Rifle Peak is a 3.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Incline Village-Crystal Bay, Nevada that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length3.7 miElevation gain1,860 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsBird watchingForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockySnow
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (335)
Photos (266)
Recordings (296)
Completed (496)
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Oscar Hernandez
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Hiking

Just hiked this trail today in the snow; trekked up to the peak and back down in a little over 5 hours. Incredible experience with spectacular views. Snow easily gets knee deep in some places, so come prepared! Steep on the way up, slippery on the way down, this trail is no joke - we loved it.

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Ryan Kushner
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HikingGreat!

Was able to summit in just under 50 minutes. As everyone said steep and dusty but boy are those views worth it. Even if you just make it to the flattish section the views are great. Recommend poles for the descent. I bet a sunrise/sunset hike of this would be out of this world.

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Anastasia Kaiser
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You get a real feeling of accomplishment finishing this trail because it's not easy. It is not well marked especially right after the water tower - we climbed over a fallen tree and fought through some tight brush to follow the All Trails recommendd path. The views are worth it though :) A bit slippery in places but not bad.

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Sky Bannister
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Hiking

Pretty hard incline throughout great time nonetheless.

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Nicole Evans
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Hiking

Very steep and dusty

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Charlotte Peters
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Hiking
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Rachel Moon
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Hiking

This trail is definitely hard! It is a steep incline for the entire hike up & the dirt is like sand, so it makes it hard to walk in.. however, the views at the end make up for it. I also wouldn’t suggest bringing your dog if they’re on the lazier side. My husky (who is psycho & full of energy) got extremely tired about 3/4 up the peak. So if you do bring your pup, make sure to bring them lots of water!

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Kristine Meyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 16, 2020
Hiking

It's much nicer in the spring. It was really dry, dusty and slippery, but oh SO LOVELY UP TOP!

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Jude Valdez
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Hiking

Steep from the start but beautiful and would do it again. At the top it makes it all worth it!!

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Laura West
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Hiking

Beautiful trail with some fun steeps. Amazing views of the lake.

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Josh B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 27, 2020
Hiking

Fantastic views! Trail is dusty/soft in many areas of the climb, so be considerate of those hiking with you. If you find the trail diverging on the way up, just choose the path that is steeper; this trail is your substitute leg day. Once you reach the Tahoe Rim Trail, you'll see the outcrop of Rifle Peak. The trail loops around both sides of the peak, so if you miss the close trail behind a tree right below the peak, just hike to the far side a few hundred feet and it will circle back up the west side.

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Ashley J
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Hiking
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Hugh Stapleton
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful views, steep climb.

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Shannon Reichman
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Hiking

worth it! hard but one of my new favorites.

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Mark Catalano
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HikingGreat!
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Frances Pollaro
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Hiking

super steep hike but you get some great views even with all the smoke!

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John G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2020
HikingOver grown

Super steep, bring decent boots and some trekking poles. The views once you’re there are some of the best in Tahoe by far. I wouldn’t recommend going while it’s wet. A quick exit from the Tahoe rim trail. Follow my adventures on YouTube at Backwoods Beast TV! See you out there!

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Michael McDonald
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Hiking
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Anne Graham
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Hiking

Great lookout. Neat rock at Rifle Peak. So effin smokey

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Tom Millhoff
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SkiingOver grownSnow

A poorly built, overly steep, erosion-prone trail takes you to excellent views. Skin up on decent snow pack for the best experience. for the best experience

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Brianne Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking

This is my favorite trail I’ve hiked so far! Granted I’m from the Bay and this is the only trail I’ve hiked in Tahoe :p Great incline to burn the glutes to start, levels off giving a chance to appreciate and breathe in the scenery and terrain, then a bit of bouldering to the tip top for breathtaking pano views, finishing w a quick decent down! I hike steep often so I could’ve reached the peak in ~1.25hrs, however I stopped so much to take pics and enjoy the sunrise views, more so than I ever have on a hike. Also spent a good amount of time at the top. I always hike before sunrise so if you’re up for it I would recommend doing the same :)

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Mike Russell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2020
Hiking

Pretty steep on the first half up, intermittent areas of shade. Really opened up at the top and the views were well worth the effort!

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John Juba
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 31, 2020
Hiking

This was my first time hiking it. Pretty rad trail straight uphill at first with amazing views of the lake at the top a little rough on the calfs on the way up little bit brutal on the knees on the way down

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Sal Perez
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Hiking
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Charles Paraboschi
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Hiking

amazing views of whole lake at top

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Charlotte Peters
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Hiking
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Kyle Buckingham
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Hiking

The trail was fairly steep, but progressively got easier towards the peak. The smoke was the most difficult part to handle. Other than that, it was a great trail!

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Junia Pan Li
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HikingBugsOff trailScramble

This is indeed a difficult rated trail from start, pretty much no resting in between, all incline 90% of the route, so be prepared, bring a trekking pole with you as you’ll need it descending. Although the trail is not clearly marked, but it wasn’t difficult to follow on the trail map, and be sure to follow the trail while going down as you might have to walk through bushy terrains. We had great fun with amazing views all the way up, and the peak point was just absolutely gorgeous. We saw some hikers on the top, they came from other trails less steep as they said, but we were alone hiking up on a Monday morning. Took us a little less than 3 hrs out and back with 30 mins resting at top. If you are okay with the steep incline, this is a must do trail to see Lake Tahoe from above.

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