Explore the most popular dog friendly trails near Tahoma with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Did this as a day hike with a stutdy 9 year old and a daypack from Eagle Falls starting at 8am in mid July. Steady climb for about 2 miles with great landscapes. As you descend towards the Velma lakes the trail crosses a stream, which I could imagine being easy to miss or inaccessible with higher flows. The trail gets within 200-300 yds of Middle Velma, you have to scramble through boulders to get to the shore which isnt too tough. Tried to fly fish the lake in a few spots but saw nothing. Heard the park service is clearing fish from these lakes to restore Yellow Legged Frogs, fwiw. Bring insect repellant. Passed many backpackers who had overnighted at Dicks, Fontanellis and elsewhere.

10 days ago

This has to be be one of the most challenging hikes I’ve completed in some time. We stopped at the Forrest Service station nearby and got good directions to the trailhead from “Big Mike”. The Forrest staff are the best!
The couple spots that weren’t going straight up gave excellent vistas of Lake Tahoe and the Rim. At the top to the west were a number of mountain lakes in the valley below. It was hot going up but the peak rewarded us with cool breeze off Lake Tahoe.

21 days ago

Nice hike with some great views and plenty of places to pull off and enjoy. Lots of people if you get there anytime after 8-9am. Couldn't make it all the way, as there was still snow on the trail. Parking at the trailhead or along the road.

It’s a bit of a challenge to the top but you’re rewarded with a beautiful 360 degree view of the lake once you make it to the top of the ledge. I made the mistake of not wearing the right shoes and had more trouble on the descent than the way up because of it.

26 days ago

Definitely a thigh burner, but well worth the climb.

27 days ago

This hike was a ball buster but totally worth it. It was very steep and easy to loose the trail the closer you get to the top. But keep going and climb to the top it’s 100% worth it. It took us about 4 hours to complete the hike.

1 month ago

One of the best short hikes I’ve ever done. Very steep in certain places and had snow up to my knees but it was worth every second of it. I highly recommended this trail for anyone looking to get their heart rate up and get some incredible views.

1 month ago

question! I will be doing this hike in August. So no snow... how important is hiking shoes vs. nikes? thanks!

Hiked to the top 5/30/18. Still a ton of snow at the top which may have made it easier compared to some of the review. The angle of the last 200 yards to the top is well over 45 degrees.

I would recommend picking a day with little wind. I really felt relieved when the gusts died down and I was still clinging to the top!

Fantastic views. Very busy with a lot of dogs. Wonderful hike.

Decent trail a lot of ice in December
Would be great in spring

8 months ago

I had last climbed this peak in 1975. It was like seeing an old friend again. I admit that I was in much better shape back then so I did not remember this hike as being so steep. It was a tough climb but the view was awesome and the summit pinnacle is a fun class 3 climb.

Great hike, fantastic views.

The end view is worth it, but the snow makes it challenging the last 1/3 because you're just trying not to slip/fall. It was much easier to go down than I thought. if you embrace the "controlled fall" and "ski" (in my shoes) or sled (on my butt) down the snow parts - it's really fun/fast.

Recommend bringing gloves and waterproof pants for the snow part. Did it in trail runners, but would have been much better in water proof hiking boots and long socks.

10 months ago

Difficult trail , it took me almost 2 hours climb up. I tried to find the best -easy way to climb the rocks to the peak , but there isnt an easy way , use what ever works best for you.
The hike is mostly in the woods , no special views , but once you reach the top - you are rewarded with a magnificent view of lake Tahoe and the mountains and lakes around !!! it sure is worth the climb !!!

10 months ago

Amazing, strenuous, but amazing! Progressively increase in the grade so be prepared.

Hard hike but incredible views.

11 months ago

This trail was definitely a lot harder that expected. Pretty mellow for the first part but about half way up it gets really steep. the 360 view at the top as well as the sister peaks are incredible.

11 months ago

This hike is not for anyone looking for an easy or laid back hike. The trail isn't marked well but using my app made it a lot easier. Once you get right under the mountain it's essentially a rock climb up a giant hill for about 30 mins depending on your pace. Hydrate because coming back down it is really easy to trip and slide and takes about an hour because it's so steep. This past winter made the trail pretty rough and a few trees actually fell over and crashed about 10 feet from where I was standing. The view at the top is unbelievable and absolutely worth every step. Just don't pretend it's going to be an easy climb. Lots of water and food for the top!

That's quite a bit of elevation climb for the distance! And when you throw a high elevation like that into the mix, it makes it even more challenging. But it's worth it. The view from the top is amazing. There was still a little bit of snow at the very top, and there was a stream that had a steady flow. We drank water out of it. Nothing like fresh mountain spring!

There was plenty of shade and resting spots along the way.

Really strenuous but so fun, steep uphill almost the entire way, still snow at the very top as of July 30th this year! The view is stunning at the top!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Started from the campsite near Inspiration Point. Parking was a mess. Trail is pretty steep for the first 2 miles or so from the campsite parking until you reach the turn off to Maggie's Peak. 4.5 miles to Velma from this trailhead.

