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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Great hike! Easy to follow the trail!

Beautiful hike! First gain is a challenge but the view at the top is well worth it. Stopped there for lunch then ventured on toward the Dick’s Lake and Fontanillis Lake round about and up to middle Velma. Set up camp and ate dinner at dusk. Photographs because my credit card background. Mosquitoes were a nightmare (4th of July weekend) and the trails were a bit more congested on the descent with lots of day hikers.

Beautiful trail!

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

Road construction closed the road leading up to the trailhead so we had to take a pretty janky trail around the road to get there. Trail was great once we found it; well-marked with some cool views. Was a good workout for both my ten year-old and me!

Most of the hike was in the sun because of the Gondola fire. Recommend starting early. Beautiful waterfall.

A very nice, yet challenging hike into the sugar pine forest above heavenly. There's a wonderful small waterfall that you pass by as well as several small creeks that you cross. The views are spectacular.

Up to the very top and back clocks in at 7 miles, so i'd advise you to not bring young children on this hike expecting to get to the top. There are some great places to hike to along the way, however, that would make a great short hike.

Bring some water, pack sunscreen, and have proper footwear as I saw a few people in sandals having a very tough go.

Beach is quick to get to

Beautiful views of Tahoe!!

hiking
15 days ago

Nice mix of terrain but not much shade and can get hot, lakes and creek are nice place to cool off. On my trip to Island Lake we didn't see a lot of places to easily relax by the lake but we didn't explore all around the lake either. As others have stated, picking up the trail on the granite sections may be more difficult for newer hikers.

Fantastic hike. I recommend for experienced hikers only.

Nice walk with great views early on but there's little reward at the top, just a few rocks for a picnic before heading back down. Take plenty of water as some steep uphill sections are un-shaded.

Beautiful new trail! Could not quit taking pictures. Started at 7 am and almost the entire hike was shaded. Wasn’t very busy on a Wednesday that early in the morning, parking was easy, only saw 3 runners and two bikers the entire way until the last half mile on the return trip when several groups were headed up. So go early and enjoy the views!!

21 days ago

This was a really beautiful hike but I thought the trail could have been market better. We somehow veered left somewhere on the tail and ended up very lost and had to climb up a lot of rocks to get back to the trail. If you don’t get lost, this trail is great and the lake at the top is very refreshing on a warm day!

Awesome hike with great views!

hiking
25 days ago

Got pretty hot, pretty quick. we did the loop in reverse so the dogs could play in the water. great trail.

hiking
26 days ago

I went back to hike this trail the second time this summer and there are more wildflowers past Twin Lakes due to snow melt. The small ponds/giant puddles are fully evaporated by now, making is easier to hike. The path up to Island Lakes is difficult to find, but once you see the trail, it's all good from there!

Great hike. We were headed to campers flat for an over night. We did encounter a mountain lion in the rock field before the creek prior to Middle Velma. We did see a ranger the next day on the way out and he confirmed that there was one in the area. It was a great weekend and recommend this to anyone. Bring water and/or water filter. If your in good condition this is a fun hike if not you may have a time of it. Remember - enjoy the journey.

on Castle Peak Trail

hiking
29 days ago

Great hike with amazing views.

Things to know: Take bug spray. You’ll be happy to have it in the first mile or so, before you get into fast elevation grades. Obviously, you need
water, glasses, and suntan lotion. I don’t like poles, but I’d think most people do.

The hike is 3.0-3.1 miles to the top. After the first 1.5 miles it gets much steeper with incline grades of 30-60 percent. Those don’t relent for almost the entire way to the top. At the top you have to do some very minor rock climbing to get to the top. Amazing views and feeling of accomplishment.

For those who are in very good shape it’s probably not that big of a deal. For the weekend warrior it’s a great workout but it’s not going to be easy, but you can do it!

Also, anyone who takes a 4 year old on this trail is irresponsible in my opinion. It’s way too steep to think taking a small child on the last mile
of this trial is a good idea.

