Explore the most popular forest 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.

Went to Lake of the Woods then Lake Aloha. Fantastic day hike. Took the water taxi both ways so it was only 7.3 miles. I've seen most of the eastern part of Desolation Wilderness and this was as good a day hike as I've done. Beautiful lakes, views, wild flowers. Highly recommend it.

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful Hike. My 10year old daughter Ella loved it. She walked around in the lake.

hiking
3 days ago

This challenging, yet doable trail left me and my girlfriend feeling accomplished and well worked! We started at 6:50am, summitted 3.5 hours later, took an hour at the top, and took 2.5 hours to get down. Bring 3 liters per person for hot day hikes, sunscreen, and some bug spray. The best part was relaxing in the lake afterwards staring up at the mountain and thinking, “we hiked that!”

mountain biking
3 days ago

mountain biking
3 days ago

Killer!

Challenging but invigorating hike, with an incredible reward at the top! I took my 9 and 13 year old kids with me and they did very well. Loved all the other hikers cheering them along the way. We got up to the summit in four hours (including one 30 minute break at Cathedral Lake). The trail was clear the whole way. There were also enough people on the trails so you never felt isolated—but it also didn’t feel crowded. It was a test in endurance as the climbing rarely lets up. But hearing how incredible the summit is from all the hikers coming down was motivating. As others said, the right equipment helps. We took polls with us (very helpful), enough water and we all wore boots. We left the summit at 12:30 and I never felt we were boiling on the way down even though it was an 80 degree day. It took a lot longer to get down then I thought due to the rocks. My feet would’ve been stumps without the boots! Definitely a challenging hike but don’t be afraid to try it. Its not that it is unusually steep or anything, it’s just that you are climbing with no let up on a lot of rocks. Start early—tons of cars in the parking lot already by 7:30am on a Thursday. I think many. people start this hike even earlier.

hiking
3 days ago

Worth the 3+ mile drive to the parking area where there is lots of parking. Hiked with our dogs and passed few hikers on our way out, a few more on our way back, but no other dogs. We hiked out to grass lake. Only part of the trail that was a little tricky was the creek crossing where it wasn’t obvious. But if you look to the left you see the logs across the creek and it picks up the trail there. Amazing views.

hiking
4 days ago

An absolutely gorgeous trail that has magnificent views of Tahoe and Eagle Lakes and neat seeing Cali and Nevada from here. From the parking lot to the peak is more like 12 miles, but don't let that stop you. Prepare for it to last the whole day, definitely took my two friends and I longer than we expected, and pack more food than you think you'll need. And once you get to the top of the rock piles, you have about an hour left, don't listen to the lies.

Mostly dirt road, not a bad quick hike with decent views

backpacking
4 days ago

Hiked to Susie Lake and camped on July 3rd. Beautiful hike, but extremely Rocky! Make sure you have shoes for your dog! I didn't have any for my 75lb black lab and his paws we're hurting him by the end! The mosquitos were horrible!!! Make sure you bring bug repellent! Other than that, the views we're absolutely stunning!!! The waterfalls were a great way to cool down along the way! I will be back to this trail again for sure!

on Echo Lakes Trail

hiking
4 days ago

Great moderate hike with awesome views. Go early to avoid most of the other hikers. We went mid July and there were plenty of wild flowers to add to the many photo ops. This trail has a lot of loose and uneven rocks so wear shoes with good solid soles and our hiking poles came in handy. There is a little store at the trail head were you can get lunch or a treat after the hike.

hiking
5 days ago

Nice hike with beautiful views! I’m decently fit in my mid-20s and found this hike to be on the easier end of moderate. We started the hike at Vikingsholm and did an out and back to the end of the trail. The hardest part of the trek is the walk up the Vikingsholm access trail. Emerald Bay is easily accessible off trail and made for a refreshing dip at the end of the hike!

hiking
5 days ago

Great hike! Worth the hype for the sense of accomplishment and views. I was nervous about it (weekend warrior type, decently in shape mid-20s) and I’m glad I went. The hike took 7 hours. Left at 6:50am, arrived at summit by 10:00, spent an hour there and then returned to the car by 1:50. Get an early start, because the sun is hot and the summit would be crowded about 1-1.5 hours after I was there. I drank 2.5L of water and could have had another L more. The rock face after the second lake is tough! Good boots with ankle support are important here, though we passed someone doing the hike in Vans. Save some gas in the tank for the trek down! There are lots of rocks and it would be easy to slip if exhausted.

This hike was insane! The view from the top was completely worth the steep trek. Be careful if you bring dogs on this trail because the granite can blister their paws(happened to my pup). Took us about seven hours with almost an hour break at the summit. Definitely recommend this hike!

Awesome views! Worth the drive.

Went clockwise: correct choice! It ends with some crazy downhill. Great meadows and variety of views across the trial, there's no one view that stands above the rest

Started our hike around 6:40 this morning. Only a few cars already there. Glad we started early because the sun was brutal on our way down. Took us about 3 hours going up, 20-30 minutes taking in the amazing views at the top, and a little over 2 hours coming down. Difficult hike, but worth the experience and views. Bring lots of water and sunscreen.

