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.

South Lake Tahoe  Map

Beautiful easy trail !

This trail was a short drive from South Lake. While parking is limited, you can park at the base of the trail. The trail was easy enough for my four year old to finish and short enough that snacks weren’t required.
The view was breathtaking.

Nice casual walk. Awesome panoramic view of the lake.

Great mellow trail. Beautiful in late October when the aspens are changing.

I agree that the trail is poorly marked in areas. We went clockwise around the lake, and the first half had a fairly easy to follow, level trail that stayed close to the lake. We did not mind the walk on the paved one lane road as the drivers waved or exchanged kind words with us. One spoke to our dog! hahah. Stanford Sierra Camp has some benches and swings that you can sit on for a picnic lunch with a beautiful view. Makes me wish we could camp there, but alas neither my husband nor I attended Stanford. From there, the trail got a whole lot harder! There were some very rocky ups and downs. I had to send my husband ahead to make sure the trail was appropriate for our lab. I would have enjoyed this part of the trail more if it was not as rocky and long as it was (45 minutes to an hour of walking). The views of the lake were great, but the rocks cut my dog's feet. We reached a fork in the trail with a sign that read "Public trail" and pointed upward. My husband and I debated which fork to take; I thought we needed to head back toward the lake, but we ended up following the public tail which was the wrong path to take. This path had a lot more rocks and also was very overgrown with prickly, scratchy plants. After realizing that we were no longer on the trail we needed to be on, we course corrected and ended up by the firehouse. The trail was once again level and easy to follow. About a mile before the trail head, we found an adorable beach with a picnic table. This would have been a much better place to let our dog swim than the other rockier shorelines we found earlier in the hike. Somehow, we took another wrong turn and got off the trail again. This time my husband decided that the new trail may take us to our car (it didn't), and we ended up having to backtrack quite a ways to get back on the trail. I definitely agree that you should bring a fully charged phone and use the GPS map to ensure you stay on the trail at any fork. All in all with our detour(s), we probably turned this 8 mile hike into 10 miles. Our lab was dragging by the end, and so were we! Bring plenty of water and food!

Trail was clearly marked wide and easy to walk, great for the whole family! Beautiful view of The lake.There is a rock climb at the top if you want the best views, well worth the effort!!

This is an easy trail
With fun side trails to explore. It is not a hard trail and not a long hiking trail. Take this trail if your looking for a nice walk with your wife or girlfriend. (Not both might get you in trouble lol). The beach is awsome and there was joone on it due to the campground being closed for the season.

1 month ago

Took my pup out for a jaunt. Most of the trail was closed, but it was a pretty walk. Very loud in most places because of highway and helicopters. Trail not marked around the lake, but seems pretty clear at the start. Check the maps up front. Will be back to do surrounding trails!

Pretty and relaxing walk!
Easy to access trail, lots and lots of parking.
You can access the beach at many different places.
The trail itself just goes along the right bank of the river it doesn’t cross back and forth like the map shows.
Dog friendly!

Very pretty, peaceful trail.
I went on a somewhat stormy day so I didn’t come across to many people.
Trail easy to locate, a little odd because you begin basically walking on a sidewalk in a neighborhood. Lots of parking.
Trail passes through a magical little creek tucked amongst a grove of aspen trees.
Trail is very dog friendly! However when you reach Nevada beach there is only a very small section where dogs are allowed :(

Pretty poor trail markers. I would recommend going clockwise to have better luck staying on the trail. I read another hikers recommendations about having to scramble up some rock and step through some plants. I did that too and got totally completely off the path. If you stay on the path it is completely unnecessary to rock scramble and get scratches on your legs. It’s pretty around the lake but pretty a bit frustrating to keep seeing dead end signs on the roads and have to back track your route.

need better trail markers nice hike you gotta do it

We tried to hike a few places on the California side of Lake Tahoe but we couldn’t find parking. This rock and view made our day.

Beautiful trail. The aspens were turning - lake was low.

I like to only report the positive things about any trail. A few of us hiked to Scott’s Lake to take pictures of the fall colors yesterday (Sept. 25, 2018) and it was beautiful with all the changing colors, especially the Aspen. I used my Garmin to create a track, but I don’t think there is a way with All Trails to import it. The hike is close to 3.5 miles (7miles RT) from the parking area at Big Meadows to the lake with about 985 feet of gain. It’s not a hard and there is still a couple of water x-ing that have enough left for dogs to get a drink. At about 3/4 mile there is a post sign to direct you to the lake. Veer left. I gave it a 5 cause it is everything I want in a fall hike. If I want something harder then I chose other hikes or something easier and closer to home then I chose a suitable hike for that. It was a great day with friends and to see the fall changes in the Tahoe Aspen.

We been coming to Lake Tahoe for decades now and never knew this trail was here. Nice trail that is well used and marked. Nice down by the water.

1 month ago

Easy peasy. Beautiful view from atop the tunnel.

Did this hike on 09/19/18 Great hike. My advice is to start at the trail head and move counter-clockwise around the lake. The beginning of the hike wasn’t too daunting. About 1/4 in though the path is extremely overgrown and parts you’ll need to scale rocks up and down, so be sure to wear good shoes and maybe long pants and long sleeves to protect your skin from rubbing against plants. Towards the halfway mark you’ll end up in a Standford Sierra Camp. We rested here for a bit and even managed to refill our water using their water refill station. Now I believe this is only supposed to be for campers, so proceed with caution if doing that. We also stopped there for a quick lunch as well.
Moving along you’ll end up next to a fire station and a small chapel. The chapel is quaint, but if it’s open it will also be a nice spot to rest. If you keep going, you’ll end up in Fallen Leaf Marina/Lodge. This is another very nice spot to rest, it has a cafe and clean restrooms. Had I known this was here I would have eaten lunch there versus packing one in (less to carry is always good).
After that, about 1/4 of the trail is on paved road, so make sure to step aside for cars. With the exception of two cars, most noticed us and gave us a courtesy wave when passing. This part might have been my favorite since I love looking at houses lol. After that, you’ll have to “trespass”. Honestly, just stay on the path and don’t venture beyond property markings. The last 1/4 if the hike or so isn’t the best maintained, so again, long pants and sleeves to protect your skin.
Overall, decent hike. Would do it again, the views were fantastic.

Lookout for: burned hollow tree and the lone standing fireplace.

a good portion of the trail is paved road on the one side, but otherwise it was a lovely, not terribly trafficked trail on the 4th of July weekend.

great walk for all ages. 2yr old to 73yrold! too cold to swim at this time of year. beautiful scenery.

Such a fun trail. Beautiful mountains. Depending how far you go, neat rocks and waterfalls. Not very well marked.

Beautiful easy ride.

Nice walk around the lake. Then go get breakfast in south lake.

Fun short walk around the like....perfect for mountain biking

2 months ago

3 kids did the climb at the end (ages 7,6 and 3) Incredible view!!

Our dog really enjoyed this trail and the easy access to the lake water. Parking was a bit crowded but once we were on the trail it was great.

Super easy trail with a beautiful waterfall at the end!

2 months ago

Beautiful!!!! Will do this again and spend a 1/2 day there!!!!!

2 months ago

amazing view from the top of Cave Rock!!! trail is easy except for climbing the rock at the end of the trail, but the view is well worth the climb!

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