Trails by Region

North & East Shore Trails

  • State Lookout
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Elevation: 7,017′
    • Mileage (one-way): ½ miles
      • From Highway 28 on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, turn north on Reservoir Drive, just east of the old Tahoe Biltmore Casino. Turn right on Lakeshore Avenue and left on Forest Service Road 1601 (by the iron pipe gate). Park in the parking lot just below the lookout.
      • During the summer the lookout is staffed with knowledgeable volunteers. Superb views of the lake can be seen through the free telescopes located here. A short self-guided nature trail, located by the lookout, explains the history of the north shore of Lake Tahoe.
  • Prey Meadows / Skunk Harbor
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Elevation: 6,200’/6,800′
    • Mileage (one-way): 1½ miles
      • Take Highway 28 from Highway 50 north approximately 2 miles. Look for an iron pope gate on the west side of the highway. Park in one of the turnouts along the highway and do not block the gate.
      • Snow free in early spring, this is a great walk through a mixed conifer forest with filtered views of Lake Tahoe along the way. Look for the remains of an old railroad grade along the way, built in the 1870’s as part of the network to supply timber to Virginia City. When you reach a fork in the road, you have two options. The left fork leads to Prey Meadows which is blanketed with many varieties of wildflowers in the spring. The right fork leads you to Skunk Harbor, a small picturesque cove which offers great swimming and sunbathing in the summer.
  • Marlette Lake
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 7,000’/8,000′
    • Mileage (one-way): 5 miles
      • Park at the Spooner Lake Trailhead, located in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, just north/west of the Highway 50/28 junction. A parking fee is charged. Dogs are allowed on leash.
      • A moderate five mile uphill hike leads you through picturesque North Canyon, lined with aspens, to Marlette Lake Dam. No fishing is allowed a Marlette Lake because it is a fish hatchery.
  • Rim Trail – North
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 7,000’/8,600′
    • Mileage (one-way): 5 miles to Marlette Lake, 13 miles to Tunnel Creek
      • Take Highway 50 east approximately ½ mile from the junction of Highway 50 and 28. Parking is located just beyond the summit along the north side of the highway.
      • This trail provides wonderful views of the Carson Valley as well as glimpses of Lake Tahoe along a forested trail. Just before Snow Peak, the trail forks. The left fork leads you down steep switchbacks to the road to Marlette Lake. The right fork eventually leads you to Tunnel Creek Road.
  • Rim Trail – South
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 8,560’/8,800′
    • Mileage (one-way): 2 miles to Duane Bliss Peak, 3 miles to South Camp Peak, 4 miles to Genoa Peak, 12 miles to Highway 207 (Kingsbury Grade)
      • Park at the Spooner Summit Rest Area located along Highway 50.
      • The trail begins behind the Nevada Department of Transportation building. Several Views of the Carson Valley as well as glimpses of Lake Tahoe can be seen along this forested trail. It is possible to climb Duane Bliss Peak (8,658′), South Camp Peak (8,866′) or Genoa Peak (9,150′) by traversing cross country.
  • Mt. Rose
    • Difficulty: Strenuous
    • Elevation: 8,700’/10,778′
    • Mileage (one-way): 6 miles
      • Take Highway 431 (Mt. Rose Hwy.) north of Incline Village. Park at the trailhead located one mile south of the summit.
      • Mt. Rose (10,778′), one of the highest peaks near Lake Tahoe, offers excellent views of the lake, the city of Reno and the surrounding area. Follow a dirt road for three miles through a Lodgepole cloaked forest interspersed with mule ears and sagebrush. In the spring, a lush meadow at the halfway point is filled with lupine, paintbrush and larkspur. The last two miles follow slippery switchbacks to the ridge line. Write your name in the log book located at the summit to show the world you made it!

