Explore the most popular birding 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.

I just hiked this trail yesterday, and oh my goodness, it is the most beautiful trail I've hiked! This is coming from someone who hasn't spent a whole lot of time in the Sierras, but still, this was truly amazing!

It was really cool to start out on a portion of the Tahoe Rim Trail. I didn't know about that through-hike until I found this on All Trails, but it's cool to imagine people hiking all the way around Tahoe Lake. We were content with Dardanelles though. The parking lot was pretty big and had restrooms, but no running water. We arrived around 10:30am and we were able to find a parking spot in the lot. It was pretty full, though. If you want to be sure that parking won't be an issue, you may want to come an hour earlier if you're summer hiking on a Saturday.

The trail itself was sensational! I couldn't believe the beauty! At the very beginning, you do have to run across highway 89, but once that's over it is wilderness all around! there's a steep-ish incline with rocks and roots. It was adventurous! The trail evens out once you get to the big meadow, and that's where you get your first glimpse of the snow-capped mountains. The meadow is so serene and peaceful. After that is forest with many beautiful wildflowers. Some flowers were so cool looking! The stream crossings were easy. There were conveniently placed rocks to step on while crossing. Only one was a little tricky. But wow, was the river gorgeous!

As we got closer to the lake, we reached a patch of huge granite stones with bright pink flowers growing on them! The rocks were so cool-looking! They weren't steep, so we climbed up on them for a gorgeous view. It was a great spot to take a small break. Very safe.

We finally reached Dardanelles Lake and it just took my breath away. I couldn't take my eyes off of the scene: dark blue waters against a big mountain of granite, with snow-capped Sierras in the background. It was remarkable. There were 1-2 other small groups of people, but the lake was big enough to give us a very secluded spot along the shore. Even though it was breezy and the water was cold, I still couldn't resist jumping in! The water felt great after the sunny hike! There are leeches though! A little one attached itself to my sister's leg. It was really easy to pull off, though.

It was so hard to leave the lake, and eventually we did. Walking back in the late afternoon was lovely, because the lighting was just right against the trees and the leaves.

Throughout the hike, we ran into friendly hikers and their cute dogs, but it wasn't crowded. We were alone for the majority of the trail.I whole-heartedly recommend this hike! I was the happiest I'd been in a long time on this trail.

hiking
1 day ago

I started on the trail at 5:30 am, Saturday June 16th 2018. I really recommend to follow the All Trails trail map to the summit. I lost the trail many times and it was valuable to have the offline trail map to find the trail again. There is still snow on the trail in 3 to 4 spots. The view from the top is amazing. Get here early to get a good parking spot because it fills up fast and otherwise you’ll park on the side of the road and walk longer. Compared to Pyramid Peak and Freel Peak in the Tahoe area, Mount Tallac is less remote and easier. Overalls great way to spend a Saturday morning.

Gorgeous!! The wildflowers are blooming! The views, tress, fresh air, and lake is amazing! Love this trail!

The views were beautiful! The walk to the beach isn’t all that bad. My family and I stayed at the beach for a few hours before we turned back. This trail could be either an early morning walk to get you ready for the day or an all day excursion.

It was beautiful and easy with kids.

On reaching the summit you would have earned some of the best views of Lake Tahoe ever. Went today and although small patches of snow are still present it's still manageable with regular trail shoes. Frequent patches of rough rocks too - so right kind of shoes definitely recommend. The hike though is totally worth all the efforts.

Closer to 11.5 miles in and out. Trekked through a few small snow banks in June, made it more interesting and fun. The wildflowers are icing in the cake during this difficult hike.

The foliage was nice...trail into the meadow muddy.

We hiked Mt. Tallac yesterday. Some patches of snow on the trail but easy to navigate and poles helped with stability. We lost the trail a few times near the summit but it was not a big deal to find it if you keep hiking and pick a good line. This hike has the most beautiful views of Lake Tahoe, Emerald bay, Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Aloha (amongst many more) from the backside. Breathtaking! Round trip 5 hours and a celebratory beer at the car!

A beautiful hike along the shore. There was some small climbing but definitely doable. A good mix of sun and shade. I believe what makes this a moderate hike is the distance. At the end there are some benches along the shore and a water taxi to bring you back to the start if needed. Also, the trail gets busy as the day goes on so I would start early.

There is no trail between Dardanelles and Round. You will need GPS. We ended heading around to the back side of Round and connecting to the Pacific Rim Trail. Beautiful but challenging.

The view is amazing and not a hard hike at all

A fantastic Kid friendly hike! Like most hikes, wear appropriate foot wear. Our 7 and 9 year old had a great time and were able to vear off the trail a little to enjoy the area. There are some areas where you will need to use your hands a little, nothing major. Pack a lunch to relax at the falls area. Its beautiful!

Wouldn't say it's an easy trail as while quite short (1.4m/2.2km roundtrip) almost all of it is rocks and boulders. Don't wear flipflops. The views are breathtaking, a must-do/see

hiking
7 days ago

The views at the very top was worth the hike. I would say the views are better than Yosemite. You get a 360 degree view of nature’s beauty. I am not sure how the Desolation Wilderness looks without snow, but this time of year with snow on the mountains, it was just jaw dropping beauty. Of course, the Lake Tahoe side is just as gorgeous. My only regret was not bringing my DSLR camera.
The trails are tricky this time of year. Many people turned around instead of attempting to climb the face of the mountain. Snow covered trails make it very difficult to follow the trail. You either “rock climb” on the right or scale the snow.. definitely need gear to go over the snow. It’s very steep and slippery. Coming down is tricky since the views are so different from the top. I would recommend GPS marking where you came up. At the very peak, there will be chipmunks that will attempt to steal your snacks. So don’t leave your food out in the open. This hike took us 6 hours, including getting lost trying to find our way down the face..

