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Hiking & Mountain Biking Information

Great scenery and plenty of hiking, mountain biking, & fishing can be found
in the forest and wilderness areas that surround Lake Tahoe.

  Tahoe's Ultimate Bicycling Guide

  Beautiful picures from a mountain bike trip on the Tahoe Rim Trail

  Check out Kevin's Hiking Page for a lot of great hiking information

  Check out the Lake Tahoe Biking Coalition site for a lot of great biking information

More Info:  Mountain Bike Trails

Emigrant Trail
Location: Truckee
Directions: Take exit 188B off I-80 and head north on Hwy 89.  Trailhead is just past the Prosser Creek Bridge on the right.  If you reach Hobart Mills Rd. you've gone too far.
Mileage (one-way): 22 - Easy/Moderate
Description: A rolling-hill, out-and-back singletrack ride.  Follows Prosser Creek then turns uphill to the left, crosses several dirt roads on its way to Stampede Reservoir.  Great ride for a novice with excellent views of the Sierra landscape.

Flume Trail
Location: Incline Village
Directions: Parking is at Spooner Lake day use area in the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park on Hwy 28 just north of the Hwy 50 junction on the East Shore.  Follow signs to the trailhead via the North Canyon Rd.
Mileage (one-way): 14 - Strenuous
Description: There are several mountain biking trails off the Flume Trail, but if you follow the Flume Trail the whole way you will be rewarded with magnificent views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra.  A shuttle bus at the northern end of the trail will take you back to Spooner Lake parking for $10.

Spooner to Marlette
Location: Incline Village
Directions: Parking is at Spooner Lake day use area in the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park on Hwy 28 just north of the Hwy 50 junction on the East Shore. Follow signs to the Flume Trail via the North Canyon Rd.
Mileage (one-way): 12 - Moderate
Description: This is a rolling climb that leads into a steep ascent, then short descent to Marlette Lake. In the fall, the foliage is almost as impressive as the view of Marlette Lake itself. Follow the dirt road around the lake to reach the trailhead for the Flume Trail.

Tahoe Rim Trail
Location: Truckee, Incline
Directions: Parking is at the Spooner Lake day use area in the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park on Hwy 28 just north of the Hwy 50 junction on the East Shore. Shuttles leave the Spooner Lake day use parking area at 9:30 and 11am on even days and take you to Mt. Rose Summit. Or park in the Mt. Rose summit parking lot. There are several other TRT trailheads. Check out http://www.tahoerimtrail.org/ for more information.
Mileage (one-way): 20 - Strenuous
Description: The TRT is an interconnected trail that leads all around the Lake, and bikes are allowed on this picturesque trail on EVEN days of the month ONLY. The trail from Mt. Rose to Spooner Lake is a 20 mile ride with a total elevation change of 720'. There are two steep ascents, but generally just rolling hills and stunning views. At the flat above Marlette Lake, make sure to notice the view of both Marlette and Lake Tahoe.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
Location: South Shore
Directions: Take Hwy 28 south from Incline Village to Hwy 50 south into Myers. Take a left at the stoplight onto Pioneer. Follow Pioneer for about 3/4 of a mile and take a right on Oneidis. Go through the residential area and look for a turn off on the dirt after you go past the forest service gate. Now you are at the bottom of Toads Ride.
Mileage (one-way): 20 - Strenuous
Description: The most technical ride in all of Tahoe, Mr. Toad's is a favorite for bike enthusiasts all around the Lake. There is a steep ascent until you get to Tucker Flat. From there it is all downhill and the singletrack loop dumps you right back where you started.

Genoa Peak
Location: South Shore
Directions: From South Lake Tahoe, take Kingsbury Grade (SR 207) and turn left on North Benjamin Road, which turns into Andria Drive. Continue to the end of the pavement and park. Take Genoa Peak Road 14N32. A longer trip is possible if you take two cars. Park the second vehicle off of U.S. HWY 50 behind the Nevada Department of Transportation Station, one-fourth mile south of the SR 28 and U.S. HWY 50 junction.
Mileage (one-way): 8/12 - Moderate
Description: This is a moderate ride along South Lake tahoe ridges, and there are frequent diversions off the main trails leading you up to peaks, including Genoa Peak.

