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

Most difficult part of the trail is staying on trail due to very poor signage and/or markings. The trail has one lackluster lake and dumps you out near some ski runs. Good if you’re in the area and have half a day to kill, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for this one.

I've done this hike twice in the last few years and the one thing I hate is that hike it a tad bit longer then main article here indicates. From top to bottom, this is at least 5 mile each way hike. The first I attempted it, I did it too late in the day and made it up about 4/5th of the way, but turned around as I was running out of water and light (no flashlight on me). The second time around I left early in the day and made it up in the early mid afternoon. The views are some of the very best. On the downside, their were I think 3-4 fires going on in that region so the views were also kind of spoiled too by a bit of haze. Oh well. Maybe next time?

Uphill hike all the way to the tower but sooo worth it for the views. It was extremely windy, and that made the shaded areas chilly. My dog did great on the hike up but once we hit the stairs to the tower, I felt is was extremely unsafe for her. We made it up to the third set of stairs with me white knuckling my grip on her harness before I had a bit of anxiety at the sketchiness of the stairs and then decided to carry her back down. The stairs are somewhat wide gapped with absolutely no protection around the side rails and it is a sheer drop down. My friend ended up staying with my pup so I could make it to the top by myself. And I did, but with shaky knees to be honest. If you’re afraid of heights, skip the tower itself. But the view from the tower itself is breathtaking !!!!!

walking
14 days ago

*bring water for dogs- no water on the trail.
*uphill, then downhill, then uphill.....but not hard.
*gorgeous panaramas along the hike.
*we started late in the afternoon, and had it all to ourselves.( early November).
*no mountain bikes to be seen today.
*windy at the top- SPECTACULAR VIEWS!

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful hike, just be ready for a steep ascent right from the beginning. Loved the views, it was a gorgeous day and there were still some fall colors to enjoy. We did get startled by some dirt bikes that came up on us quickly as they crested a hill. We heard them, but had no idea they were so close. We were able to grab our dog before she was run over, but be on the lookout!

hiking
15 days ago

This short(er) hike provided great bang for your buck. At only 6 or so miles, the views were spectacular and we reached the summit quickly. Likely for this reason, there was quite a bit of trail traffic, even given the time of year.

After an immediate and somewhat intense climb, the trail opens up along a ridge that provides beautiful views of Desolation Wilderness to the west. On one side there is a cliff/drop off that my overly curious dog would not keep away from - just something to be aware of with children or pets.

Once you get to where the peak is in sight, be sure to keep to the smaller and less noticeable trail to the right. On the left side, there is a wider and rockier path that leads to a false peak, and thanks to another hiker we met, we didn’t get stuck up there as some have!

Hiked November 3rd 2018, beautiful calm day, sunny and very light winds. Two of us and small older dog did the trek in under 4 hours with a stop at the top. Several other groups shared the trail but we mostly had the trail to ourselves. Great views of desolation wilderness, Lake Tahoe and beyond. We started late (noon) sun was fabulous, long shadows by return trip. Loon lake was glorious, mirrored reflections of the sky and golden glow everywhere.
A must hike!

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

Challenging yet rewarding hike with beautiful scenery and views. We went in mid-Oct when the tram was closed (it closed 10/1/2018), so once we got to Shirley Lake, we continued on around Solitude chair to Shirley Lake chair and up and over to High Camp and then took Mountain Run down to to Squaw Village. All in, with a few snack and photo breaks it took us 4.5 hours and was about 9 miles. To get from Squaw Peak Road (the trail head) to Shirley Lake, it’s a lot of boulder maneuvering and often scaling on all fours. It’s not for the weak, very young, out of shape, or elderly. Follow the blue spray painted markers and little trail signs along the way and you’ll be in good shape. If you don’t see blue spray paint for a while, you’ve likely gone off the trail by mistake. We got lost at one point following aimlessly the people in front of us who didn’t know where they were going (we realized later), so have this app ready when needed and follow the markings. It’s a very fun and varied hike and the beauty of Shirley Lake, the gorgeous valley and the views from High Camp are worth it. The hike from Shirley up to High Camp has significant elevation and no shade but it’s a relatively steady climb up the service road and not technical. As the tram was closed, we took Mountain Run down which was simple enough. Only negative with that is it’s a slippery loose pebble ridden service road so be careful with your footing. Often we walked on the side of the road in the brush for better stability. Incredible and rewarding hike overall. Highly recommend for the adventurous and not faint at heart! Bring a camelback/plenty of water and snacks! Glass of wine at the Village at the end was incredibly rewarding. :)

