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Hiking2020-06-09T10:37:46-06:00

NORTHSTAR | TRUCKEE

1. Mount Pluto

Distance: Approx. 2 miles one-way
Difficulty: Moderate
Directions: Lift access from Northstar Village
Trail Description: From the top of Mt. Pluto you can see Squaw Valley Ski Resort to the west and Lake Tahoe to the south.

2. Tompkins Memorial Trail

Distance: Various loops
Difficulty: Easy
Users: Hikers, Bikers. Dogs should be on a leash. Bikes are not allowed on a short creek section. Directions: Footpath located near Big Springs Dr. Trail is visibly marked with map of trail system. Trail Description: The trails cover flat meadows and gentle hills. Near the willow-lined Martis Creek and its springs, meadows sport green grass in the spring and wildflowers in the summer.

3. Coldstream Trail

Distance: 10 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderate for hikers; difficult for mountain bikers Fee: Fee to enter Donner Lake Memorial State Park
Directions: The Coldstream Valley access road leaves from the southeast corner of Donner Lake Memorial State Park (DLMSP). Exit I-80 at Donner Lake exit on west side of Truckee. DLMSP is at the east end of the lake on Donner Pass Road (Old Hwy. 40). Follow Coldstream Valley Road 4 miles to trailhead. Follow signs to Tinker’s Knob. A high-clearance vehicle is necessary, and at one point you will need to drive through a creek, through a tunnel under the railroad tracks. Park after “Lost Trail” sign to avoid disturbing people on their private property. Once on the trail, follow the wooden “Coldstream Trail” signs.

NORTH SHORE

4. Incline Lakeshore

Distance: 2 miles one-way
Difficulty: Easy
Directions: In Incline Village bikers and runners like to park at the western corner of Lakeshore Drive and Hwy. 28. Parking is also available at Village Green or the Hyatt Regency for non-residents. Description: A paved trail winds along the two miles of exclusive lakeshore real estate in Incline Village. Uncrowded trail, with the exception of the areas directly next to Incline and Burnt Cedar.

5. Mt. Watson

Distance: 3 miles round trip from Watson Lake
Difficulty: Moderate
Directions: From Brockway Summit turn right (west) on the fire road 73 and drive about 6 miles. Turn left and follow another paved road for 1 mile to Watson Lake. Park your car at Watson Lake and follow the light-blue Tahoe Rim Trail signs that mark the route to Watson Peak. Description: A stunning view of Lake Tahoe from the top of Mt. Watson. Camping, fishing and hiking at Watson Lake.

6. Martis Peak

Distance: 8 miles one-way
Difficulty: Intermediate
Directions: Take Hwy. 267 south for about 3 miles. While heading up the hill to Brockway Summit and through a curve, look for a Forest Service road on the left. Once on this road, a right-hand turn is indicated by a brown marker for road 16N92. Description: Martis Peak Lookout enjoys spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and the High Sierra. Equipped with a public restroom and a picnic table, Martis Peak Lookout is a wonderful place for the entire family. This lookout is accessible by car via a paved U.S. Forest Service road. The Tahoe Rim Trail offers hikers and mountain bikers a steep five-mile path up to the lookout. To reach this trail, park a half-mile past the summit on Forest Service Rd. 18N02.

7. North Tahoe Regional Park

Distance: variety of trails (up to 6 miles)
Difficulty: Easy
Directions: From Hwy. 28, turn right on National Avenue and follow signs to the parking lot. Fees: Parking fee per car.
Amenities: Mountain bike racetrack, picnic areas, softball field, playground, parcourse, disc golf course, nature and hiking trails, restrooms, and sledding hills. Description: In addition to a large day-use area for field sports, tennis and picnicking, this park offers multiuse trails, some with views of Lake Tahoe. Hikers and mountain bikers share the trails. There’s also a mile-long paved trail, that begins in the parking lot and goes through a wooded area of pine trees to Pinedrop Street and out to Hwy. 267.

8. Nordic Center Mid-Mountain

Distance: 12 miles (or as far as you would like to go)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Directions: From Hwy. 28, turn right on Fabian Way, right on Village Rd., left at Country Club Dr. to Tahoe Cross-Country Ski Area (Highland Community Center). Description: A complex system of roads and trails, which range from easy to advanced. The higher you climb the more technical the trails become. Trails offer great views of Lake and surrounding mountains.

