Explore the most popular birding trails near South Lake Tahoe with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This was a nice hike with a variety of terrain: quiet wooded trail (North/Northwest), steep and rocky (West), and paved road along nice cabins (South/Southeast). As others have noted it can be hard to follow in places. Specifically about half way around the West side we lost the trail and you eventually find a paved road going past the firehouse and other cabins. Also about half way around the East side you leave the road and walk through some private property to again find the trail. It’s really helpful to have an offline map downloaded on your phone to stay on track.

There was a little bit of packed snow and ice in places but otherwise conditions were very good.

backpacking
11 days ago

Great backpacking trip! Although trail is hard to find at times! Beautiful at top!

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful hike with incredible views of the lake the entire way. Would definitely recommend it! Went during first week of February and the trail was snow covered but easily walkable in regular hiking boots (though notably this was after a week of no snow and 50 degree temps). Note that you have to turn off the main road and drive an additional 1+ mile to get to the actual trail head- would need all wheel drive to do this, at least during the winter. Otherwise can park in the lot right off the paved road and walk to the trail head. You have to have a Sno-Park permit to park there between November and May. This can be purchased at nearby gas stations or online and print in advance ($5 for day pass).

hiking
19 days ago

At the moment, this trail is snow-covered almost the entire way up. But the snow is firm enough that we were able to make it all the way to the lakes in regular hiking boots. Highly recommend making it to Upper Angora Lake, which I think is prettier than Lower.

I'm not sure I would love the hike without the snow because it is mostly paved road, but the snow made it lovely (and a good workout!) when I went yesterday.

Such a beautiful and tranquil place! It took me 1.5hrs to hike 2mi. Not because it was difficult- by any means- but, because I kept stopping to soak in the beauty of the environment! Listening to dogs splash in the water, ducks quacking, birds chirping, dip my toes in the cold lake water and filled my lungs with fresh mountain air! It was amazing. Not too many people, either. The trail itself was all parts snowy, muddy, dry, contained puddles, etc. I did this hike in tights and hiking shoes. Definitely recommend if you want to have quiet day hike.

My husband and I completed this hike in two days- creating a little back packing adventure out of it. We did this trail in Oct. 2016. The hike was fairly easy (for the most part) with various scrambling sections over a few rocks. There were patches of snow in shaded spots but we mostly hiked along the mountain ridge and through several meadows. Take plenty of water!!! The altitude can really get to you if you aren't used to it.

We camped in Meiss Meadow along Meiss cabins and continued on the following day back to Echo Summit. I'd say the hardest part was Hawley Grade. It was a steep climb back to Echo Summit.

snowshoeing
24 days ago

I went around the lake on 1/28/18. I was hopeful about the snow from a couple days prior but had to take my snowshoes off after about 10 minutes. There’s not enough snow for them to be necessary. This lake is a gem, you don’t have to hike long before seeing amazing views! Definitely recommend!

Great for a walk with a baby carrier

trail is not marked at the beginning, trail begins at few hundred yard West to the nearest residential building. you will need to cross a river upon start of trail, and you will need to cross a few creeks.

It was somewhat difficult to find the trail from the starting point that shows here. We had to walk down a hill and cross the creek to get to the trail. Only made it 2 miles and unfortunately didn’t see much in the way of nice scenery it was just a forest walk. I’m sure it’s amazing if you get to the top, but the first 2 miles are rather dull.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike once we were on the path but it is hard to find the path.

hiking
1 month ago

Great view from the top. Not enough snow to snowshoeing at the time. Difficult to get up to the peak - rocky and bushes in the way.

hiking
1 month ago

Super simple hike with an amazing mountain lake at the top.

Really great moderate hike, beautiful views in the meadow and of the lake. The lake was frozen when we got there, ice was thick enough for several meters in for us and the dog to walk. The way up was snowy and icy - having microspikes helped basically the entire way. To the lake and back took about 3hrs, and we took our time up.

Beautiful hike but as others have said below - the trail is not marked. Starting at the trailhead and going counter clockwise, we made it all the way around the lake in 3 hours, but we were going pretty fast as the sun was going down. A little icy in some parts but once you get to the road past the rock gullies/creek it's all a road. Would be a better hike in summer.

Awesome.. but it kicked my butt!

We did it on Dec. 23. 2017 and it was just a bit with snow. Such a great hike.

on Echo Lakes Trail

2 months ago

The road is blocked from hw50 so it’s an additional 1.8 mile walk in the snow/ ice to the trailhead. Awesome views though.

hiking
2 months ago

It was a beautiful hike. Great inclines and breathtaking views. Definitely would hike here again.

Thanks Patrick. I didn’t make it to the top as I was ill-equipped for the deep snow (I only had my mud-boots and no poles). Maybe I was just wimpy. I did make it quite close to the top. I think it’s better to go with a partner for the first time.

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