Explore south lake tahoe - 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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hiking
20 hours ago

Did this hike with a group from church. Very strenuous and tough on the knees. Took us about 5.5 hours to summit as we stopped for breaks quite a bit. Definitely get an early start, good shoes and tons of water!!

hiking
2 days ago

Amazing hike, did this about 5 years ago. Made it to the top in shorts. It was freezing at the top with some snowpack (June). Beautiful terrain...lakes, forest, granite expanses, wildflowers, switchbacks to the top. Stunning view of the lake on clear days. We met an adorable and extremely friendly chipmunk on the ascent. Fabulous hike, one of the best in Tahoe!

Absolutely must do this hike! Tough but fun, views are amazing!

on Mount Tallac Trail

hiking
4 days ago

I don’t think we were fully prepared for it this time. In the past we’ve started at Lily Lake, but this time we went the more popular route. There is a LOT of rock - most of the trail. We only got to 8665’ and it took us 6 hours. Just shy of the ridge. As soon as we turned back down we realized we were out of water. We did have an apple and some celery in our pack and rationed it out on our 4 1/2 hour trek back down. We were parched and sour when we got back. Fortunately we left some water in the car. The was rather hot for us and there was a smokey haze in the air from several fires, which didn’t help. Couldn’t see the lakes anyway. You gotta know your limits. We know ours. Next time we’ll use Lily Lake trailhead again — and hope for fresh air! Arnie: 73. Shirley: 58.

hiking
4 days ago

This was my favorite hike in Tahoe area, edging out the lake aloha and rubicon trails in my opinion. A very hard 10 miler though my Fitbit said 14. The talus fields are tough going up but tougher on the down trip. Wear full on boots since the rocks are brutal. The false summits tempt you to shortcut but that would be a mistake. Well marked and easy to follow. Would definitely do this hike again!

hiking
5 days ago

Great day hike. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. Cathedral Lake acts as a good staging point before experiencing an increase in elevation gain traveling towards the mountain summit. The view at the top is worth the effort.

Great family hike. Takes about 30 minutes

A short hike to a beautiful lake to swim in.

hiking
8 days ago

I stay at Squaw Valley a lot and this is one of my favorite hikes. it’s definitely tricky to follow in the beginning I’ve done this so many times, as well as going off on all the alternate trails, that I have a good sense of it now but it took a while. Key is to always veer to the right when you get to the first sign that says granite chief trail keep following to the right there’s several other trails that intersect that are not real trails just stick to the right and you’ll find it. all trails map helps a lot. once you get in a little over a mile some people have put yellowish orange paint in certain places to mark where the trail goes over the rocks as well as some cains. but again when in doubt follow towards the right and you’ll pick up the trail.
I encourage you to go beyond Granite chief onto the PCT it’s just incredibly beautiful with amazing views. I always take this left over to High camp so I can take the tram down. note if you do this it can be very tricky/scary to get to high camp there’s two options you can climb up the hill straight after you pass tervis cup trail then take the road down to high camp, adds some extra time. or you can veer to the left to take the very very small not well traveled trail but it will require a little bit of rock climbing and scrambling down. not for the faint of heart and actually potential for injury. but I’ve made it OK each time I’ve done it.
once you are at High camp there is a pool there’s also a restaurant there’s lots of outdoor seating and the tram runs down every 15 minutes it’s free if you hike up and tram down.

hiking
8 days ago

Decided to tackle this hike today for my birthday. My friend and I met at the trail head at 8:30am, and the parking lot was already full. We got to the top around 11:30, had a bite to eat, took a bunch of photos, and made our way back down. The top was pretty crowded, not really the solitary experience I expected. My friend brought her dog, and he did really well, but he is a Tahoe dog and has tough feet and has done this hike before. We stopped at the lakes on the way back so the pup could get lots of water, and made it back to the parking lot just before 4pm. I am pretty fit, and the climb was still a doozy. Be prepared, wear sturdy shoes, bring lots of water and trail snacks, and listen to your body. Definitely made my birthday a memorable one!

