Around Waterhouse

Waterhouse Peak is the modest tree-covered mountain just to the southwest of Luther Pass. The northeast side, facing the road, can be a fun descent, and the meadow area at its northern base, Grass Lake, is popular with beginner XC skiers. You can also ski around the peak. This is a pretty easy tour, dense tree cover in a few areas being perhaps the most significant challenge. Average tour elevation is 7700', a good tour for mid- to late-winter (you may start to lose coverage near the south-facing start of the tour past mid-March).

You can start this tour right at Luther Pass, traversing southward down to about a 7600' contour. Or, you can start lower on the southeast side of Luther, at the 7300' "Dangberg Camp" pull-out at the north end of Hope Valley. You could also start at the south end of Hope Valley along highway 88. There is free parking available at most of these locations.

Anyway, traverse around Waterhouse's southeast side, staying around 7600', and then ascend westward to Scotts Lake. Continue over the gentle saddle, and descend north of west along the Big Meadow Creek drainage (usually staying to the north side of the creek). When you reach Big Meadow around 7500', turn more northward and, still staying to the right of the creek, continue down to meet highway 89 at around 7200' (signs on the road indicate the "Tahoe Rim Trail"). There is usually some free parking available along the opposite side of the road. Note that the 15' topo maps don't show Luther Pass Road correctly at either end of this tour.

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