The Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park Backcountry is a widespread recreational and natural oasis. Spooner Lake, at the intersection of State Route 28 and U.S. 50, is popular for picnicking and catch-and-release fishing. It is also home to a new Mountain Bike Rental concession coming in 2013 , an overnight stay in backcountry cabins and mountain bike rentals for riding miles of trails in the summer months. Spooner Lake is also a major trailhead for gaining access to the Marlette/Hobart Backcountry. The backcountry comprises more than 13,000 acres of forested open space with miles of hiking, equestrian and mountain biking trails. A group use area is available. Vehicles are not permitted in the backcountry, which has been designated as a state primitive area. A few of the more popular trails in this area are the Marlette and Red House Flume as well as the Tahoe Rim Trail that runs along the crest of the Carson Range.
More information on the Events calendar at http://parks.nv.gov/calendar/.
As of May 10, 2013, update on trail conditions: Snow melting fast-Marlette Lake thawed. Backcountry will open complete a month early than normal-early june if warmth contnues. View Trail Report.
|FACILITIES & AMENITIES
PO Box 6116
During Peak season -(775)749-5980
Miles of Trails
The 5-mile trail to Marlette Lake via North Canyon Road is the most popular backcountry trail. A hiker and horse trail parallels this road for four miles. Access is from Spooner Lake, which is surrounded by a flat 2-mile trail that offers excellent opportunities for nature study.
The famous and historic 4.4-mile Marlette Flume Trail is accessed from the south via North Canyon or from the north via the steeper Tunnel Creek Road. Thirteen miles of the 165-‘mile Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) wind in and out of the park. The TRT is closed to bikes between Hobart Road and Spooner Summit. The segment north of the park, between Tunnel Creek Road and the Mount Rose Highway, is open to bikes even days only.
In addition to these trails, miles of dirt roads traverse the northeast side of the backcountry. Access is via the four-wheel-drive Ash Canyon Road.
Hours - Open 24 hours. No gates at the entrance due to overnight campers in the backcountry and late visitors due to various reasons and emergencies. Also fishing is allowed two hours after sunset at Spooner Lake. From sunup to sundown there is no overnight parking except for cabin and backpacking visitors.
Camping is allowed at no charge only in three primitive, walk-in campgrounds: Marlette Peak, Hobart and North Canyon. Each campground has a toilet and four or five camp sites with picnic tables, fire rings and bear resistant food and trash storage boxes. While camping, store food and trash in these boxes. When you depart, remove all food and trash from the boxes so they are available for use by other campers. Dispersed camping is not allowed around Marlette Lake or anywhere else within park boundaries. A camping limit of 14 days in a 30-day period is enforced.
Fishing is a favorite backcountry activity. A Nevada fishing license is required. At Spooner Lake, the limit is five and bait is allowed. The Marlette Lake season runs July 15 through September 30 and is catch-and-release only. Use only artificial lures and single barbless hooks in this catch-and-release lake. The Hobart Reservoir season runs May 1 through September 30. The limit is five, and only one may be longer than 14 inches. Only artificial lures and single barbless hooks are allowed. Report violators to the Nevada Department of Wildlife at (800) 992-3030.
Hunters enjoy the backcountry in accordance with Nevada Department of Wildlife regulations and State Parks’ administrative authority. Please call the park for a map of permitted hunting areas.
Pack It In, Pack It Out
Trash is not collected in the backcountry. Please pack out all trash.
Backcountry volunteer opportunities are available. Contact the park office at (775) 831-0494 or the Tahoe Rim Trail Association at 775-588-0686.
The Spooner Recreational Services Concession
The previous Spooner Backcountry Ski Area Concession is no longer in operation. The operators chose not to renew their lease and have moved on to other endeavors. The Spooner and Wildcat Cabins, that were operated as part of this concession, are not available as well until further notice. We hope that a new concession will be in place by late Spring (2013) that will include summer bike and cabins rentals. Thank you for your patience.
The backcountry is managed as a non-motorized area to preserve the area’s ecological and recreational attributes. Only motorized vehicles displaying official agency designations or a State Parks motorized vehicle permit are allowed in the backcountry. Please report violators by calling (775) 831-0494.
Environmental Improvement: Pardon our Dust
Occasionally you will encounter State Parks, fire, wildlife and other official vehicles in the backcountry on water system, ecological restoration and park business. Nevada’s Tahoe Resource Team implements environmental improvement projects in the park in response to a 1997 presidential forum promoting the protection and improvement of Lake Tahoe’s water quality and outstanding environmental resources. These projects are designed to improve water quality, control erosion, enhance wildlife habitat, restore forest health and improve recreation opportunities. Environmental projects mean that there may be vehicle traffic, chainsaw and tree chipper noise, trail crews and construction. Please excuse any inconvenience.
More than Recreation
The backcountry is more than a recreational playground and an ecological resource. It is also the site of the Marlette Water System, the water provider for Virginia City, Gold Hill, Silver City and parts of Carson City.
Developed in the last half of the 1800s to furnish the timber and water required by the gold and silver mines in Virginia City and Gold Hill, the system is comprised of Marlette Lake, Hobart Reservoir and an intricate system of flumes and pipelines.
The Marlette Flume and another flume from the north entered a 4,000 foot tunnel that emptied on the east side of the Carson Range and joined the Inverted Siphon, the key pipeline of the Comstock era. This high pressure pipeline brought water to a reservoir near Virginia City. It could deliver up to 10 million gallons a day. This pipeline is still in use.