hiking
9 days ago

A great day hike! I went alone starting at 8 am and made a day of it. With frequent stops for photos, it took me just under 3 hours to summit it, and about 2.5 to get down. If you are planning on going around now (August 2018), make sure to check the air quality. It got pretty hazy as I went up (which also really impacted the view, hence 4 stars not 5)! Definitely need a good boot or trail runner with a thick sole for grip and not getting poked by rocks, but I saw people climbing in old sneakers. Nevertheless, if you are a hiker and are in the SLT area, it's definitely worth the climb!

hiking
9 days ago

Loved it! It took us about 30 minutes to get to Eagle Lake and about 20 to get back down. It is a little strenuous in the beginning with lots of steps to climb but it’s a good, quick workout. The lake was warm enough to get into it and truly a hidden gem! It would be fun to take inflatable paddle boards and spend some time on the lake itself.

hiking
9 days ago

Great little hike with a great swimming lake at the end.
Parking is problematic as the Emerald Bay hi way traffics terrible.

Hard but worth it.

hiking
10 days ago

It took me (20) and my dad (60) 3 hours to get up and 2 hours 20 minutes to get down, with about a 40 minute break at summit. We started at 6:35 and met hardly anyone on our way up, whereas when we made the decent we came across almost 100 hikers headed up. I recommend a start no later than 7:30. We both love hiking and are both in decent shape. Once you make it over the rocky part and into the meadow area, you have about 35 more minutes until the summit (if you keep a good pace). This hike was a tremendous amount of fun! The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that it's awkward to rate the difficulty level. The first half is pretty standard, probably no more than a moderate hike! The second half (when you make it to the rocky area) becomes more of a level hard hike. Gorgeous views though! I drank about 2 liters of water, and my dad went through 3.

hiking
15 days ago

This hike was beautiful! Lots of Incline in the beginning but I took my time to enjoy the view. The lake was breathtaking. It was such a treat to swim in the lake. Bring water shoes if you plan to walk into the lake.

this trail was incredible! we were astonished at how many different terrains and environments we encountered on our hike. if you want to walk through meadows, alpine forests, rainforests, deserts, boulder fields, and mountain ridges all in the span of 4 hours, then this is the trail for you.

we hiked up granite chief trail, then hooked up with the pacific crest and walked down to high camp to take the tram down. it was definitely a long hike, especially with the elevation gain, but not overly technical or difficult. if you're okay with a steady uphill and you've got sturdy shoes, it's a really satisfying hike. i would recommend starting out early--we started around 10 and it was already pretty hot (until we got up to the PCT).

a lot of other reviewers mention that the trail is difficult to follow, and in some places i agree--there are a few stretches of boulders where the trail mostly disappears. when in doubt, keep going up the mountain (you'll find the trail again before you get lost) or check the alltrails map. there's great service all the way up and the app's trail is accurate. i would argue that the easiest place to get lost is at the very beginning--if you don't know what to look for, it's very easy to end up on the shirley canyon trail.

overall, this hike was amazing. it had great views and scenery all the way up. if you have enough food and water, you can hike the ridge all the way around the ski basin--the PCT links to a trail that will take you farther up. it's also nice having high camp there to refill water/get food/take the tram (for free!). if i were to recommend one tahoe hike to a visitor, this would be it!

hiking
19 days ago

A family favorite for many years. It never fails to delight. The granite peaks to the north against a deep blue sky are a sight I look forward to each time we hike this trail.

walking
19 days ago

I love love love Mt. Tallac. Such a beautiful hike. Hiked it many times growing up. Just did again last week. Some off trail rock climbing too! Make sure to pack yourself enough water for the trip especially during summer time. There are two lakes you can take a dip in. I would say the second one is a little nicer to swim in. Dogs are allowed however it can be a little difficult for them if they aren’t experienced. I’ve seen people have to carry their furbabies back on their backs because they couldn’t walk anymore. We have a cabin we rent out about 7 minutes from the trailhead if anyone is interested. :)

hiking
20 days ago

What a great adventure to take your family on during a day off! Make sure you arrive very early for easier parking! We went on a Monday and there were still an abundant amount of people, literally hundreds on the trail but every single person we met were friendly. I took my Fiancé and German Shepard, what a blast we had.