South Shore Trails

  • Moraine Trail
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Elevation: 6,360’/6,410′
    • Mileage (one-way): 1 mile
      • Stroll along a relatively flat trail through the forest and along the shore of picturesque Fallen Leaf Lake. Take Highway 89 north approximately 3 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Road. Continue approximately 2/3 of a mile to Fallen Leaf Campground. Drive through the campground and park just before campsite #75 on the right. There is no fee for day use. Look for the trailhead sign near the parking area. In the winter, when the campground is closed, you must park just beyond Fallen Leaf Campground off of Fallen Leaf Lake Road and walk to the trailhead.
  • Angora Lakes Trail
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Elevation: 7,200’/7,470′
    • Mileage (one-way): ½ mile to Angora Lakes
      • An easy ½ mile hike leads to two lakes framed by cliffs. Swimming and fishing are popular activities. Summers are crowded, so arrive early. Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Take Highway 89 north approximately 3 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Lake Road and turn left. Turn left at the first paved road. Continue to Forest Service Road 12N14 and turn right. Watch for bicyclists along this road. Continue past Angora Lookout to the road’s end at the parking lot.
  • Tallac Historic Site
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Elevation: Flat
    • Mileage (one-way): .3 mile on Lake of the Sky Trail
      • Step back into the past and explore the personalities, events and summer homes of turn-of-the-century Tahoe landowners. The trail begins from the Kiva Picnic Area and is accessible to persons with disabilities. The site can also be reached from the Lake of the Sky Trail that begins at the Lake Tahoe Visitor Center.
  • Echo Lakes Trail
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 7,420’/8,430′
    • Mileage (one-way): 2½ miles to NW corner of Upper Echo, 4 miles to Tamarack, 5 miles to Lucille and Margery, 5 miles to Lake of the Woods, 6 miles to Aloha
      • See a variety of alpine lakes on this moderate trail. Take Highway 50 to Echo Summit and turn onto Johnson Pass Road. Stay left and the road will lead you to the parking area by Lower Echo Lake. For a short walk, hike to the far end of Upper Echo Lake. A longer hike leads you to one of the many lakes farther down the trail. A boat taxi operated in the summer by Echo Lakes Resort cuts three miles off your trip. A nominal fee is charged for this service. A wilderness permit is required.
  • Glen Alpine Trail
    • Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
    • Elevation: 6,560’/9,735′
    • Mileage (one-way): 2 miles to Grass Lake, 4 miles to Susie, 5 miles to Heather, 6 miles to Aloha, 4½ miles to Half Moon, 5½ miles to Alta Morris, 6 miles to Tallac (strenuous)
      • Many different hikes can be taken from this trailhead. For a short walk, try the 2 mile hike to Grass Lake. Another hike to Lake Aloha leads you past a small waterfall, a beautiful meadow and three alpine lakes. A third option is a moderate hike to Half Moon, Alta Morris or Gilmore lakes. If Mt. Tallac is your goal, the Glen Alpine Trail offers a more moderate approach. Take Highway 89 north approximately 3 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Lake Road. Watch for bicyclists and other cars on this narrow, one-lane road. Continue until you see the Glen Alpine trailhead sign and turn left. Trailhead parking is across from Lily Lake. A wilderness permit is required.
  • Clark Trail
    • Difficulty: Strenuous
    • Elevation: 6,420’/7,470′
    • Mileage (one-way): 1.6 miles to Upper Angora
      • For the more adventurous, this strenuous hike can provide some solitude. Traversing through loose shale up a steep grade, the trail ends at Angora Lakes. Take Highway 89 north from South Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Lake Road. Parking  is located at the Glen Alpine Trailhead described in the previous hike. From the parking area, walk back down the road to the junction of Fallen leaf Lake Road. Look for the small church to your right. A little post located behind the church marks the hard-to-find trailhead.
  • Mt. Tallac Trail
    • Difficulty: Strenuous
    • Elevation: 6,480’/9,735′
    • Mileage (one-way): 1.7 miles to Floating Isle, 2½ miles to Cathedral, 5 miles to Tallac
      • Providing a spectacular view of Fallen Leaf Lake, Lake Tahoe and Desolation Wilderness, this strenuous hike is well worth the effort. The first part of the trail to Floating Island and Cathedral lakes is moderate and can be enjoyed by the novice hiker. Beyond Cathedral Lake, the trail becomes steep and strenuous as it continues up the front face of Mt. Tallac. The trailhead is located approximately 3½ miles north of South Lake Tahoe on Highway 89. Look for the Mt. Tallac Trailhead sign directly across from the entrance to Baldwin Beach and turn left down the dirt road. Continue to the trailhead parking. Weather conditions can change rapidly in the Sierra mountains; bring a jacket, carry lots of water and allow plenty of time for your trip. A wilderness permit is required.