backpacking
28 days 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.

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

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.

Beautiful trail but challenging along the granite. Keep you eyes open for the blue spray paint on the rocks to keep you on course (great idea to spray paint). The tram is closed from Oct 1 - opening season for maintenance so be prepared time wise to hike both ways.

2nd time around..get up there to see a fire at around donner lake or hwy 89 yesterday..makes u realize hikers vulnerabilities..great views and great scramble up once you get up past first turret..not a trekking pole hiker but they may come into play on way down..

amazing hike...the views from the tower are just beautiful. steady climb to get there but not to bad. i would say depending on your dog whether it would be comfortable for them or not up the stairs. mine made it fine but i held her harness to help her. this has to be my favorite hike for the views alone. can't wait to do it again.

Quite windy today, but beautiful skies and miles and miles of visibility. Trail is in good condition, although a bit loose going up the last 3/4 mile (all walkable if careful)

Beautiful vistas, especially from the top of the fire tower! A steady climb the whole way up, but not horrible. We even had a very light snow shower on the way back down. One of my new favorite hikes!

Great hike with Beautiful views of Shirley Canyon and Tram Face at Squaw Valley

This hike has great views. It's pretty moderate until the last mile, then it's steep. Bring poles, it can be pretty slippery. Lots of loose gravel and sand.

Beautiful hike. Wouldn’t recommend bringing big dogs, the stairs are pretty sketchy for them to get up. Uphill the whole way but it goes by quick. Great views.

hiking
1 month ago

This path is beautiful but beware.

If you are comfortable with steep climbs then go for it. My family and I love trails but we are from Florida and this was a big challenge for us.

I did make it to the top and the pond just perfect.

Very beautiful trail with panoramic views. We loved the trees with bright green moss. Nice trail for the dog too.

backpacking
1 month ago

I've done this as a snowshoe day hike in the winter, an overnight backpacking with snowshoes in the winter, and a spring/summer hike. All times have been great with different experiences! One of my favorite go-to's when I need a quick hike that I'm familiar with and won't get lost.

Be advised - this trail is for LEASHED dogs only! And please be considerate of others who might have dog fears or leashed dogs with some aggression issues. I was appalled when I walked the trail yesterday!

Fun little hike before the snows return. If actually trying to bag the true summit keep in mind it’s the easternmost crag. Def a bit of exposed class 3 climbing to get up top but we still managed to get up in a little under two hours.

hiking
1 month ago

It was a windy September Saturday when we hiked to Ellis Peak. Great trail with truly beautiful views all around. After leaving the peak make sure you look out for the smaller trail leading back to Barker Pass - crossing the Ellis Lake trail. Met a couple of friendly and helpful trail bikers, but it was mostly hikers on the route.

Challenging but amazing.

loved this hike, steep but so worth it!

9/15/2018: Our group including 5 adults and 3 kids (ages about 5-11) all wearing regular shoes, made the trip up and back with time to stop for lunch and views in about 5 hours. It was a stunning day to be outside as it was nice and brisk but sunny. Bring a windbreaker though- it was downright COLD with the wind up near the top and out of the tree line.
Side note: It's been several days since our hike and my calves are still barking! As others said, it isn't overly steep, but it'll still get ya!
We'll definitely be headed back! (I heard the flowers are lovely mid-summer!)

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