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.

Beautiful views all around difficult for certain but excellent and well worth it!

Beautiful, relaxing trail!
The trailhead is right on the side of 89. Limited parking.
I went to Scott’s Lake and back, so not the full loop.
Lots of trees were turning, especially around the lake. I went on the 8th of October.
I saw a couple of guys mountain biking on the trail. They seemed to be having a pretty tough time. So wouldn’t recommend for biking.
Scott’s Lake itself was not anything to write home about. The water was very low and it smelled.
Dog friendly!

Pretty poor trail markers. I would recommend going clockwise to have better luck staying on the trail. I read another hikers recommendations about having to scramble up some rock and step through some plants. I did that too and got totally completely off the path. If you stay on the path it is completely unnecessary to rock scramble and get scratches on your legs. It’s pretty around the lake but pretty a bit frustrating to keep seeing dead end signs on the roads and have to back track your route.

backpacking
4 days ago

Amazing trail!

Easy hike on a fairly busy trail, but the meadow is always gorgeous and the lake is a worthy destination. There were several large groups (noisy groups) and plenty of mountain bikes on the day I hiked, but I still give this hike 5 stars for the scenery.

I completed this loop counterclockwise which meant going up the road and coming down on the trail by the creek. I was surprised to see so much water flowing this time of year. High Meadow was gorgeous and I’d love to go back when wildflowers are blooming. Even though I went on a Sunday, the trail wasn’t too busy since it’s past peak season.

Easy hike with a great pay off of beautiful scenery at the end. I would probably categorize this hike as "easy" rather than moderate, as evidenced by the many hikers we saw who were more of the tourist variety and several younger children. It is longer, however, so perhaps that is why it's rated as moderate. Overall, it was great way to spend a Sunday!

This trail is not for the faint of heart! We went counter-clockwise because the steep side of Job's Sister is extremely sandy, and we felt that would be safer (although harder) going up rather than down it.

We parked at the trailhead to Freel so we would not have to end the long hike with a mile walk up the service road. Instead we started with that, and then once we reached the trailhead for Job's peak, the climb up to the summit was pretty short, albeit steep.

After backtracking down Job's Peak, we started heading over to Job's Sister. A search on Google Earth after the fact revealed that there MAY be a better trail heading up that side of the sister; however, we could not find it while we were on the mountain face, and I'm not eager to go exploring up there any time soon. After being a bit disheartened by a grueling trek up the steep side of Job's sister and reaching a false summit, we finally made it to the top.

Once you make it to this point, it's easy-peasy lemon squeezy. Going down Job's Sister is easy, but I do recommend trekking poles. Going up Freel from that direction is strenuous, even for my husband and I (we are 30 and 33) who are in very fit hiking shape.

From there it was smooth sailing. The trail can be a bit tricky to follow on the way down - I've done Freel twice and temporarily lost the trail both times heading back.

If you are fit and feeling adventurous, then this a great hike for you. I am glad to say I've done it, but in the future I will summit Job's Peak on a different day than Freel and Job's Sister.

walking
7 days ago

Awesome trail, worth the effort. It’s not too hard in terms of elevation, definitely recommend it!

need better trail markers nice hike you gotta do it

Beautiful views. Lots of trees and views of lake

You need a high clearance vehicle to navigate the dirt road to the trailhead. Good trail with nice views of Lake Tahoe.

hiking
8 days ago

Beautiful gem of a trail!! Hiked to Emerald Cove, took us just under two hours with stopping for exploration to get there-an hour and 20 on the way back. Trail meanders up and down along little coves of the Lake. A fair amount of other hikers passing through. Wonderful trail!

on Echo Lakes Trail

hiking
9 days ago

Echo Lake is one of the best easy hikes in Tahoe but past Upper Echo Lake is not my favorite because it has lots of scree which makes it challenging to keep your footing while enjoying the view. Ankle support is a must on Upper Echo Lake section. Views are tops & lakes are plentiful past Upper Echo. Heavily trafficked. Lots of climbing on rock steps. Not much shade so avoid in July.

Lovely trail on Sunday Sept 30. Perfect fall temps. Aspen and low growth are turning yellow. Me and my friend ran up to Round lake then back down to turn off to Dardanelles. The grade is a nice easy climb totally runnable up and down. A little rocky in some places but can really cruise. Took us about 3 hours to do a little over 12 miles and 1900 feet of climbing. Both lakes are gems. Just beautiful.

Great views, many trail forks and alternate routes to choose from, not too difficult, easy parking, kid and dog friendly

Beautiful trail. The aspens were turning - lake was low.

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful hike along Lake Tahoe. Hard part was walking the mile up to the car from Vikingsholm

A cavalcade of expertly placed stone steps that traverse several promontories with views across Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe. Trail leads to perfect alpine gem Eagle Lake. Cold but easily swimmable in late September. Moderate difficulty, short enough for families. Bring water. Highly recommended.

Bring CASH!
Labor Day and Memorial day and various other Saturday's they sell All Natural Sodas at the top.
They use the funds to renovate the historic site.

nice hike with great views of Lake Tahoe with a pretty little Lake as the reward.