Great lake. Amazing spots to camp. Just no fishing. All the fish have been "removed" to reintroduce the cutthroat. Also leeches. Just keep moving and they won't bother you..

backpacking
6 days ago

Pretty lake, secluded. Tougher hike than I expected. Map shows it as 5.5 from Glen Alpine but it felt more like 7. Could just be my lack of conditioning backpacking though. Wildflowers were outstanding. Loose rock on parts of trail were tough on feet.

hiking
7 days ago

This trail took my mother, son (8 years old) and I about 10 hours to complete. We started at 8:45 mainly because we wanted to be around people as we hiked (for safety reasons) and we took about an hour worth of breaks in all. My mother exercises moderately and I exercise 5 days a week with weights, high intensity work outs, and long distance running. Still, it was difficult because of the terrain.

I recommend hiking boots with ankle support. I hiked up in Solomon running hike shoes which usually do well over gravel but for this trail in particular I would bring some with ankle support. I would also bring more than 2 liters per person as some people recommended prior. We were down to our last bottle going down. We didn’t run out of water but got close!

It was a wonderful hike with spectacular views. Well worth it! I only wish we could have stayed at the peak longer!

Hard hike but breathtaking views. Strongly recommend good hiking boots with angle support.

Snow is completely gone from trail. Stunning wildflower variety in full bloom before summit.

A perfect hike with popsicles at the end! We started up at the day parking area near the campgrounds. Loved the varying terrain and vegetation. Absolutely gorgeous views of Emerald Bay. It was warm so we stopped to swim on the way down and back up from Vikingsholm. We saw at least four Osprey nests throughout the hike as well.
And for the bonus round...once we got down to the Vikingsholm park center they had snacks and popsicles for sale! Sweet. After our snacks we took the extra .2 mile hop up to see Lower Eagle Falls, do not miss it!

on Mount Tallac Trail

hiking
7 days ago

Amazing views! Start early to beat the heat and crowds. Bring 2-3 liters of water and lots of sunscreen! Poles def helped!

hiking
8 days ago

Epic views from the top!

hiking
8 days ago

I took my family to spend the day at the lake. My 3 and 5 year olds hiked in on their own. It's a little strenuous on the way in, but I saw folks of all shapes and sizes making the trek. The short hike is well worth it when you get to the end... and remember, it's downhill on the way back!

Like another poster suggested, you should make a day out of this. Bring a lunch. Wear your swimsuit. Bring a few bucks, in case you want to rent a kayak, row boat, or SUP ($22/hr).

Bring exact change for parking (now, $8). Getting a parking permit is self-service. The El Dorado County Sheriff was in the lot when we came back to our car, so they do check. On the upside, you know your car is secure.

Read what other posters have written on here and Yelp. They are pretty accurate in their assessments.

Note: It says in the above description that you can drive to the lake. This is not correct. They have reserved parking spots in the same parking lot you park in for people staying at the small resort. The resort will truck in the luggage...not you.

Really great hike! Came in with a lot of fear/excitement after my brother who summited last year around this time said he did so in 85°,had to trudge through snow to get to the top, and ran out of the 120 ounces of water he brought. So taking his advice, I began at 5:15am with 200 (yes, 200!) ounces of water. Halfway to the top and having only drank 20 ounces, I ended up dumping 100 ounces so I wasn’t carrying as much weight. With ample breaks, I made it to the top in 3 hours, and took a 30 minute break at the top before beginning my descent. It took 6 hours and 15 minutes total. For a 21 year old female who is active with running and yoga, it wasn’t bad at all!

trail running
8 days ago

I have run this trail many times in the past,but today was the first time for this year.It was a great run-hike up to the 'false summit'
and back down.Incredible views along the whole trail,great wild life,and many friendly people on the trail.I left the parking lot at 6:30 and made it back at 9:45.To any trail runners who haven't ran this before I would highly recommend it,you just have to keep in mind before you get on the trail that there is many sections that are runnable,and a couple sections especially the last rocky hill portion that is not.Its a technical trail I would rate it as hard because of how technical it is with the rocks,but very very fun!Take it easy,enjoy the beauty ,start early as parking is limited at the trail head.As for hydration I wore a 2 liter pack and it was more than enough,I probably could have carried 1 liter and would have been fine.Keep in mind I started early and finished early so if you start latter when it's hotter 2 liter would be a safer bet. ENJOY!!!

This hike was incredible. Tough, but doable (I went slow and took a lot of breaks). I recommend hitting the trail early; I started at 6:15 am. This way you can avoid the heat and some of the crowds. It took me about 4 hours to get up and 3 to get down (it was very rocky). I brought a lot of water and snacks. And my hiking poles! But the views on the way up are incredible and the summit is breathtaking. I definitely would like to do this again.

hiking
8 days ago

Eagle lake at the top is worth the hike. Water is crystal clear. You can swim in the lake.

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