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Susie Lake is a 7.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 7.9 mi Elevation gain 1,627 ft Route type Out & Back
Dog friendly Backpacking Camping Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running Beach Forest Lake Rails trails Views Waterfall
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (32)
Photos (708)
Recordings (21)
Completed (623)
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Dave Lundell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 31, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

The lake is beautiful, definitely worth the hike. We arrived a 10am and there were plenty of places to park at the trailhead. With no overnight camping allowed in Desolation right now, there were fewer people on the trail

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Sherri Wold
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Hiking

Very

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Bree Hooks
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Hiking
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Ida Taing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2020
HikingGreat!

Great spot. If you go inside the lake, the fish are fearless and try to swarm and nibble you (but it's harmless). Multiple bears definitely around, so please use a bear canister.

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gk krish
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Did this on Aug 10 2020. 4 big people, 3 kids+1 dog. From SF bay area. After 4 hr driving+lunch started hiking at 2:30. parked at Glen Alpine TH (got lucky as day hikers are leaving.) but parking is a bit uncertain and road is also VERY rough and narrow at spots. Still, better go all the way Glen alpine TH and try your luck unless you are okay to hike with all your gear. And don't be fooled by google maps and plan on parking at Susie lake and Heather lake TH. Because that is NOT a road but actually part of trail. Reached Susie lake by 6:30 pm. Being Sat evening most spots on east side are taken. There are few spots on south side, none on west side (I guess, we couldn't go as path wasn't good) rather than going all around the lake we went away from lake and found a spot at an elevation near the susie lake outlet (south east of lake near water falls, where you cross the creek). That proved to be really good spot because we got all privacy and also water is not that far. by Sunday morning most people left. Spent Sunday playing at falls and swimming in the lake and going to west side of lake. Water is good, location is fabulous. no bugs. only negative is rocky area. if you can carry sandals you can wear in water (If you getting into water). For dog owners (I am not), I think dog shoes would help them. If you just started doing backpacking (like us) and can't decide where to go, I suggest Susie lake very highly. Below 5 miles, gradual increase, reasonably crowded and best part is water falls and fantastic views of desolation area. Over all great trip. Would not hesitate to come again.

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Akira Day
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 22, 2020
HikingBugs

I backpacked this trail on 7/19/2020 and I it is Moderate as described if done on a day hike will be much easier. I did overpacked so I had a bit of an issue there. Also it was super hot and plenty of mosquitoes- good thing I brought my mosquito net to protect my face and ears. But legs and arms suffered from their bites even though I was wearing long pants and sleeves. Totally worth it- the lake is beautiful but I definitely recommend to go visit aloha from there- is much better place to swim and the water seems a bit more cleaner. Have fun!

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Sam Hendryx
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 22, 2020
Hiking

Great hike. Difficult due to length and weight of backpack, but not technically difficult. The Lake is beautiful. Bears got all our food from a tree we hung it from on our last day. They are smart and figured out the rope system. We were a bit shocked, but luckily it was our last night.

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Judy Benson
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HikingBugsRocky

This is a very rocky trail. While dogs are allowed, please put boots on them (you wouldn't want to walk barefoot on this trail and neither do they!). The road to the Trailhead is also very narrow and parking is limited. There were toilets at the trailhead. The views were fantastic, the lake was beautiful. There were some historical signs along the first portion of the trail for the old Glen Alpine Resort which were very interesting. It's definitely an uphill climb so you'll get a bit of a workout and there isn't much shade so go early. Overall I really enjoyed this hike.

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Gary Wajda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 15, 2020
Hiking

Great hike and the scenery is awesome. A little tiring but a good bowl of wheaties will make you a champ. Effort is worth the reward.

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Gabs W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 25, 2020
HikingRockySnow

Overall, I truly enjoyed this hike. It gave great views and the overall elevation was not very strenuous ( we had a 9 and 13 year old with us and they hung in there). A little past mile 3, it was a little difficult to find the trail due to the snow conditions. I definitely recommend downloading the map before you hike this trail. It definitely helped knowing how far off the trail we got when the conditions were quite snowed over. Also, for the current trail conditions, have a solid pair of waterproof hiking boots. This saved my feet and I was not miserable. A good pair of hiking boots will also help with the rocky terrain. Bats of luck and enjoy the views.

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Kathy Lundy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 21, 2019
HikingRocky

Rocky road the first mile or so. Then you hit the trail. Which is a bit rocky in places but overall a decent hike. Slow ascent before heading down to the lake.

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Jeremy Mester
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 21, 2019
Backpacking

Spent the night of 8/14 at Susie Lake. Gorgeous weather and fish were hoping. Trail is clear all the way.

