The Joys of Silver Trail

Cross-country skier on Silver Trail with view of Lake Tahoe

Ski or Snowshoe to Views of Lake Tahoe

Tahoe XC is loaded with great trails to ski and snowshoe. You can experience the joy of a true accomplishment by making it to the top of the Gold Trail, thrill at the twisty downhills while flying down Bronze, or take the short climb to Kevin’s Crest for a full panorama of Lake Tahoe on Lakeview Trail. But one of my favorite trails to ski is Silver.

Silver Trail dishes out a little bit of everything and is a good choice for a wide range of abilities. Though perhaps a bit far for some snowshoers, a ski from the lodge to Silver and back via the Green, Orange and Red Trails comes in at about 14 kilometers. It’s a nice hour and a half outing for your average skate skier, or a several hour excursion for someone brand new to the sport.

Standing Among Giant Trees

Another highlight of Silver Trail is that you will find some of the largest trees to be found anywhere on the Tahoe XC trail system. Keep your eyes peeled for several enormous sugar pines, a stand of uniquely tall lodgepole pines, and a smattering of majestic ancient incense cedars.

Silver is a loop with a view of Lake Tahoe at the far end and can be skied or snowshoed in either direction. The easier route is to go straight ahead at the Red-Silver junction and come back the same way you went out.

(View Winter Trail Map)

Towering trees and view of Tahoe on Silver Trail

Going Counter-Clockwise

Highlights of skiing or snowshoeing around Silver Trail going counter-clockwise include these:

  • A long section of gentle downhill that is a skate skier’s delight.
  • A lovely view of Lake Tahoe over an open slope at the far end of the trail.
  • A short, steep downhill followed by a steep uphill.
  • Some fun twisty sections with a short steep uphill before completing the loop.

Going Clockwise

Here is what you will find going clockwise:

  • Right away, a short, windy downhill with a sharp right turn.
  • A fun up and down section.
  • A steep downhill with a quick turn at the bottom and then a short steep climb uphill.
  • A lovely view of Lake Tahoe.
  • A long gentle climb back to the Red-Silver junction.

Adjust for Spring Conditions

In the springtime, or during lower snow conditions, you might find several modified versions of Silver. One nicknamed Quicksilver, cuts off the outer half of the loop, avoiding the steep hill which can be a challenge to groom if the snow levels are low. You also might find a cut off the main trail near the end of the loop to provide a different access to the lakeview. This is to avoid a sunny bit of trail that can burn off quickly.