West Shore Trails

  • Cascade Creek Falls
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Elevation: 6,800’/6,910′
    • Mileage (one-way): 1 mile
      • Spectacular views of the 200 foot high falls and Cascade Lake can be seen from this short trail. For best viewing try springtime, when runoff from snow melt is high. Take Highway 89 north from South Lake Tahoe approximately 8 miles to the Bayview Campground across from inspiration Point. Parking is Located at the far end of the campground.
  • Sugar Pine Point State Park
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Elevation: Flat
    • Mileage (one-way): .7 mile
      • Contact state park rangers to obtain maps of the many trails located here. The park charges a parking fee for day use.
      • While you’re there don’t miss a tour of the historic Ehrman Mansion, one of the most beautiful historic summer homes on Lake Tahoe. Open for guided tours (July through Labor Day) from 10am to 4pm. Tours cost $2.00 per adult and $1.00 for children 12 and under.
  • Page Meadows
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Elevation: 8,560’/7,240′
    • Mileage (one-way): 13.4 miles
      • In the spring, a myriad of beautiful wildflowers can be seen in this large meadow. From Highway 89, two miles south of Tahoe City, turn on Pineland Drive. Turn right on Forest Service Road 15N60 or 16N48 to get to the area. There are no designated trails.
  • Vikingsholm Trail
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Elevation: 6,230’/6,630′
    • Mileage (one-way): 1 mile
      • View an authentic replica of a Viking castle. Daily tours are given from mid-June through Labor Day. A nominal fee is charged. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the fabulous view of Emerald Bay and Fannette Island from the shoreline of this state park. Hike the short trail to Lower Eagle Falls which begins directly across from the castle. Pets are not allowed. Take Highway 89 north from South Lake Tahoe approximately 9 miles to the parking lot on the right. The parking lot fills up quickly in the summer season, so arrive early.
  • Rubicon Trail
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 6,230’/6,580′
    • Mileage (one-way): 3.1 miles to Emerald Point, 5 miles
      • Dipping up and down along the shoreline of Lake Tahoe, this trail offers some of the most scenic views of the lake. Bring a swimsuit, towel and picnic lunch to enjoy a sunny day at one of the may quiet coves along the way. Take Highway 89 north 10 miles from South Lake Tahoe to D. L. Bliss State Park. There is a fee for day use parking. Pets are not allowed.
  • Meeks Bay Trail
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 6,240’/8,880′
    • Mileage (one-way): 4½ miles to Genevieve, 5 miles to Crag, 5.7 miles to Hidden, 5.9 miles to Shadow, 6.3 miles to Stony Ridge, 8 miles to Rubicon
      • This moderate hike takes you along the northernmost part of the unofficial Tahoe-Yosemite Trail. After following a road for approximately 1.3 miles, the trail passes a small spring, parallels Meeks Creek and continues upward into a forested valley. A chain of alpine lakes can be seen before the trail ascends 1,000 feet up a series of switchbacks leading to Phipps Pass. Take Highway 89  to the Meeks Bay Resort. Parking is located across the highway from the resort at a small dirt parking lot. Wilderness permit required.
  • Bayview Trail
    • Difficulty: Strenuous
    • Elevation: 6,910’/8,440′
    • Mileage (one-way): 1 mile Granite, 4 miles to Azure (x-co), 5 miles to Dicks
      • Offering magnificent views of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe, this steep trail leads you up the side of Maggie’s Peak into Desolation Wilderness. Stop at Granite Lake for a short rest along the way. In 2.7 miles this trail intersects with the Eagle Falls Trail. Corral and watering facilities for horses are available at the trail head. See “Cascade Creek Fall Trail” for directions. Wilderness permit required.
  • Eagle Falls
    • Difficulty: Moderate – Strenuous
    • Elevation: 6,600’/8,500′
    • Mileage (one-way): 1 mile to Eagle Lake, 4½ miles to Dicks, Upper & Middle Velmas, 5 miles to Fontanillis
      • Leading into the heart of Desolation Wilderness, this steep trail offers majestic views of the Sierra high country. Just a 20 minute walk, Eagle Lake is a popular short hike. A longer hike will lead you to the three Velmas, Dicks and Fontanillis lakes. Take Highway 89 north approximately 8 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Eagle Falls Picnic Area on the left. This is a very popular and congested area. Wilderness permit required.

