Explore the most popular 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.

hiking

views

forest

nature trips

trail running

walking

lake

dogs on leash

wild flowers

wildlife

birding

kid friendly

mountain biking

backpacking

dog friendly

camping

snowshoeing

river

no dogs

waterfall

fishing

beach

horseback riding

South Lake Tahoe, California Map
VIEW FULL MAP

amazing views

Gorgeous lake, easy trail at campground. Great birdwatching area, I saw Western Tanagers. Can be crowded at times.

Worth the 10.2 mile hike. The view is breathtaking! Definitely would go again.

Fantastic hike! The meadows at the end of summer are mostly yellow and dead, but the lake was fantastic and secluded. The foot traffic is very light, and we swam in the lake to islands. The parking for the hike is kind of hard to find because you need to follow a very small road down from highway 89.

hiking
1 day ago

Challenging and scenic hike but well worth it!
It took us (31yr old/29yr old) about 5hours (we took a few breaks for food and pictures) to reach the summit, and about 3 hours to get down. The hike goes along side Fallen leaf lake and has many spectacular views (a few smaller lakes/ponds) as you make your way to the tippytop for the ultimate view. Very rewarding, but not for the casual hiker.
For comparison, I would say the hike to get to the base of Half Dome was about as strenuous for me. A little less elevation gain, and distance on this hike. It surely felt as challenging because it had such a rocky path a majority of the trail.

Tips:
-Go early, the parking lot is small, and fills up quickly. We went on a weekday and the parking lot was filling up before 8am.
-Pack enough water, it will be a 8+ hour hike for most people. We packed two 32oz hydroflasks, and our 50 oz camelback backpack.

Tough hike up Tallac for me yesterday but worth it. Beautiful views of Echo Lake, Emerald Bay, Fallen Leaf and of course Tahoe. Very rocky. Took us about 3 1/2 hours to summit. We started at 10am. Totally recommend an early start like 6:30 or 7:00. My husband was my Sherpa on the way down because I had jello legs. “Going up is optional, getting down is mandatory.” Bring lots of water and a good attitude.

on Mount Tallac Trail

2 days ago

So worth it! My husband and I did this hike early this morning. It was tough to say the least. Took us about 5 hrs of moving time and a total of 6.5 hrs with breaks and such. You need lots of water and snacks. We saw people hiking in flip flops and converse tennis. Crazy! 90% of this trail is rock. It’s a killer on the feet. Absolutely gorgeous scenery, lakes, forest and some wild flowers still blooming. We also saw some snow when we reached the summit. There’s plenty of shaded areas to rest, but also lots of open areas. Sunblock is a must. I suggest hiking early to get a parking spot.

Loved this backpack trip. Did a slight detour up to gilmore lake for lunch then back on trail to Half moon. Fairly steady incline the whole way there, so if you like hiking up with little relief this is your trail. Had place to ourself and actually camped at Alta Morris, a bit of scrambling to get to alta and loss of trail but geographic markers and following edge of half moon lake helped with direction across granite boulders. Alta was well worth it, had the whole lake to ourselves, saw two couples in the distance the whole weekend.

hiking
3 days ago

Hike was easy with limited moderate spots. Just beautiful but what can I say, it is Tahoe! Go early to secure a parking spot.

trail running
3 days ago

This is an awesome out and back trail. My new favorite trail run in California! There are some rock stairs, roots sticking up and part of the trail that you’re squeezed around rocks next to the cliff that can slow you down but this trail is beautiful! You have to get to DL Bliss early and pay $10 to get to the best parking but it’s totally worth it! The views are incredible. It’s up and down and if you wear a suit you can jump in a few different places!

just beautiful.

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

trail running
3 days 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.

mountain biking
3 days ago

This was a great trail, well maintained with lots of berms and table jumps. You can pedal up on a good road which makes the climb very manageable. I would highly recommend this trail.

mountain biking
3 days ago

Rode this trail as a point to point. The beginning climb up from highway 89 was frustrating at points due to having to frequently get off the bike to walk up rock gardens. About 1.5 miles in the trail became more rideable and was enjoyable. The first couple miles of the downhill were very rocky and some sections required me to walk my bike again. The top section was a little too rocky for me as I felt my bike was taking a beating. The lower section was much smoother and had a faster flow.

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!

hiking
5 days ago

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
5 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
5 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
5 days ago

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

I did this as my first day and night in Desolation Wilderness. Short hike so I poked around for awhile after setting camp at Tamarack. Nice spot with crazy trees that I photographed for an hour before hanging out by the Lake processing water and meditating (aka napping).

Beautiful hike. Would do it again.

hiking
7 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
7 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!

We were aiming for Aloha but decided to head down to Lake Of The Woods en route. So glad we did! Despite all the smoke from the CA fires, it was a beautiful lake that we pretty much had to ourselves :) I can’t wait to do it again on a clear day! Rocky trail would benefit from hiking poles....

on Mount Tallac Trail

hiking
8 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
8 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!

I hiked this in late July. Although this isn't a long hike, there is no established trail and it is very steep. The view from the top is excellent and you can add your name to the logbook stashed in the ammo can at the summit. I did see some bear sign around the meadow, but not on the slopes, just be aware when you are close to the highway. One other point of note, there aren't many people on the trail, only 3 cars at the trailhead and I saw no one during my Tuesday hike.

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

Load More