Explore the most popular snowshoeing 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.

Hiked to the top Saturday, May 12th. Had to walk to extra miles round trip to pass the barrier from the first parking lot to the actual trailhead. Started at 7:50 a.m., summited at 12:45 p.m. and finished around 3. This was our first time out on this trail so we weren't sure where the peak was and we lost track of the path when we started up this deep snow field. We clambered up loose rocks for a while and after consulting with GPS ended up back in the snow. Mountain boots/crampons/ice axe not necessary. We got by fine in solid hiking boots and lightweight pants. Glissading down the shallower hills was fun.

Super pretty - views changed every few minutes. The lake is stunning!

hiking
2 days ago

Is there trekking through snow now? What time should you get there on a Saturday to get a parking spot?

hiking
3 days ago

We climbed the trail on 5/13/18. The gate was locked closed so that added a couple of miles to the hike. There was some snow on the trail in spots we hiked about 2000 feet up from the trail head and had to turn around because the snow got very deep. It was a great day with amazing views.

Lovely trail! There’s a nice change from rocky to meadow to forest to lake throughout, which keeps it exciting. Not a lot of great vistas for the most part, but I found the meadow charming, some nice mountains were visible after a while, and the lake was gorgeous. It was a little wet this time of year (mid-May) - I’d recommend waterproof hiking boots if you’ve got them, but I got by fine in my tennis shoes for the most part, just had to do a little scampering on rocks adjacent to the trail when I came upon puddles in the meadow. Further up it got a tad muddy, but I didn’t see any consistent snow until the last half mile or so. It got cold FAST once I got close to the lake - I almost turned back before I realized how close I was. 70+ degrees in the parking lot but the water was still partially frozen. Bring layers!
Also, note that there are two different trailheads that leave from this parking lot - you want the one that’s downhill, further away from the bathrooms. I almost went on a completely different adventure!

hiking
5 days ago

Did it two days ago. Wonderful trail! Very good elevation gain. We hiked about half mile after Cathedral Lake, then stopped at about 8400 ft. due to snow. Great view of Tahoe, Fallen Leaf and Cathedral Lake from the top. On the way back the Floating Island Lake was as green as an emerald. Highly recommended. Plan for about 6 hours or more if you plan to the very top.

hiking
9 days ago

Great for pictures. Good exercise. Not difficult. Moderate traffic. 50 • when we started, about 35 with light rain, sleet, and snow as we approached the lake. May 11th. Highly recommend

on Eagle Lake Trail

hiking
10 days ago

Short but sweet trail! It was quite easy and passing the falls and lake was quite nice. I would rank it on the easy end of the moderate ranking. The higher up you go, the better the views. When we went there was a fair amount of people, but not enough to disturb or enjoyment.

I agree with other reviews in that parking was a problem if the lot is full.

hiking
11 days ago

What a gem! This trail is one of the best I've been on. It is a great hike for the family. It will be challenging for kids so maybe do a little train up with them first. There are a plenty of "stairs" to climb and places to stop off and enjoy the view. The lake at the end is an extraordinary reward for your effort. The only detraction from the experience is the lack of parking. Arrive early and you are rewarded with a spot next to restroom facilities and the trail head. Arrive after the lot fills up and you get to park precariously along the road and start your hike early.

hiking
12 days ago

Great view of tahoe! Brought my 5 year old son and we took our time to get to the lake. It was worth it when we got there. It was a bit hard for my son since the first mile is uphill along with muddy paths and rocks so wear good shoes to avoid injury. But overall it is a great place to see if you are ever in the area. Before you enter the parking lot there is a waterfall across the street that you can climb down to. Great for pictures.

hiking
13 days ago

Nice little hike/walk. I did the clockwise version which leaves the best vistas for the last half mile or so. It’s easy to take a wrong turn and get off the trail so keep the app handy for guidance. Very enjoyable light hike. I plan to do this regularly with my dog.

hiking
13 days ago

This is a great trail. I saw many people trying to complete the trail in flip flops and just want to say you definitely need good hiking shoes. There are plenty places to slip and trip here. In my opinion this trail is almost all uphill and can be quite strenuous, we are hikers and I think maybe it's the distance only being 1.7 keeping this a moderate instead of hard.
Getting to the lake is so worth it. I would recommend this trail to anyone visiting Tahoe.
Also I agree with everyone else get there before 8:30am for a parking spot.

