Explore the most popular horseback riding 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.

1 month ago

This was our first hike to Tamarack Lake. Our plan was to stop at the Upper Echo Lake but the upper trail offered no view of the lake so we decided to hike more and stop at Tamarack Lake. This was the best decision. The reflection of peaks on the lake was simply amazing. My GPS logged 8.3mi from the upper parking lot.

2 months ago

Nice hike up but could not cross the falls in May. Views would of been spectacular i al sure

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.

Great waterfall and beautiful views of South Lake Tahoe!

6 months ago

Very Nice Hike! The trail is really icy right now with a little snow.
We needed snow shoes at the very end near Tamarack but other than that it's pretty packed snow and ice.
We parked in the upper parking lot due the road in being very icy and slippery too.
Echo is not totally frozen over yet.
From the upper parking lot my gps showed 8.1 miles.
Bummer is my phone didnt have signal so pics I took and tracks are gone. Glad I had a Garmin for back up.

Always a beautiful hike. VERY wet today about 2 miles in, like walking up a running creek. Waterproof boots and gaiters worked great. Snow at 2.5 miles and snow shoes needed after 3 miles. Some sleet and hail last night camped next to the lake so just crampons made the walk out easy.

10 months ago

Was a pretty easy hike along the lakes. Once you depart from them, the trail gets steeper and rockier. Loose granite and shale in many places. Lots of people on the trail, but it was Labor Day weekend. Too many off leash dogs. At the lake the place was nice and quiet until these 4 kids showed up with their yappy dog. Barked every 2 min and the kids were super loud. Oh and then on the day we hiked out, there were some people who thought it would be awesome to have drone races around the lake. Glad it was our last day. Hiking out we took the water taxi back. Overall a super trip. But still to close to the trailhead to keep out the city folks.

10 months ago

This was a beautiful, but very rocky hike. We ended up taking the boat back from upper echo lake.

10 months ago

Gorgeous waterfall but got lost on the way back, went off trail and got lyme. My fault for getting lost and not backtracking immediately. Still recommend the trail though! Majestic mountainside trail n waterfall.

10 months ago

Short hike, not bad on return trip up hill. It looks steep on the map but the side hill really makes it easy.
Trail is well traveled.

11 months ago

Great hike, although a little too many people for my liking. Many groups of kids and people talking and making noise. Might be better after school starts. Tamarack Lake is beautiful, secluded and quiet, which was nice. For another even more secluded lake, keep on the trail to the left side of Tamarack to come across Ralston Lake.

11 months ago

Little rocky in places but great day hike.

11 months ago

On the easy side of moderate and so beautiful. The trail is partly shady, wildflowers along the forest parts of the trail and Tamarack Lake is stunning!

11 months ago

Took my 6year old son on this hike as his first overnight backpacking trip. He did awesome and had a blast. Great hike for a beginner.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Beautiful Lake. Only went half way to Tamarack Lake but more of an easy hike than moderate that far

Friday, July 07, 2017

I did this hike last year and I was with my friend who isn't much of serious hiker. Great trail, amazing views. Hard in spots but once you get to the lake you have great views of Echo

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Easy hike down to falls.
hike back up was enough grade to get your heart going.
but overall a easy hike.
Falls were awesome!

on Tamarack Lake

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

6/24/2017 Hike
This trail is amazing! Trail was more a stream in some areas, there are a lot of downed trees, and some snow packs blocking the path. It was safe enough to walk on with just regular hiking shoes so we pushed through and it was very much worth it! The views from above of Lower and Upper Echo Lakes were phenomenal and getting to see the still frozen Tamarack Lake was an amazing treat. Highly recommended but prepare for soaked shoes, still lots of snow melting from higher elevation.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

My husband and I have done this hike a few times in summer and early fall but we wanted to go this Memorial Day 2017 and boy was there a lot of snow! It took us much longer to reach Lake Tamarack than usual and you definitely need micro spikes or snow shoes, we used the micro spikes that go over our hiking boots and they worked great. There were people doing it without spikes or snowshoes but they were sliding around and that's dangerous on the steep slopes. Also about half way through upper echo it becomes all snow so no trail to follow. Be sure to have a gps or be very good with your compass and map! It was like a totally different hike and even though it tooks us longer we really enjoyed to different scenery and solitude. Also there are now little streams everywhere and most of the trails have become streams as well so be careful.

This is a great section of the PCT with some nice views and alternate trails. The Warren Lake Trail splits from this trail rather quickly and is a hard but rewarding trail for those willing to work for some great views and quiet time!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

So when you first enter park to the right behind the sign the trail is across on your left

Sunday, October 02, 2016

It was a good choice for my first backpacking experience. The last up incline was a killer with all the loose shale and uneven terrain. The lake is pretty and not to populated for overnight stays

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Finished this last week, “but in reverse “Went from North to South. There are some very challenging climbs, “as to be expected” and long days on the trial. The sites are amazing and the people I met were extremely friendly! I had gotten some blisters at the start which proved to be a challenge especially when there was a Backpacking taxi at the Barker Pass rest-stop that could have taken me into Tahoe for cheeseburgers and beer. I fought the urge and drove on. (Yea-Mountain house) The moon was getting brighter each evening and we hiked at night, if possible I highly recommend it, the trial is a bit dangerous for this activity as there are a lot of roots, rocks, and steps, etc. etc. But the experience was well worth it. As far a wild life I saw a coyote at drop off and tracks of deer or some kind of hoofed animal. I thought I saw what might be a print of a mountain lion but could be a dog or squirrel I mean how would I actually know….? The hike isn’t impossible for the average person; you will need to prepare for it. I have thought of the rating here and cant come up with what makes one trail hard to intermediate and or easy... This would be hard just by the length and the preparation required to be ready to go.

trail running
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Nice trail. Lots of wild berries. Waterfall is dry. I would rate it easy.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Great mid-August hike. Beautiful weather, beautiful views. Very little climb, easy on the knees. Lake views for most of the trek. Should wear mid-thick soled shoes. Lots of dogs on the trail :) defs get an early start on weekend days- lots of people want go enjoy this Sierra beauty.

Hiked this 8/7/2016. This was a great hike with tons of wild flowers along the trail. The best part is finishing at Aloha lake but was pretty cold for a swim.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Tamarack and Ralston Lake (just 5 mins beyond) are gorgeous! I took water taxi ($14 one way) to far end of Echo Lake so Tamarack Lake was only 1 mile hike, then went to Ralston Lake and hiked all the way back to parking lot, so about 6 miles total. Hike along ridge above Echo Lake was quite sunny and hot with very little shade so I'm glad I only did it one way. When you arrive at Tamarack Lake, consider leaving something at the trail to mark your return path (like water bottle or jacket) bc it may be hard to find it again, esp if you go on to Ralston Lake. Bring $ for ice cream at Echo Lake Chalet at the conclusion of your hike!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Took the water taxi as we had a first time hiker whom was 7 yrs old. We camped at lake tamarack. Really gorgeous views, can't wait to return abs explore some more!

Very scenic ,a lot of beautiful wildflowers lots of shade, mellow terrain as far as up and down but lots of rocks and interesting rock formations. Great views of Donner Lake at the very beginning of section 15 -scenic point. Several water features for your animals to hydrate

The terrain wasn't very difficult if you stay on the trail. Going off to see the lakes and the beautiful granite slabs is the best part so the bush-wacking adds to the difficulty. I live this trail, it's heart for hiking and running and you get beautiful views of Donner lake the whole way.

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