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Wildflower Sunset on Tahoe Rim Trail

I will go on record and say that this year's wildflowers have been the most incredible display I have seen this past decade in Tahoe.

Don't get me wrong. We've been around to experience some amazing lupine superblooms along the shores of Tahoe.

2016 Tahoe Lupine Superbloom

And we've seen lots of wildflowers on numerous hikes, but this year is standout.

My husband had been recently mountain biking a particular area near a section of the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT), and he was amazed at the volume of wildflowers that was starting to come out. He knew I'd really like it, too.

Normally, we'd hike up the TRT to this area to see them, but on the day we were able to get out on this adventure, it was already getting late in the day, and we wanted to still fit it in before it got too dark (and maybe even catch the sunset). Lucky for us, there's a forest road nearby that would save us a bunch of time and get us most of the way there.

We gathered a few snacks, grabbed our camp chairs, and headed up the forest road in the Jeep. When we reached the road's intersection with the trail, we parked and hiked a short distance north. Not only was everything so lush and green, but wildflowers were everywhere.

After strolling along and stopping to take several flower photos – mostly lupine and Indian paintbrush – we double-backed and chose a spot on which to set up our camp chairs to enjoy the great outdoors for a bit.

As the sun sank lower in the sky, we heard Western tanagers singing around us, and enjoyed just enough of a light breeze to keep any bugs at bay. Following our big snow winter, we've seen more bugs than usual this summer.

Before it started getting too dark out, we decided to pack up and explore the trail from the other direction to see if the wildflowers were any different or possibly even better.

The alternate vantage point definitely did not disappoint. And the sun was setting over the lake and Sierra ridgeline perfectly.

I have to say, I probably caught my new favorite Tahoe photo on this night.

I was so jazzed about this magical spot on the trail that I actually convinced my husband to return there again the following night.

In addition to an abundance of wildflowers this summer, we have also been graced by an abundance of sphinx moths.

We headed to the same area of the trail as the previous night. I attempted to recreate the same shots, though this time, we had gotten here earlier in the evening.

And, as if the colorful wildflowers weren't enough, the sky began to explode into brilliant sunset hues.

I was really glad we came back for round two of these glorious wildflowers, and the bonus sunset was a great way to close out the weekend.


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