Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

Third time we have been on the trail over the past twelve years. Love it! Serenity up in the mountains.

trail running
18 hours ago

Simply put, this trail is amazing for a runner. It's 12+ miles out and back. (Follow the directions to the parking lot above, and remember to bring $10 to pay for parking). We arrived at 7:15 on a Saturday and got a spot, but there are only about 10 spots next to the trail, so get their early. For a runner, this was one of the best trails we have ever run. Epic scenery, some elevation at the beginning, middle and end, and single track running. We were pretty much alone on the trail until we started heading back, and ran into alot of hikers, so had to play frogger - so might be even better to go earlier than we did to avoid the crowds on the return. Given the choice between this and Flume, I'm taking Rubicon hands down as the best trail run in the SLT area.

This was a great trail with amazing views. We took our dogs who did great. Went clockwise which seemed like the right choice at the end. The decent to adventure mountain was a steep decline. Adventure mountain was closed for the season but there is a small parking lot just before the gate. We parked at Johnson Pass rd. And added about another 2 mi. to the trip. I wasn’t a fan of the several freeway crossings or the fact that I camped right next to a coyote den in big Meadow. But other than that it was great!

Did this hike with a group from church. Very strenuous and tough on the knees. Took us about 5.5 hours to summit as we stopped for breaks quite a bit. Definitely get an early start, good shoes and tons of water!!

backpacking
2 days ago

Came here instead of Aloha Lake because we couldn’t find a permit. Absolutely gorgeous, totally manageable hike leading to an absolute playground. Round Lake itself is a tiny Oasis with an absolutely gorgeous view of the entire Tahoe Valley if you’re willing to do a little climbing. Despite camping relatively close to the lake we experienced no bugs, the weather was perfect, and we even caught a little meteor shower. What more can you ask for?

Make sure you check out the other Lakes too.

on Echo Lakes Trail

hiking
2 days ago

This is an amazing hike. I went out and back from echo lake trailhead to tamarack lake in 4 hours. It’s a hell of a hike without much shade. There aren’t any steep climbs but don’t expect a nice dirt trail as it’s mostly rocks. Nice views along echo lake.

hiking
2 days ago

Great view at the end. Take an invigorating shower under the small waterfall. Be prepared for lots of rubble.

Beautiful hike. Would do it again.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful hike. Lower and upper lake taxi tour is a fun extra. Hiked the PCT to Tamarak lack last year. There was still a lot of snow so we trekked back earlier than expected. Will do this one again for sure!

hiking
3 days ago

Amazing hike, did this about 5 years ago. Made it to the top in shorts. It was freezing at the top with some snowpack (June). Beautiful terrain...lakes, forest, granite expanses, wildflowers, switchbacks to the top. Stunning view of the lake on clear days. We met an adorable and extremely friendly chipmunk on the ascent. Fabulous hike, one of the best in Tahoe!

Absolutely must do this hike! Tough but fun, views are amazing!

on Mount Tallac Trail

hiking
5 days ago

I don’t think we were fully prepared for it this time. In the past we’ve started at Lily Lake, but this time we went the more popular route. There is a LOT of rock - most of the trail. We only got to 8665’ and it took us 6 hours. Just shy of the ridge. As soon as we turned back down we realized we were out of water. We did have an apple and some celery in our pack and rationed it out on our 4 1/2 hour trek back down. We were parched and sour when we got back. Fortunately we left some water in the car. The was rather hot for us and there was a smokey haze in the air from several fires, which didn’t help. Couldn’t see the lakes anyway. You gotta know your limits. We know ours. Next time we’ll use Lily Lake trailhead again — and hope for fresh air! Arnie: 73. Shirley: 58.

hiking
5 days ago

This was my favorite hike in Tahoe area, edging out the lake aloha and rubicon trails in my opinion. A very hard 10 miler though my Fitbit said 14. The talus fields are tough going up but tougher on the down trip. Wear full on boots since the rocks are brutal. The false summits tempt you to shortcut but that would be a mistake. Well marked and easy to follow. Would definitely do this hike again!

Great trail, easy and able to navigate. Will do it again!

hiking
6 days ago

Great day hike. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. Cathedral Lake acts as a good staging point before experiencing an increase in elevation gain traveling towards the mountain summit. The view at the top is worth the effort.

hiking
7 days ago

I attempted to pick up the trail in D.L. Bliss State Park, but the parking lot was full. A helpful ranger suggested I drive 1.6 miles to Eagle Point Campground as that lot "is never full." She was right about that. Bonus was that the Rubicon Trailhead was located just a few meters from the entrance to the day parking lot. Also, this meant that I was picking up the trail at the beginning, instead of in the middle at D.L. Bliss. As a regular hiker, I found the trail to be relatively easy to hike, just the distance and occasional climbs added to the difficulty. The scenery was beautiful! The beach areas could be crowded, but it was easy to navigate through the people. Well worth giving it a try... I'll be back to do it again!

