Photo of Hiking Trails in South Lake Tahoe, CA

The Best Hiking Trails in South Lake Tahoe, CA

Explore Hiking Trails

Adventure to alpine lakes and old growth forests

South Lake Tahoe is a paradise for hikers and walkers. Mark Twain once wrote that outdoor life there was so energizing that it “could restore a Mummy to his pristine vigor, and give him an appetite like an alligator.” We agree and have put together a list of the best hikes in South Lake Tahoe to help you have a fun and memorable trail experience.

With the surrounding mountains and parks, South Lake Tahoe has a number of great hiking trails to choose from. If you’re looking for a strenuous and rewarding hike, Mt. Tallac is a great option. If you’re looking for a family friendly hike in South Lake Tahoe, the Van Sickle Trail is worth checking out.

It’s our mission to help you explore the world around you. We use the data from millions of hikes to create accurate lists and trail maps so you can have a great time on trail. Be sure to share your adventure on Strava!

Top 10 hiking trails in South Lake Tahoe, CA

1

Mount Tallac Trail

Hard
7.16 mi(3h 37m)·
2,350 ft
The Mount Tallac Trail is a great hike that rewards you with memorable views of Lake Tahoe. The hike follows an out-and-back route, and most hikers consider it a harder trail. This hike is one of the most popular with local Strava members. Check out the photos from the community to get a sense of the breathtaking views at the summit.
2

Eagle Lake Trail

Hard
1.8 mi(58m)·
451 ft
The Eagle Lake Trail in South Lake Tahoe takes you from the shores of Lake Tahoe to the shores of a beautiful alpine lake. The hike follows an out-and-back route. There are several steep sections, so most consider it a difficult trail. This hike is one of the most popular in South Lake Tahoe with Strava members. Check out the photos to get a sense of the serene Eagle Lake which waits for you at the halfway point.
3

Echo Lake Trail

Easy
5.06 mi(2h 6m)·
567 ft
The Echo Lake Trail in South Lake Tahoe gives you a taste of the Pacific Crest Trail and takes you past two stunning, connected lakes. The hike follows an out-and-back route, with the option to extend your hike to 12 miles or more if you push on to Lake Aloha. Most hikers consider it an easy trail terrain wise, but the length can be challenging. You’ll pass Lower Echo Lake, then reach Upper Echo Lake before returning the way you came. Since this trail follows the PCT, you could continue all the way to Canada if you’ve got a few months to spare!
4

Van Sickle Trail

Easy
2.19 mi(54m)·
561 ft
The Van Sickle trail in the Van Sickle Bi-State park is a fun and family friendly trail with great foliage and views of Lake Tahoe. The hike follows an out-and-back route. Most consider it an easy trail. This is one of the most popular hikes in South Lake Tahoe with Strava members. Check out the photos below to get a sense of the trail and what you’ll see along the way.
5

Cascade Falls Trail

Easy
1.78 mi(57m)·
341 ft
The Cascade Falls Trail begins near Inspiration Point in South Lake Tahoe. You’ll traverse the hills beside Cascade Lake and enjoy views of Emerald Bay on your way to the spectacular waterfall. This trail follows an out-and-back route. Most consider this an easier trail, but it does have some steep sections so be sure to wear appropriate footwear. This is a popular trail among Strava members hiking in the South Lake Tahoe Area. Get ready for great views and stunning foliage.
6

Tahoe Rim Trail to Galena Falls

Moderate
4.71 mi(1h 40m)·
527 ft
This hike follows the Tahoe Rim Trail to Galena Falls, a cascading waterfall in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The trail follows an out and back route, and there are options to extend past the falls if you’re interested in a longer adventure. The elevation gain is minimal, only a few hundred feet over the length of the trail, but most consider this a moderate hike. This is a popular trail with Strava members visiting the Lake Tahoe area.
7

Castle Rock Trail

Easy
2.87 mi(1h 10m)·
588 ft
Trail. The Castle Rock Trail is a welcoming hike with a short excursion to the beautiful Castle Rock and its great views of Lake Tahoe. The trail follows a loop route, with a brief out and back section to get to the rock itself. The hike makes use of several named trails, so it may make sense to download the map ahead of time so you can easily follow the trail. The trail is on the shorter side and the elevation gain is minimal, so most consider this an easy hike. This is a popular hiking route with local Strava members as well as those just visiting from out of town.
8

Five Lakes Trail

Hard
3.42 mi(1h 27m)·
1,014 ft
The Five Lakes Trail is a challenging and rewarding hike to a set of serene alpine lakes. This trail follows an out and back route. Because of the steep grade throughout, most consider this a hard hike. Once you reach the lakes, there are a few trails you can explore to get closer or even take a dip in one of the lakes! The 5 lakes area is a great place to recharge in nature and soak in the beauty of the Lake Tahoe area.
9

Winnemucca Lake Hike

Easy
4.56 mi(1h 51m)·
627 ft
The Winnemucca Lake Hike takes you from The Snowshoe Thompson Historical Monument to the shores of Winnemucca Lake along the Pacific Crest Trail and the Carson Pass Lake Winnemucca Trail. The trail connects to a large trail network, but Strava members tend to make this an out and back hike. There isn’t a great deal of elevation gain, but with the length, you’re sure to get a workout! This hike is popular with local Strava members as well as those visiting from out of town.
10

Tahoe Mountain Trail

Moderate
3.74 mi(1h 20m)·
740 ft
The Tahoe Mountain trail takes you up stunning switchbacks and delivers you to just beneath the summit of Tahoe Mountain where you’ll take in views of the lake and town. This trail follows an out-and-back route. Most consider this a moderately difficult trail. The Tahoe Mountain Trail is popular with Strava members. Check out the recent photos from the community to get a sense of what you’ll see along the way.