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Located 200 miles east of San Francisco and 45 miles west of Reno, the Lake Tahoe Basin abounds with year round mountain sports. The Tahoe region hosts one of the most diverse ranges of climbing in the US. You will find everything from well protected sport routes to alpine classics all within an hours drive.


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Hiking Trails
National Forests belong to a variety of users. Trails are shared by hikers, horses and mountain bikes. Please use caution and courtesy when encountering another user. Enjoy







Month Morn Avg. Aft Avg. Nite Avg.
Jan 28º 35º 28º
Feb 24º 38º 29º
March 27º 29º 32º
April 35º 53º 42º
May 46º 60º 45º
June 48º 70º 51º
July 53º 77º 61º
August 55º 79º 62º
Sept 46º 71º 57º
Oct 41º 66º 46º
Nov 36º 54º 40º
Dec 31º 40º 23º
Rubicon Trail from D.L. Bliss State Park to Emerald Bay
This trail is suitable for children and swimming.
(NOTE: Vikingsholm up to Highway 89 us a steep mile but the hearty can return along the highway instead of doubling back on the trail.) Handicap accommodations are available with advance reservation. State Park fee: $5 per vehicle. No dogs are allowed on the trails in state parks. Call (530) 525-7077 for information.
Description: Easy. Nine miles round trip with 200 feet elevation gain. The Rubicon Trail is easiest from D.L. Bliss State Park to Vikingsholm in Emerald Bay and back. Fee per vehicle at Bliss Park. Fee for guided Vikingsholm tours, June-Labor Day.
Directions: On Hwy... 89 10 miles north of the South Tahoe Y and 16 miles south of the Tahoe City Y. Drive into the park to the Calawee Cove parking lot at the edge of the lake.

Eagle Falls/Eagle Lake
This trail is suitable for children, swimming & dogs are allowed.
Description: Easy. Two miles round trip with 400 feet elevation gain. You will need a wilderness permit for this hike. This is one of the easiest yet most spectacular hikes in the area.The hike is only about 2 miles round trip to Eagle Lake (only about 1/3 mile to the falls); the terrain varies from steep to flat and crosses beautiful Eagle Falls on a steel footbridge
Directions: On Hwy. 89 drive south 18 miles the Tahoe City Y or 8 miles north of the South Tahoe Y.

Cascade Falls
This trail is suitable for children, swimming & dogs are allowed.
Description: Easy. One and a half miles round trip, some up and down, but little elevation gain. The trail starts behind the wilderness permit sign-up board. The trail dips then climbs again until the until Lake Tahoe and Cascade Lake are both visible.
Directions: On Hwy... 89 drive south 18 miles the Tahoe City Y or 10 miles north of the South Tahoe Y to the Bayview Campground and trailhead, opposite Emerald Bay Inspiration Point.

Mount Tallac
This trail is suitable for dogs, has notable flowers and is a peak climb.
Description: Strenuous. Ten miles round trip, with 3,300 feet elevation gain. Wilderness permit required. Climbing Mount Tallac to 9,735 feet is the experience of a lifetime, for not only have you achieved a true peak climb, but the view is unmatched anywhere.
Directions: Drive 3.9 miles north from the South Tahoe Y on Hwy... 89 to road 1306A. The trailhead is one mile up the road.


Fallen Leaf Lake to Angora Lakes Resort
This trail is suitable for children, has notable flowers and swimming.
Description: Easy. One half mile from Angora Lakes parking lot with a 160 feet elevation gain. Moderate. One and a half miles from Fallen Leaf to Angora Lakes with 1,120 feet elevation gain. The trail leaves from the church. The hike has many rewards, including unsurpassed views of Fallen Leak Lake and Lake Tahoe.
Directions: Drive south 4.6 miles from Hwy... 89 on Fallen Leaf Road. Park at the Marina parking lot. Walk along the shore and frontage road until you come to the church . See directions in the text for Angora Lakes parking lot.


Heavenly Vista Tahoe
This trail is suitable for children, as well as a peak climb.
Description: First half mile easy, then moderate to strenuous. Two miles round trip with a 1,000 feet elevation gain. This is a "must do" hike for anybody who has never seen the views from Heavenly’s ski slopes.
Directions: Fee per person for tram ride. Reduced price after 5pm. Take Ski Run Boulevard south to Needle Peak and follow signs to Heavenly Ski Resort parking. The tram is at the north end of the parking lot.