Meiss Country Trails

  • Big Meadow Trail to Scotts Lake
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Elevation: 7,200’/8,000′
    • Mileage (one-way): 2½ miles
      • Follow directions to Round and Dardanelles Lake until you reach the Scotts Lake trail junction approx. ¼ mile after the tail begins. Here the trail climbs upward at a gradual pace through limber pine, Jeffrey pine, and fir, high above Big Meadow. A great hike in the fall, the trail travels through a beautiful aspen grove which opens into a valley covered with juniper and sagebrush. A short distance further, the trail turns into an old jeep road, leading to Scotts Lake.
  • Big Meadow Trail to Round Lake
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 7,200’/8,070′
    • Mileage (one-way): 2.7 miles
      • Take Hwy. 50 to Hwy. 89 to the Big Meadows parking lot on the left. Follow the trail at the lower end of the parking lot approx. 200 yards, where it intersect with the highway. Cross the highway cautiously and look for the trailhead signboard. The first ½ mile of this trail climbs steeply from the highway through Jeffrey pine and white fir to Big Meadow. After crossing the creek and a large meadow, the trail enters the cover of a Lodgepole cloaked forest. In another 1½ miles, the trail descends nearly 250′ along an aspen-covered bank to a junction. Take the left fork which leads by a wall of interesting volcanic rock. After another short climb up a small hill, the trail leads to Round Lake, Meiss Country’s largest lake. The brownish-green lake is a great place for a refreshing swim or for trying your hand a catching some cutthroat trout.
  • Big Meadow Trail to Dardanelles
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 7,200’/7,760′
    • Mileage (one-way): 3½ miles
      • Aspen and alder trees along the trail make this an exceptionally scenic hike during the fall. Follow directions from the previous hike trailhead. When  the trail forks approx. 1½ miles past Big Meadow, take the right fork. In less than a ¼ mile, take the unmarked trail to your left which crosses the creek. The trail winds though rolling hills and past willows before crossing two more streams. Look for the giant seven foot in diameter juniper along the way. A short climb up a small hill leads you to Dardanelles Lake, surrounded by picturesque granite cliffs on one side and flat granite shelves on the other.
  • Hwy. 88 to Meiss Lake
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 8,560’/8,320′
    • Mileage (one-way): 4 miles
      • Take Highway 50 south from South Lake Tahoe to Highway 89 and turn left. Continue to the intersection of Highway 89 and 88 and turn right. continue past the Carson Pass Sno-Park one mile, turn left on the dirt road and park in the dirt parking area. The trailhead is located on the other side of the highway just across from the parking area. Follow the trail up a hillside covered with mule ear and sagebrush to a saddle, providing views of the surrounding peaks. At this point the trail follows an old jeep route, crosses the Upper Truckee River and leads into a large meadow. Follow the path to the right ,6 miles down the gentle slopes to Meiss Lake. A shallow but scenic lake, Meiss is one of the warmest lakes in the Tahoe area, making it a great place for chest deep swimming. Fishing is not allowed in Meiss Lake.
  • Hwy. 88 to Showers Lake
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 8,560’/8,790′
    • Mileage (one-way): 5.1 miles
      • Follow directions to the trailhead from the previous hike. Showers Lake is the highest in the Upper Truckee River Basin. Follow the Pacific Crest Trail through expansive meadows with views of Round Top (10,381′), Elephant’s back (9,585′) and Red Lake Peak (10,063′). The trail begins by winding upward through a series of switchbacks for over a mile. After reaching a summit, the trail drops down a steep grade into the flatlands of Meiss Meadows, riddled by many streams in the springtime. At this point, the trail parallels an old jeep trail for about a mile. When you reach a junction, take the left fork which will eventually lead you up a moderate hill, covered with wildflowers in the spring. Reaching the crest, the trail descends to Showers Lake, one of the cooler lakes in the Tahoe area.
  • PCT from Hwy. 88 to Hwy. 50
    • Difficulty: Strenuous
    • Elevation: 8,560’/7,240′
    • Mileage (one-way): 13.4 miles
      • A challenging trip, great views of the Upper Truckee River Basin and Lake Tahoe reward the serious hiker. Two cars are needed for a day hike. Plan to leave one car in the Carson Pass area and one at the Echo Summit Sno-Park located on Highway 50. Follow directions from the previous hike to Showers Lake. The Pacific Crest Trail continues across the lake’s only outlet at the north end and then begins a steep ascent past an impressive, overhanging volcanic point. Gradually curving northward, the trail crosses numerous creeklets, traverses large meadows and follows forested crests with many ascents and descents. The trail eventually leads to the Echo Summit Sno-Park.

