Meeks Traverse

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April 4-5, 2015
The Meeks Traverse is a combination of two relatively nondescript ridges on the southwestern side of the Lake Tahoe Basin. The two ridges are unique in that they provide very different vantage points of the surrounding terrain. The eastern ridge rises seemingly directly above Lake Tahoe itself, and involves expansive views of its large blue surface. The western ridge provides extensive views of the many lakes and peaks of the Desolation Wilderness and Crystal Range to the west. With an elevation gain totaling around 7,000 ft, the Meeks Traverse is designed to be a relatively laid back route which can be completed in a 1-2 days in summer or 2-3 days in winter/spring. For those who are looking at getting started with ridge traversing, I would definitely recommend this route.

Chris, Mason, and I planned to start the traverse from Meeks Trailhead (6,250 ft) early Saturday morning, heading a short distance south onto the obvious ridge which continued south. This ridge included the first four peaks on the traverse (Rubicon through Emerald). From Emerald, we would head west to cross the Meeks Creek Drainage and gain the second ridge at Phipps Pass (0.5 mi NE of Phipps Peak). We would then follow that ridge northward to Lost Duck Peak, then descend back into the Meeks Creek Drainage, pick up the single well defined trail that ran through the drainage, and follow it for a few miles northeast back to Meeks Trailhead.

Trailhead coordinates (lat/lon): 39.037313, -120.126347

The table below includes every peak (traversing clockwise) on the Meeks Traverse. For unnamed peaks, I have dubbed names for them which are derived from the names of nearby lakes and passes. These dubbed names are in quotes. Peaks without quotes are either officially named by the USGS or were found named by previous parties who had written them in summit registers.

PeakElevationTopographic ProminenceSummit Coordinates (lat/lon)
Rubicon Peak9,183 ft243 ft38.988575, -120.133392
"Stoney Ridge Peak"9,269 ft889 ft38.983666, -120.129619
Jakes Peak9,187 ft207 ft38.970058, -120.12291
Emerald Point9,195 ft295 ft38.960626, -120.123961
Phipps Peak9,234 ft414 ft38.954692, -120.149936
Haakens Peak9,310 ft1,410 ft38.97032, -120.149381
Crag Peak9,054 ft74 ft38.976976, -120.152042
"Meeks Peak"8,721 ft341 ft38.985272, -120.163944
"Lost Duck Peak"7,980 ft360 ft39.013488, -120.17094

Total Stats
18.6 miles    7,080 ft gain/loss

Map (Since Blogger does not let me upload this file at full size, email me at for a full sized version of this map)

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