Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

It was a little rough in the beginning, because there was some Altitude increase, but that only goes on for about a mile. I’m kind of a beginner to hiking, but the 8 miles it took to get there, and back was easy enough. Great place for hiking, backpacking, camping, biking, and running!

Well worth the time. Start early, it gets pretty busy as the day goes on.

hiking
13 hours ago

WOW! What an incredible hike!!! My brother and I did this not really knowing what to expect (we looked at the mileage/elevation gain and knew it was gonna be tough) and yes it was tough but well worth the effort! If you aren’t in shape, I probably wouldn’t recommend this hike, but man was this one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. I lived in Yosemite for a week so I feel like that says a lot. Keep your eyes peeled... we did see three bears on this hike! The first one we almost walked into in the woods coming down from the rock face, and it was a HUGE brown bear! Then, not 10 minutes later we saw a different mama bear and her cub! It was quite the experience. Keep your eyes open and ALWAYS look ahead of you. :)

hiking
20 hours ago

TL;DR: it’s hard, but worth it. The views are unbeatable. If you have a pet, might be a good idea to have puppy shoes. There’s a lot of rocks.

The first half of the hike was great. It’s a manageable hike along the ridge parallel to Fallen Leaf Lake. From the ridge, we started moving more and more at in incline, passing a stream, then a pond, then another pond shortly after that. From the second body of water, there is no longer water until you reach the top (if there’s still snow at the top). It’s also a pretty steep incline from there on out, and very rocky. The rocks vary in size; sometimes rock steps like a stair master, sometimes smaller rock, and lots of large rocks all the way up the mountain. When you finally reach the top of the rocky part and think you’ll be able to meander your way up around the backside of the mountain until you reach the top, you’re mistaken. It’s more of a fairly steep incline up until the top. Thankfully, there were tons of wildflowers all around to distract us for the next mile and a half or so. Finally, we started seeing people at the top of the rocks and got our second wind to hustle up to the top and look out over the entire Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevadas surrounding it! Finally, that sense of accomplishment after 3K feet increase elevation! From the top, there’s an amazing panoramic view all around; from lakes in Desolation Wilderness, to ski runs in the distance, it’s breathtaking (mostly because my breath was gone from the hike :] ). All in all, I’m so glad we did it, but I don’t know if I’d do it again any time soon without being more in shape. :]

Great hike. Solid uphill and downhill both ways. The lake is beautiful and lots of flowers along the way can only imagine what it’s like in the spring. Only downside there was a decent amount of people there and we prefer more isolated areas.

Awesome views. A bear crossed the trail in front of us on the way back down. The hike to the lake is easier than the nearby Bayview trail to Granite lake.

Great trail with great views of Lower and Upper Echo Lake. Just wish there wasn’t so many cabins along the shoreline.

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful hike. Our family did it on July 10, 2018 and the kids (11yrs and 6yrs) loved it. We got there by 9:00am so the trail wasn’t too crowded. We hiked around to the right side of the lake and it was so quite and peaceful. The water was clear and cold. I definitely recommend this hike.

I did this hike last summer it had a nice view when you get the the top but it was right next to houses and cabins and lots of people. Took away from why I hike. Beautiful yes and fun to swim because you need too considering this is VERY exposed. No shade. It was okay but I wouldn’t do it again . The boat taxi back though was fun. So that’s also an option if you don’t want to hike all the way back

Great hike despite the smoke from the Ferguson Fire. We left at 6:30 am and returned at 12:30 pm. Definitely pack enough water especially if you have dogs, there was no snow packs. I have runners knee so the walk down was a little tough for me. Amazing views along the way and especially at the top of the summit. I recommend leaving early to avoid hiking traffic and the heat.

Very nice. Little trails all over. You could get lost. We went out and around to the river. Found great little spot to put our feet in.

walking
3 days ago

This was an absolute blast. Short easy hike for the little kids and enjoyable water. My 5 year old cousin had absolutely no problem with this trail and it was a great little trip for the family from out of town. Added bonus, on the other side of the lake there was some cliff jumps for the older kids and adults. Extremely fun day out for the family.

hiking
3 days ago

Really enjoyed this hike. Tons of beautiful wildflowers and even more views. We were supposed to do Clouds Rest after Whitney, but with the Ferguson fire, the valley was smoked out—took it as a sign to catch up on a hike my brother and I missed last year and glad we did. Enough elevation and distance for a good workout and the talus field added a bit of additional fun. Loved the hike on all fronts.

hiking
3 days ago

This is a short and sweet trail with great view and a nice little lake (Eagle Lake) that you can dip in. There are also waterfalls right by the lake that you can reach. This hike is great for families and doggies :). We spent some time at the lake and enjoyed it a lot. Parking (alone the road) is limited but not too bad.

Sweet views from the peak!

hiking
4 days ago

Awesome hike... long, strenuous at times, but great views of the lake from the top.

Amazing trail

Such an amazing hike! Full of gorgeous wild flowers currently.

hiking
5 days ago

Absolutely beautiful. It took me and two others a bit longer to hike than anticipated, but we live at sea level and have no exposure to any hills, let alone mountains, and this was my first ever "real" hike. It took about 8.5 hours, with about a 30-45 min break at the top. The rock face was incredibly challenging and I don't know how anyone does it in running shoes without wrecking their feet. Bring sunscreen and lots of water. We each brought about 4L and my husband had about one gulp left at the end and I had about 1 liter left. All of our GPS watches said something different, but mine said 10.6 miles round trip (highest said 13 miles round trip).

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
7 days ago

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

hiking
7 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
7 days ago

mountain biking
7 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
8 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.

on Echo Lakes Trail

hiking
9 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
9 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
9 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.

hiking
10 days ago

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!

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