Tahoe is known as one of the premier hiking destinations anywhere in the world! Check out our list below for the best Tahoe hikes for every skill level!
Olympic Valley is known as one of North Lake Tahoe’s best areas for family friendly hiking. The best part, the Red Wolf Lodge at Olympic Valley is just steps away from all of the best trail heads.
Shirley Canyon Trail:
For those who don’t mind a bit of a climb, be sure to head over to the Shirley Canyon Trail. This 5.8 mile out-and-back boasts some of the best scenery in Olympic Valley. With a large number of pools and small waterfalls along the trail, this is also a favorite for taking lots of breaks to cool off in the water. The trail ends at Shirley Lake, and hikers can even continue up the ridge line to the Palisades Tahoe Aerial Tram for a scenic ride down.
Aerial Tram – Palisades Tahoe
The Palisades Tahoe Aerial Tram is a great way to access some of the incredible summer hiking trails near the summit of the ski resort. To get here, just simply head over to the building marked Aerial Tram in the Palisades Tahoe Village. Soon you’ll be whisked up 2000 vertical feet to the high alpine bowls of Palisades Tahoe. Here you’ll find a number of great hiking trails with some spectacular scenery. Be sure to check the Palisades Tahoe website for Tram dates and hours of operation.
Tahoe City and the West Shore
Ward Canyon to Paige Meadows
This trail is one of the absolute best for seeing wildflowers in the Sierras. It’s also relatively short, though there is a quick but steep climb to start the trail. Paige Meadows is actually a series of high-alpine meadows that run along a ridge line. Once you make it to the ridge, the trail flattens out substantially and you’ll find yourself in an incredibly beautiful field of wildflowers. Once you’ve had your fill of the flowers and views, simply turn around and head back to your car.
Eagle Falls – Emerald Bay
This trail head starts right off the highway in Emerald Bay. Instead of hiking towards the lake, you’ll instead make your way up the canyon towards Eagle Falls. The trail to Eagle Falls is quick and easy, but the real reward comes if you continue along the trail into Desolation Wilderness. While there is some decent elevation gain, this trail gives you no shortage of great alpine lakes to swim in as you continue your climb. Be sure to check out Eagle Lake and the Three Velmas! **Note: You will need to fill out a wilderness permit tag and pay a small fee at the trail head if you are hiking past the falls toward Eagle/ Velma’s lakes.
North Lake Tahoe
Tahoe Rim Trail to Picnic Rock
Located a quick 5 minute drive from Tahoe Vista, the Tahoe Rim Trail to Picnic Rock is a great family friendly option if you want to take in some incredible views of Lake Tahoe. While there will be some moderate elevation gain required, this quick 3.1 mile out and back is great for an afternoon or sunset hike during the fall season.
Mt. Rose – Tahoe Rim Trail
This has arguably the best views of any trail on this list! To start, drive up to the Mt. Rose Meadow above Incline Village. The meadow itself is incredibly beautiful, however, the real reward is just South along a section of the Tahoe Rim Trail. This is another out and back option as the trail continues for a great distance. We recommend 3 to 5 miles round trip, which gives you plenty of opportunity to enjoy the stunning views. This is a great option for large groups and for photo opportunities!
Book Your Fall Stay Now!
The leaves are starting to turn and Fall is fast approaching! This is actually one of the best seasons to book your stay at Red Wolf Lodge at Olympic Valley. With fewer crowds and cooling daytime temperatures, the options for all-day outdoor recreation are endless!