Chickadee Ridge


Difficulty 3 Intermediate
Length 3.4 miles round trip
8550 feet
+500, -500 round trip
Navigation Map
Time Half day
Season Mid-December through April
Snowmobiles Not permitted on north side of ridge and low use on south side of ridge. [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Mount Rose
Start Highway 431, 6.6 miles northeast of Highway 28 and 1.5 miles southwest of Mount Rose Summit. This is where Ophir Creek intersects the highway and just north of the trees that border the south side of Tahoe Meadows.


This tour gets its name from the Chickadees that inhabit the trees near the high point of the tour. The high point is on a ridge located at the south end of Tahoe Meadows from which the panorama of shimmering Lake Tahoe with glistening snow-capped peaks in the background confronts you. The high point is an idyllic spot to enjoy lunch and spend time soaking up the rays on a warm, sunny day. Ski here after a new snowfall and still cold, and the slopes descending to Incline Creek will afford a super opportunity to link turns.

View from south ridge
Chickadee Ridge from Tahoe Meadows

View from south ridge
View from Chickadee Ridge

Skiers new to navigating with a map may find the route-finding on this tour, through wooded terrain, challenging. Finding your way back can be confusing if there are many tracks; you might find a compass useful. The rewards are well worth the effort.

This tour is also the first part of the Tahoe Meadows to Incline Village tour and the Tahoe Meadows to Diamond Peak tour.

Mileage Log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Miles: 0.0 - 0.3
Elevation change: -50 feet

From the trailhead (1) ski east and then southeast along the edge of the woods for a total of 0.3 mile until you reach a point where to the southwest (right) there is a clearing slightly above (2). Do not be tempted to ski directly to the ridge and along it; the dense trees make travel slow at best.

View from south ridge
Cars line this popular trailhead

Miles: 0.3 - 0.35
Elevation change: Nil

Ascend southwest for 0.05 mile until you reach the top of the clearing (3).

Miles: 0.35 - 0.6
Elevation change: +50 feet

Enter the woods and ski slightly east of south and continue to veer more south for a total of 0.25 mile until you reach a large meadow (4). South from the meadow you can see the ridge that you will ascend. For a variation, on your return you can follow this meadow generally to the north and downhill to Tahoe Meadows.

Skiing through trees after leaving clearing
Skiing through trees

Miles: 0.6 - 1.0
Elevation change: +200 feet

Ski south through woods for 0.4 mile until you reach the ridgetop (5).

Route up to rdige

Miles: 1.0 - 1.7
Elevation change: +200 feet

Ski southeast and then northeast for a total of 0.7 mile until you reach a broad saddle (6). In this section you skirt the south side of Peak 8996.

Snowcamper feeding chickadee
Snowcamper feeding chickadee

Miles: 1.7 - 3.4
Elevation change: +50, -450 feet

Retrace the route for 1.7 miles back to the trailhead (1).

Elevation Profile
Elevation profile
Link to elevation profile
Link to waypoint data
Link to full page map
Link to see and submit reviews and corrections about tour