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Lake Tahoe May 2012 – Hiking Hawley Grade

One afternoon while chatting with a neighbor I was informed about a short hike in Christmas Valley that would take me up to a waterfall with the longest vertical drop in the Tahoe Valley. The hike is along a trail called Hawley grade, a single track trail that was once the main wagon train road into the Tahoe valley way back in the day in the mid 1800’s. The road dropped travelers into the upper Christmas valley and down to a trading post where they could load up on supplies

The trail starts in the back end of Christmas valley and ascends along the valley wall just below highway 50. The route starts off on a flat fire road before thinning out to single track.

As usual, Izzie bolted up the trail with me in tow. As we ascended we had to scramble over a number of downed trees. It was still early in the season and the forest service had not had a chance to clear the trail of downed trees.

After just a couple of miles of ascending we came across the falls.. aptly named Hawley grade falls. The falls cascade right across the trail. Since it was early in spring the water flow was pretty impressive.. not sure one would want to attempt crossing the falls on the trail unless they wanted to get very wet.

Not wanting to get wet.. or washed off the side of the trail and down several hundred feet of wet rocky waterfall, we doubled back down to the valley floor and relaxed along the upper trucker river.

It appeared that Izzie was enjoying the scenery as much as I was

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