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

North Lake Tahoe Hikes Map
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hiking
5 days ago

A totally undiscovered trail

Too much snow to shoe to the lake. There were no tracks going north from the intersection of Donner trail and PCT. we just went up to Azalea lake. Snow was up to 5’ deep and Donner is getting up to 3’ more next week.

snowshoeing
15 days ago

Snow was a little crusty as we headed up the final elevation but the view from atop Andesite Peak was breathtaking. Every direction you look is remarkable, especially the view up the ridge to Castle Peak. Pretty windy on top but a perfect day with only scattered clouds. We continued back to Peter Grubb Hut before returning to add some mileage. Easy loop as snowshoes were unnecessary for the trail in the valley as it hasn’t snowed for a couple weeks and the trail is compacted.

Nice trail! Well worth going all the way. The trail starts out over populated since it’s close to the highway. Initially this makes following the trail a little challenging but becomes easy as you go. Went Jan 1st so there was a bit of ice and snow. Glad I had ice cleats. Couldn’t have done it without them. I will definitely do this trail again!

Did this on 12/31/18. I was the only person on the trail all day. It was definitely an adventure. I highly suggest that only very experienced adventurers take this on during this time of year, as it was very sketchy in some spots.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Awesome trail - easy to follow the path in the snow from those who have already been there or download the map and use GPS on your phone - it's a popular enough trail you won't get lost. This is a fun trail to take over to Castle Peak and/or down to the Grubb Hut. Several fun options and excellent views. During the winter, pay to park over by the Inn.

The powder looked like crystals glittering in the sun - beautiful frozen lakes and easy terrain

one of my favorites

Rocky start, possibly ankle rolling. Very pretty. Pretty easy hike for a moderate but I don’t really know how they grade here! Lots of dogs!! People are nice.

Pretty. Wasn’t overly populated. Easy to get off trail here.

on Five Lakes Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Great area. I went counter-clockwise and the South side of the loop was incredibly difficult to keep track of. Had to look for the trail constantly but the lakes are beautiful!

hiking
2 months ago

We loved this hike! Even in off season it can get busy after 10am, so start around 9.

If you’re athletic, it will take 2-3 hours.

The trails are not marked well around the lakes, so be prepared to wander around there a bit.

Great trail!

hiking
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months ago

Climb is up to the lakes only then a cool little loop to see all 5 lakes and all downhill from there. Just pace yourself up, and this will be a very nice outing-loop the lakes- and down. As others stated, follow your map on the app around the lakes. Not super defined, but not hard to adjust and figure out either. Have fun!

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Trail is not well marked once you get to the lakes so keep your All Trails app handy! We ended up off trail several times but were able to get back on easily by checking the app!

Great trail. Route finding around the loop at the top was a bit tricky. If you are not comfortable with bushwhacking, stick to the main trail and skip the loop.

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
2 months ago

generally: easy trail near tahoe city with good scenery (open/mountains first part and along lakes for middle portion), not crowded on a fall weekday
road conditions: paved to trailhead, parking along side the road, no fee/pass needed, ~15 min from tahoe city
trail conditions: rocky/loose gravel for first mile then more packed dirt; find your way around lakes on footpaths
scenery: open trail w views of surrounding mountains and ski resort, upper trail around lakes with nice views off all lakes and surrounding mountains; some lingering fall foliage
difficulty: easy-moderate (first mile with ~1000' elevation, then flat thereafter)

hiking
2 months ago

Went here for a hike with my boyfriend and he proposed to me at the end of the hike at glacier lake! Couldn’t have been better! Trail itself was maintained good, mostly dirt, sand, some granite but not as much as we expected. Passed a lot of beautiful lakes along the way. Saw zero people on way up and only a few at the end. We went on a Friday morning though so likely more populated summer / weekends. Brought our dog. Off leash no problem ! Lots of squirrels and chipmunks. Beautiful lakes, good tree coverage, fall colors, scenic overlook. Was not a difficult hike at all. Very gradual inclines. Hadn’t been hiking once this year but have done multiple backpacking trips in our past. This was a perfect gradual reintroduction to getting back in nature. Lots of camping spots.

We took a 2001 Camry down the road, made it the whole way. Definitely would have been easier in a 4 wheel drive car or a car with higher clearance. Wouldn’t recommend taking a little car. The road was ok but the very end had a huge drop off ditch that was tricky to navigate. But we managed ! If it was rainy or had been a wet season the road would have been a lot worse.

I drove about 2 miles up, I was short for time and wanted to hike a little. I hiked the road from then around summit lake about 1.8 miles.

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

backpacking
3 months 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.

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

hiking
3 months 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!

walking
3 months 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.

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