9. Spur Trail

Distance: 3.2 miles round trip
Difficulty: Intermediate
Directions: 0.5 miles south of Brockway Summit on Hwy. 267
Description: Follow light-blue Tahoe Rim Trail signs for about a mile. Turn left on Spur Trail View. Hike 0.5 miles and enjoy beautiful views from top of the “Picnic Rock”.

10. Stateline Lookout Trail

Distance: 0.5 miles one-way
Difficulty: Easy
Directions: From Hwy. 28 turn north on Reservoir Dr., east of Tahoe Biltmore Lodge and Casino. Turn right on Lakeview Avenue, then left on Forest Service Road 1601 (by the iron pipe gate). Park in the lot just below the lookout. Description: This half-mile loop trail, which begins at a fire lookout 1,000 feet above Crystal Bay on the North Shore, includes detailed markers explaining the natural and human history of the area.

11. Shirley Lake

Distance: 5 miles round trip
Difficulty: Moderate
Directions: From Hwy. 267 in Truckee, take I-80 to Hwy. 89 South. Follow Hwy. 89 South 8 miles to Squaw Valley Rd. Turn right and follow Squaw Valley Rd. to the base of the mountain. The trail starts at the end of Squaw Peak Rd. Trail Description: This trail follows Squaw Creek about 21⁄2 miles each way to Shirley Lake, passing gorgeous waterfalls and canyon boulders. The trail diverges and disappears at times but keep following the creek to Shirley Lake.

12. Tahoe Rim Trail – Brockway Summit / Tahoe City

Distance: 19 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Directions: 0.5 miles south of Brockway Summit on Hwy. 267
Trail Description: Light-blue Tahoe Rim Trail signs mark the route. Between Brockway Summit and Tahoe City, the trail offers fine views of the Truckee River Canyon and Lake Tahoe. The Lava Cliffs, 10 miles east of Tahoe City, provide a sweeping overlook of the lake and the peaks of the north shore. Seven miles west of Brockway Summit lies Watson Lake, a pleasant spot for fishing, picnicking, and camping.

13. Tahoe Rim Trail – Brockway Summit / Tahoe Meadows

Distance: 18 miles one-way
Difficulty: Intermediate
Directions: 0.5 miles south of Brockway Summit on Hwy. 267
Trail Description: Light-blue Tahoe Rim Trail signs mark the route. The Brockway to Tahoe Meadows segment of the Tahoe Rim runs 18 miles from Brockway Summit, to just beneath Martis Peak, to the Mount Rose Hwy. The trail east of Brockway Summit is dotted with meadows of mule ears backed by lake vistas. The end of the trail leads to windswept views of Donner Summit and Truckee, The Sierra Crest, Lake Ta- hoe, and the Carson Range.

14. Truckee River Trail

Distance: 4.5 miles one-way
Difficulty: Easy paved trail
Directions: Park in the parking lot at Commons Beach or next to Fire Station in Tahoe City Description: Starting at the west end of Tahoe City, this 4.5 mile paved trail is popular with runners, roller bladers and walkers. Just outside Tahoe City, the trail follows the Truckee river before turning up Squaw Valley Rd. A good trail for novice bike riders.

EAST SHORE

15. Flume Trail

Distance: 13.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Directions: From Incline Village head south on Hwy. 28 for 10 miles. Look for Nevada State Parks sign at Spooner Lake entrance. Fees: Parking fee per car.
Description: The Flume Trail is one of the most acclaimed biking trails in the area. It is a long, scenic ride with approximately 1,000’ of climbing and 2,000’ of descent. Shuttles back to Spooner Lake from the ride’s end at Tunnel Creek Rd. available through Spooner Lake Outdoor Company at (775) 749-5349.

16. Marlette Lake

Distance: 5 miles one-way
Difficulty: Moderate
Directions: From Incline Village head south on Hwy. 28 for 10 miles. Look for Nevada State Parks sign at Spooner Lake entrance. Fees: Parking fee per car.
Description: A moderate five mile uphill hike leads you through the picturesque North Canyon, lined with as- pens, to Marlette Lake. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy along scenic Marlette Lake.