So this is definitely an awesome spot for about a mile in each direction from the trailhead. But it’s extremely hard to hike around the entire lake. I did it but following the trail to the left landed me trespassing. I walked about 2 miles on a paved road in a neighborhood. Someone stopped to ask me how I got there. Then I had to walk through a summer camp to get back to the trail. It was clearly marked from that point until about the 6 mile range in where it became overgrown and difficult to navigate. I wouldn’t recommend this as an all the way around the lake hike due to the trespassing, paved road, poorly marked trails and frankly in the summer it will be too overgrown to complete. But it was a super beautiful lake!

hiking
17 days ago

This trail starts easy. Before the hard climb starts there is a beautiful lake at the base of the mountain it is a good meet up point for hiking with people with different speeds. The view from the top is stunning and well worth the hike. Spent 1 hour at the top exploring all the different side. Well worth the hike. It took my friend and I 6-7 hours.

Been going here every year since I was in 1st grade. I love it there and I am also looking forward to another trip. Great fishing and greats views. If you are up to it you can even hike to the peak.

hiking
21 days ago

I was there yesterday. I had to walk about two extra miles in order to get to Mt. Tallac Trailhead, because the access road was closed for traffic. That is why my trip was about 13 miles long. I started around 11am and I was back to my car around 5.30pm. The summit was pretty cold and windy, and the temperature was about 10F. I would recommend an ice axe and micro spikes for your safety. I truly enjoyed glissading on my way down from the summit.

Mt Tallac is a majestic mountain.

hiking
21 days ago

Parking - Plenty of parking if you get there early. We arrived at 8:00 am and basically had our choice of parking spots. When we left around 1:00 pm the lot was packed and people were circling to get a spot. Get there early.
Paying - Since the location is still closed, there was no fee. I believe the usual fee is $5.00 per vehicle and there are self-pay envelopes available when the trail is open.
Hiking - Awesome! Easily discernible trail with plenty of signage and carved steps. Take a few minutes to go up to the Vista Point. It offers a great lookout towards Emerald Bay and then loops you right back onto the main trail. The majority of incline is when hiking to the lake, which made hiking back to the car nice and easy. Be cautious over the few patches of snow and ice remaining.
Shooting - There are several cool scenes to photograph: a walking bridge, trail lines, Eagle Creek, and of course Eagle Lake. Get a great reflection shot by walking right up to the water's edge and holding your camera low near the surface of the lake. The shots turn out pretty well.
Eating - Definitely pack a lunch, some snacks, and water. You're going to want to enjoy the view with a meal and there are plenty of granite slabs to setup for a picnic. Always pack out what you pack in.
Highly recommended trail and views. It won't be my last time, that's for sure!

hiking
22 days ago

Hiked upper and lower Eagle Falls today. Short hikes so you can finish both in one day! The lake and waterfalls are breathtaking! I suggest arrive early. Parking lot is small and will be hard to find parking as this is one of the most popular trail. Good luck and enjoy the hike.

Long because of the snow and somewhat challenging.

With the snow in late April.

We started at 1:30AM and got to the summit at the 10am. Took our time for the most part and needed crampons and an ice axe for the steeper portions. There’s a lot of scree as well, so you’ll probably end up taking off your crampons and hopefully it’s a bit warmer and you wouldn’t need the crampons to finish the summit.

We also glissaded down which cut a good 2 hours. Cool views.

Still snow now. Gotta come back in the early summer to go the later half of the trail .

23 days ago

Amazing views. Must hike through snow half way in.

hiking
24 days ago

Stunning views and rock formations. A bit of snow melt on the trail, but still very do-able. Had a great day, and glad that we took the time to walk this trail!

Great hike many areas to take pictures spectacular views. April 24, 2018

hiking
24 days ago

As a kid growing up in NorCal hiking was just what you did on a day off be it to a lake, along a river, to a beach, or some trail in the Sierra’s or Costal range. I happened to have had the added bonus of having avid hikers for parents so the adventures were endless and I personally have hiked everything from “Are you sure we can call that a hiking trail?” to “Okay, am I going to make it out alive?” type trails.

I’m over 40, it’s the end of April so still snow in higher areas, I just had my sneaks on, no polls, and haven’t hiked more than a nature trail in ages. I would say I’m out of shape but that was pretty much my point of coming up here for 10 days and plotting out trails to do every day I was up here. I am getting back into hiking and decided to start off with some easy trails to test the waters of what I felt I could do. I call these trails the “Are you sure that we can really call that a hiking trail?” After a few of those I decided it was time to do a real trail.

