Explore 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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Outstanding hike. Moderate at times but overall a very doable hike. Multiple shady spots to relax and take a break on the longer uphills. Suggest hiking up the falls a bit as there are a lot of places to relax in the cool water and shade of trees but also going down to the edge of the falls for the great photo opportunity. Trail head on the return is poorly marked but it's not too difficult to find your way.

Beautiful terrain that vacillated between forested shade and granite slabs to bouldering cascades at the top.

Love love love it!! Hard hike down with the paddle board I would think but next time I might try to bring it.

Best hike by far perfect not too long! Lots of beautiful views! Love it!

trail running
8 days ago

It's nice out there the scenery and everything, I was able find two of the lakes. Had to use my phone to find the others since you can see it on the map. I didn't bother at first and I got side tracked which let me down the trail to PCT. It's another nice trail but had to back tracked since I wanted to view all the lakes.

hiking
8 days ago

Very doable and fun for all ages! I recommend going onto the mountain top off to the side of the back lake, gives for a great view of Alpine Meadows on a clear day!

Awesome hike. Moderate (most elevation climb is in first half) and once you get to the lakes, so many options to explore other trails (PCT). We went at 7am on a Sunday morning and didn’t see a soul till we hit the lakes, where we saw 2 tents and a hammock camper. No mosquitos at all and we sat in the water for a good 30 minutes. Biggest lake is definitely the only one you could feasibly swim in - the others are very stagnant, shallow and murky. We continued on to join up with the PCT for a bit and then came back to get more mileage in. On the way back down, it was about 11am when we started the descent, the trail was PACKED with people coming up. Definitely don’t plan to start this hike after 9am I would say if you enjoy your space and solitude. Most of the people coming up were city slickers/tourists.

9 days ago

We’re from Texas. Elevation nothing. It was a gorgeous hike! We only hiked up to the lake, about 1.25 miles. However, we hiked around the lake to the other side over the little ridge there. Offers stunning views of Lake Tahoe. Worth the hike around the lake and up a little further.

hiking
9 days ago

A beautiful hike! The day was perfect with blue skies and could see for miles. The view of Cascade Lake was breathtaking. The falls were still a great site to see despite from what we read that the water fall is much greater during the spring/early summer. Bring water and a snack/lunch to enjoy around the falls.

very nice trail.....if this fatboy Texan can do it......so can you !

on Skunk Harbor

hiking
10 days ago

Really nice and picturesque trail leading to a sheltered cove and several small sand beach areas. It's popular with boaters as well, and we saw the Thunderbird there for an excursion. The beaches, like many around the lake, are much smaller again this year due to the high water levels, but don't let that discourage you. This is an easy down hill hike that will reward you with nice views and beaches, followed by a minor workout on the way back up (depending on how much you carry down). Dog friendly. A little bit crowded as it approached noon and later.

Beach is quick to get to

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful views of Cascade Lake and nice stone steps.

hiking
14 days ago

Nice out and back with beautiful scenery along the way. The majority of the trail is exposed so bring a hat, wear your sunblock and be mindful of the sun/heat during summer. The large lake is a great place to find shade, enjoy a lunch, and go for a swim. Heavily trafficked and well marked trail.

backpacking
15 days ago

Great hike for new backpackers. It was my 10yr old daughters 1st backpacking trip. Two other dads and their 11 & 9yr old sons with us. We stayed two nights at Five lakes. Great hike to get exposure to climbing with a pack, but not a long hike in. Camping sites are a bit hard to find with the 600ft limitation from the lake, but we found a great little spot. There aren't any fish in the lake, but kids had a great time casting, swimming, and jumping off rocks. We did a great out and back day hike up to the top of ridge overlooking Alpine Meadows, and Five Lakes (using the PCT trail heading south). Easy hike for the kids, gradual climb but nothing too steep. Great view, and good conversations with some PCT hikers. The lakes are busy during the day, but super quiet at night.

hiking
15 days ago

This hike was fun and had great views of a waterfall and some cool rock formations, but the trail was poorly marked. We had our two-year-old in a pack with us, and some areas were a bit precarious for carrying a kid.

Much of the trail is exposed so wear a hat and bring sunscreen. Lots of loose rocks, so wear good footwear.

Overall, this hike is totally worth checking out, but with all of the cool trails in northern CA, I’m not sure I’ll do this one again.

15 days ago

Great trail! Steep rocky climb to top but worth it for the beautiful lake (the big one). Lots of open trail with sun exposure so bring sunscreen and a hat. We ate lunch and then swam before hiking back down. It was a Sunday so quite crowded but not bothersome since everyone is so friendly. We had an easy time parking despite lots of cars already there.

hiking
15 days ago

Great hiking spot gorgeous view!

hiking
17 days ago

What a great hike we had. the first two miles are basically uphill and get your elevation gain out of the way right off the bat. I only logged a 1100 ft change on two different programs so not sure about that 1500 ft. so anyway the top of the trail is nice and flat and comes out at the lakes. We looped around all the lakes which made it a nice 5 mile round trip. Trail was pretty busy. I would do this again. Beautiful lakes that you could actually swim in. Saw a lot of dogs on the trail.

Great little trail for the whole family. During the summer months the parking can be quite scary, most of this is due to Emerald Bay overlook on the other side of the freeway. Saw a handful of parents with kids in backpacks.

We thoroughly enjoyed this hike. Easy to moderate at times with absolutely stunning views. Lots of water to cool off in along the way. Would definitely recommend you do this hike!

Awesome hike. Saw helicopter dropping water on nearby fire

Great hike! Beautiful scenery. The climb is strenuous but not hard. Our older Golden Retriever would not have been able to handle this hike. We didn’t see any dogs and we saw only a few kids on the trail. Bring a towel and maybe swimming gear - the lake at the end of the trail was gorgeous and looked really inviting.

hiking
20 days ago

That first .5 miles is a B*+%# to get up, but it’s not too terrible after that. Still a steep hike. A good portion is without shade so come with sunscreen, plenty of water, and maybe something with electrolytes. It’s mildly difficult, but totally worth the climb. The lakes are a nice temperature and so pretty!

I hike with my border collie and he was out like a light afterwards! And we only reached the first lake before we had to turn around and hike back. I highly recommend this hike for people looking for a challenge with an amazing reward at the top.

I probably should have said this first, but there are no bathrooms at the start of the trail. Use the gas station off the main road before the hike to be sure you won’t have an emergency midway through.

hiking
20 days ago

Amazingly beautiful!❤️

Gorgeous views. Granite Lake is pristine and well worth the stop to swim and relax before continuing the climb. Definitely worth the push at the end for the panoramic views!

Brilliant hike. Did it with 3 kids (9, 12 and 15). My gps says 8km all in all.

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful hike with great views of Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe beyond. Trailhead parking area was full but no problem finding parking along street outside of the campground and only a short walk back to the trailhead. Would rate this as moderate for anyone with older joints due to the rocky trail. Trekking poles are a great help. This was a crowded trail - mentioned in local tourist news papers- so not one if you enjoy solitude along with your hike.

Beautiful views! Lots of traffic; even during the middle of the week. Pretty rocky in a few spots. Wear good shoes and pack plenty of water.

hiking
25 days ago

Absolutely breathtaking views. Easy to moderate at times, but thoroughly enjoyed the hike. Would recommend you don't pass this one up!

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