Explore the most popular dog friendly 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.

hiking
9 hours ago

Started this hike at 6:30a on a Monday - parking lot was essentially empty besides a few cars from who we guessed were campers. Took us around 4.5 hours to summit and an equal amount of time to descend (this is definitely on the slow side relative to other hikers). 3L of water per person turned out to be a good amount.

The incline of the hike is pretty forgiving with a lot of relatively flat ground to cover in the first half of the hike. I think the main difficulty is the terrain at mile 2.5; lots of medium sized rocks you'll have to step carefully on. Besides that, main notes are that it can actually get a bit chilly at times in the morning so consider bringing a long sleeve if you start early, and plenty of sunscreen regardless.

The views are spectacular. It’s not an easy hike but worth it. Start early at 6am if you want to beat the crowd. I was just there on Saturday and the weather was perfect so made the hike a lot easier than last September 2017. Will definitely go back again!

hiking
20 hours ago

Great route with unparalleled views. Fun climbs.

Incredibly crowded route. Many unprepared and clueless people not following standard etiquette. You won’t find solitude here.

hiking
1 day ago

Kind of ran out of water but everyone I came across was really cool and the top was amazing!

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful hike. Be careful of the loose rocks. I rolled my ankle several times and I hike and jog regularly. Consider myself very athletic. Otherwise it’s a nice workout. It’s a little more than 7 miles. I started the hike at 7am and was about 60 degrees. Shorts and t-shirt.
Will definitely be back.

2 days ago

Beautiful lake !

hiking
2 days ago

A beautiful and challenging hike.

hiking
3 days ago

Amazing hike! I have just started to get into hiking the past couple years. I would rate the first 3.5 miles of the hike as moderate. The last 1.5 miles to summit was the most challenging for me. It took us 3.5 hours to summit with a couple short breaks and about 3 hours to get back down. The last 2 miles to the top is pretty rocky but poles helped a lot. I went through 2.5 liters of water. Bring plenty of snacks. Beautiful hike the whole way. It was nice to pass a couple small lakes along the way. We started at 7:30 and I wouldn’t want to leave any later because of heat and crowds. We were able to park at that time with no problems.

Gorgeous lake, easy trail at campground. Great birdwatching area, I saw Western Tanagers. Can be crowded at times.

Worth the 10.2 mile hike. The view is breathtaking! Definitely would go again.

Fantastic hike! The meadows at the end of summer are mostly yellow and dead, but the lake was fantastic and secluded. The foot traffic is very light, and we swam in the lake to islands. The parking for the hike is kind of hard to find because you need to follow a very small road down from highway 89.

hiking
5 days ago

Challenging and scenic hike but well worth it!
It took us (31yr old/29yr old) about 5hours (we took a few breaks for food and pictures) to reach the summit, and about 3 hours to get down. The hike goes along side Fallen leaf lake and has many spectacular views (a few smaller lakes/ponds) as you make your way to the tippytop for the ultimate view. Very rewarding, but not for the casual hiker.
For comparison, I would say the hike to get to the base of Half Dome was about as strenuous for me. A little less elevation gain, and distance on this hike. It surely felt as challenging because it had such a rocky path a majority of the trail.

Tips:
-Go early, the parking lot is small, and fills up quickly. We went on a weekday and the parking lot was filling up before 8am.
-Pack enough water, it will be a 8+ hour hike for most people. We packed two 32oz hydroflasks, and our 50 oz camelback backpack.

Tough hike up Tallac for me yesterday but worth it. Beautiful views of Echo Lake, Emerald Bay, Fallen Leaf and of course Tahoe. Very rocky. Took us about 3 1/2 hours to summit. We started at 10am. Totally recommend an early start like 6:30 or 7:00. My husband was my Sherpa on the way down because I had jello legs. “Going up is optional, getting down is mandatory.” Bring lots of water and a good attitude.

on Mount Tallac Trail

6 days ago

So worth it! My husband and I did this hike early this morning. It was tough to say the least. Took us about 5 hrs of moving time and a total of 6.5 hrs with breaks and such. You need lots of water and snacks. We saw people hiking in flip flops and converse tennis. Crazy! 90% of this trail is rock. It’s a killer on the feet. Absolutely gorgeous scenery, lakes, forest and some wild flowers still blooming. We also saw some snow when we reached the summit. There’s plenty of shaded areas to rest, but also lots of open areas. Sunblock is a must. I suggest hiking early to get a parking spot.

hiking
8 days ago

Did this hike with a group from church. Very strenuous and tough on the knees. Took us about 5.5 hours to summit as we stopped for breaks quite a bit. Definitely get an early start, good shoes and tons of water!!

backpacking
8 days ago

Came here instead of Aloha Lake because we couldn’t find a permit. Absolutely gorgeous, totally manageable hike leading to an absolute playground. Round Lake itself is a tiny Oasis with an absolutely gorgeous view of the entire Tahoe Valley if you’re willing to do a little climbing. Despite camping relatively close to the lake we experienced no bugs, the weather was perfect, and we even caught a little meteor shower. What more can you ask for?

