When we first moved to Reno, we were hesitant to ever visit Lake Tahoe in the summer. The walls of people at a beach or hundreds of people on atrail, especially on the California side of the lake, always detracted too much from what would otherwise be a pleasant outdoor experience. What we quickly realized though is that the crowds always congregate at the same handful of the most popular beaches and trails.
There are plenty of hidden spots right along the shore of Lake Tahoe in which you will encounter no people even while there are thousands of tourists visiting Emerald Bay or Kings Beach. What is even more surprising is that some of these lesser-known destinations are just as every bit as beautiful as the most popular ones. Several of these hiking destinations are presented in our book, Base Camp Reno: 101 Hikes From Sage to Snow. In this blog post, we describe an additional example of one of these special Lake Tahoe hiking spots called Captain Pomin Rock.
The parking area for this hike is near the junction of Nevada Highways 28 and 50. The trail begins as a faded logging road that then transitions into a foot trail. After about one mile of hiking, you reach the base of the Captain Pomin Rock outcropping.
Captain Pomin was the first captain of the SS Tahoe, a steamship that carried passengers and supplies between the various shoreline communities of Lake Tahoe from the 1890s until the 1930s. After the completion of Lake Tahoe highways rendered the SS Tahoe obsolete, it was ordered to be sunk in shallow water with the idea that it would become a tourist attraction. Unfortunately, it sunk more than 400 feet under water and is no longer visible from the water’s surface. After the wreck was explored by scuba divers who set a record for high-altitude diving, the SS Tahoe was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Reaching the top of Captain Pomin Rock requires only some light scrambling, and the views from on top are certainly well worth the minimal effort it takes to reach the summit. All of Lake Tahoe is visible, and you can perch carefully on a few of the upper slabs of granite to pose for some impressive photographs. The best part of the hike was that we had the glorious Lake Tahoe views all to ourselves despite hiking on a weekend in June. It certainly shows that knowing the best spots to go is key to maximizing your hiking enjoyment!