I like to only report the positive things about any trail. A few of us hiked to Scott’s Lake to take pictures of the fall colors yesterday (Sept. 25, 2018) and it was beautiful with all the changing colors, especially the Aspen. I used my Garmin to create a track, but I don’t think there is a way with All Trails to import it. The hike is close to 3.5 miles (7miles RT) from the parking area at Big Meadows to the lake with about 985 feet of gain. It’s not a hard and there is still a couple of water x-ing that have enough left for dogs to get a drink. At about 3/4 mile there is a post sign to direct you to the lake. Veer left. I gave it a 5 cause it is everything I want in a fall hike. If I want something harder then I chose other hikes or something easier and closer to home then I chose a suitable hike for that. It was a great day with friends and to see the fall changes in the Tahoe Aspen.

I only summitted Freel, but I was planning to hike all 3. I started hiking at 9AM, thinking I would have plenty of time since a previous comment said it took them 6 hours to complete the whole hike. I'm in good shape, and would say I have an average hiking pace. It took me 3 full hours to get to the top of Freel, and that was with minimal, short breaks. Hiking to the top of Freel is hard. The elevation gain is pretty slow and steady until you get to the bottom of the mountain, then It's purely sand and very small gravel which is very hard to hike on. The sand and gravel is even harder to hike up when you're switchbacking and hiking straight up a mountain. I'm 22yrs old and fit, and I had to stop many times because it's just so damn hard to hike uphill in sand. Once at the top, I asked a couple who was up there, if they had ever hiked the whole loop. They said they had, and it took them 11 hours to do the whole hike. They also said that after the peak of Job's sister, the trail starts to become pretty spotty the rest of the hike and there's a lot of unsteady gravel going down the other mountains. They also said they do not recommend hiking it alone, as it could be easy to lose the trail by one's self, and it could be easy to get injured hiking down. They said that it is a very difficult, exhausting hike. I was so tired from just hiking up Freel that I decided to turn around and just hike back the way I came. I also did not want to tackle more elevation ups and downs in sandy gravel- talk about killing your ankles and knees. I'll probably come back and try all 3 next summer, when it stays dark later and I will know what I'm getting into. Be prepared and don't push yourself beyond your limits! Start early and plan an entire day to do this hike because it's not a fast paced, knock it out quick kind of hike. Give yourself time to enjoy the beautiful views.

Drive slow on the forest service road! it's very rocky with deep holes and pits in some areas. It's also a skinny road at times with no room for 2 cars to pass at the same time.

hiking
23 days ago

Did this hike on 09/19/18 Great hike. My advice is to start at the trail head and move counter-clockwise around the lake. The beginning of the hike wasn’t too daunting. About 1/4 in though the path is extremely overgrown and parts you’ll need to scale rocks up and down, so be sure to wear good shoes and maybe long pants and long sleeves to protect your skin from rubbing against plants. Towards the halfway mark you’ll end up in a Standford Sierra Camp. We rested here for a bit and even managed to refill our water using their water refill station. Now I believe this is only supposed to be for campers, so proceed with caution if doing that. We also stopped there for a quick lunch as well.
Moving along you’ll end up next to a fire station and a small chapel. The chapel is quaint, but if it’s open it will also be a nice spot to rest. If you keep going, you’ll end up in Fallen Leaf Marina/Lodge. This is another very nice spot to rest, it has a cafe and clean restrooms. Had I known this was here I would have eaten lunch there versus packing one in (less to carry is always good).
After that, about 1/4 of the trail is on paved road, so make sure to step aside for cars. With the exception of two cars, most noticed us and gave us a courtesy wave when passing. This part might have been my favorite since I love looking at houses lol. After that, you’ll have to “trespass”. Honestly, just stay on the path and don’t venture beyond property markings. The last 1/4 if the hike or so isn’t the best maintained, so again, long pants and sleeves to protect your skin.
Overall, decent hike. Would do it again, the views were fantastic.

Lookout for: burned hollow tree and the lone standing fireplace.

hiking
23 days ago

Great trail.. breathtaking views.. good for solo hikers as there is just the right amount of foot traffic.

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful hike! Parked at DL Bliss State Park and arrived very early to get parking. Did not record it here but I think it’s about 9 to 11 miles.

a good portion of the trail is paved road on the one side, but otherwise it was a lovely, not terribly trafficked trail on the 4th of July weekend.

I did this hike for my birthday in August. A bit challenging, especially the stone stairs past Upper Eagle falls, but very worth it! To date, this was my favorite hike. I suffer from chronic pain and this hike was a goal of mine and I completed it with just a few resting points. Amazing views!!

hiking
25 days ago

We loved this hike, loved the variety of terrain, and it was the highlight of our hiking in Tahoe. It's a steep start but hang in there. I was very glad to have my hiking sticks for both the steep up and steep down on the return. The longer gentle uphill return was very easy. There are so many beautiful views, one more gorgeous than the rest. For a slow time of year, it was pretty busy. I don't think this would be very enjoyable during high season. It's 10.5 miles r/t to Vikingsholm according to FitBit and Google Maps. Definitely recommend!

Lovely fall hike with awesome lakes and big views

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