Martis Peak is a wonderful snowshoe or cross country ski destination following a road to a fire lookout near the top. Although the mountain itself is not an impressive sight, the views from the summit are among the most spectacular of all the Tahoe Peaks, encompassing a broad swath of mountains from distant Lassen Peak to the North, nearby Castle Peak to the northwest, to the peaks surrounding Lake Tahoe. The peak offers superb views of South Lake Tahoe and the Truckee area immediately below
Perched just below the summit is a fire lookout, originally constructed in 1914. It is staffed five days a week during the fire season for spotting fires, but it is also available during the winter for those that want to overnight camp during overnight snowshoe or skiing adventures.
From Truckee, take Highway 267 south towards Lake Tahoe for approximately 8 miles. On the left there is a parking area next to a small drainage. A road with a gate follows the drainage. If you reach Brockway Summit on Highway 267 you have gone 0.5 mile too far.
To climb Martis Peak, follow the main road from the parking area. The road will occasionally fork. Generally, when there is a major fork in the road, you will want to take the left fork. Small blue diamond-shaped signs on trees mark the route. Views are obscured by the dense ponderosa pine/white fir/lodegepole pine/red fir forest until you are near the top.
The lookout is not the highpoint. To reach the high point, hike uphill (east) from the lookout for a hundred yards or so. However, the views from the summit are not any better than the views from the lookout. But, if you want the excercise, the total distance round trip is 7.5 miles with a 1700 ft. elevation gain.