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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Viola

13 Spectacular Hikes in Lake Tahoe - A Tahoe Transplant's Guide

Updated: Apr 19, 2022

The best hikes in lake tahoe from someone who lives here

One of the best things about Lake Tahoe is the number of fantastic hiking trails available at your fingertips. Whether you prefer an easy day hike or a more challenging off-the-beaten-path trail, you won't be short on hiking options with jaw-dropping scenery in Lake Tahoe.

After living in Lake Tahoe for two years, I've had the opportunity to explore quite a few trails around Tahoe. And of course, there are still so many hikes that I haven't gotten to yet.

In this post, I'm sharing 13 of the best hikes in Lake Tahoe. The hikes are listed clockwise from east to west. And don’t worry! You don’t need to be an advanced hiker to enjoy most if not all of the hikes on this list!

* When visiting Lake Tahoe, help keep it beautiful by practicing the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.




1. Cave Rock

Cave rock hike in lake tahoe
Cave Rock at sunset
Cave rock hike in south lake tahoe nevada

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know that I've mentioned Cave Rock before. And that's because it's one of my go-to hikes in South Lake Tahoe.

Located on Hwy 50, the Cave Rock hike is short, easy, and leads to gorgeous 180-degree views over Lake Tahoe. Starting from the parking lot, the hike takes about 12 minutes or so to get to the base of Cave Rock. And then a short scramble to reach the top viewpoint.

For more on the Cave Rock hike, check out this video!


2. Castle Rock

Castle Rock Hike in South Lake Tahoe Nevada

Castle Rock Hike in South Lake Tahoe Nevada

Castle Rock is a short hike with rewarding views overlooking South Lake Tahoe and the west shore. The trail is located near Kingsbury Grade and is also a popular spot for rock climbing! You don't need to scale Castle Rock to enjoy the views, but do expect to do a little bit of rock scrambling towards the end. The Castle Rock trail also connects to the famous 165-miles long Tahoe Rim Trail.


3. Fallen Leaf Lake

Fallen Leaf Lake in Lake Tahoe California
Golden Hour at Fallen Leaf Lake
Fallen Leaf Lake in Lake Tahoe California

Located near South Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake is a beautiful alpine lake with magnificent views of Mt. Tallac in the background. The short hike leading to Fallen Leaf lake is more of a pleasant walk. Several trails lead to the lake, but the main trailhead is near Fallen Leaf Lake Campground.


4. Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls in lake tahoe

Cascade Lake in lake tahoe

The trail to Cascade Falls is located in the back of the Bayview Campground, which is right across the street from Inspiration Point on HWY 89. The hike is only 1.5 miles round trip, but you will be climbing quite a few sets of stone-cut stairs, and there is very little shade. Be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes, don't forget the sunscreen, and bring plenty of water. Along with the falls, the trail offers beautiful views of Cascade Lake.


5. Maggies Peak

Maggies Peak hike in lake tahoe california