foot elevation gain. At the end of our descent we took a break on top of some huge granite boulders that looked like they tumbled down from the mountain above.
As she continued to demonstrate on this trip, Shelby is a trooper no matter what adventure we throw at her. She sucked her Camelback dry and put one foot in front of the other as she continued the steady climb back up to our starting point. In the end, we’re not even sure we were on the trail we intended! The important thing to me is that we enjoyed beautiful blue skies, on a mountain, together.
On our drive back we stopped at a bakery for a couple of well deserved treats.
When we arrived home Jim had dinner ready and we were greeted with the delicious aroma of burgers and sweet potatoes on the grill. Now that’s my idea of girls’ day out!