Angora Ridge
Location: West Shore
Directions: Take Hwy 89 south along the West Shore from Tahoe City to Fallen Leaf Lake Rd. Park past the campground on the right and start riding on Fallen Leaf Rd.
Mileage (one-way): 2/4 - Moderate
Description: This moderate ride offers views of Fallen Leaf Lake and Mt. Tallac. It's 2 miles to Angora Lookout, or 4 miles to Angora Lakes.

Twin Peaks
Location: West Shore
Directions: On Lake Tahoe Blvd. on the West Shore, 2 miles north of the intersection of Hwy 89 and Hwy 50.
Mileage (one-way): 2 - Moderate
Description: This is a short, steep climb that is perfect for riders seeking great views of Lake Tahoe who don't have too much time. Be cautious of off-road vehicles.

Martis Peak
Location: Kings Beach
Directions: Drive north on SR 267 from Kings Beach to Brockway Summit. Park one-half mile past the summit on Forest Service Road 18N02.
Mileage (one-way): 5 - Moderate/Strenuous
Description: This is a five-mile climb along a wide fire road that leads to the Martis Peak lookout. There is an outhouse and picnic area here.

McKinney-Rubicon Springs Road
Location: West Shore
Directions: 89 north of Tahoma, turn west onto McKinney-Rubicon Springs Road. Turn left on Bellevue, right on McKinney Road, bear left onto McKinney-Rubicon Springs Road, continue to the dirt road and park. A longer ride is possible by taking two cars and parking one car at Blackwood Canyon.
Mileage (one-way): Varying
Description: There are several trail options here. The trails are generally wide and frequented by off-road vehicles.

Northstar-at-Tahoe
Location: Truckee
Directions: Take Hwy 267 from Kings Beach or Truckee to Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort.
Mileage (one-way): Varying
Description: With more than 100 miles of trails, Northstar is the largest mountain bike park in Northern California. Ride two chairlifts with your bike to upper mountain. Tours and rental packs also available. (530) 562-1010.

Sugar Pine Point State Park
Location: West Shore
Directions: Take Hwy 89 south along the West Shore from Tahoe City. Sugar Pine Point State Park is on the left side of the road. Parking is limited.
Mileage (one-way): 2-15 - Easy/Moderate
Description: A short loop trail through the Z'Berg Natural Preserve, the Dolder Trail follows the lakeshore and passes the world's highest working lighthouse. For those with more time, the General Creek Trail is a 6 1/2 mile loop, offering an optional side trip to Lily Pond. Lost Lake, a beautiful alpine lake, is a full 15 mile round trip.

More Info:  Hiking Trails

Cascade Creek Fall Trail
Directions: Take Hwy 89 South from Tahoe City approximately 20 miles to the Bayview Campground across from Inspiration Point. Parking is located at the far end of the campground. Wilderness permit required.
Mileage: Varying - Strenuous
Description: This steep trail takes you up the side of Maggie’s Peak into the Desolation Wilderness. 1 mile to Granite Lake, 2.7 miles to an intersection with the Eagle Falls Trail. 4 Miles to Azure Lake and 5 miles to Dick’s Lake. Corral and watering facilities for horses are available at the trailhead.

Bayview Trail
Directions: Take Hwy 89 South from Tahoe City approximately 20 miles to the Bayview Campground across from Inspiration Point. Parking is located at the far end of the campground. Wilderness permit required.
Mileage: 1 - Easy
Description: This short trail affords stunning views of the 200 foot high falls and Cascade Lake. Best time of year is springtime, when runoff from snowmelt is high.

Eagle Falls Trail
Directions: Take Hwy 89 South from Tahoe City approximately 16 miles to the Eagle Falls Picnic area on the right. Wilderness permit required.
Mileage: Varying - Moderate to Strenuous
Description: This steep trail leads back into the heart of Desolation Wilderness, passing by several lakes along the way. Eagle Lake is only 1 mile and a popular destination for day-hikers looking to picnic lunch or take a swim. 4.5 miles to Dicks Lake, Upper and Middle Velmas; 5 miles to Fontanillas.