Trail was almost entirely clear of snow all the way to Middle Velma. We ended up staying the night at the "small" lake marked on the map right before Middle Velma. We were not able to continue on the main trail to the main lake due to high water levels. LOTS of water this time of year. And mosquitos. Still, beautiful trail in a stunning area of California.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The first 3/4 mile or so is a nice warm up and the trail was easy to follow. Then it gets very steep, I had to keep checking my all trails app to see if I was still on the trail because it gets hard to follow. The last 1/4 mile there's still a lot of snow and I almost turned around because I was only wearing tennis shoes and it was nearly impossible to climb. I wouldn't recommend doing this trail until the snow melts unless you have crampons for the last bit because it wasn't fun trying to climb when your slipping. The views at the top are awesome though!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Breathtaking views the entire time. Uphill and then extremely steep in snow for the last mile or so at least this time of year. My dog had the time of her life and the view from the top makes it all worth it.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Completed this hike yesterday - the last 3/4 mile has heavy snow pack making the steep climb difficult but not impossible with standard hiking shoes and good balance.

Great views at the summit - the final scramble up the peak was the icing on the cake! The view from the summit is unreal!

Definitely a difficult climb this time of year!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This was an epic view. It was pretty mellow at the beginning with breaks of flatness. I was kind of shocked how it wasn't so steep but I spoke to soon. once you get to the last mile it is straight up hill. It definantly tested my edurance. I summited around 630 for sunset. It was absolutly beautiful and so worth the hike up. Unfortunately the way down was in the dark and we immediately lost the trail. We ended up bush wacking for 3 hours until we hit a private property road and made it to the main drag. Do not lose the trail if you fo down at night it was not enjoyable :)

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Hiked a couple days ago. It is quite a climb (2000 feet) in I would say, closer to 2.2 miles each way (out and back). Forrest with a pitch to rocks with same. Great for dogs until the last 40 feet when you are hand over hand to get to the peak. Views are spectacular! Be careful up top, not a lot of room to hang out! Bring food, water, sticks very helpful. Lightly traveled.
Trailhead at end of Highland Dr (off Highview) in Rubicon neighborhood.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Wife and I hiked to Upper Velma for an overnight trip. This was our first backpacking trip in the Tahoe region and my wife's first backpack trip ever. We started on a Monday because I knew the trailhead would be crazy on the weekend. We got there too late (10am) to get a parking spot in either of the parking lots. Show up at dawn if you don't want to park on the street!

The first 100 yards is very busy as tourists walk to the bridge and pool just above Eagle Falls. Quite a few day hikers going up and down from Eagle Lake which a mile from the trailhead. Eagle Lake is gorgeous and lots of people were swimming. It was busy and I didn't want to rest around all the noise so we didn't stay long. The lakes and streams feeding Lake Tahoe seem to be much warmer than Tahoe itself.

Lots of climbing in the first 2.5 miles! After that the hike is more moderate. One highlights of the trail is the butterscotch-scented Jeffrey pine that are scattered along the trail.

Views of Tahoe are few and narrow, but pretty. The higher you get the prettier the landscape is. At about 3.6 miles, just before you connect with the Bayview trail, you can leave the trail to a low dome of granite on the right. This point is visible from far below on the trail. Only from this dome can you see the waterfalls far below as water leaving the Velma Lakes cascades down toward Eagle Lake. It's only a hundred feet or so of rock hopping to get to this vantage point.

Another .9 miles brings you to the fork where you could go left to Dick's Lake (next time!). From there it's 1.2 miles to the fork at the Velmas. Upper to the left, Middle ahead, and Lower leaving the trail to the right.

The trail continues west of Upper Velma and disappears when you reach the outflow from Lake Fontanillis. Maps show the trail continuing to the next stream but we only found remnants of the trail in a few spots. We went around the south edge of the lake and found a site not far from the stream that comes in from the southeast. Upper Velma's primary source is the waterfall leaving Lake Fontanillis. This waterfall is a must see! There's a nice pool to dip in at the bottom of the cascade. Tuesday morning we climbed the smooth granite slope up to Lake Fontanillis for an amazing view of the Upper Velma Valley with Tahoe beyond.

Carry bug spray if you are hiking in the summer. There are a lot of lush areas and even the drier areas have skeeters! A worker at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center warned us that the Velma Lakes all have lots of mosquitoes.

I gave this trail four stars because it is crowded on the lower portion. Some of this busy area is narrow and difficult to move for others to pass. The trail is in excellent shape though it is easy to lose in places where it traverses smooth granite slopes. Many have shortcut the trail in rocky places, so we tried to help with trail maintenance and redefine edges. Some trail edges are lined with rocks which definitely helps stay on the path!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Straight up the whole way to the top but rewarded with amazing views. No real switchbacks to speak of. Highly recommended.

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