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Dylan Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 22, 2019
HikingRockySnow

Moderate day-hike with a scenic payoff. Though the route up is dotted by a few creeks and waterfalls, the hike isn't worth attempting relative to others in the area, (e.g Dicks Lake) unless you know you'll make it to Susie Lake. I strongly recommend crossing the Susie Lake outflow up to the ridge... you'll be able to see an expansive 360 vista with Grass Lake, Susie Lake, and part of Jacks Peak. CONDITIONS A late May snowstorm brought additional covering to the Tahoe snowpack. It hasn't melted yet. Patches of snow start at around 7,300 feet, with significant snow accumulation at 7,700+ feet. At the junction between the Glen Alpine Trail and the PCT (mile 3.1), there's a subalpine meadow; here, the trail is covered in snow and difficult to follow. We lost the trail several times over the final mile to Susie Lake. Due to our early start (6:45), though, there were few tracks to guide us through the snow. Several people were ascending during our descent, meaning there's likely some well-worn paths over off-trail terrain by now. That should be the case throughout the week. As with any June hiking in Tahoe, snow runoff flows through the trail and (at the start) floods it. Bring waterproof boots. The Susie Lake outflow is crossable either at the deadwood logjam or by rock-hopping. The water level is high, however, so I wasn't comfortable crossing it with my pack on (did it fine w/o pack). GETTING THERE Fallen Leaf Lake Rd is one hell of a road. It's covered in snow for six months out of the year, so there's potholes, uneven paving, and (if it's April/May) probably some ice. It also doesn't help that it's about the width of a car even though it accommodates two-way traffic. Despite this, all types of cars made it to the Glen Alpine Trailhead (Jeep, Subaru, sedan, even a Tesla), which is surprisingly well-maintained given the road conditions. Don't park anywhere before the fire station. Keep going past the lower Glen Alpine Falls, even as the road becomes increasingly sketchy; a lot of cars park there, but it's not the trailhead. You should plan to hike out from Lily Lake where the paved road turns to gravel. TRAIL + POIs As others have stated, the trail is consistently rocky. There's a few areas of dirt relief, such as directly before the switchbacks, but it's mostly baseball-sized rocks. The surface is often uneven which makes for a thorough leg workout. Despite the snow, it's a well-maintained trail with blazes (tree markings) and occasional signposts throughout. It starts as a 4x4 road then gradually shortens to a single-track trek. Some hikes in Tahoe are consistently engaging (e.g Rubicon Trail). This one is not. Its points of interest come and go rather quickly, meaning there's some dull moments. Well worth it for the Susie Lake payoff though. POIs: - Glen Alpine Falls. Located around a half-mile in, beautiful at peak flow. - Soda Springs. Mile in, an iron-crusted spring next to a visitor center(?) - Unnamed Falls. Around two miles in, a 35-50 foot cascade. - Susie Lake. Main attraction, and deservedly so. - Susie Lake Outflow waterfall + vista. Outflow cascades down into a confluence.

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Amiana McEwen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 10, 2018
Hiking

Overall a great hike! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was a perfect day hike... Took us about 3 hours to hike in and 2 hours to hike out. There is parking directly at the trailhead. Arrive early (before 8:30am) to get parking there; otherwise, you may have to park along the road closer to Fallen Leaf Lake. The first mile or so of the hike is incredibly rocky. Be prepared to have unstable footing over large gravel and cobble stones (no boulders, though). This was mildly annoying, but fine if you have good hiking boots and decent balance. Once on the trail, the directions are not entirely clear. Once you get to the Glen Alpine Spring Resort, follow the sign that points toward “trails to wilderness.” Past that, you will come across three wooden direction posts on your way to Susie Lake. At the first post, follow the arrow toward “Gilmore Lake.” At the second post, follow the arrow toward “Lake Aloha.” At the last post, follow the arrow toward “Susie Lake.” Susie Lake is less than a mile past the last post. The lake itself is beautiful! We hung a hammock along the shore to eat our lunch (plenty of shade and trees) and enjoy the A+ views. Depending on the time of year, water is pretty scarce along the trail until you get to the lake (we hiked this at the beginning of September). We packed a water filter and replenished our water at Susie Lake for our hike back down the trail.

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Sharon Winship
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 30, 2018
Hiking
First to Review

My only complaint is the amount of morning sun ! Trailhead is an additional mile from parking area that the app doesn’t count. There were some beautiful waterfalls and streams along the way.

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Brad Kearns
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Hiking
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Jordy Linsingh
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Hiking
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Sherri Wold
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Hiking
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Joel Alvarez
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Hiking
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Phuong Le
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Hiking
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Nicholas Hibbits
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Hiking
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Leona Lavoie
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Hiking
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Alex Paino
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Backpacking
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Sara Shin
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Hiking
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Azucena Araujo Rinconi
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Hiking
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Randy Knutzon
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Hiking
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