Last weekend (7/7-7/8) backpacked from the Bayview Trailhead to Middle Velma for the night. Great hike! Definitely a steep incline going up, but beautiful views and flowers along the way. Be sure to stop at the lookout halfway up the initial incline for a stunning view of Emerald Bay. We took a detour to Dick’s Lake (not on this map), then continued on to Middle Velma to camp. Once we got to Middle Velma, we had a beautiful view, great swimming, and a warm evening. Bugs didn’t come out until sunset. Beautiful hike back down— recommend poles. Definitely a great weekend trip!

on Castle Rock Loop Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Most of trail easy to traverse. Near Castle Rock have to scramble up to get views of Lake Tahoe

backpacking
1 month ago

Backpacked to Island Lake July 6-8 and loved it. The area is super beautiful and is only a 3-4 mile hike from the trailhead. One day we did a day hike up to Mount Price and get a look at Lake Aloha. Overall a great place for a low mileage backpacking trip! Here is my full report with pics: https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com/trip-reports/desolation-wilderness-twin-lakes/

Amazing views and great workout. Some uphills to it but nothing too strenuous. Very happy with this hike and highly recommend. We saw dozens of chipmunks and a lot of wild flowers!

backpacking
1 month ago

Backpacked in on the 3rd and out on the 5th. Wrights Lake Road is now open again for access, so you don't need to go through Ice House Road. it's a much shorter drive to and from US50 from Wrights Lake Road to the trailhead. The trail is pretty clearly marked, and parts where it wasn't, we went ahead and rebuilt some of the cairns that had appeared to have fallen apart. When you get closer to the lake, there are 2 paths that will take you on either side of the lake. Do not attempt to go around the lake, since there are unstable boulders and no clearly defined path. Instead, go back to the area near the shallow water fall just below the lake, and go in either direction, you should be able to find the trails easily from this point. I brought my ultralight fishing gear and caught a lot of brook trout. Luckily the fishing was good because we had left a few packs of food at home so we were a bit short. There wasn't much in the way of wildlife up there, but we saw some marmots and chipmunks. The wind up there was pretty bad over the few days, but otherwise it was a beautiful, relaxing time at this less populated lake in Desolation Wilderness.

Amazing hike! Starts off fairly mundane...but then steps it up and is very challenging but worth the pay off at the end!

on Island and Twin Lakes

1 month ago

Beware the trail as pictured past Twin Lakes dissolves into a rocky hard scramble and unsafe water crossing trying to get back to Twin Lakes. I wouldn't recommend it for others to follow.

Great family hike — easy/moderate and very well-marked. We arrived at 9:45 am which allowed for easy parking, perfect weather and minimal foot traffic. Gorgeous views. Don’t miss the “Vista” sign — follow its direction for the best view of the lake from atop the rocks. Kids also enjoyed the California/Nevada border marker near the parking lot.

Hike this one for the views! Take your time to stop and take photos of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains. From the trail head near the equestrian parking lot, follow the orange trail markers to the Tahoe Rim Trail intersection. Many hikers stop at the waterfall as their turnaround point. Start early, most of the hiking is in full sun and the trail gets crowded since it’s so close to the tourist area.

I came from the PCT heading north to Bayview Trail just past Upper Velma Lake... I assumed It was going to be an easy way to get back to a Parking area where I could take the Trolley back into town. I was completely Wrong!! The scenery is absolutely beautiful, so i hope this review helps.. I thought the trail would be well marked and a bit easier than it was... Once I began to take the trail I couldn't believe how hard it was to follow. After a long day of hiking this was away more challenging exit point than I wanted. I lost the trail a few times and then luckily picked it up again. My phone GPS didn't work here. Thank goodness I had my poles to cross the river. I assumed all of this trail would be clearly marked aka a more Tahoe family friendly route. I left the bayview trail to Eagle Lake trail where there is a posted sign, but if I had wanted to follow the bayview trail all the way down...I am not sure were I would of even gone at that point. Make sure you have a good understanding of the trail before you leave your start point. Happy Hiking!

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