Marlette Lake and Chimney Beach Loop Trail

HARD 137 reviews

Marlette Lake and Chimney Beach Loop Trail is a 8.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Incline Village-Crystal Bay, Nevada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 8.6 miles Elevation Gain: 2,063 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly




horseback riding

mountain biking

bird watching





wild flowers




This trail offers awesome views of Lake Tahoe and Marlette Lake. The trail is a moderately steep uphill climb from the lake level up to Marlette Lake, with views of Lake Tahoe and Marlette Lake visible at once from a point high up the trail. It's mostly shaded at the lower elevations, and passes through sugarpine forest, stands of aspen, and even a patch of ferns. About four fifths of the trail is quite obvious, but the last steep descent to Marlette Lake the trail is a little hard to follow. This is a great trail to take in early October, when the aspens on the east side of Marlette Lake are shimmering golden. The trailhead to Chimney Beach can be accessed from the parking lot on the opposite side of the street and is not part of the trail shown

This hike was pretty scenic! It got hot near the end, so I would recommend going early and taking the big uphill in the shade. We got there around 8. The hike took two of us around 4.75hrs with a lunch break at Marlette Lake. There was a butterfly migration going on, so there were plenty of butterflies around. A few mosquitos.

4 days ago

Loved this hike! Would call it a moderate one, mostly sandy trail. Lots of beautiful views of Tahoe. We went at 9 am and hardly saw anyone on the way up. We took the left route at the split and did the shorter path up to Marlette and looped back down the longer way. On the way back down there were a lot of Mountain bikers so make sure you’re paying attention so you can get out of the way. Definitely take a dip in the lake at the top, it was cold but stunning! Tons of butterflies all over the path. Did in tennis shoes and oboz sandals and didn’t have any issues with losing footing. Would recommend and would do again!

25 days ago

Amazing trail with breathtaking views.. still good amount of moisture, so it’s really good one to do with your dog!

27 days ago

Great hike with lots of views of Tahoe and Marlette! Definitely start early, it’s a steady climb but then you get the downhill all the way out.

27 days ago

This is one of my new favorites. If your going in summer I recommend getting on the trailhead no later than 7am. You want to do that steady climb in the beginning in the shade. Well worth it though! Looking forward to doing this one again in the fall.

1 month ago

Perfection: hard uphills sweetened by glorious Tahoe views, then the reward of beautiful Marlette Lake.

My wife and I hiked this trail on the 4th. It was a fun hike up to the lake. I would say it was a moderate effort hike as it's all uphill at 6k plus elevation. The trail is a well defined mostly sandy one. Only a few people and a couple bikers passed us on the way down. We did come across a black bear who ran away when he spotted us near the top. Maybe have that bear spray ready and make some noise as you're heading up.

Hiked to the lake (half frozen and awesome) and then went right back the way I came! A bit of snow up there and tough to follow the trail the whole way. Have fun!

3 months ago

Hiked this today..lots of snow still on the trail, had to turn around midway.. Normally a beautiful and clear trail!

10 months ago

Not as hard as you think. Bring lots of water and fishing poles!

10 months ago

This was a great hike. My wife and I found it challenging mainly because we live at 580ft above sea level and are just visiting so hiking at 6000 to 8000 feet is different. Trail had many lovely views. We saw mountain bikers and day hikers along the way. Only negative is that after you leave the lake halfway thru the hike the return part of the loop is hard to find. We had to back track as we missed the return loop and found ourselves on the Flume Trail by mistake. We did the loop counter clockwise.

11 months ago

Great hike. The lake and views were beautiful. We took our 3 kids and they had a blast. Ended up running down the trail. It’s definitely a challenging hike. But the views are well worth the burning kegs and lungs.

trail running
11 months ago

Trail was nice. kinda soft around some of the turns because of the bikes. Also, there were so many bikes we had to dive off the trail often. Just be heads up. At the top, the trail from the lake back to the trail that goes down is very overgrown and hard to find. we started going the wrong way before realizing we were on the wrong trail. then it took us a while to determine what was the trail and what wasn't. All in all, running the 10 mile loop took us 2 hours.

Monday, July 23, 2018

as others have said, it's a leg workout for sure ! however the trail is mostly smooth sand/soil and easy on the feet. the views are spectacular and the feeling serene. I went on a Sunday and saw maybe a dozen courteous mountain bikers and 3 other hikers. trail head parking lot is small so I parked about 3/4 mile down the road at the beach area. also -the last little section of the "loop" after you go around the lake is a bit vague on this map (the red line) they have it paralleling the blue dotted bike trail. I just ended up walking the bike trail because it's easier to find.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

love the view ...not hard if you hike often...

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Beautiful Trail leading up to a beautiful Alpine reservoir. There were a few scenic views of the northern part of Lake Tahoe on the way up the trail. It was also a good trail for letting your dog off the leash.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

great time will do this hike again

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Beautiful views and a fun hike. There was still a good amount of snow cover by Marlette Lake, causing us to lose the trail coming back around the ridge and requiring some bushwhacking until we were back on track. Especially enjoyed seeing and hearing sooty grouse along the trail.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Great hike. Didn't see a lot of hikers but did encounter a lot of mountain bikers. Was afraid I would get run over but they were always letting me know when they were getting close so I could move off the trail which was not problem for me. Bring water and be prepared for a leg burning, heart pumping hike. Awesome views. Turn left at the fork for a shorter hike if you don't want to do the loop.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Definitely a bun burner! The first mile or so was straight up but once our heart rates leveled out we made good time. The views were beautiful. On the way back we got mixed up where the trail splits into the Flume Trail to Tunnel Creek and the Marlette Creek Trail-it was either marked poorly or disguised by fallen branches and brush or we are blind. Probably the latter. We had to blaze our own trail to get to the right path to get back.

Friday, September 29, 2017

What a great trail! Had to go fish the lake before season ended. Started at 0920. 1:30 up with a 25 pound pack.1:25 down. Caught a 14 inch trout in 20 minutes. Returned the way we came rather than looping. Steady uphill all the way but not too brutal.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Easy parking if early. Trail is easy to find per waypoints in description. The hike offers nice elevation gain. If you pay close attention you will see split in trail where you can go left straight to lake. Otherwise, you will end up looping around along lake. Don't be confused by mountain bike tracks or sign at 4 miles in which says Marlette Creek Trail.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

As advertised, quite difficult

Friday, August 18, 2017

The perfect hike. It's probably moderate/hard but the solitude, trail and views make it an easy top 10 for Tahoe. Great for dogs with the stream and lake.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Super awesome climbing and picnicking

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Just fantastic ! Wonderful views on lac tahoe and magnificient environment at the top A must to do

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Only one big patch of snow. Some wet areas and fallen trees on the trail. Great workout of 2.75 miles going straight up. Enjoy.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Great little butt burner!:) loved the views of both lakes and various flowers and butterflies along the way. I had lunch at the lake and wanted to go for a dip but decided to head back. Decent shade on the way back but still seemed like quite a bit of bugs even with the sun out (10am-2pm). Definitely recommend!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Still some snow up there, half the lake is still Frozen

Saturday, June 10, 2017

There is no trail marker in the parking lot. It's behind a metal gate and near the entrance of the parking lot. The trail is fairly straightforward the first few miles and is almost all uphill. Near the top there are snow patches and a good amount of water running down the trail. All in all it's a great hike. The views are fantastic at the top!

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