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.

High return on investment in this short hike to a beautiful lake. Right now there’s a lot of packed snow and some ice on the second half of the trail. Micro spikes were helpful.

This was a nice hike with a variety of terrain: quiet wooded trail (North/Northwest), steep and rocky (West), and paved road along nice cabins (South/Southeast). As others have noted it can be hard to follow in places. Specifically about half way around the West side we lost the trail and you eventually find a paved road going past the firehouse and other cabins. Also about half way around the East side you leave the road and walk through some private property to again find the trail. It’s really helpful to have an offline map downloaded on your phone to stay on track.

There was a little bit of packed snow and ice in places but otherwise conditions were very good.

This is the second time I have been on the trail. Two days ago the weather was perfect but yesterday it warmed up and the snow melted and turned to ice. The entire trail was icy and dangerous. We made it there and back and still had fun but just a warning to be careful after warm days!

Still beautiful and would do again!

hiking
5 days ago

I loved everything about this trail. It's right behind Emerald Bay and you can view the Vikingsholm at the bottom. The drive alone was worth it. The trail was easily accessible even with the snow. It lead to Eagle Lake which was entirely frozen over. The trip took about an 1.5 hrs, and we took our time and made a few stops! Really enjoyed this trail and would love to do it again.

backpacking
8 days ago

Great backpacking trip! Although trail is hard to find at times! Beautiful at top!

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful hike with incredible views of the lake the entire way. Would definitely recommend it! Went during first week of February and the trail was snow covered but easily walkable in regular hiking boots (though notably this was after a week of no snow and 50 degree temps). Note that you have to turn off the main road and drive an additional 1+ mile to get to the actual trail head- would need all wheel drive to do this, at least during the winter. Otherwise can park in the lot right off the paved road and walk to the trail head. You have to have a Sno-Park permit to park there between November and May. This can be purchased at nearby gas stations or online and print in advance ($5 for day pass).

Such a beautiful and tranquil place! It took me 1.5hrs to hike 2mi. Not because it was difficult- by any means- but, because I kept stopping to soak in the beauty of the environment! Listening to dogs splash in the water, ducks quacking, birds chirping, dip my toes in the cold lake water and filled my lungs with fresh mountain air! It was amazing. Not too many people, either. The trail itself was all parts snowy, muddy, dry, contained puddles, etc. I did this hike in tights and hiking shoes. Definitely recommend if you want to have quiet day hike.

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.

snowshoeing
21 days ago

I went around the lake on 1/28/18. I was hopeful about the snow from a couple days prior but had to take my snowshoes off after about 10 minutes. There’s not enough snow for them to be necessary. This lake is a gem, you don’t have to hike long before seeing amazing views! Definitely recommend!

Great for a walk with a baby carrier

hiking
1 month ago

This was a beautiful and fairly easy trail. Most of the beginning is uphill, with lots of stone steps that are covered in icy snow right now. We got lucky because the trail was fairly easy to see even though it had just snowed the day before. The lake is completely frozen over right now, so it’s definitely a beautiful sight. Would highly recommend!

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing views, great trail. We hiked this from Carson pass and it was about 12-14 miles total. Even in the middle of summer, there were snow here and there and it got pretty cold at night. During the day it was great and people were coming up to fish in the lake. Beautiful spot, we will be going back

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike once we were on the path but it is hard to find the path.

hiking
1 month ago

We walked this trail last summer with our little ones in the backpack carriers. It was beautiful and the lake itself was perfect for the babies to play in.

Great trail. Decently challenging, but the destination is rewarding. We spent our first night at Aloha, and the next 4 at Susie

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike with views of Tahoe and Eagle Lake. The lake itself was still frozen and was stable to walk out on. The trail has some extremely icy patches, with the worst section right after the bridge crossing at Eagle Falls - make sure you have hiking boots and take it carefully!

Really great moderate hike, beautiful views in the meadow and of the lake. The lake was frozen when we got there, ice was thick enough for several meters in for us and the dog to walk. The way up was snowy and icy - having microspikes helped basically the entire way. To the lake and back took about 3hrs, and we took our time up.

Very beautiful hike,but need to be careful with icy paths.

Beautiful hike but as others have said below - the trail is not marked. Starting at the trailhead and going counter clockwise, we made it all the way around the lake in 3 hours, but we were going pretty fast as the sun was going down. A little icy in some parts but once you get to the road past the rock gullies/creek it's all a road. Would be a better hike in summer.

Make sure to wear micro-spikes or similar if you’re doing a winter hike. It gets icy! Worth it to go to the vista and out to the lake, but you’re asking for a broken arm if you don’t have spikes!

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