Explore the most popular snowshoeing 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.

We started late not really planning on a hike but could not resist and the weather was great. We took our border collie who loved it. The high point of the hike was seeing a bald eagle! We will be back to complete the loop.

This is a really great trail. Super easy single track in the beautiful Truckee area. Easy access.

hiking
4 days ago

Climb is up to the lakes only then a cool little loop to see all 5 lakes and all downhill from there. Just pace yourself up, and this will be a very nice outing-loop the lakes- and down. As others stated, follow your map on the app around the lakes. Not super defined, but not hard to adjust and figure out either. Have fun!

Most difficult part of the trail is staying on trail due to very poor signage and/or markings. The trail has one lackluster lake and dumps you out near some ski runs. Good if you’re in the area and have half a day to kill, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for this one.

hiking
7 days ago

An amazing hike with fantastic views at the summit.

prefect little hike for a couple hours. It was pretty windy and cold at the peak but it was a good view.

Great hike but more like 5.7 miles from parking area. Even longer if you decide to take the detour out and back to Donner Peak from main trail up to Mt. Judah. Beautiful views.

hiking
9 days ago

Trail is not well marked once you get to the lakes so keep your All Trails app handy! We ended up off trail several times but were able to get back on easily by checking the app!

hiking
10 days ago

Well maintained trails but very poorly marked. I got lost several times. Maintenance workers helped me out and agreed that the summer trail markers are confusing. Lovely views over Tahoe Donner.

Great trail. Route finding around the loop at the top was a bit tricky. If you are not comfortable with bushwhacking, stick to the main trail and skip the loop.

fantastic finish..larger lake then I expected..great and peacefull views to be had at lakes...moderate is appropriate rating..can be better marked at beginning..u never know who put cairns up off trail..once you cross railroad tracks be ready for a decent amount of tree root/rocky trail..great for an overnight camping trip..just pick a spot..stoves ok for now..couple good spots around 2nd lake on sandstone for fire pits...shall return next spring

hiking
18 days ago

generally: easy trail near tahoe city with good scenery (open/mountains first part and along lakes for middle portion), not crowded on a fall weekday
road conditions: paved to trailhead, parking along side the road, no fee/pass needed, ~15 min from tahoe city
trail conditions: rocky/loose gravel for first mile then more packed dirt; find your way around lakes on footpaths
scenery: open trail w views of surrounding mountains and ski resort, upper trail around lakes with nice views off all lakes and surrounding mountains; some lingering fall foliage
difficulty: easy-moderate (first mile with ~1000' elevation, then flat thereafter)

Challenging yet rewarding hike with beautiful scenery and views. We went in mid-Oct when the tram was closed (it closed 10/1/2018), so once we got to Shirley Lake, we continued on around Solitude chair to Shirley Lake chair and up and over to High Camp and then took Mountain Run down to to Squaw Village. All in, with a few snack and photo breaks it took us 4.5 hours and was about 9 miles. To get from Squaw Peak Road (the trail head) to Shirley Lake, it’s a lot of boulder maneuvering and often scaling on all fours. It’s not for the weak, very young, out of shape, or elderly. Follow the blue spray painted markers and little trail signs along the way and you’ll be in good shape. If you don’t see blue spray paint for a while, you’ve likely gone off the trail by mistake. We got lost at one point following aimlessly the people in front of us who didn’t know where they were going (we realized later), so have this app ready when needed and follow the markings. It’s a very fun and varied hike and the beauty of Shirley Lake, the gorgeous valley and the views from High Camp are worth it. The hike from Shirley up to High Camp has significant elevation and no shade but it’s a relatively steady climb up the service road and not technical. As the tram was closed, we took Mountain Run down which was simple enough. Only negative with that is it’s a slippery loose pebble ridden service road so be careful with your footing. Often we walked on the side of the road in the brush for better stability. Incredible and rewarding hike overall. Highly recommend for the adventurous and not faint at heart! Bring a camelback/plenty of water and snacks! Glass of wine at the Village at the end was incredibly rewarding. :)

walking
21 days ago

*pretty unpopulated trail in october- YEY!
*last bit of trail is a road that takes you up to the fire lookout station at the top. Views up there are wonderful!
*bring all the water you'll need- there isnt any on the trail.
*gorgeous views in the last mile and a half!