17. Skunk Harbor

Distance: 1.6 miles one-way
Difficulty: Easy
Directions: Drive east on Hwy. 28 approximately 15 miles. Look for an iron pipe gate on the right side of the highway. Park in one of the turnouts along the highway immediately after the gate. Do not block the gate. Description: The 1.6-mile hike and limited parking at the trailhead insures that Skunk Harbor won’t be as crowded as other Tahoe beaches. Along with the natural beauty, visitors will see Newhall Mansion, a pre- served relic from Tahoe’s resort period of the early 1900s.

WEST SHORE

18. Eagle Falls / Eagle Lake

Distance: 2 miles round trip
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Directions: From Tahoe City, take Hwy. 89 south approximately 20 miles to Eagle Falls Picnic Area on the right. A wilderness permit is required and is available for free next to a nice map of the area. Fees: Parking Fee
Description: Just a 20-minute walk, Eagle Lake is a popular short hike. Take the left trail on the loop to see the waterfalls while climbing up to the Eagle Falls bridge. Cross the bridge and continue straight to Eagle Lake.

19. West Shore Paved Trail

Distance: 11 miles one-way
Difficulty: Easy
Directions: In Tahoe City, park your car in the parking lot at Commons Beach or next to the Fire Station. Description: Starting at the edge of Tahoe City this two-way trail is popular with runners, roller bladers and people walking with babies and dogs. The views of Lake Tahoe are first-rate. A good trail for novice bike riders.

20. General Creek Loop

Distance: 6.5 miles round trip
Difficulty: Moderate
Directions: From Tahoe City, take Hwy. 89 south about 11 miles to Sugar Pine Point State Park. Park in General Creek Campground. Fees: Parking Fee
Description: Located at Sugar Pine Point State Park in Homewood on Tahoe’s West Shore, this is a relatively easy hike. While you’re in the Park don’t miss a tour of the historic Ehrman Mansion, one of the most beautiful historic summer homes on Lake Tahoe.

21. Glen Alpine Trail (Lake Aloha, Mt. Tallac)

Distance: One-way – 6 miles to Mt. Tallac, 6 miles to Lake Aloha Difficulty: Strenuous
Directions: From Tahoe City, take Hwy. 89 south about 24 miles. Turn right on Fallen Leaf Rd. Follow this to the western end and take a narrow and bumpy asphalt road to the large, paved parking lot. A wilderness permit is required and is available for free at the trailhead. Description: One of Tahoe’s top hikes penetrates the heart of Desolation Valley, reaching three of the most spectacular lakes in the region (Susie, Heather, and Aloha). For a short walk, take the southern spur 3 miles to Grass Lake or stretch the hike to 6 miles all the way to Lake Aloha. This spur leads you past a small waterfall, a beautiful meadow and three alpine lakes. Another spur takes you to Gilmore Lake and then on to Dicks Pass. Or, at Gilmore Lake, you can head up Mt. Tallac. The Glen Alpine Trailhead offers a moderate approach to the hike up Mt. Tallac. From the peak, trace the same trail back or descent the steep face of Mt. Tal- lac around the small but splendid Cathedral Lake.

22. Rubicon Trail

Distance: 4 miles one-way
Difficulty: Moderate
Directions: From North Lake Tahoe, take Hwy. 89 south about 20 miles to D. L. Bliss State Park. There is a fee for day use parking. Pets are not allowed. Description: 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 many quiet coves along the way.

23. Vikingsholm Trail

Distance: 1 mile one-way
Difficulty: Easy
Directions: From North Lake Tahoe, take Hwy. 89 south approximately 20 miles to the parking lot on the right. The parking lot fills up quickly in the summer season, so arrive early. Fees: Parking Fee
Description: View an authentic replica of a Scandinavian ‘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.

24. Tahoe East Shore Trail

Distance: 3 mile one-way
Difficulty: Easy
Directions: Once you’ve arrived in Incline Village, head for Ponderosa Ranch Road, where you can park your vehicle and access the trailhead. For information about trail access and other things to see and do in North Lake Tahoe, dial the Incline Village and Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau at (775) 832-1606. Fees: No Fee
Description: Dubbed as “America’s Most Beautiful Bikeway”, the long awaited Tahoe East Shore Trail is not only a spectacular way to recreate at North America’s largest alpine lake, but also provides direct access to public beaches, coves and trails along the picturesque Nevada shoreline. Located in North Lake Tahoe nearest Incline Village, this new trail system lies below the highway bordering Lake Tahoe’s eastern shoreline, providing unfiltered views and incomparable access to Lake Tahoe.