Navigation is no problem on this distinct, mostly sand track bordered by rocks. Tahoe Rim Trail volunteers deserve kudos for their efforts along this uphill path as it knifes through the shade of fir and pine. After a brief direction change to the south, your trail resumes its northward direction up to the saddle at just over 9700 feet. On the way, you will cross three runoff streams in close succession, creating a cool, verdant slope sporting larkspur, lupine, columbine, paintbrush, corn lilies and assorted white and yellow flowers.
At the saddle, odd-shaped rock outcrops, gnarled trees, and the sparse, ground-hugging plant life are part of the interesting landscape, where you can also look out to Lake Tahoe. A sign to the south indicates that you are one mile (actually only 1151 vertical feet) from Freel Peak. Depart the Tahoe rim trail at this point and head south uphill through the trees.