Nice views. Get to walk on some of the ski runs and good views of Sugar Bowl ski area.

backpacking
22 days ago

This is a great hike. Challenging, but worth the trek especially if you intend to camp. Just a couple of things I found would make it more enjoyable. Keep your app open as it is helpful to get you back on track as this one is a tough one to follow in many places. There are cairns the entire trail... thank you to those putting those in place. I wore tennis shoes which was fine, but hiking boots would have been better especially with the rocky terrain that covers most of the trail. If you’re backpacking I recommend trekking poles. This made the trip a lot easier for me just for stability while carrying the weight on the rocks and over boulders and downed trees. Day pack probably not necessary. Camped out at the last lake, had some great picks with fire pits. It was pretty and only a couple of us up there for October. Beautiful night. Had cellphone service the entire way, but could also still hear the highway at the last lake as well.

We are new to hiking and in our 50’s-60, so this is for newbies like us. Loved the views and weather was perfect in October. We actually walked the path counter-clockwise, not knowing how this app really works, and just realized, late, that the path direction is on the app. Heading down the peek of Mt. Judah Trail back to Pacific Crest was slippery and steep, the trail was hard to recognize. Now that I see we should have ascended that way, it makes some sense. We’re learning and love adventure.

Beautiful hike! Quite the workout, but very worth it!

hiking
23 days ago

The first 2 miles could be challenging for people who have knees problems because the trail was steep and could be slippery. We hike relatively slow with our dogs and it took us about 3.5 hours round trip.

Was great hike today. Hardly anyone there. Despite what previous poster said, leashes ARE NOT required this being the national forest. Would be very difficult to hike this trail with dogs on leashes. Difficult for the dogs and difficult for the owners especially if your using hiking poles which btw I recommend. Besides it’s usually the leashes dogs that are aggressive or unsocialized. Or the owners’ anxiety that causes this. Our group had 6 very well behaved trail dogs that are used to hiking. And yes we pick up the poop. Overall good hike, a lot of uphill; thus, a lot downhill.

Beautiful trail but challenging along the granite. Keep you eyes open for the blue spray paint on the rocks to keep you on course (great idea to spray paint). The tram is closed from Oct 1 - opening season for maintenance so be prepared time wise to hike both ways.

Great hike!

2nd time around..get up there to see a fire at around donner lake or hwy 89 yesterday..makes u realize hikers vulnerabilities..great views and great scramble up once you get up past first turret..not a trekking pole hiker but they may come into play on way down..

hiking
28 days ago

Very fun, beautiful and adventurous trail. It is rated easy but I wouldn’t say this trail is easy as some might expect it to be. Personally I would rate this moderate. There are steep and rough inclines/declines. As someone in a lower post said, I wouldn’t recommend for small children. Also note that the road to get to the trail is pretty rough. We did take it in a smaller car and made it through fine, just take it slow, you may also have to get out to move some of the bigger rocks. Other than that amazing trail.

walking
28 days ago

* pretty, uncrowded in october.
* bring what water you need.
* lovely views!
* forested, shady, peaceful, wonderful walk.

walking
28 days ago

Very crowded and when I hike I like to get away from people. I’ve lived in Truckee since ‘91 and have never done this trail as I had heard it was too busy. Rocky parts and uphill but not a difficult hike. Beautiful views! 2 hours and 12 minutes to do entire loop.

hiking
29 days ago

Mostly in the trees, striking view of the lake from the top. You can continue on to Martin peak if you want.

hiking
29 days ago

*There are some lengthy steep and rocky parts of the trail
*Great workout
*No water sources so bring plenty of water for dogs
*A lot of exposed/unshaded areas of the trail
*Took about 3.5 hours to complete the entire loop with several breaks
*Well signed trail; hard to get lost
*Nice views (lake, summit, trees, etc.)

hiking
29 days ago

Moderately rough road for 6 miles to get to trailhead—glad for the clearance on our Highlander. Trail moderately easy, but as others have noted, it’s easy to lose your way a bit in the rocky spots. Surprised there weren’t more cairns in those areas. Met a few backpackers on the trail, but had lovely Salmon Lake to ourselves—a treat on a gorgeous, autumn Sunday! Will do again, and continue to Loch Leven Lakes. Be aware, trail starts at about 6,500, so if you’re coming from sea level, you may feel the altitude, even though the trail isn’t hard.

Great hike with great views. Starts as a dirt road, at the big sign you take a left onto the trail. You can make this into a nice loop (adds maybe a mile and adds no elevation gain) by continuing onto the castle mountain trail a bit and then taking the pacific crest trail back down. The pacific crest trail is a very sharp left turn, easy to miss.

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