Tahoe Meadows to Diamond Peak

Summary  Link to more information about summary

Difficulty 4 Intermediate-advanced
Length 5.3 miles one-way
8500 feet
+900, -2550 one-way
Navigation Map
Time Full day
Season Mid-December through mid-April
Snowmobiles Use Not permitted on north side of ridge (first 0.9 mile) and low use on south side of ridge. [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Mount Rose
Start Highway 431, 6.1 miles northeast of Highway 28 and 2.0 miles southwest of Mount Rose Summit. This is just north of where the "South Ridge" nears the highway.

Description   Link to more information about description

In the Lake Tahoe area the tour from Tahoe Meadows to Diamond Peak is only rivaled by it’s big brother, the tour from Tahoe Meadows to Brockway Summit, for outstanding ridge skiing and superlative views of Lake Tahoe. But unlike its big brother, the ridge you follow on this tour forms a dividing line between the lake to the west, and the arid lands of Washoe Valley and the desert mountains to the east. Imagine simply turning 180 degrees to see the contrasting panoramas.

Lake Tahoe from ridgetop
Lake Tahoe from ridgetop
Washoe Valley from ridgetop
Washoe Valley from ridgetop

This 5.3-mile tour can be broken down into four distinct parts that combine to form a wonderfully interesting tour for strong, skilled skiers.

  • Part 1 — The tour along Chickadee Ridge.

  • Part 2 — Short, steep climb to high point of the tour at 9,225 feet.

  • Part 3 — 2.5 miles of ridge skiing to Diamond Peak. Your route along the ridge will be much more serpentine than you would expect from looking at the map due to abundant trees, rock outcrops and wind-generated ridges of snow.

  • Part 4 — Descent of intermediate ski run at Diamond Peak Ski Resort.

As you might imagine, this tour should be saved for fair weather when you can enjoy the skiing along the ridge top.

Although the ending point for this tour, Diamond Peak Ski Resort, is only 0.2 mile from the ending point for the Tahoe Meadows to Incline Village tour, the tours are much different — only the first 1.2 miles of the tours are the same. Beyond, the tour to Incline Village is a continuous, often steep, downhill run through the backcountry to its terminus. In contrast, the tour to Diamond Peak and the ski resort meanders and descends gradually along a ridge before descending an intermediate ski run at the resort. Also, while the tour to the ski resort is only 1.1 miles longer, it takes significantly more time.

Mileage Log   Link to more information about mileage log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 0.1
Elevation change: +50 feet

From the trailhead (1) ski east across a small clearing for 0.1 mile until you reach the trees on the opposite side (2). Do not be tempted to ski directly to the ridge and along it; the dense trees make travel slow at best.

Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 0.1 - 0.7
Elevation change: +200 feet

Ski east and parallel to the ridge that is to the south (right), and climb gradually for 0.6 mile until you reach a less wooded area that ascends to the south (3). At this point you should be able to see a relatively clear route up the ridge.

Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 0.7 - 0.9
Elevation change: +200 feet

Climb south (right) for 0.2 mile until you reach the ridgetop and more level terrain (4).

Waypoint 4 to 5
Miles: 0.9 - 1.2
Elevation change: Nil

Traverse east around the south side of Peak 8996 for 0.3 mile until you reach a broad saddle (5).

Waypoint 5 to 6
Miles: 1.2 - 1.6
Elevation change: +250 feet

Ski east and then climb southeast for a total of 0.4 mile to the summit of Peak 9225 (6). Be sure to ascend the northwest ridge of the peak and avoid its steep faces that may be unstable.

Peak 9225 from saddle
Peak 9225 from saddle

Waypoint 6 to 10
Miles: 1.6 - 3.6
Elevation change: +200, -850 feet

Ski south along the ridge, passing Peak 9085 and Peak 9065 to the west (right) and Peak 8777 to the east (left) for a total of 2.0 miles until you reach a location to the west (right) of Peak 8676 (10). Waypoints 7, 8 and 9 are provided for additional navigation aide.

Easy skiing along ridgetop
Easy skiing along ridgetop

Waypoint 10 to 11
Miles: 3.6 - 4.1
Elevation change: -100 feet

Ski south toward Diamond Peak (Peak 8538) for 0.5 mile until you reach the The Great Flume ski run at Diamond Peak Ski Resort (11). This section of the ridge is heavily wooded and the best you can do is take the path of least resistance. Depending how high you stay, you may find yourself crossing a steep gully before rounding a finger and encountering the groomed ski run that is rated intermediate.

Waypoint 11 to 12
Miles: 4.1 - 5.3
Elevation change: -1600 feet

Descend The Great Flume ski run for 1.2 miles until you reach the base of the ski area (12).

Print version of map for tour