Welcome to our guide to Lake Tahoe’s hiking trails; the trails in this guide are all sorted by the region of Lake Tahoe to which they belong. They are a few things that you need to take into consideration before you undertake any hiking activities in Lake Tahoe. First of all you should always be aware that the weather conditions in and around the surrounding areas of Lake Tahoe can change at a rapid pace. Always make sure you have the appropriate clothing and equipment before attempting any hiking. If you are going to be hiking in desolation wilderness then you will need to obtain a wilderness permit. Day hikers will be able to obtain permits at one of the self-service stations that are situated on the trailheads. Any hiker looking to stay overnight will also need a permit as well as pay the relevant fees at the visitor center or the office of the forest service.
Trails on the North and East Shore
This trail is considered to be of easy difficulty with an elevation of approximately 7017 feet and a ½ mile one way trip.
After taking Highway 28 from Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, take the north turn into reservoir drive located to the east of the old casino. Take a right on the lakeshore avenue and then a left at forest service road. You can find parking spaces just beneath the lookout. In the summer months the lookout is adequately staffed with a number of knowledgeable volunteers. You can enjoy some of the amazing lake views courtesy of the free telescopes that are located here. A short nature trail (self-guided) is located near the lookout that details the history of Lake Tahoe’s North Shore.
Prey Meadows to Skunk Harbor
Another easy difficulty hiking trail with an elevation level of 6200 – 6800 feet and a rone way distance of approximately 1 ½ miles.
Leave Highway 50 north and join highway 28 and drive for 2 miles. Keep your eyes open for an iron gate which will be located on the western side of the highway. You should park your car in one of the turnout spots located along the highway and be careful not to block the gate.
This is a fantastic walk early in the spring when there is no snow on the ground; the walk through the conifer treed forest offers some spectacular lake views. Along the trail you will be able to see the remains of an 1870 railroad grade which was built as part of a network to transport timber to the City of Virginia. You will eventually come to a fork in the trail, you will have two options. The fork on the left will take you to prey meadows which is covered in an extensive variety of wildflowers during the spring. While the fork on the right will lead on to Skunk Harbor, this picturesque cove offers great places for sunbathing and swimming during the summer.
This trail has been classified as being a moderate level of difficulty, with an elevation of 7000 – 8000 feet and a one way trip distance of 5 miles.
The trailhead of Spooner Lake is located inside Lake Tahoe’s Nevada state park which is just northwest of the junction of highways 28/50; you can park the car here after paying a small fee. Dogs are allowed as long as they are on a leash. The trail to the dam at Marlette Lake leads you up a moderate five mile hike (uphill) through the beautiful North Canyon that is lined by tall aspen trees. There is no fishing allowed at Marlette Lake as it is a hatchery for fish.
Rim Trail: North
Another trail with a moderate level of difficulty and an elevation level of 7000 – 8600 feet with a one way trip distance of 5 miles if you want to get to Marlette lake and 13 miles one way to get you to Tunnel Creek.
Take the Highway 50 east for approximately ½ mile off the junction of Highway 50 and highway 28. Parking is available just after the summit that is along the northern side of the highway.
This trail provides spectacular views of Carson Valley as well as offering glimpses of Lake Tahoe stretched along a forested trail. A little before Snow Peak, the trail leads into a fork. The left fork will lead you down a steep switchback to the road that leads to Marlette Lake.Whereas The right fork will eventually lead you to the Tunnel Creek Road.
Rim Trail (south)
Moderate difficulty level trail with an elevation of 8560 – 8800 feet and a one way trip distance of 2 miles to get to Duane bliss park, 3 miles to get you to south camp peak, 4 miles gets you to Genoa peak and 12 miles to highway 207.
Parking is available at rest area of Spooner Summit which is located along the Highway 50.
The trail begins at the back of the Nevada Department Transportation building. Numerous Views of Carson Valley as well as some glimpses of Lake Tahoe are visible along this well forested trail. Duane Bliss Peak (8658 feet), South Camp peak (8866 feet) and Genoa Peak (9150 feet) can all be climbed by travelling cross country.DONE SO FAR