A short hike from Highway 431, Tamarack Peak holds the classic Hourglass Bowl, considered by many to be the Mount Rose Area’s main attraction. By looking at just the statistics, Tamarack seems like an after thought option or a small hill. However, this little zone remains one of the Tahoe area’s most popular locations, and holds great bowl skiing and drier, less sun-baked powder than lower elevation options. Easy ridges on the south and north sides allow quality yo-yo laps. Skiing Tamarack is also a great way to get some quality turns in on the way to Mount Rose and Mount Houghton, whose most direct approaches involve uninteresting elevation loss when you are already halfway to Tamarack’s summit. From the parking lot, skin due west through the sparse, rolling forest, aiming for the saddle between Tamarack and Galena Peaks. From here, turn south (left) and find the ridgeline to Tamarack’s summit. Be sure to remember the ascent route and surrounding landscape for the last descent to the car. The parking lot is hidden out of view behind a small ridge for most of the way back.
Mount Rose, Mount Houghton, Tamarack Peak, and Galena Peaks all use the same parking area. This lot, with room for over 20 cars, is located on Highway 431, 1 mile east of the highway’s summit. This parking area is 15.5 miles west of the 395-431 junction near Reno, and 9 miles east of the 28-431 junction near Incline Village. Keep in mind that on busy weekends this lot will be bustling, but the variety of skiing options spreads everybody out.