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

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trail running
21 hours ago

First & only trail run in Lake Tahoe and boy did I pick a good one. The first mile is nice little warm up and then it's awn! Get ready for a 1K hill climb for the next 3 miles going from 7200' to 8150'. The view of Marlette Lake at the top is very rewarding and picturesque. When you get to this lake stop to take it in and then get back on the trail with a sharp dog-leg turn on the left. After 6 miles you get to the damn and the trailhead sign for The Flume. Go straight past this sign, curve around to wooden bridge and then the trail spits you out the other side with breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe. Here's where you can get some speed (if you want), but I had to stop a couple times to get some pics. The view is just too good to only look down at the trail the whole time. 8.5 miles in is where they're doing construction on landslide repair (which is supposed to be done), but they let everyone pass once it was clear. At 10.4 miles you come to a junction. Go straight down to arrive at the bike shop & shuttle. Here's where you can turn it on and really crank out some speed. I was hitting low-to-sub 5's and it's some good speed trail running. Stay to the left and keep going down all the way to the parking lot, but when you pass a sign on the left with a left dog-leg turn, STAY STRAIGHT. Don't take that turn. It spits you out about a mile North of the bike shop, which is where you can get a shuttle ride back to your car at Spooner. This turned my 13-mile run into 14 miles, but at least it was flat ;-)

Great trail with good hills, spectacular views, and some good speed work. For an even tougher challenge take the Marlette Lake trail about a mile in on your left to drop you into the trail around Marlet Lake. NOTE: they were doing logging work when I was there and the Spooner trail around Spooner Lake was closed, but the trail to The Flume and Marlette Lake is open. Also remember to have $10 cash for parking at Spooner Lake Campground and $16 for the shuttle ride, but you can use a card at the bike shop for the shuttle. You may want to confirm the shuttle ride too before going to ensure you actually have a ride back b/c that's not always guaranteed.

The views were worth the trek! 4 miles up hill is no joke, but by the end you forget all about it!

6/8/18 - Stunning. Quite lovely trail with so much to see. We did not want to leave Fordyce Falls as it was so pretty and relaxing. Water was far too cold to swim in but our feet enjoyed a dip

Wonderful adventure! Gorgeous views & challenging.

on Training Hill

26 days ago

Incline

I’m a beginner hiker this year ramping up to bigger hikes with elevations. That said, I was hiking solo on this trail and after a couple miles I decided to head back due to lack of experience. Will try again when Someone else can join me.

27 days ago

I would suggest to go counter clockwise starting on the fire road because there is no shade, it was not too hard seemed more moderate to me, you must cross the creek 20 times and some of the crossings are 20 feet of water to cross even in the summer, in the rainy season you will have trouble and will get wet.
I did not see any other hikers the whole trail. My Fitbit showed over 10 miles not 8.5.
My time was limited it took me 3.5 hours I would have liked to stop to enjoy the views and animals but rushed through it.
Overall a nice private trail.

Very little shade 90% of the way. The lower valley trail is so much nicer than the new upper loop. The it’s easy to get lost on the way back as you can follow the trail and turn it into a 15 mile hike instead of turning around and going back. There are some neat features like an abandon movie set and a nice picnic area where the American River is. We saw a lot of people rafting which was entertaining. River much too fast to swim anywhere near there.

hiking
1 month ago

Labor day started with some exercise hiking. we did second time this year and also did clockwise - not like last time . it's not easy when it's hot outside. spring time was much easier and nicer when everything was green. but overall it's great exercise and hike . its pretty dusty trail.

Love Glacier Lake and Island Lake. Favorite Is to go from Carr Lake to Island Lake day 1 and then to 5 lakes next day and back home on Sunday. My favorite local backpacking spot.

Super hard for novice biker but beautiful and fun. be careful and prepared.