Make sure you check out the other Lakes too.

hiking
9 days ago

Great view at the end. Take an invigorating shower under the small waterfall. Be prepared for lots of rubble.

I did this as my first day and night in Desolation Wilderness. Short hike so I poked around for awhile after setting camp at Tamarack. Nice spot with crazy trees that I photographed for an hour before hanging out by the Lake processing water and meditating (aka napping).

Beautiful hike. Would do it again.

hiking
10 days ago

Amazing hike, did this about 5 years ago. Made it to the top in shorts. It was freezing at the top with some snowpack (June). Beautiful terrain...lakes, forest, granite expanses, wildflowers, switchbacks to the top. Stunning view of the lake on clear days. We met an adorable and extremely friendly chipmunk on the ascent. Fabulous hike, one of the best in Tahoe!

hiking
11 days ago

Absolutely must do this hike! Tough but fun, views are amazing!

on Mount Tallac Trail

hiking
11 days ago

I don’t think we were fully prepared for it this time. In the past we’ve started at Lily Lake, but this time we went the more popular route. There is a LOT of rock - most of the trail. We only got to 8665’ and it took us 6 hours. Just shy of the ridge. As soon as we turned back down we realized we were out of water. We did have an apple and some celery in our pack and rationed it out on our 4 1/2 hour trek back down. We were parched and sour when we got back. Fortunately we left some water in the car. The was rather hot for us and there was a smokey haze in the air from several fires, which didn’t help. Couldn’t see the lakes anyway. You gotta know your limits. We know ours. Next time we’ll use Lily Lake trailhead again — and hope for fresh air! Arnie: 73. Shirley: 58.

hiking
12 days ago

This was my favorite hike in Tahoe area, edging out the lake aloha and rubicon trails in my opinion. A very hard 10 miler though my Fitbit said 14. The talus fields are tough going up but tougher on the down trip. Wear full on boots since the rocks are brutal. The false summits tempt you to shortcut but that would be a mistake. Well marked and easy to follow. Would definitely do this hike again!

I hiked this in late July. Although this isn't a long hike, there is no established trail and it is very steep. The view from the top is excellent and you can add your name to the logbook stashed in the ammo can at the summit. I did see some bear sign around the meadow, but not on the slopes, just be aware when you are close to the highway. One other point of note, there aren't many people on the trail, only 3 cars at the trailhead and I saw no one during my Tuesday hike.

hiking
13 days ago

Great day hike. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. Cathedral Lake acts as a good staging point before experiencing an increase in elevation gain traveling towards the mountain summit. The view at the top is worth the effort.

hiking
15 days ago

Decided to tackle this hike today for my birthday. My friend and I met at the trail head at 8:30am, and the parking lot was already full. We got to the top around 11:30, had a bite to eat, took a bunch of photos, and made our way back down. The top was pretty crowded, not really the solitary experience I expected. My friend brought her dog, and he did really well, but he is a Tahoe dog and has tough feet and has done this hike before. We stopped at the lakes on the way back so the pup could get lots of water, and made it back to the parking lot just before 4pm. I am pretty fit, and the climb was still a doozy. Be prepared, wear sturdy shoes, bring lots of water and trail snacks, and listen to your body. Definitely made my birthday a memorable one!

hiking
16 days ago

A great day hike! I went alone starting at 8 am and made a day of it. With frequent stops for photos, it took me just under 3 hours to summit it, and about 2.5 to get down. If you are planning on going around now (August 2018), make sure to check the air quality. It got pretty hazy as I went up (which also really impacted the view, hence 4 stars not 5)! Definitely need a good boot or trail runner with a thick sole for grip and not getting poked by rocks, but I saw people climbing in old sneakers. Nevertheless, if you are a hiker and are in the SLT area, it's definitely worth the climb!

Hard but worth it.

hiking
18 days ago

It took me (20) and my dad (60) 3 hours to get up and 2 hours 20 minutes to get down, with about a 40 minute break at summit. We started at 6:35 and met hardly anyone on our way up, whereas when we made the decent we came across almost 100 hikers headed up. I recommend a start no later than 7:30. We both love hiking and are both in decent shape. Once you make it over the rocky part and into the meadow area, you have about 35 more minutes until the summit (if you keep a good pace). This hike was a tremendous amount of fun! The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that it's awkward to rate the difficulty level. The first half is pretty standard, probably no more than a moderate hike! The second half (when you make it to the rocky area) becomes more of a level hard hike. Gorgeous views though! I drank about 2 liters of water, and my dad went through 3.

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful hike along a well maintained trail. Gilmore Lake is perfect for an overnight backpacking trip. Several areas have obviously been used for camping over time and work as makeshift campsites. The lake is crystal clear and full of fish.

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