High Camp at Squaw Valley
Directions: Take the Cable Car tram up to High Camp from the base of Squaw Valley.
Mileage: Varying - Easy/Moderate
Description: There are six individual trails out of High Camp ranging from easy to strenuous, 1 to 4 miles. Dogs are allowed on the Cable Car and are welcome on all trails. All trails offer stunning views of the Lake and surrounding Squaw Valley, and High Camp has dining and shopping facilities. High Camp Loop is an easy 1 mile loop up to the top of Links chairlift and down through the gentle upper bowls. The 1 mile trail up to Gold Coast chair is slightly more challenging, but the views of the Lake from the top are worth it. The trail continues past Gold Coast to the top of the Newport Lift for a 1.5 mile hike. Follow the trail past Gold Coast to the top of the Palisades for a strenuous 2.2 mile hike. A steep 1.5 mile hike from high camp to the top of Emigrant Chairlift offers 360 degree views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada. See descriptions of the ShirleyCanyon hike for the last and longest of these trails.

Five Lakes
Directions: Five Lakes can be accessed via Barker Pass or the Five Lakes Trailhead. To get to Barker Pass, take 89 South from Tahoe City 4.2 miles to the Caspian Picnic Area. Turn right on Blackwood Canyon Rd. and continue 7.1 miles to Barker Pass, where the pavement ends. The trailhead is 2.3 miles after that. The Five Lakes trailhead is located about 2 miles down the Alpine Meadows access road, on the right hand side. Look for a small sign just off the road.
Mileage: 5 - Moderate
Description: From Barker Pass, follow the Powderhorn Trail 4 miles to Diamond Crossing where the Five Lakes Creek Trail begins. The trail winds alongside and across Five Lakes Creek until reaching Whiskey Creek, with several intersecting trails and detours along the way. Alternately, from the Five Lakes Trailhead, follow a well-manicured trail up through the valley between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. The five serene lakes are open to fishing and swimming. Camping is not allowed within 600 feet of the lakes.

Glacier Meadow Loop
Directions: Take Hwy 80 West from Truckee to the Castle Peak/Boreal Ridge Road exit. Follow signs to the Tahoe National Forest Trailhead.
Mileage: 0.5 - Easy
Description: This is a short, self-guided nature loop offering a half-hour walk with informational signs along the way that explain how glacial action carved and polished the surface landscape.

Marlette Lake
Directions: Take Hwy 28 to just Northwest of the Hwy 50 junction and park at the Spooner Lake Trailhead, located in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. There is a parking fee.
Mileage: 5 - Moderate
Description: This uphill hike leads you through the aspen-lined North Canyon to Marlette Lake Dam. Marlette Lake is a fishing hatchery, therefore no fishing is allowed. Dogs are allowed only on leash.

Martis Creek / Tompkins Memorial Trail
Directions: From Kings Beach take Rte 267 past Northstar until you see a small brown sign on the right reading “Martis Creek Wildlife Area.” Take a right here and park at the lot at the end of the dirt road.
Mileage: Varying - Moderate
Description: There are 14.6 miles of trails here and maps throughout the park. Trails run along a beautiful creek and are great for dogs. Hiking options range from 40 minutes to half-day and picnic tables are scattered along the trails. Call the Martis Ranger Station for more details. (530) 587-8113.

Meeks Bay Trail
Directions: Take Hwy 89 South from Tahoe City about 11 miles to the Meeks Bay Resort. Park in a small lot across the highway from the resort. A wilderness permit is required.
Mileage: Varying - Moderate
Description: 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. Trail is 4.5 miles to Lake Genevieve, 5 to Crag, 5.7 to Hidden, 5.9 to Shadow, 6.3 miles to Stony Ridge, and 8 miles to Rubicon. This hike is part of an unofficial Tahoe-Yosemite Trail.

Mt. Rose
Directions: Take Hwy 431 (Mt. Rose Hwy) north from Incline Village. Park at the trailhead one mile before (south of) the summit.
Mileage: 6 - Strenuous
Description: Mt. Rose is one of the highest peaks near Lake Tahoe and offers spectacular views of the Lake, Reno and the Tahoe basin. Follow a dirt road for 3 miles through a forest full of Lodgepole, mule ears and sagebrush. A meadow at the halfway point bears lupine, paintbrush and larkspur. The last two miles follow slippery switchbacks to the ridge line. Don’t forget to sign the log book when you make it to the top.