Pacific Crest Trail at Echo Lakes
This trail is suitable for children and swimming.
Description: Easy. Two and three quarter miles to Upper Echo Lake. Less than 100 feet elevation gain. This is a perfect hike for a family with small children. The trail starts across the dam and goes along the north side of the lake.
Directions: Fee for water taxi. Drive 8.9 miles west on U.S. 50 from the South Tahoe Y to Echo Lakes Rd. Drive north about one mile then turn left and follow signs to Echo Lakes. Park only where allowed.

Emerald Bay ~ Vikingsholm
Trail starts at the parking area on the north side of Emerald Bay, on Highway 89. It's a wide, well-maintained trail, but fairly steep, about 2? miles round trip. At the bottom of the trail is a picnic area, as well as world-famous Vikingsholm, a replica of a Scandinavian castle.

Glacier Meadow Loop
A very short, self-guided nature trail that begins and ends at the Eastbound I-80 rest stop on Donner Summit. This is a relaxing stroll with signs along the trail explaining how glacial action carved and polished the area.

Loch Leven Lakes
Three beautiful glacial tarns make up the Loch Leven group. A well-graded trail climbs 3 miles to the first lake and then reaches two more in the next few miles. The island-dotted lakes are beautiful and excellent for swimming. Trailhead: Big Bend Exit off I-80. The parking lot is 1/8 mile east of the Visitor Center. A good hike if you're headed for Sacramento or the Bay Area at day's end.

Lower Lola Montez Lake
From I-80 west of Truckee, take the Soda Springs exit. Make two quick rights, passing the fire station, to the trailhead and parking area. Follow the trail north until you come to a road that will take you across Castle Creek (may cause some wet feet in springtime). Follow road about ? mile to a trail which veers to the right. Another ? mile ahead, the trail rejoins the road. Continue climbing on the road about 1 mile until you reach a flat, open meadow where the road ends. The trail begins in the meadow but may be difficult to follow due to overgrowth. At the fork in the meadow, bear right to go to the lake, which is about ? mile ahead. There are campsites and fishing. This is an easy 6-mile round-trip hike. Much of the trail is on private property; hikers are requested to stay on the trail and observe the rights of landowners.

Lower Lola Montez Lake
From I-80 west of Truckee, take the Soda Springs exit. Make two quick rights, passing the fire station, to the trailhead and parking area. Follow the trail north until you come to a road that will take you across Castle Creek (may cause some wet feet in springtime). Follow road about 1/4 mile to a trail which veers to the right. Another 1/4 mile ahead, the trail rejoins the road. Continue climbing on the road about 1 mile until you reach a flat, open meadow where the road ends. The trail begins in the meadow but may be difficult to follow due to overgrowth. At the fork in the meadow, bear right to go to the lake, which is about 1/4 mile ahead. There are campsites and fishing. This is an easy 6-mile round-trip hike. Much of the trail is on private property; hikers are requested to stay on the trail and observe the rights of landowners.


Marlette Lake
Trail starts near Spooner Lake Picnic Area, at the junction of Highway 28 and 50, Nevada (green metal gate on east side of 28). It's about 5 miles each way to the lake but it's mostly mild terrain (one full day will do it). Years ago, its water was diverted to Incline Village via flume and used to shoot logs through a tunnel to Washoe Valley for use in the Virginia City mines. (no fishing.)

Shirley Lake
It's in Squaw Valley and the trail starts at the end of Squaw Peak Road. (There are numerous trails which follow the creek up to Shirley Lake; this is one of them.) It follows Squaw Creek about 21/2 miles each way to Shirley Lake, passing gorgeous waterfalls and canyon boulders. (Top of tram to Shirley Lake adds considerable distance.) Going uphill, stay to the left of the creek; going downhill, stay to the right. The trail diverges and disappears at times but just keep following the creek and you'll get there. Carry water. The hike is somewhat difficult and takes 21/2 - 3 hours. Wear appropriate clothing and shoes.

Summit Lake
From I80 take Donner Summit Rest Area exit and park. Just beyond the picnic tables behind the building are trail signs for Summit and some longer trails.

Tunnel Creek Station
Trail road starts at Nevada Highway 28, across from Hidden Beach, about 1 mile past Ponderosa Ranch (no sign, look for gate). A steep trail road, about 1? miles each way, at the ruins of the western portal of the old log flume tunnel. Limited parking along Highway 28.