Quick scouting trip today - just a couple miles in and back along Echo Lake. Nice trail, fairly flat in this section. We look forward to returning soon so we can hike all the way back into Aloha Lake.

hiking
9 days ago

Did this hike on 6/8/18 and will definitely be going back as soon as my body recovers! Like all other recent reviewers, I lost the trail a number of times and ended up doing some sketchy rock-climbing-over-shale hoping I didn’t die until I found it again, but I eventually did! I didn’t start using the all trails app until I got past the “false summit,” but I wish I had because it would have made it easier to know when I wasn’t on the trail and how to get back on it. The paths made in the snow after the false summit do not follow the actual trail!! When I went up I followed the path through the snow and had a really hard time getting to the summit. On the way back down I tried harder to find the trail and didn’t go through the snow as much, and as a whole that was MUCH easier! Not to mention much better for the environment and following “leave no trace” practice. All in all, if you feel you are up to the 3000+ climb/5 miles, absolutely do this hike! But pull up the app as soon as it starts to become more rocky, it will save you a lot of energy and struggle by staying closer to the trail!

Really fun hike! Trail is well marked and easy to follow. There are lots of wildflowers along the trail, not as many in the actual meadow. Easy to complete in a few hours. I would definitely do this hike again.

10 days ago

Adding to Anthony’s post. Also check out my review on Freel, Jobs Sister, and Jobs Peak.

Enter off Forest Service Road 051 — put the following coordinates in Google maps (38.7913412,-119.9328102). Definitely recommend an AWD vehicle with high clearance. If you’re hitting Jobs first (counter-clockwise, I think people recommend that) drive to the very very end. The road does end. If you’re hitting Freel first (clockwise), park at the first round about.

The views are amazing, and it isn't a long hike, but who ever called climbing the boulders in the path an easy hike... Some people aren't that tall!

hiking
11 days ago

Really incredible views at the peak. The first 2/3 of the hike is pretty mild. Then you hit a rock patch which is very easy to lose the trail on. This area is what people are calling the false summit. As of today there was snow patches covering sections of the trail and we managed to lose the trail about a dozen times. Fortunately we had service for google maps so we could stay on track. Took us about 10 hours for a very slow and leisurely trip, including an hour or so spent hanging out at the peak. Definitely worth it!

hiking
11 days ago

Great trail and views from the.top are breathtaking. A little bit of snow left up top, but nothing that can't be crossed through. Make sure to use GPS. Almost everyone was trying to scale the face, but if they had just turned and stayed on the trail, it was a relatively easy accent. Pro tip, shoes with shanks, it is rocky!

hiking
11 days ago

Did this hike on 6/6/18. This was a really fun hike, but don't expect to do it in 5 hours! It took me and my girlfriend about 9 hours roundtrip. We met a few other groups who also took about 8-9 hours. The trail up to the second lake is pretty straightforward. Once you leave the second Lake, the hike gets more technical. We got lost heading up to the false summit and had to backtrack a bit. The path we took was a bit treacherous, as the rocks were unstable and we caused a handful of mini rockslides. Once over the false summit, there's several snow patches to cross. At the final push to the actual summit, we hugged the trail around on the right as opposed to going straight up, and it was significantly easier. Overall it was a great time! We saw lots of chipmunks and marmots. Just don't expect this to be a quick walk in the park, and be prepared for technical climbs over boulder fields and snow patches.

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful trail; just watch where you step

Easy walk/run/bike ride with a gorgeous lake view on Nevada Beach. Evening nature walk will result in stunning Tahoe sunsets.

hiking
14 days ago

That was awesome! 6-4-18. Got on trail by 8:15am and was back at my car by 12:50pm.
I was solo, I only stopped once for a quick water break at one of the lakes, and then was at the summit for 20mins or so for lunch.
Yes, the first 3.3mi was cake, obvious trail. When you’re hiking the face to the false summit, that was a lil technical. Crossed a snow patch, but only lasted a couple mins. You’re making your own trail at that point...just head up to the ridge at whatever way you find easiest. Once you get to the ridge (false summit) you’ll have to cross a boulder field which is tricky. Once you’re up on the ridge, the summit is obvious..just keep headin towards it. I crossed the actual trail a couple times..but found it easier to just head straight to the summit...the ridge is clear enough to just make your own trail.
There’s no summit sign...but it’s obvious when you’re there...there’s no more climbing!
Coming down the ‘no-trail’ face was tricky...so
be careful...there were definitely a few rock slides coming down.
Have fun!

Hiked on 6-3-18. No issues with snow or muddiness along the trail. The meadows are green with wildflowers. This trail is a good workout. Bring bug spray

hiking
15 days ago

Nice trail, quite rocky in places. Very scenic.

Like a walk in the park, highly recommended!

Beautiful hike with a variety of scenery. Will return with my bike for a second round. Everyone hiking/riding was polite and the traffic was not too heavy. Too many off leash dogs is my only complaint however that is happening at every trail now.

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