Tahoe National Forest - Penner Lake - June 16 & 17, 2006
We had hoped to get out earlier and backpack this season but with all of the late winter snow and our amateur route finding skills we waited until mid-June. Our plan had been to hike the Grouse Ridge trail which is suppose to be really great...however. We started out our hike and about a half an hour into the hike we started to run into a lot of snow. The snow level was sitting at around 8000 feet and the ridge trail was around 9000 feet so we quickly determined that we weren't going to be doing our originally anticipated route. We were determined though to get some hiking in so we decided we would try to off trail it to the nothern end of the ridge trail. About 5 frustrating hours later (frustrating for me) we knew that we weren't going to make it to the end destination and the off trail route we were taking was pretty rough. We sat down with the map and decided to go to Penner Lake which was off of a trail that was west of us and at a lower elevation. We quickly found the trail, got to the lake and set about our usual camping chores. The lake was very nice and there were other people there but it wasn't too crowded. Finding wood for a campfire was a huge challenge there was not much downed wood. All was nice and peaceful through the night until about 2:00 when the bullfrogs woke up...oh yeah very pleasant. The next morning we took the trail out and I think we were at the trailhead within a few hours. Penner Lake was really nice and is a good early season short destination but one day we'll be back to get do the Grouse Ridge Trail. See all of the Penner Lake photos.