7 days ago

Whether you're a first-time visitor or a regular, the Rubicon trail is a must! Walking at a leisurely pace with no breaks, it should take around 2.5 hours to walk one way, say, from D.L.Bliss SP to Vikingsholm. This route has more of a down- slope, and therefore your return trip will generally be a gradual upslope. If you don't feel like doing an out and back, you can do a one way with some planning. One time when we were with friends, we took two cars and parked one over at Emerald Bay and parked the other at DL Bliss. There is also a trolly/ shuttle service that makes stops from Tahoe City to South Lake Tahoe (Go to the Tahoe Transportation District website to see fares and schedules.) Know that by 9:30 am the parking lots around Emerald Bay are almost always full. More parking can be found at D.L. Bliss SP two miles away, and it even has an overflow parking lot located half a mile from the beach and Rubicon Trail that you may want to consider. My advice is to get to these places as early as possible to find parking and beat the crowds.

Nice trail. Beautiful views.

Great family hike. Takes about 30 minutes

hiking
8 days ago

Me and my wife did this trail this Saturday. There are big rocks on the trail, then after sometime there is gravely trail. It is hard with normal shoes because you have to put every step very carefully on the rocks so as not to slip. There is small waterfall at around 1 mile which is good to chill for a bit.

BONUS: Climb the rocks on the side of the waterfall and follow the stream, there is another pool filled with water worth seeing and dipping in. All in all a good experience.

PS. Do not park your car until you reach the parking lot at the trailhead, you might get lucky and find a parking right there. I saw some sedans climbing up that one lane road that leads up to the trailhead parking, so do not worry if you are not sure if your car will make it (I seriously though the road was small enough and filled with potholes that small sedans/hatchbacks cannot make it but I was wrong)!

A short hike to a beautiful lake to swim in.

hiking
9 days ago

Decided to tackle this hike today for my birthday. My friend and I met at the trail head at 8:30am, and the parking lot was already full. We got to the top around 11:30, had a bite to eat, took a bunch of photos, and made our way back down. The top was pretty crowded, not really the solitary experience I expected. My friend brought her dog, and he did really well, but he is a Tahoe dog and has tough feet and has done this hike before. We stopped at the lakes on the way back so the pup could get lots of water, and made it back to the parking lot just before 4pm. I am pretty fit, and the climb was still a doozy. Be prepared, wear sturdy shoes, bring lots of water and trail snacks, and listen to your body. Definitely made my birthday a memorable one!

Easy stroke to the best kept secret in Tahoe!!

hiking
10 days ago

A great day hike! I went alone starting at 8 am and made a day of it. With frequent stops for photos, it took me just under 3 hours to summit it, and about 2.5 to get down. If you are planning on going around now (August 2018), make sure to check the air quality. It got pretty hazy as I went up (which also really impacted the view, hence 4 stars not 5)! Definitely need a good boot or trail runner with a thick sole for grip and not getting poked by rocks, but I saw people climbing in old sneakers. Nevertheless, if you are a hiker and are in the SLT area, it's definitely worth the climb!

hiking
10 days ago

Loved it! It took us about 30 minutes to get to Eagle Lake and about 20 to get back down. It is a little strenuous in the beginning with lots of steps to climb but it’s a good, quick workout. The lake was warm enough to get into it and truly a hidden gem! It would be fun to take inflatable paddle boards and spend some time on the lake itself.

beautiful.

hiking
10 days ago

Great little hike with a great swimming lake at the end.
Parking is problematic as the Emerald Bay hi way traffics terrible.

Hard but worth it.

11 days ago

Wow. A great hike.

hiking
11 days ago

It took me (20) and my dad (60) 3 hours to get up and 2 hours 20 minutes to get down, with about a 40 minute break at summit. We started at 6:35 and met hardly anyone on our way up, whereas when we made the decent we came across almost 100 hikers headed up. I recommend a start no later than 7:30. We both love hiking and are both in decent shape. Once you make it over the rocky part and into the meadow area, you have about 35 more minutes until the summit (if you keep a good pace). This hike was a tremendous amount of fun! The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that it's awkward to rate the difficulty level. The first half is pretty standard, probably no more than a moderate hike! The second half (when you make it to the rocky area) becomes more of a level hard hike. Gorgeous views though! I drank about 2 liters of water, and my dad went through 3.

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