Guidebook

Best Hikes in Lake Tahoe: Stunning Alpine Lake Views

Soak in views of Lake Tahoe’s sapphire-blue water on the best hiking trails in the region.

Description

Lake Tahoe lays claim to the title of “largest alpine lake in North America,” according to Wikipedia. The massive body of vibrant-blue water is nestled below towering mountain ridges and peaks—a setting of pristine beauty. The incredible natural beauty of the area makes the entire Lake Tahoe region a huge tourism draw for the residents of California and beyond. Whether the season is summer or winter, or somewhere in between, you can find tons of outdoor activities to keep you busy in Lake Tahoe.

If your preferred outdoor sport is hiking, you can find exactly the type of hike you tend to enjoy here in the Tahoe region. The hikes in this guidebook offer challenging ascents of the tallest peaks in the region, more moderate hikes to alpine lakes, and even easy, not-at-all-challenging strolls through the woods at the lower elevations.

The most famous trail in the area is the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Mexico to Canada and skirts the ridge to the west of the lake. The second most famous trail is the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail which encircles the entire lake. A couple of key segments have been included in this guidebook, but for more information on the Tahoe Rim Trail, be sure to read the dedicated guidebook here on FATMAP.

Mount Rose Summit

Mount Rose Summit

Lake Tahoe
15.7 km
Strenuous ascent to a big reward atop the highest peak on Lake Tahoe’s Nevada side.
Private
Freel Peak

Freel Peak

Lake Tahoe
10.0 km
Climb to the summit of the tallest mountain peak in the Lake Tahoe region.
Private
Tahoe Rim Trail: Mt. Rose Summit/Tahoe Meadows to Spooner Summit

Tahoe Rim Trail: Mt. Rose Summit/Tahoe Meadows to Spooner Summit

Lake Tahoe
36.8 km
Walk the lofty divide between Lake Tahoe’s basin and the Great Basin, with huge views over the desert ranges of Nevada to the east and the familiar blue water to the west.
Private
Mount Tallac

Mount Tallac

Lake Tahoe
14.9 km
Stroll through the forest past alpine lakes, then tackle a strenuous climb to the top of the proudest peak on Lake Tahoe's shore.
Private
Tunnel Creek Trail

Tunnel Creek Trail

Lake Tahoe
12.2 km
Rewarding uphill hike from Incline Village, Nevada with big views over Lake Tahoe and access to other great trails.
Private
Angora Lakes Trail

Angora Lakes Trail

Desolation Wilderness
5.6 km
Short hike to a stunning alpine lake with the amenities of day-use or overnight kayak and cabin rentals at Angora Lakes Resort.
Private
Tamarack Lake Trail

Tamarack Lake Trail

Lake Tahoe
13.2 km
Ascend steeply through intimidating cliff bands to reach a high saddle on Echo Peak, then drop down into a granite basin of sparkling lakes in the Desolation Wilderness.
Private
Glen Alpine Trail to Gilmore Lake

Glen Alpine Trail to Gilmore Lake

Desolation Wilderness
13.4 km
Easy hike past waterfalls, lakes, and a historic springs resort that leads to more strenuous trails in the Desolation Wilderness, including a way to the top of Mount Tallac.
Private
Rubicon Trail

Rubicon Trail

Lake Tahoe
9.7 km
A scenic hike along Lake Tahoe's shore that links overlooks, swimming beaches, a waterfall, and a historic mansion in two state parks.
Private
Eagle Falls Trail to Eagle Lake

Eagle Falls Trail to Eagle Lake

Lake Tahoe
2.9 km
Easy uphill hike past a waterfall to a lake in the mountains outside Emerald Bay State Park.
Private
Spooner Lake Loop

Spooner Lake Loop

Lake Tahoe
4.4 km
Easy hike around picturesque Spooner Lake, among summer wildflowers or fall foliage.
Private
Five Lakes Trail

Five Lakes Trail

Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows
7.0 km
A scenic climb up and out of Alpine Meadows Valley, over a high granite ridge that conceals a beautiful lake-filled basin.
Private
Shirley Canyon Trail

Shirley Canyon Trail

Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows
4.9 km
Summer hike in Squaw Valley along a cascading creek and steep rock slabs surrounded by granite peaks.
Private
Tahoe Rim Trail: Echo Lakes to Barker Pass

Tahoe Rim Trail: Echo Lakes to Barker Pass

Lake Tahoe
49.6 km
A section shared with the Pacific Crest Trail that tours many alpine lakes and incredible overlooks in the glacier-carved granite valleys of the Sierra Nevada’s Desolation Wilderness.
Private