The trailhead gpx information that was formerly available here is now available on GaiaGPS at Trails, trailheads, and junctions are included in the map.

This trailhead information is being maintained, for now, but may be removed in the future.

Clockwise, starting at the north: Granite Chief | Alpine Meadows | Barker Pass | Powderhorn | Grayhorse Valley | Talbot | Tevis Cup | Other Trailheads

Granite Chief Trailhead, Granite Chief Trail (15E23)

The Granite Chief Trailhead has a standard Granite Chief Wilderness trailhead sign, and a Granite Chief Trail sign without destination or mileage. This trailhead is at the right hand side of the main fire station in Squaw Valley. Note: The trailhead sign is leaning aganist the fire station wall and not visible from the approach.

Alpine Meadows Trailhead, Five Lakes Trail (16E13)

The Alpine Meadows Trailhead has a standard GCW trailhead information sign, and a Five Lakes Trail sign. Note: New trail sign as of 2014.

Barker Pass Trailhead, Pacific Crest Trail (2000) and Tahoe Rim Trail

This trailhead is at the crest of the Barker Pass road, in a parking lot on the east side of the road. The TRTA sign at Barker Pass, for the northbound Pacific Crest Trail and Tahoe Rim Trail.

Barker Pass Trailhead, wilderness map (2016)

Powderhorn Trailhead, Powderhorn Trail (15E15)

This trailhead is on the Barker Pass Road, 1.6 miles west of Barker Pass Trailhead. The road segment between Barker Pass Trailhead and this trailhead is deteriorating, and passenger cars must drive carefully to navigate it. There is parking space at the junction of Road 3-4, which eliminates the roughest 0.3 miles. Note: The trailhead sign is missing. The trail sign has been replaced.

Powderhorn Trailhead, trail sign (2016)

Grayhorse Valley Trailhead, Grayhorse Valley Trail (15E11)

This trailhead on road 48-14 has a trailhead sign that only has the standard wilderness map, and a wilderness boundary sign. It does not have a destination or distance sign.

Grayhorse Trailhead (2012)

Talbot Trailhead, Picayune Valley Trail (16E10)

This trailhead is marked by a large number of signs. Coming in on the gravel road, there is first an equestrian trailhead on the left, with one hitching rail and a standard trailhead information sign. Just past this is the main trailhead, which is at the entrance to Talbot Campground. The standard trailhead information sign is in better shape than any I’ve seen for the wilderness. The trail goes past the green gate, immediately crosses Talbot Creek, and is followed by a Granite Chief Wilderness sign at the boundary.

Talbot Trailhead sign (2018)

Tevis Cup Trailhead

This trailhead is now at the saddle between the North Fork American River and the Middle Fork American River, which I call Foresthill Divide, though it is not officially named that until further west. The road up from Soda Springs ends at the saddle, and the trail starts along what used to be a dirt road but has been converted to a trail. There is no trail mileage or trailhead sign, but there is a wilderness sign a short ways down the trail.

Tevis TH wilderness sign
wilderness sign at Tevis Trailhead (2019)

Hell Hole Trailhead, Hell Hole “Trail” (15E18)

There is no indication of this trailhead. The trail starts just before the rough 4WD road (14N09A) takes its last steep descent to Grayhorse Creek, as a vague path to the left. The road into this point is mostly high clearance, but deteriorates to required 4WD just the before the trailhead, and then the steep descent to the reservoir. Note: I maintained the trail in 2019, so it is easier to see, but the trailhead is still obscure and unsigned.

Other Trailheads

  • Tahoe City and Ward Creek: The Tahoe Rim Trail joins the Pacific Crest Trail near Twin Peaks and so can be used to access the wilderness. The 64-Acres Park and TRT trailhead at Tahoe City, and the crossing of the TRT at Ward Creek Road can be used.
  • Buckskin: Some older maps show a trailhead at the end of forest road 14-48, but I have been unable to find either the trailhead or the trail in the welter of logging roads.
  • Pacific Crest Trail: The PCT trailheads, at Donner Pass (old Highway 40) or beyond, can be used to access the wilderness. It is about 13 miles from Donner Pass to the northern wilderness boundary.

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