Meiss Country Trails

  • Big Meadow Trail to Scotts Lake
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Elevation: 7,200’/8,000′
    • Mileage (one-way): 2½ miles
      • Follow directions to Round and Dardanelles Lake until you reach the Scotts Lake trail junction approx. ¼ mile after the tail begins. Here the trail climbs upward at a gradual pace through limber pine, Jeffrey pine, and fir, high above Big Meadow. A great hike in the fall, the trail travels through a beautiful aspen grove which opens into a valley covered with juniper and sagebrush. A short distance further, the trail turns into an old jeep road, leading to Scotts Lake.
  • Big Meadow Trail to Round Lake
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 7,200’/8,070′
    • Mileage (one-way): 2.7 miles
      • Take Hwy. 50 to Hwy. 89 to the Big Meadows parking lot on the left. Follow the trail at the lower end of the parking lot approx. 200 yards, where it intersect with the highway. Cross the highway cautiously and look for the trailhead signboard. The first ½ mile of this trail climbs steeply from the highway through Jeffrey pine and white fir to Big Meadow. After crossing the creek and a large meadow, the trail enters the cover of a Lodgepole cloaked forest. In another 1½ miles, the trail descends nearly 250′ along an aspen-covered bank to a junction. Take the left fork which leads by a wall of interesting volcanic rock. After another short climb up a small hill, the trail leads to Round Lake, Meiss Country’s largest lake. The brownish-green lake is a great place for a refreshing swim or for trying your hand a catching some cutthroat trout.
  • Big Meadow Trail to Dardanelles
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 7,200’/7,760′
    • Mileage (one-way): 3½ miles
      • Aspen and alder trees along the trail make this an exceptionally scenic hike during the fall. Follow directions from the previous hike trailhead. When  the trail forks approx. 1½ miles past Big Meadow, take the right fork. In less than a ¼ mile, take the unmarked trail to your left which crosses the creek. The trail winds though rolling hills and past willows before crossing two more streams. Look for the giant seven foot in diameter juniper along the way. A short climb up a small hill leads you to Dardanelles Lake, surrounded by picturesque granite cliffs on one side and flat granite shelves on the other.
  • Hwy. 88 to Meiss Lake
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 8,560’/8,320′
    • Mileage (one-way): 4 miles
      • Take Highway 50 south from South Lake Tahoe to Highway 89 and turn left. Continue to the intersection of Highway 89 and 88 and turn right. continue past the Carson Pass Sno-Park one mile, turn left on the dirt road and park in the dirt parking area. The trailhead is located on the other side of the highway just across from the parking area. Follow the trail up a hillside covered with mule ear and sagebrush to a saddle, providing views of the surrounding peaks. At this point the trail follows an old jeep route, crosses the Upper Truckee River and leads into a large meadow. Follow the path to the right ,6 miles down the gentle slopes to Meiss Lake. A shallow but scenic lake, Meiss is one of the warmest lakes in the Tahoe area, making it a great place for chest deep swimming. Fishing is not allowed in Meiss Lake.
