The serenity that comes with the solitude and silence when engulfed by the aftermath of heavy snowfall…unbeatable. This is a dog-friendly adventure that I’d highly recommend.
Cities visited: Tahoe
Dates: Feb. 16-17
Characteristics: adventurous, remote, cold
Some friends found an approximately 6-mile round trip, dog-friendly trail to an overnight hut that is typically booked through the snow season on weekends. We went Sunday-Monday and essentially had the trail and the hut to ourselves.
Notes below for an overnight stay!
To Do (Before You Leave)
- Get a reservation by calling (530) 426-3632 (see the info on the Clair Tappaan website here)
Note: weekend reservations tend to fill up quickly in the winter. Either book far in advance or go for a weekday.
- Download the map
Peter Grubb Hut Trail on AllTrails (must have AllTrails Pro) or download this area on Google Maps
- Purchase 2 day-pass parking passes here: http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/
- Snow clothes
- Thermal shirt
- Beanie/head warmer
- Snow socks
- Anti-ice ball concoction for your dog – Musher’s Wax/Vaseline/Coconut Oil
- Food stuff
The hut has a wood-burning stove for heating purposes, a few pots and pans, utensils, and a couple of propane stoves. We used the wood-burning stove to melt snow and used our jetboil to cook food. We figured we’d leave the communal propane for folks who need it.
- Dinner, breakfast – we packed dehydrated meals for dinner and some oatmeal and peanut butter/honey for breakfast
- Snacks – we were too focused/on a time-crunch on the trail and did not stop to snack, but as soon as we go to the hut, we dug into the snacks as we settled in/prepped for dinner
- Camelbak with water
- Whiskey, lemon, honey, cinnamon (for hot toddies!)
Getting to the Trail
(from the rootsrated.com)
To reach the Peter Grubb Hut, take I-80 to the Boreal / Castel Peak exit. Overnight parking is found at the Pacific Crest Trail parking lot by taking a left, away from Boreal’s lot. A California Sno-Park permit is required to park here ($5 per day, online). Walk under the interstate (at freeway ramp) and begin your approach on the summer road to Castle. Follow the main trail less than 2 miles northwest towards the ridgeline between Castle and Andesite Peaks. From this ridgeline, contour north for less than a mile towards Basin Peak, and locate the large meadow that makes up Round Valley. The hut sits just inside treeline, on the western edge of the large meadow. Be sure to get a reservation, as crowded weekends can leave those without reservations in the snow cave outside.
Hut has a wood stove. 3 step ladder to get into hut. long ladder to get downstairs to kitchen and table area.