When visiting Palisades Tahoe in the summertime, it is essential to be prepared for changing weather.
Grab your boots and access the stunning backcountry of Palisades Tahoe region on foot! Remember to check for trail conditions, weather and pack the essentials for hiking. Use this handy checklist
- Check Trail Conditions. In early summer, be on the lookout for ice and snow before hiking up through Shirley Canyon or over the back of Alpine Meadows. The granite slabs on the Shirley Trail are very slippery and can be difficult to navigate safely in late spring.
- Consider the Weather. Summer weather in the mountains can change drastically in a matter of hours, or sometimes minutes! Rain, hail, and even snow are a real possibility when you are hiking above eight or nine thousand feet in elevation.
- Choose appropriate footwear. For a short day hike that does not involve a heavy pack or technical terrain, sneakers or trail shoes are great. If you are traveling over more technical terrain, hiking boots are recommended.
- Bring extra food.Any number of things could keep you out longer than expected such as getting lost, enjoying time by a stream, an injury, or difficult terrain. Extra food will help keep up energy and morale.
- Bring extra water. Hydrating during your high-altitude adventure is key to avoiding dehydration. Consuming too little water will not only make you thirsty but susceptible to hypothermia and altitude sickness.
- Carry Rain Gear & Extra Clothing. Dressing in layers allows you to adjust to changing weather and activity levels. Avoid cotton (it keeps moisture close to your skin) and always carry a hat.
- Wear Sunscreen & Sunglasses. If you are above the tree line when there is a skin-scorching combination of sun and late season snow, you will need sunglasses to prevent snow blindness and sunscreen to prevent sunburn. In the summertime, you can get anywhere from 40 to 50 percent greater sun intensity than at sea level.
- Carry a Map & Compass/GPS. A map and compass not only tell you where you are and how far you have to go, but it can also help you find campsites, water, and an emergency exit route in case of an accident. While GPS units are very useful, always carry a map and compass as a backup. If you get lost (and have cell service) call our dispatch at 530-452-7145
Hiking at High Elevation
The high-elevation backcountry of the Sierras is an explorer’s wonderland, but hiking at high altitude has significant effects on the human body and mind. Above 8,000 feet, altitude sickness affects 20-30 percent of visitors from low elevations to some degree. The first thing most people notice is a shortness of breath, especially when exercising. In addition, your heart is likely to beat faster and one may develop nausea, unusual tiredness, and headaches. Those with one or more of these symptoms may have Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If the symptoms do not subside quickly, call a doctor. Most importantly, listen to your body. Do not push the limits of your physical capabilities.
On Mountain Vehicles & Construction
The majority of our facility repairs and mountain improvement projects take place during the summer months, so guests should always be observant of construction hazards. Stay out of any construction or roped off areas. Vehicle access to Palisades Tahoe is restricted to company vehicles or those having legitimate, approved business on the mountain only. Vehicles may be encountered at any time, and terrain could be temporarily closed for maintenance at times.
For your own protection, please stay off chairlifts and towers. During our summer maintenance, lifts may start without warning.
Lightning & Thunderstorms
Here in the mountains, the weather is notorious for changing quickly. In the summer, that means you should be on the lookout for afternoon thunderstorms. If you notice one approaching, seek shelter when possible. Of course, if you are in one of our backcountry areas, finding shelter may not be so easy, which is why you should always be prepared. Hike or bike with a rain jacket and other appropriate gear, know your surroundings and be sure to avoid ridgetops, lift houses, lift towers, power lines, open ski runs, fences, signposts and the tallest tree or object in your vicinity. If lightning is in the area, ALL Tram operations will be suspended until lightning clears.
No smoking, please. The fire danger in this area is very high during the summer. If you see, a wildfire please call 911 immediately.
In our industry, we must always strive to be stewards of the environment, to interact with our local flora and fauna respectfully and safely. The best way to accomplish this is to stay on designated hiking and biking trails. If you do encounter a wild animal, remain calm and back away slowly to ensure it does not feel threatened. Never approach or feed wildlife. Leave wildflowers and plants in their native spaces.
Shirley Canyon Hiking Guide
Shirley Canyon Trail, located in Olympic Valley, is one of the most popular trails in the North Lake Tahoe region. Please read our handy guide before visiting so that you can be prepared and know what to expect.
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