Explore California - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

California Map
VIEW FULL MAP

We only did the first 1.5 and it was very steep. Bring water for you and your pets! No views in that section of the trail.

hiking
22 hours ago

We started late not really planning on a hike but could not resist and the weather was great. We took our border collie who loved it. The high point of the hike was seeing a bald eagle! We will be back to complete the loop.

What a hidden gem! This hike was a gorgeous trek through Desolation Wilderness across huge slabs of sparkling granite. At this time of year, the lakes were frozen, but so clear you could see through to the bottom. The views were spectacular even though it was a bit smoky due to a wildfire elsewhere in California. The trail can be difficult to keep track of, especially in the open granite areas. Keep an eye out for cairns to mark the way. While it wasn’t too strenuous, there was some loose talus and shale, making me wish I had my trekking poles on the way down. It is clear that this area is popular in the peak season, so we were happy to have the trail almost entirely to ourselves!

hiking
2 days ago

this trail is beautiful and challenging

mountain biking
6 days ago

This trail is great for mountain biking. Just watch out for the walking dead

I've done this hike twice in the last few years and the one thing I hate is that hike it a tad bit longer then main article here indicates. From top to bottom, this is at least 5 mile each way hike. The first I attempted it, I did it too late in the day and made it up about 4/5th of the way, but turned around as I was running out of water and light (no flashlight on me). The second time around I left early in the day and made it up in the early mid afternoon. The views are some of the very best. On the downside, their were I think 3-4 fires going on in that region so the views were also kind of spoiled too by a bit of haze. Oh well. Maybe next time?

Uphill hike all the way to the tower but sooo worth it for the views. It was extremely windy, and that made the shaded areas chilly. My dog did great on the hike up but once we hit the stairs to the tower, I felt is was extremely unsafe for her. We made it up to the third set of stairs with me white knuckling my grip on her harness before I had a bit of anxiety at the sketchiness of the stairs and then decided to carry her back down. The stairs are somewhat wide gapped with absolutely no protection around the side rails and it is a sheer drop down. My friend ended up staying with my pup so I could make it to the top by myself. And I did, but with shaky knees to be honest. If you’re afraid of heights, skip the tower itself. But the view from the tower itself is breathtaking !!!!!

Ok trip..We parked on 49 and only hiked a mile before we ended at another parking area. Signs indicated we were at the point but could continue on to Auburn Rec Staging Area (another 1.3 miles). We opted to just turn around there. Minimal climbing on this hike. It was just ok. Wished it was longer. Per my calculations it doesn’t add up to the 5 miles I thought I read it was. Non the less it was an easy lazy Sunday afternoon stroll.

Great hike but more like 5.7 miles from parking area. Even longer if you decide to take the detour out and back to Donner Peak from main trail up to Mt. Judah. Beautiful views.

This is not really a hike. There are several viewpoints that are easily accessible. Everything is paved and secured. There are many tourists present at any time.

The view, for example, of the Half Dome, is still breathtaking!

hiking
12 days ago

The road to the trailhead at DL Bliss is closed for the winter but you can park and walk a mile down the road to the Rubicon trailhead. I hiked from DL Bliss past Vikingsholm almost to Eagle Point Campground and back. It was a long hike but not difficult. The views are out of this world! So beautiful, it's hard to describe. Fall leaf colors are bright yellow, and the lake in the morning has a surreal green/blue tinge. Don't miss this one during your next visit to Tahoe!

hiking
15 days ago

Nice trail, steep incline in the beginning but if you’ve been hiking for a while, it wasn’t too bad. Lots of trail runners, watch out, if you get in their way, they get a little grouchy! More moderate than hard.

fantastic finish..larger lake then I expected..great and peacefull views to be had at lakes...moderate is appropriate rating..can be better marked at beginning..u never know who put cairns up off trail..once you cross railroad tracks be ready for a decent amount of tree root/rocky trail..great for an overnight camping trip..just pick a spot..stoves ok for now..couple good spots around 2nd lake on sandstone for fire pits...shall return next spring

hiking
16 days ago

easy, accessible, rewarding hike around emerald bay; not terribly crowded on a fall weekday with nice fall foliage around the bay
parking/trailhead: dl bliss entrance closed at entrance, could park and walk down to trail but we parked at the other end of emerald bay on the road and didn't pay; $10 at vikingsholm
trail: wilderness highway, well maintained, mostly packed dirt
scenery: beautiful views of the bay and surrounding area, fall colors

Great view from 7,000 feet up. You can look down in the valley where you were before plus see the surrounding mountains.

very hard hike but the feeling of accomplishment I had when I completed it!!! woohoo

Hiked from DL Bliss to Vikingsholm. Very pretty hike! We completed this section in 2 hours.