This was my first solo backpacking trip and will be hard for the next ones to compare to this place! I didn't have a map or a solid plan but I started at Bayview early afternoon in August and make it to Dick's lake by sunset. Camped Dick's that night and did a loop of fontanillis and Velma lakes the next morning. Finished at eagle lake trail and hitch hiked back to Bayview. I plan on returning next year for a 2-3 day trip.

hiking
1 month ago

Hi all, my friends and I are undertaking this hike soon, is hike 10 miles there and back or 10 each way (20 total)? A couple of sites I went to doesn't seem to clarify this and people are confused.

Thanks!

mountain biking
1 month ago

Very smooth and well kept trails. Not too much elevation change, so it is an easy going trail.

trail running
1 month ago

Keep Breathing my friends

The falls are really cool! While we were there PG + E was running water from one of the upper lakes down into Spaulding, which is a spectacle in of itself; huge cataracts of water going down a steep hill at the beginning of the hike.

Pro tip: if you want a shorter hike, just turn around where Grouse Ridge Trail comes in. The bridge over to the lakes is kinda neat, but the lakes themselves aren't much for swimming (they're shallower and lilly-pad filled).

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty but mostly in trees. Pretty flat. Would be more fun on a bike than the hike.

We parked at the Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park. Free parking - Yaye!

We did the whole 12mi hike - it was definitely an intermediate hike. We started at the West Ridge Trail and took West Ravine Trail on the way back (easier path).

Beware: No shade!!! (We run out of water because it was just so hot today -9/1/18. I should’ve brought more water.) We was a lot of horse poop and a baby snake.

The West Ridge Trail leads you to the river where you can see Satan’s Cesspool. There’s no shade there too so it was difficult for my group to eat together.

Overall, it’s a decent hike. I think this is a great trail for spring time.

It’s very fun to hike here . Also lots of views

It’s a very adventurous hike

Love this trail for training like hill repeats. Good for training for races like Spartan.

Amazing!

Went for an overnight Saturday-Sunday (August). Perfect solitude. The fiancé, pup, and I encountered one other couple on their way out. The hike wasn’t too challenging, although it was at least 90 degrees out. After stopping to fish and swim at the lake, we proceeded on to a small secluded fall, where we would later setup camp. But first, we continued on to Fordyce Falls, which was pretty and offered a deep swimming hole. We didn’t make it all the way to Eagle Lakes, but our weekend totaled just over 13miles. Watch out for rattlesnakes, we spotted 2!
I’d recommend this hike if trying to find solitude and escape from summer crowds.

The ascent up Sand Ridge Trail can be difficult, but beautiful views from the top. Beautiful and not heavily trafficked.

backpacking
2 months ago

Came here instead of Aloha Lake because we couldn’t find a permit. Absolutely gorgeous, totally manageable hike leading to an absolute playground. Round Lake itself is a tiny Oasis with an absolutely gorgeous view of the entire Tahoe Valley if you’re willing to do a little climbing. Despite camping relatively close to the lake we experienced no bugs, the weather was perfect, and we even caught a little meteor shower. What more can you ask for?

Make sure you check out the other Lakes too.

Great 4 day hike. Late start camp at Island Lake, 5 Lakes via Sand Ridge, Glacier Lake, Round Lake, out. 5 adults, 2 kids. Meteors.

hiking
2 months ago

Parking is $7 fee to enter Armstrong woods, drive through the woods and up a significant elevation to the very limited parking at the trail head. Gets hot and about half the trail is in sun so bring plenty of water. The trail goes right by Bullfrog Campground which looks like a lovely spot to pass the night.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this in reverse-starting down Gilliam Creek and ending on the fire trail. We had an early start, but still ended up doing the uphill fire road in full sun. The last few miles were very hard and unenjoyable. The stream crossings were no problem this time of year. We saw only 3 other people and enjoyed the solitude. A few turkeys passed our way. Bring 2 liters of water per person!

hiking
2 months ago

Great demanding trail and not for the faint of heart. I’m just starting to get back in shape and this trail really challenges me. Due to time constraints and my current capabilities I took the shortcut using the Pig Farm Trail route which made it about 1.5 mile hike round trip.

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