Explore Tahoe Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hikes around lake Tahoe

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hiking
22 hours ago

Amazing hike! I have just started to get into hiking the past couple years. I would rate the first 3.5 miles of the hike as moderate. The last 1.5 miles to summit was the most challenging for me. It took us 3.5 hours to summit with a couple short breaks and about 3 hours to get back down. The last 2 miles to the top is pretty rocky but poles helped a lot. I went through 2.5 liters of water. Bring plenty of snacks. Beautiful hike the whole way. It was nice to pass a couple small lakes along the way. We started at 7:30 and I wouldn’t want to leave any later because of heat and crowds. We were able to park at that time with no problems.

Tough hike but very rewarding. Visited the three lakes and Lake Salmon on the way back. I’m glad I wore ankle high hiking boots over the rough, rocky and rutted trail.

I love this trail! I've hit it in skis, snowshoes, and hiking boots. Good times all around.

Worth the 10.2 mile hike. The view is breathtaking! Definitely would go again.

hiking
3 days ago

Challenging and scenic hike but well worth it!
It took us (31yr old/29yr old) about 5hours (we took a few breaks for food and pictures) to reach the summit, and about 3 hours to get down. The hike goes along side Fallen leaf lake and has many spectacular views (a few smaller lakes/ponds) as you make your way to the tippytop for the ultimate view. Very rewarding, but not for the casual hiker.
For comparison, I would say the hike to get to the base of Half Dome was about as strenuous for me. A little less elevation gain, and distance on this hike. It surely felt as challenging because it had such a rocky path a majority of the trail.

Tips:
-Go early, the parking lot is small, and fills up quickly. We went on a weekday and the parking lot was filling up before 8am.
-Pack enough water, it will be a 8+ hour hike for most people. We packed two 32oz hydroflasks, and our 50 oz camelback backpack.

Tough hike up Tallac for me yesterday but worth it. Beautiful views of Echo Lake, Emerald Bay, Fallen Leaf and of course Tahoe. Very rocky. Took us about 3 1/2 hours to summit. We started at 10am. Totally recommend an early start like 6:30 or 7:00. My husband was my Sherpa on the way down because I had jello legs. “Going up is optional, getting down is mandatory.” Bring lots of water and a good attitude.

on Mount Tallac Trail

3 days ago

So worth it! My husband and I did this hike early this morning. It was tough to say the least. Took us about 5 hrs of moving time and a total of 6.5 hrs with breaks and such. You need lots of water and snacks. We saw people hiking in flip flops and converse tennis. Crazy! 90% of this trail is rock. It’s a killer on the feet. Absolutely gorgeous scenery, lakes, forest and some wild flowers still blooming. We also saw some snow when we reached the summit. There’s plenty of shaded areas to rest, but also lots of open areas. Sunblock is a must. I suggest hiking early to get a parking spot.

hiking
6 days 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
6 days ago

The first 4.5 mile was between easy and normal. However, the last 0.5 mile was hard. It took us 30-45 min to compete last 0.5 mile. The Lions Lakes is a reward ! we swam and took a nap before return. 6 hour to compete + 1.5 for photo, swimming and napping.

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.

hiking
8 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
9 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
10 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
10 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.

Kicked my butt trail. Nice elevation change. Wish the smoke wasn’t there right now. A lot of the normal views were not visible but the hike was a lot of fun and I’m so glad that people have kept the trail so clean.

hiking
13 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
14 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!

Hard but worth it.

Super nice and diversified trail! We did it as a half day hike (a little bit under two hours to the highest lake). In my opinion more a MODERATE then a hard hike (there for sure is a rocky section tho). The first 0.5 mile of the trail is a little tricky to follow, I was glad I brought my phone for GPS. Bring your dog and plan on taking a dip in the lake(s)!

hiking
16 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
16 days ago

The hike is mis-rated as "hard". It's an easy hike for experienced hikers/backpackers. For the less experienced day hike crowd it's a moderate hike. I absolutely loved the scenery. The show stopper though is when you reach the top of the trail there's a sharp turn that unveils the lake. Simply breathtaking. Stopped me in my tracks.

With that said, if you're not partial to rocky trails and lots of loose rock and gravel, this is not the trail for you.

I agree that it is a hard hike, especially coming back down. If you have a knee issue, use poles to soften the impact on the rocks, tree roots and just altogether steep and rugged trail terrain. The lakes are worth all the hard work to reach them. Middle Loch Leven is about 6 miles RT, but don’t get fooled by the shorter mileage. It’s still tough go. I have thought to make it a shuttle by putting a car at the Salmon Lake TH & hiking out by way of Salmon Lake & in at the Loch Leven TH. This would make hiking out less strenuous on folks with knee problems like I have.

backpacking
19 days ago

The hike itself is moderate and the trails are well kept. There was a bit more traffic than expected but the scenery is as advertised, beautiful. What did disappoint was the fishing at the lakes, specifically Stoney Ridge Lake. We saw a few decent fish cruising the shoreline early and late in the day, but we only caught a single fish. It was a very nice 23” German Brown on a fly rod but we threw everything at this lake, spinning rods with flys, spinners, we caught minnows and used those as bait (0 caught) and even power bait and worms. Very disappointing considering we had our 8-yr old sons with us on their 1st backpacking trip ever. Fishing was much better at the smaller lakes with Rubicon Lake being loaded with Brookies (8-12”). Overall, if you don’t mind seeing other hikers and if fishing is not your thing, this is a good hike. 4/5 stars for worse than expected fishing

This trail kicked my butt! Thankfully I went with a group who knew the trail, otherwise I never would have been able to stay on track. There are portions where you’re climbing/hiking over big slabs of rock and I still have no idea how they knew which way to go. I’d definitely recommend having this mapped out before losing service (although my phone worked the whole time). The views were beautiful at the top, but this is definitely strenuous; it was uphill the entire way. My group hiked up to the second lake because it wasn’t much further and it was worth it. We stopped there and had lunch, got in the lake, and then went back. Be prepared to work hard and bring lots of water because you’ll need it! The way down was a little rough too just because it’s very steep and my poor knees felt the impact the next day. Overall- great workout and beautiful lakes.

mountain biking
22 days ago

Do not attempt on a mtb. I couldn't find any info saying it's not allowed. You'll find yourself carrying your mtb 80% of the time and that's from RR tracks and down. Was not fun.

Absolutely wonderful mix of sun and shade and smells of pine with a swim in stony ridge lake to top it off. Mellow up and down. A new favorite.

walking
25 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. :)

backpacking
27 days ago

Took my kids up to the middle lake for two nights. The lake was beautiful and perfect for swimming with some great jumping rocks. Trail was rocky and steep at times. Did it in running shoes and regretted not having hiking boots. We were tired so decided not to head up to the upper lake, also heard it was pretty crowded up there. The lakes were beautiful but the rocky trail was tough on the feet. Would do it again!

hiking
27 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.

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