Five Lakes Trail
Location: Tahoe National Forest, near Olympic Valley
Driving distance: an hour plus from Reno near Alpine Meadows, North Lake Tahoe
Difficulty level: Moderate
Length: 5 miles out and back
Winnemucca and Round Top Lakes
Location: Mokelumne Wilderness
Driving distance: 1.5 hours south of Reno near Kirkwood, Ca.
Difficulty level: Easy
Length: 7 miles out and back
Alternatively: Leave it to the experts, and book a guided trip!
If you are new to backpacking and want the extra security of traveling with a seasoned expert, there are a few good options to consider.
Book a Lake Tahoe overnight backpack trip with Tahoe Jack’s. They literally provide everything you could need for a 24-hour trip and provide a trusted guide to teach you the ins and outs.
Tahoe Adventure Company
Take a Backpacking 101 course with a seasoned pro that is a 5-mile trek and overnight stay geared towards those that are new to backpacking— including families with kids. I
t is costly but it includes all gear, including camp equipment for food preparation and water filtration and camp safety supplies such as stoves, water filters, bear canisters, cookware, and tents.
Excursions for Kids Ages 12-17
Tahoe Rim Trail Association
I mentioned earlier in this article that local backpacking excursions are available to tweens and teens. Tahoe Rim Trail Association has youth programs and backcountry trips for ages 12-14 and 14-17. Kids will spend 4 days backpacking along the Tahoe Rim Trail with expert backpacking guides. See details here.
If you are planning to backpack near Reno, or even in Tahoe or surrounding areas with kids this summer, I hope these tips have been helpful for you to consider your options safely for your family!
Have you backpacked these trails? Do you have recommendations or advice to share? We welcome hearing your trekking stories!
Maureen Lowe is a Bay Area native that relocated to the high desert mountains of Southwest Reno with her family in 2017. Mama to her active pup and toddler boy, Maureen is a textile designer and graduate of CCA San Francisco. With a lifelong love of nature and the arts, Maureen has made it a mission to explore Reno’s scenic trails and cultural offerings to find kid and dog-friendly outings that work in all seasons.