Pacific Crest Trail / Mt. Judah Loop Trail
Directions: Access off the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) off of Old Highway 40 (east of Donner Ski Ranch). Turn onto the road before Alpine Skills Institute and head south on the PCT.
Mileage: 4.6 - Moderate
Description: This 4.6 mile loop offers many excellent vista points on the way including awe-inspiring views from the summit of Mt. Judah. There is a section of the loop that connects with the Pacific Crest Trail. Pack plenty of water.

Page Meadows
Directions: Take Hwy 89 South from Tahoe City approximately two miles and turn right on Pineland Drive. Turn right on Forest Service Road to get to the area.
Mileage: Varying - Easy
Description: There are no designated trails in this expansive meadow area. Great for dogs. Some amazing views of the Lake.

Prey Meadow / Skunk Harbor
Directions: Take Hwy 28 South along the East Shore and look for an iron gate on the lake side of the road, about 2 miles north of the Hwy 50 turnoff. Park in one of the turnouts along the highway and do not block the gate.
Mileage: 1.5 - Easy
Description: This is a great, easy walk through a mixed conifer forest with views of the Lake along the way. Look for the remains of an 1870’s railroad grade that was once built to supply timber to Virginia. At the fork in the road, bear left towards wildflower-laden Prey Meadows or right to a small, picturesque swimming cove called Skunk Harbor.

Rubicon Trail
Directions: Take Hwy 89 South from Tahoe City approximately 16 miles to D.L. Bliss State Park. There is a fee for day parking.
Mileage: Varying - Moderate
Description: This trail meanders up and down along the shoreline of Lake Tahoe, offering spectacular views of the Lake. Many coves along the way offer secluded spots to swim or picnic. Dogs are not allowed. Trail is 4.5 miles to Emerald Point, or 6.5 miles to the end of the trail extension that passes Vikingsholm in Emerald Bay.

Shirley Canyon
Directions: From the Squaw Valley parking lot, walk down Squaw Peak Road and find the trailhead on the left as the road curves to the right.
Mileage: 4 - Moderate
Description: Follow blue blazes and Shirley Creek up over boulders and past scenic waterfalls 2.5 miles to Shirley Lake. From here you can either turn around and come back down or keep climbing to High Camp, where you (and your dog) can take the Cable Car tram down for free.

Stateline Lookout
Directions: Take Hwy 28 North from Tahoe City and turn left on Reservoir Drive, just past the Tahoe Biltmore Casino. Turn right on Lakeshore Avenue, then left on Forest Service Road 1601 (by the iron pipe gate). Park in the lot just below the lookout.
Mileage: 0.5 - Easy
Description: During the summer the lookout is staffed with knowledgeable volunteers. Superb views of the Lake can be seen through the free telescopes. A short, self-guided nature trail explains the history of the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.

Sugar Pine Point State Park
Directions: Take Hwy 89 South from Tahoe city approximately 10 miles to Tahoma and look for signs for Sugar Pine Point State Park. There is a parking fee.
Mileage: Varying - Easy to Strenuous
Description: Trails serve almost every part of the park. The Dolder Trail is a 0.7 loop trail through the Z'Berg Natural Preserve and follows the lakeshore, passing the world's highest working lighthouse. For those with more time, the General Creek Trail is a 6.5 mile loop, offering an optional side trip to Lily Pond. Lost Lake, a beautiful alpine lake, is a full 15 mile round trip, and should only be tackled by seasoned hikers with ample time (6 to 7 hours). While you’re there, don’t miss a tour of the historic Ehrman Mansion. Dogs are not permitted on park trails. Those wishing to enter Desolation Wilderness through the park will need to obtain a wilderness permit from the U.S. Forest Service for both day-use and overnight trips. Permits are available at the South Lake Tahoe Forest Service Headquarters, the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, or (when staffed) the William Kent Campground. Day-use permits are available at most Forest Service trailheads.

Tahoe Rim Trail - via Tahoe Meadows T/H
Directions: Take Hwy 431 (Mt. Rose Hwy) North from Incline almost to the summit.
Mileage: 1.2 - Easy
Description: The TRT is a 165 mile loop around the Lake Tahoe basin. The best times to hike the TRT are mid-July for wildflowers and early fall for foliage. All sections of the trail offer amazing views of the Lake. See TRT Association website for complete details on day and overnight hikes. For an easy flat hike, access the TRT at the Tahoe Meadows trailhead and follow the Interpretive Loop 1.2 miles roundtrip.

