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Best trails in Tahoe National Forest

17,422 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Tahoe National Forest, California? AllTrails has 205 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 112 moderate trails in Tahoe National Forest ranging from 0.9 to 60.2 miles and from 951 to 9,685 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Tahoe National Forest
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Top trails (205)
#1 - Stevens Trail [CLOSED]
Tahoe National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1591)
Length: 9 mi • Est. 4 h 48 m
As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. Stevens Trail has little shade and can become dangerous during the summer months. Please do not attempt in extreme heat and be wary of the hot ground on your dog's paws. Be sure to bring lots of water for your hike. This trail is very scenic and rich in history - it is also on the National Register of Historic places. Built by Truman Allen Stevens it was used as a toll road for miners that needed to get from the mining town of Iowa Hill to the railroad town of Colfax. The trail was forgotten but then rediscovered in 1969 by a boyscout, Eric Kiel, and re-charted as part of his scouting project. Today it is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management. Show more
#2 - Five Lakes Trail [CLOSED]
Tahoe National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(905)
Length: 5 mi • Est. 2 h 46 m
As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. Nestled in the foothills of the Granite Chief Wilderness peaks just north of Lake Tahoe, the Five Lakes promise dramatic yet tranquil surroundings, a place to relax, fish, or swim. Best visited after the snow has retreated in the summer, the Five Lakes Trail is one of the easiest and most accessible hikes in the Granite Chief Wilderness so you're unlikely to have this trail to yourself. Don't be disheartened if the trail is busy however, as the lakes themselves allow for plenty of chances for quiet and solitude. Great views, beautiful wildflowers, and plenty of room for exploration. It's like a playground but better. Stretching is encouraged since almost all of the elevation gain is accrued during the first mile or so of the hike. Once at the lakes, you can take it easy, swim, eat, and lay out, or you can continue on and hike around the ski resort, or head west or south and hit up the PCT and other trails. Ample parking can be found alongside the road both before and after the trailhead. Show more
#3 - Loch Leven Lakes Trail [CLOSED]
Tahoe National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(804)
Length: 8.8 mi • Est. 4 h 33 m
As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. NOTE: This trail may vary in difficulty depending on the trail conditions, such as snowy or melting snow conditions. High alpine lakes aplenty in the Tahoe National Forest. Located directly of Interstate 80 this trail will have you hiking deep into the Tahoe National Forest in no time, in search of scenic high alpine Sierra Nevada lakes. Because this trail needs to be tackled during the summer and fall months to avoid winter conditions this popular trail can get quite busy, but the hike still remains a worthwhile trip.Show more
#4 - Mount Judah Loop Trail [CLOSED]
Tahoe National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(730)
Length: 4.8 mi • Est. 2 h 45 m
As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information.Show more
#5 - Castle Peak Trail [CLOSED]
Tahoe National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(720)
Length: 6 mi • Est. 3 h 38 m
As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. One of the easiest peaks (9100') to hike in the Tahoe area and is doable as a day hike from the Bay Area. As you approach Donner Pass from the west on I-80, you can't miss Castle Peak on the left. To get to the trailhead, take the Boreal exit (between Soda Springs and Donner Lake.) From the Boreal parking lot go under the freeway and follow the road up to the right and find a place to park. If you have a 4WD with high clearance, you could follow the dirt road and shorten the hike by a mile or two. Start the hike by following the dirt road. In a mile and half the trail will start to climb and you'll reach a junction at Castle Pass. The PCT crosses this junction. Turn right and follow the ridgeline up to Castle Peak. From the ridgeline you look to your left (north) and see a beautiful green valley and ahead and to the right you can see your destination. Simply follow the well defined trail to the top. The climb gets quite steep (1300' gain, mostly in the last 2 miles) and hiking poles can be useful. If you have the time, you can also hike over to Andesite Peak or Basin Peak.Show more
#6 - Tahoe Rim Trail to Picnic Rock Viewpoint [CLOSED]
Tahoe National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(735)
Length: 3.1 mi • Est. 1 h 45 m
As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. Great day hike off the TRT to the Spur Trail Viewpoint (Picnic Rock) often thought of as the best views for the least amount of work. Moderate gain in elevation with spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and surrounding peaks makes this a must do short hike in the Tahoe area. The trailhead is up the hill from Northstar, between Truckee and Kings Beach in North Lake Tahoe. Park in the lot on 267, or if you have 4WD or a higher clearance vehicle, you can drive a ways up the dirt road across from the parking area. The trail is smooth single track and can easily be extended into a longer hike if you stay on the Rim Trail. If you just want to go to the viewpoint, about a mile in you will see a tree with an arrow shaped sign that says "Picnic Rock Lake View" letting you know you are almost there. There is no water along the trail, but there is a bit of shade to keep you cool on warmer days. Show more
#7 - Sierra Buttes Lookout Trail [CLOSED]
Tahoe National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(431)
Length: 4.8 mi • Est. 2 h 59 m
As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. Views of three lakes to fire lookout where you can see the Sacramento Valley. Trailhead is about 1/4 to 1/2 mile after the end of paved road. Beyond trailhead is OHV-only. Trail is mostly uphill but not too steep with plenty of flat ground. As you approach the first ridge, you'll see wildflowers & butterflies galore. Around the bend are the Tamarack Lakes, reflecting the sky, clouds, & trees. A little ways farther is Young America lake, which is just as reflective. Finally, you'll meet up with the 4WD trail that has 4 or 5 switchbacks, and finally reach the bottom of the lookout tower. If you're afraid of heights, you might not want to climb, but if not, be prepared for the views! Approximately 200 steps later, you'll be atop the lookout tower, with 360-degree views of the entire Sacramento Valley. On clear days you can see as far as Lassen! You also have a wonderful view of Upper & Lower Sardine Lake.Show more
#8 - Stateline Lookout [CLOSED]
Tahoe National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(549)
Length: 1.5 mi • Est. 48 m
As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. This paved trail begins in Nevada and ends in California at an old fire lookout with beautiful views of the Lake and mountains. Accessibility: Although this trail is paved, it is steep with a grade above 10% for much of the trail. It typically has a width of at least two feet. It may be too steep or narrow for some manual wheelchair or stroller users without assistance.Show more
#9 - Donner Tunnels [CLOSED]
Tahoe National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(359)
Length: 5.1 mi • Est. 2 h 31 m
As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. Make sure to bring a flashlight for the tunnels!Show more
#10 - Paradise Lake Trail [CLOSED]
Tahoe National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(242)
Length: 14.9 mi • Est. 7 h 45 m
As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. An overnight backpacking trip along the Pacific Crest Trail in Truckee, California. Paradise Lake is a classic Sierra Nevada lake with gorgeous sunsets and a pristine lake full of trout. This overnight backpacking trip is easily accessible from Highway 80 and follows parts of the Pacific Crest Trail in the Tahoe National Forest. A fire permit is required to start a campfire in an already established fire ring. You can get the permit for free at any Forest Service, BLM, or CAL FIRE offices. Or you can get one online here: http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Show more
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