Nice views. Get to walk on some of the ski runs and good views of Sugar Bowl ski area.

backpacking
22 days ago

This is a great hike. Challenging, but worth the trek especially if you intend to camp. Just a couple of things I found would make it more enjoyable. Keep your app open as it is helpful to get you back on track as this one is a tough one to follow in many places. There are cairns the entire trail... thank you to those putting those in place. I wore tennis shoes which was fine, but hiking boots would have been better especially with the rocky terrain that covers most of the trail. If you’re backpacking I recommend trekking poles. This made the trip a lot easier for me just for stability while carrying the weight on the rocks and over boulders and downed trees. Day pack probably not necessary. Camped out at the last lake, had some great picks with fire pits. It was pretty and only a couple of us up there for October. Beautiful night. Had cellphone service the entire way, but could also still hear the highway at the last lake as well.

We are new to hiking and in our 50’s-60, so this is for newbies like us. Loved the views and weather was perfect in October. We actually walked the path counter-clockwise, not knowing how this app really works, and just realized, late, that the path direction is on the app. Heading down the peek of Mt. Judah Trail back to Pacific Crest was slippery and steep, the trail was hard to recognize. Now that I see we should have ascended that way, it makes some sense. We’re learning and love adventure.

22 days ago

One of my favorites, a gorgeous hike! We started out at the trailhead at D. L. Bliss, the campground was closed and the parking at the front was full, but we found parking along the street. We only hiked to Vikingsholm and then turned around, next time we’ll continue the hike into Emerald Bay , with stopping to eat our lunch, and taking pictures, it took us 5 Hrs. Next time and that’s if we get an early start because of parking, we might try starting at Vikingsholm, hike into Emerald Bay, back to Vikingsholm, and continue towards D. L. Bliss for a ways, and back to Vikingsholm, it is a long hike , and my husband and I are feeling the soreness the next day, but it’s a good soreness! Love this hike, I highly recommend, especially in October when the crowds were minimal and the aspens scattered randomly along the hike were so beautiful.

hiking
22 days ago

The best Fall hike! Bring the family.

Beautiful hike! Quite the workout, but very worth it!

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful views! $10 parking fee cash or credit.

hiking
23 days ago

The first 2 miles could be challenging for people who have knees problems because the trail was steep and could be slippery. We hike relatively slow with our dogs and it took us about 3.5 hours round trip.

Was great hike today. Hardly anyone there. Despite what previous poster said, leashes ARE NOT required this being the national forest. Would be very difficult to hike this trail with dogs on leashes. Difficult for the dogs and difficult for the owners especially if your using hiking poles which btw I recommend. Besides it’s usually the leashes dogs that are aggressive or unsocialized. Or the owners’ anxiety that causes this. Our group had 6 very well behaved trail dogs that are used to hiking. And yes we pick up the poop. Overall good hike, a lot of uphill; thus, a lot downhill.

Great hike!

10-13-18 we started in DL Bliss at the north end of the trail. The Park Ranger and signage stated this trail / campground would close 10-15-18 for the season. The Ranger indicated the trail could still be hiked, but the closest you could park to the trailhead would be just over a mile. There was a $10 fee (1 car, 2 people).

Outstanding hike, but we were time limited and only made it 3.5 miles out before turning around.

Saw many Steller’s Jays and large woodpeckers, not certain on type.

amazing hike...the views from the tower are just beautiful. steady climb to get there but not to bad. i would say depending on your dog whether it would be comfortable for them or not up the stairs. mine made it fine but i held her harness to help her. this has to be my favorite hike for the views alone. can't wait to do it again.

walking
27 days ago

Very crowded and when I hike I like to get away from people. I’ve lived in Truckee since ‘91 and have never done this trail as I had heard it was too busy. Rocky parts and uphill but not a difficult hike. Beautiful views! 2 hours and 12 minutes to do entire loop.

Load More