Tahoe Rim Trail - via Brockway T/H
Directions: Take Hwy 267 North from Kings Beach to approx. 0.5 miles south of the Summit.
Mileage: 13.4 - Strenuous
Description: The TRT is a 165 mile loop around the Lake Tahoe basin. The best times to hike the TRT are mid-July for wildflowers and early fall for foliage. All sections of the trail offer amazing views of the Lake. See TRT Association website for complete details on day and overnight hikes. For a strenuous 13.4 mile loop get on the TRT at the Brockway trailhead and follow the trail to Watson Lake and back. You can also park a car at Watson Lake to shorten the hike.

Tahoe Rim Trail - via Mt. Rose T/H
Directions: Take Hwy 431 North from Incline to the summit. Trailhead is on north side of the highway.
Mileage: 5-6 - Moderate
Description: The TRT is a 165 mile loop around the Lake Tahoe basin. The best times to hike the TRT are mid-July for wildflowers and early fall for foliage. All sections of the trail offer amazing views of the Lake. See TRT Association website for complete details on day and overnight hikes. For a moderate 5-6 mile roundtrip hike, take the Mt. Rose Loop trail from the Mt. Rose trailhead.

Tahoe Rim Trail - via Ward Creek Boulevard T/H
Directions: Take Hwy 89 South from Tahoe City approx 2.5 miles and turn right onto Ward Canyon Boulevard. Follow this road another 2.5 miles until you see a small TRT kiosk.
Mileage: Varying - Easy to Strenuous
Description: The TRT is a 165 mile loop around the Lake Tahoe basin. The best times to hike the TRT are mid-July for wildflowers and early fall for foliage. All sections of the trail offer amazing views of the Lake. See TRT Association website for complete details on day and overnight hikes. For an easy flat hike, access the TRT at the Tahoe Meadows trailhead and follow the Interpretive Loop 1.2 miles roundtrip.

Tahoe Rim Trail - via Barker Pass T/H
Directions: Take Hwy 89 South from Tahoe City approx 4 miles and turn right onto Blackwood Canyon Rd. at Kaspian Campground. Follow the road 7.5 miles to the trailhead.
Mileage: 1.4 - Easy
Description: The TRT is a 165 mile loop around the Lake Tahoe basin. The best times to hike the TRT are mid-July for wildflowers and early fall for foliage. All sections of the trail offer amazing views of the Lake. See TRT Association website for complete details on day and overnight hikes. Barker North to Vista Point is a moderate 3.5 mile roundtrip hike offering views of the lake.

Vikingsholm Castle
Directions: Take Hwy 89 South along the West Shore approximately 20 miles and park in the lot on the left.
Mileage: 1 - Easy
Description: This popular trail offers spectacular views of Emerald Bay and Fanette Island from the shoreline. Daily tours are given of the authentic replica of a Viking Castle mid-June through Labor Day. There is a nominal fee. Directly across from the castle is a short hike to lower Eagle Falls.

Western States Trail
Directions: Take 89 South from Tahoe City down the West Shore to the Caspian Picnic area. Take a right on Blackwood Canyon Road and follow it 7.1 miles to Barker Pass, where the pavement ends. Powderhorn trailhead is 2.3 miles past here.
Mileage: 10 - Strenuous
Description: This trail is located within the Granite Chief wilderness. Follow directions to the Five Lakes trail from the Powderhorn trailhead. The Western States Trail begins on the west side of Whiskey Creek and climbs steadily for 3 miles to the Sierra Crest. The trail then drops along switchbacks into Picayune Valley and follows Picayune Creek down to the middle fork of the American River. From here, the trail crosses the river and makes a gradual descent through French meadows to Talbot Campground.

US Forest Service Hiking Information for the Lake Tahoe Area

Click on any map thumbnail picture for a larger image. Links to Forest Service information on hikes covered by each map are shown adjacent to the maps.

Trails of the West Shore Trails of the North & East Shore
lake tahoe hiking trails Summary of
West Shore Trails



West Shore
Hike Descriptions
Summary of North and
East Shore Trails



North and East Shore
Hike Descriptions
lake tahoe hiking trails
Trails of the South Shore
lake tahoe hiking trails Summary of
South Shore Trails



South Shore
Hike Descriptions

Zephyr Cove, South Lake Tahoe / Maria & Bob Tarn / Maria@TahoeTarns.com
This page updated 09/12/15