Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nice little hike. Well maintained and marked to cool view. We just saw a few people and some discarded dog waste bags (eww). Otherwise a great moderate short hike.

Beautiful hike. A little manageable snowpack low down. We were heading for the lakes and hit soft snowpack about .75 miles before the lake. Post-holing up to the knees. Had to turn around because it was too much work. Take snowshoes or wait another couple weeks if you want to reach the lakes!

Beautiful backpacking shuttle trip starting in Meeks Bay and continued from Crag Lake to the Velma Lakes and out the Bayview Trail to Emerald Bay.

Super easy walk to Picnic Rock. Great view of the Tahoe basin. Take a picnic and enjoy the sunny view. Good snow shoe hike in the winter. Could be 5 stars but copious amounts of dog poop require constant attention on the trail and detracts from outdoorsy atmosphere.

backpacking
2 months ago

Completely echo everything Lisa mentions below. Very slick at points on the way down and have to hike through thick brush. Fun hike but took longer than expected because the trail was fairly unmarked and unmaintained.

The view at the top was worth the hike, even for our kids who are usually grumpy hiking uphill. Lots of families with kids on the trail. The view made for great family pics.

Very nice scenic view with a great payoff at the end with an assortment of large flat rocks to picnic or take in the views. Easily connects to other trails if you’re in the mood to extend your hike.

Nice short walk and great scenery

Great easy/moderate trail to exceptional views perfect place to bring a picnic, thermos of coffee, bottle of wine, good whiskey etc .... and just sit on one of the many flat rock formations at the top it’s a good idea to bring a packable jacket or blanket as it can be quite windy and chilly at the top

Luckily, we had perfect weather--not a cloud in the sky and cool to start. Enjoyed the climb to the lakes where we stopped for lunch. Highly recommended.

Super easily accessible short hike. Great for a quick workout.

Not too busy Labor Day weekend. Handful of hikers, no cyclists. Parking available on the uphill side of 267 if you drive up a very short distance to the trailhead signboard, plenty of space on the wrong side of 267 as well.

Lots of diversity on the trail. Elevation gains not steep. You must take the time to get to Crag Lake it is beautiful. Best hike of our Tahoe experience

on Showers Lake

backpacking
8 months ago

I loved this hike! Very easy to do, most of the hike is flat going through beautiful meadows. In the beginning and end (near Showers Lake) there was elevation gains to climb. Very little snow left and trail was easy to follow. Some wild flowers still but spring and early summer would be the best time to see them. I will definitely return to explore the area more. The trail was not too crowded at all which was nice. Definitely a good choice if you're looking for a good moderate hike.

My Garmin shows we did 21.3 miles on this loop. We also decided to do this loop C'Clock wise and started from the Parking lot of Big Meadows Trail head.
Our Goal was to make Showers Lake for day 1. That's fine but it was 12.4 miles mostly up hill.( 2425' elev. gain in 9.6 miles) Add an extra hour to your plans if you do this with heavy night packs.
From Big Meadow parking lot we walked down Upper Truckee Rd and caught the Hawley Grade Trail. The trail was up hill but not bad at all! We hit hwy 50 and a short trek to the Adventure Mountain parking area got us back on trail. Note, the trail starts just before the gate.
Day 1 was hard but finished up with very easy 8 remaining miles on day 2. Mostly flat and down hill after Showers lake.
Awesome views all the way.

Only try this loop if you are an experienced hiker. After Dardanelles's lake there is no "trail". First attempt I quit since I couldn't find a clear trail. Tried another weekend and I only made to Round Lake because of gps and walking up and down rocks and bushes. You can reach either Dardanelles or Round Lake easy, but if you try the loop you will be on your own. I truly wouldn't have found my way back without gps. My phone gps stopped working after I was around 5 miles in so it didn't record my track. But then it worked again so I was able to finish. Good luck!

Mid August, wildflowers were in full bloom and extremely prolific .

Beautiful hike. The trail starts with a nice mile of no elevation change for a warmup. Then its pretty much all uphill to the lakes. Its a good mix of exposed and covered. Also a good mixture of different types of areas. You have the dry rocky, the wet flowery, meadows, forest etc. Desolation is one of my favorite areas!

Went from Barker Pass to the Granite Chief Wilderness boundary. Great wildflowers and terrific views. Even in late August still a lot of running water which is awesome. Check out the photos.

backpacking
8 months ago

Nice mellow weekend backpacking trip. Set up camp at Crag Lake up the ridge overlooking the lake. A little thunder in the distance and a few drops of rain, but otherwise the weather was perfect.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike, challenging distance, very green trail with lots of flowers. Had a really nice swim in the lake. The walk through the meadow is pretty magic.

This was a lovely first backpacking experience for my friends and me (August 5-6)! The hike to Crag Lake took us ~3 hours but the way back was more like 2 hours. A lot of the way there is uphill, but it was totally manageable, especially because it wasn't too hot on the day we were hiking there. Crag Lake is so beautiful and we pretty much had the place to ourselves! We found a beautiful spot to pitch our tent right on the lake. We enjoyed hiking a little further on the trail without our packs to come to Hidden Lake, which was also very serene. It wasn't quite hot enough that we wanted to swim in the lakes but if it was warmer we would've!

The parking lot at the trailhead is small, but there is plenty of street parking available!

Awesome, well marked short hike.

Great hike, clear trail markings and a beautiful area you can use to hop in for a swim.

We did a six mile hike on this trail up in the mountains. It was awesome! We loved it. It took us down to the south side of Lake Tahoe. We plan on going back in a few years. We were on vacating in Tahoe. This was our first time visiting there.

A great workout with varied terrain and a mix of sun and shade. Swam in Lake Genevieve to cool off for the descent.

Awesome trail, lots of lakes and streams to cross along the way. Beautiful views. Definitely recommend!

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