  • Hwy. 88 to Showers Lake
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Elevation: 8,560’/8,790′
    • Mileage (one-way): 5.1 miles
      • Follow directions to the trailhead from the previous hike. Showers Lake is the highest in the Upper Truckee River Basin. Follow the Pacific Crest Trail through expansive meadows with views of Round Top (10,381′), Elephant’s back (9,585′) and Red Lake Peak (10,063′). The trail begins by winding upward through a series of switchbacks for over a mile. After reaching a summit, the trail drops down a steep grade into the flatlands of Meiss Meadows, riddled by many streams in the springtime. At this point, the trail parallels an old jeep trail for about a mile. When you reach a junction, take the left fork which will eventually lead you up a moderate hill, covered with wildflowers in the spring. Reaching the crest, the trail descends to Showers Lake, one of the cooler lakes in the Tahoe area.
  • PCT from Hwy. 88 to Hwy. 50
    • Difficulty: Strenuous
    • Elevation: 8,560’/7,240′
    • Mileage (one-way): 13.4 miles
      • A challenging trip, great views of the Upper Truckee River Basin and Lake Tahoe reward the serious hiker. Two cars are needed for a day hike. Plan to leave one car in the Carson Pass area and one at the Echo Summit Sno-Park located on Highway 50. Follow directions from the previous hike to Showers Lake. The Pacific Crest Trail continues across the lake’s only outlet at the north end and then begins a steep ascent past an impressive, overhanging volcanic point. Gradually curving northward, the trail crosses numerous creeklets, traverses large meadows and follows forested crests with many ascents and descents. The trail eventually leads to the Echo Summit Sno-Park.
  • Tahoe Rim Trail

The Tahoe Rim Trail is one of the world’s premier trails and is marketed as a 165 mile loop trail. In reality, it is longer and for thru-hikers, you must include road sections. So, for planning purposes, the total mileage is closer to 164 miles.

It is a trail that offers something for everyoneHiking, horseback riding and skiing are allowed on all portions of the trail. Mountain biking is allowed on the trail with the exception of the wilderness areas, the section that is in Lake Tahoe, Nevada State Park and the the part that is in conjunction with the Pacific Crest Trail.  We have provided a very simple map to give you a general idea but we would highly encourage you to order the more detailed map from the Tahoe Rim Trail Store.   It is detailed enough to allow you to plan a safe adventure on the trail.  In addition if you have been hiking the TRT Association would appreciate feedback on the condition of the trail so that we can schedule maintenance if necessary. Be sure to check out the volunteer opportunities that are available.  Going on one of our backcountry work camps can be a great way to have a great vacation while giving back something to the TRTA.