|Length||8.7 miles one-way|
|+2200, -2200 one-way|
|Navigation||Road and map|
|Season||Late December through mid-April|
|Snowmobiles Use||Not permitted except for private landowner who can ride up Deep Creek on the road to access his land. [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]|
|USGS Topo||7.5' series, Tahoe City, Granite Chief, Norden, Truckee|
|Start||Highway 89 at the intersection with the Pole Creek road, 6.2 miles south of Interstate 80, 7.5 miles north of Tahoe City, and immediately south of Pole Creek.|
The tour described here combines the Bradley Hut tour to reach the hut with a return to Highway 89 via Deep Creek. The descent into Deep Creek is by way of a very steep, north-facing, heavily wooded slope; you descend 1000 feet in less than 1 mile. There are a few small glades in the woods, but for the most part you will be twisting and turning down through trees.
As you might guess, the descent into Deep Creek is best left for powder conditions; cold temperatures will ensure that the powder remains good down to the 7000-foot level at the bottom of the drainage. Of course this means that you will be breaking trail down Deep Creek. Spring-like conditions would also be good for the descent.
This tour is only for very hardy skiers who relish a challenge. The Pole Creek to Deep Creek tour also descends into Deep Creek, but is a little shorter and less wooded.
Refer to the Bradley Hut tour for information on hut reservations.
Regardless of whether you ski the tour described here or the Pole Creek to Deep Creek tour, the logistics are difficult because there is no parking available at the ending point. Unless the snow has melted off part of the Deep Creek road or the private landowner up Deep Creek has plowed parking on the road, your only option is to walk 1.5 miles south back to the starting point.
Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 1.9
Elevation change: +650 feet
From the trailhead (1) ascend generally east on the convoluted snow-covered road for 1.9 miles until you reach a road junction (2). The road to the west (left) is part of the Saddle Trail Loop and the Silver Peak tours. The tour to Bradley Hut continues north (straight) on the main road.
Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 1.9 - 2.4
Elevation change: +50, -150 feet
Continue north (straight) on the main road, then northwest and finally cross Pole Creek on a bridge for a total of 0.5 mile until you reach a road junction (3). The road to the east (right) is part of the Pole Creek Loop tour and leads back to Highway 89. The road to the west (left) leads to Bradley Hut.
Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 2.4 - 3.0
Elevation change: +200 feet
Turn west (left) and follow the road for 0.6 mile until you reach a 180-degree turn to the right (4).
Waypoint 4 to 5
Miles: 3.0 - 3.2
Elevation change: +100 feet
Make the turn and continue on the road to the east for 0.2 mile until you reach a road junction (5) where the main road turns 180 degrees to the left and heads west. The road to the north is part of the Bradley Hut Loop and the Pole Creek to Deep Creek tours.
Waypoint 5 to 6
Miles: 3.2 - 4.1
Elevation change: +450 feet
Ski west on the road for 0.9 mile until you come to a distinct open area (6). The topographic map shows a road junction in this clearing, but it is very unlikely that you will see it.
Waypoint 6 to 7
Miles: 4.1 - 4.7
Elevation change: +250 feet
Climb on the road to the west (straight) for 0.6 mile until you reach Bradley Hut (7). In the clearing you left behind, do not take the road south (left) if it is visible. Also, there is another road junction 0.1 mile before reaching the hut. It is unlikely that you will see the junction, but if you do, continue straight ahead on the north (right) fork.
Waypoint 7 to 8
Miles: 4.7 - 5.2
Elevation change: +500 feet
Climb north for 0.5 mile until you reach the saddle (8) to the west of Peak 8149. This section is unsafe when unstable snow conditions exist.
Waypoint 8 to 9
Miles: 5.2 - 6.0
Elevation change: -1000 feet
Descend north for 0.8 mile until you reach the bottom of the Deep Creek drainage (9). If you head straight north, where the terrain is initially the best, the terrain will eventually become very steep. You can eliminate most of the steepest terrain by heading slightly west of north as you descend.
Waypoint 9 to 10
Miles: 6.0 - 8.7
Elevation change: -1050 feet
Turn east (right) and descend the Deep Creek drainage for 2.7 miles until you reach Highway 89 (10). In the previous section you may or may not have intersected the road that parallels the creek depending on the route you descend. If not, follow the drainage east until you intersect the road and then continue east on it. In either case you want to find the road located to the south and slightly above the creek and follow it to the highway.