The trail is very dog friendly and quite a few people brought their extra family member on the trail. There are some steep parts so if uphill is a challenge for you normally watch out for it. A lot of beautiful spots to take pictures and videos with scenery. I will bring a tripod and a go pro next time for the most experiences.

The end result was fantastic with the beautiful Eagle Lake. Some people were fishing and swimming, others were relaxing in the water or shore. The lake was well worth the time it took finding a parking spot.

hiking
21 days ago

Mt. Tallac was the most beautiful trail I've done. It wasn't to hard of a hike in my experience, it gets pretty steep at some points but not to bad. At the top you get this awesome 360 view that is jaw dropping, these pictures don't express enough how beautiful it is. Theres a little snow up there too which was awesome to see.

Great views and dog friendly

Beautiful view from summit. Worth it.

hiking
22 days ago

Went for sunrise, definitely worth it. Started at 3am, summited at 5:30 for a 5:50 sunrise. Back to the car at 8am, total mileage was about 12. Wouldn’t recommend bringing a dog without booties, lots of rocky terrain.
The second half of the trail is exposed, could get very warm later in the day, would recommend starting early and bringing lots of water.

I would only recommend doing half the lake. After that you have to walk through Stanford Camp and are on a one lane road the 2nd half of the hike. The road is one lane and not safe to walk on with children. The cars are not looking out for walkers. Beautiful lake just don’t go past the lodge. I would get lunch and go back same direction not on the road.

Well worth the time. Start early, it gets pretty busy as the day goes on.

hiking
23 days ago

WOW! What an incredible hike!!! My brother and I did this not really knowing what to expect (we looked at the mileage/elevation gain and knew it was gonna be tough) and yes it was tough but well worth the effort! If you aren’t in shape, I probably wouldn’t recommend this hike, but man was this one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. I lived in Yosemite for a week so I feel like that says a lot. Keep your eyes peeled... we did see three bears on this hike! The first one we almost walked into in the woods coming down from the rock face, and it was a HUGE brown bear! Then, not 10 minutes later we saw a different mama bear and her cub! It was quite the experience. Keep your eyes open and ALWAYS look ahead of you. :)

hiking
24 days ago

TL;DR: it’s hard, but worth it. The views are unbeatable. If you have a pet, might be a good idea to have puppy shoes. There’s a lot of rocks.

The first half of the hike was great. It’s a manageable hike along the ridge parallel to Fallen Leaf Lake. From the ridge, we started moving more and more at in incline, passing a stream, then a pond, then another pond shortly after that. From the second body of water, there is no longer water until you reach the top (if there’s still snow at the top). It’s also a pretty steep incline from there on out, and very rocky. The rocks vary in size; sometimes rock steps like a stair master, sometimes smaller rock, and lots of large rocks all the way up the mountain. When you finally reach the top of the rocky part and think you’ll be able to meander your way up around the backside of the mountain until you reach the top, you’re mistaken. It’s more of a fairly steep incline up until the top. Thankfully, there were tons of wildflowers all around to distract us for the next mile and a half or so. Finally, we started seeing people at the top of the rocks and got our second wind to hustle up to the top and look out over the entire Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevadas surrounding it! Finally, that sense of accomplishment after 3K feet increase elevation! From the top, there’s an amazing panoramic view all around; from lakes in Desolation Wilderness, to ski runs in the distance, it’s breathtaking (mostly because my breath was gone from the hike :] ). All in all, I’m so glad we did it, but I don’t know if I’d do it again any time soon without being more in shape. :]

Awesome views. A bear crossed the trail in front of us on the way back down. The hike to the lake is easier than the nearby Bayview trail to Granite lake.

hiking
25 days ago

Beautiful hike. Our family did it on July 10, 2018 and the kids (11yrs and 6yrs) loved it. We got there by 9:00am so the trail wasn’t too crowded. We hiked around to the right side of the lake and it was so quite and peaceful. The water was clear and cold. I definitely recommend this hike.

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