Follow for new reviews:

Best Hikes: Lake Tahoe, CA


• 11 day hikes
• 1 to 10 mile trails
• Easy, Medium & Hard difficulties
• Northern California | Lake Tahoe, CA
• Driving Directions: North, South



If the pristine beaches and clear waters weren’t enough for you, and you want a change from the nightlife and casinos of the South shore, there are plenty of ways to further enjoy the tranquility of the Lake Tahoe region on two feet. We’ve explored and reviewed the best hiking trails around Lake Tahoe, from alpine lakes and snowshoeing around historic events to climbing the highest peaks in the region.

Please remember to take things easy up here in Lake Tahoe, which begins at an elevation above 6,000 feet and many of the trails we cover here ascend even higher. Planning for these conditions is very easy however - just remember to pack plenty of water and allow for plenty of time as you adjust to the altitude.

Sidebar, Fullscreen/Print

5-star hike, 4-star hike, 3-star hike

Listed below are our favorite hikes around Lake Tahoe. Since the area is so large, we’ve broken them up geographically. If you’re visiting from points West – like San Francisco and Sacramento – you want to take Interstate 80 to reach the trails in North Lake Tahoe and the quieter US 50 to reach the Southern trails. Both are a great drive.

North Lake Tahoe:
           
Donner Peak & Mt Judah | 5★, 3.4-5.3mi, Medium, 890-1310ft | Stunning views await you on this hiking and showshoe route in the Northern Sierras, taking in two separate peaks. See trail review.
Castle Peak | 5★, 5.4mi, Medium/Hard, 1670ft | Only a stone's throw from the interstate 80 near Donner Summit, Castle Peak offers a trail as challenging as many back country trails. See trail review.
Donner Memorial State Park | 4★, 2.7mi, Easy, 50ft | An easy hiking trail or beginner snowshoe route adjacent to the museum and memorial dedicated to the ill-fated Donner party. See trail review.
Loch Leven Lakes | 4★, 7.3mi, Medium, 1300ft | Ascend the Sierra Nevada mountains in search of several scenic high alpine lakes. See trail review.
Mount Rose | 4★, 9.6-10.1mi, Medium, 2205-2336ft | The second tallest Tahoe peak and most prominent feature of the North shore skyline, this trail is mostly above the trees and gradually ascends to the summit. See trail review.
Five Lakes Granite Chief Wilderness | 4★, 3.9mi, Medium, 1090ft | Nestled in the foothills of the Granite Chief Wilderness peaks just North of Lake Tahoe, the Five Lakes promise dramatic yet tranquil surroundings. See trail review.
South Lake Tahoe:
         
Mount Tallac | 5★, 8.9mi, Hard, 3260ft | The jewel in the crown of mountains which ring Lake Tahoe, Mount Tallac promises unparalleled views from it's 9,735 foot summit. See trail review.
Horsetail Falls | 5★, 3.0mi, Medium, 580ft | Late spring and early summer may be the best times to appreciate Horsetail Falls, but a hike up Pyramid Creek Trail is still a worthwhile experience any time. See trail review.
The Potholes | 5★, 1.4mi, Easy, 100ft | These potholes are infinitely more fun than a bump in the road. An excellent swimming hole that's a great relief on warm summer days. See trail review.
Echo Lakes & Desolation Wilderness | 4★, 5.8mi, Easy, 870ft | With or without the water taxi, a hike alongside the pristine Echo Lake is one not to be forgotten. See trail review.
Round Top at Carson Pass | 4★, 4.9-9.8mi, Medium, 1230-3400ft | Rocky Sierra peaks, alpine meadows, crystal clear lakes, fast flowing brooks, abandoned mine buildings and awesome wildflower displays. What more could you want? See trail review.

Tangents:
• Trailspotting: Show all Lake Tahoe Hikes
• Facebook Group: Comment on this feature

Yosemite's Best Hikes
Epic scenery and adventures await. Trailspotting's Best Hikes of Yosemite National Park is a great place to start.

San Francisco's Best Hikes
For great Bay Area trails check out Trailspotting's Best Hikes of the San Francisco Bay.
Follow for more reviews:


Navigate Trailspotting:
California New Hampshire More

All website content copyright © 2005-2022 Stuart Green. Brought to you with no advertisements or affiliate links. Information on this site is provided without warranty. Users are responsible for their own actions and for validating all information.