Best horseback riding trails in Tahoe National Forest, California

1,843 Reviews
Explore the most popular horseback riding trails in Tahoe National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of horseback riding trails in Tahoe National Forest, California
Park information
Park hours
Monday
12:00 am - 12:00 am
Tuesday
12:00 am - 12:00 am
Wednesday
12:00 am - 12:00 am
Thursday
12:00 am - 12:00 am
Friday
12:00 am - 12:00 am
Saturday
12:00 am - 12:00 am
Sunday
12:00 am - 12:00 am
Helpful links
Top trails (19)
#1 - Five Lakes Trail
Tahoe National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1019)
Length: 5.0 mi • Est. 2 h 46 m
SEASONAL CLOSURE: This trail is posted as closed for commercial filming during the winter months. Nestled in the foothills of the Granite Chief Wilderness peaks just north of Lake Tahoe in Olympic Valley, the Five Lakes Trail promises dramatic yet tranquil surroundings, along with 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 routes in the Granite Chief Wilderness, so you're unlikely to have this trail to yourself. Don't be disheartened by this popular hike, however, as the lakes themselves allow for quiet and solitude. This trail offers 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 Alpine Meadows Road, both before and after the trailhead.Show more
#2 - Crooked Lakes Trail to Penner Lake
Tahoe National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(245)
Length: 6.0 mi • Est. 2 h 54 m
#3 - PCT: CA Section L - Highway 80 to Highway 49
Tahoe National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(29)
Length: 37.2 mi • Est. Multi-day
#4 - Penner Lake Trail
Tahoe National Forest
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Length: 7.0 mi • Est. 3 h 38 m
#5 - Sand Ridge and the Five Lakes Basin
Tahoe National Forest
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Length: 10.8 mi • Est. 5 h 30 m
#6 - South Yuba Trail
Tahoe National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(86)
Length: 19.8 mi • Est. 9 h 58 m
#7 - Mount Lola Trail
Tahoe National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(96)
Length: 10.9 mi • Est. 6 h 6 m
#8 - Lindsey Lake Trail to Rock Lake
Tahoe National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(62)
Length: 6.2 mi • Est. 3 h 7 m
The road leading to the trailhead is rocky and can be difficult to navigate without a 4WD vehicle.Show more
#9 - Western States Trail: Michigan Bluff to Last Chance
Tahoe National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(42)
Length: 18.4 mi • Est. Multi-day
This rugged trail to a remote crossing of the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River traverses some of the wildest "foothill" country of the Gold Country - a region previously well settled with mining settlements. Campfire permit required if using a stove or campfire. Avoid this trail the last weekend of June due to Annual Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run and the Tevis Cup long-distance horseback trail ride, held in late July or early August.Show more
#10 - Tinker Knob from Squaw Valley
Tahoe National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(28)
Length: 14.8 mi • Est. 7 h 58 m
The term squaw is considered universally offensive by Indigenous groups in America due to its use for hundreds of years in a derogatory context. Indigenous activists have continued to work both locally and in more general educational efforts, to rename the locations across North America that contain the slur, as well as to eliminate the slur from the lexicon in general. See here for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#Efforts_to_rename_placenames_and_terms_with_squaw_in_them One of the most delightful, rewarding day-hike destinations in the Tahoe region, this high volcanic ridge between Donner Pass and Squaw Valley stands center stage to splendid views of the northern Sierra, Lake Tahoe, the mountains and high desert of western Nevada, and miles and miles of wide-open wildflower pastures. Campfire permit required for stove or fire. Show more
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