Yes this is a real hiking trail it is not a nature trail, not for strollers, babies, tots, or little kids unless that kid is an avid hiker I’d probably go with a well behaved 10 and up who understands the rules of the trails. While it’s not going to kill you it does have some challenges along the way especially if there is still snow on the ground. You don’t need snow shoes but sneaks are probably not the best idea I’d go with an actual hiking shoe unless you plan to only make it to the lower falls or only do the loop (part of the “Are you sure I can call that a hike?” portion of the trail) anything above that grab a backpack, water, hiking shoes, and something to eat once you reach your destination and please be sure to stop, look around, and take in the scenery. There is plenty of wild life around if you stop to pay attention.

There are several places to go once you get further up the trail basically it’s about how far and how hard you want it to get. The higher you go the harder it gets. This is after all one of the entrances to Desolation Valley. However I can’t say it’s well marked as there are points along the way where you have to really watch where the trail picks back up. If your plan is to only make it to Eagle Lake then I’d say even the out of shape hiker should be able to make it to this point. For the avid hiker this part of the trail will be pretty easy. For those with short legs plan for high rock steps and to feel it in your thighs. Do come earlier and definitely avoid the weekends probably summers if you want to find parking and enjoy the trail with less people.

Overall for this out of shape over 40 year old it was perfect for getting back into a sport I’ve long missed doing regularly. It wasn’t boring, it wasn’t a stroll, it did require some thought, it had a good incline, it gave a slight challenge, but it wasn’t so difficult that I had to turn back. It was exactly what I was looking for and the view at the lake was worth the journey.

hiking
27 days ago

Great hike to beautiful lakes. We swam even though the water was freezing!

hiking
1 month ago

Great little hike, decent incline with a beautiful, clear blue lake at the end. Bring a picnic! Get here early or go mid week as it gets crowded and parking can be difficult. Make sure to park legally, they will tow you. Trail is marked well but the trails that link up from this trail can be hard to spot.

hiking
1 month ago

Ample parking available, fee and permit required (both supplied at trailhead). Lot filled up by mid-morning on a Sunday in early April, so arrive early, especially in the summer.

As of 4/8, the falls are at peak flow. The trail up to Vista point and the Eagle Creek Bridge is mostly clear of snow. Past the upper falls, the trail is ~90% covered in snow, but easily followable due to heavy traffic. Snowshoeing is an option, but it's entirely doable in hiking boots and trekking poles.

The lake is still frozen over with some flowing water near the Eastern tip of the lake. Snow covers the surrounding bowl and peaks, while the Eagle Lake Trail continues up (to Dicks Lake) through snow and ice. We turned back after reaching the lake despite our initial plan to ascend to vista point at 7,300; snowshoes would help that climb.

Though the waterfall was great and the gorges remarkably powerful, the trail was travelled and lacked the Tahoe backcountry feel. It's a great opportunity (especially when the snow melts) for families, dogs, etc. to visit an alpine lake, but full-day hikers should look elsewhere. Nearby Dicks/Fontanillis Lakes, Lake Aloha via Ralston Peak, or Tallac via Gilmore Lake are quality alternatives.

Keep in mind that the trailhead is near Lower Eagle Falls, Vikingsholm, Emerald Bay, and Cascade Falls. Pairing this hike with nearby landmarks would make for a full day.

walking
1 month ago

Lovely loop walk, currently still covered in snow so wear good shoes!

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful trail! We tried it out last weekend (beginning on April) and brought snowshoes. I don’t think you necessarily NEED snowshoes but I think it made it a lot easier and more fun because we were sliding around or falling into the slush. This trail is dog friendly and my dog had a BLAST. The views on the way to the lake are breathtaking, and getting to the lake was so gorgeous. My dog got to swim around a bit and it was just a 3-ish mile hike round-trip. There are a few parts that have slight incline but overall it was a pretty mellow hike. I will definitely be back!

hiking
1 month ago

Did this from Spring Creek trailhead via North East ridge.. which is half the mileage(~5 miles round-trip) and same elevation(~3.3-3.5K), so a lot harder, but totally worth every step. Had a very clear/sunny day and had to wear snowshoes all along.

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