• Gabriella Viola

6 Easy Hikes With Killer Views Of Lake Tahoe

Updated: Sep 10



I’ve been asked a few times about hike recommendations in Lake Tahoe. The answer depends on your skill level and the type of hike you are looking to do, as Lake Tahoe is home to endless hiking trails, from easy to difficult, from popular to off the beaten path.


In this post, I’ll be sharing six hikes that are doable for most and have excellent views of Lake Tahoe. These spots are perfect for first-time visitors who are looking for something short and sweet with spectacular scenery! With that said, there is elevation gain involved in some of the hikes mentioned on this list.


Friendly Reminder: Please enjoy Lake Tahoe responsibly and keep it beautiful.

Always practice the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.


Here are six easy hikes with killer views of Lake Tahoe. P.S. I saved my favorite spot for last.


Cave Rock

Cave Rock is a popular sunset spot in Lake Tahoe

Winter views facing north at Cave Rock

Level: Easy

Distance: 0.8 miles (roughly)

Trail: Out and back


Cave Rock is a short hike with beautiful views over South Lake Tahoe. It's also a prime spot to catch the sunset. The trail takes about 10 minutes and includes some light bouldering to reach the highest viewpoint. Once at the top, you'll enjoy stunning 180-degree views overlooking South Lake Tahoe. The trailhead is located on Cave Rock Drive right off Highway 50.


Eagle Rock



Level: Easy

Distance: 1 mile (roughly)

Trail: Out and back


Eagle Rock is a 1 mile (roughly) out and back trail made up of volcanic rock located near Homewood, California. The short but slightly steep hike offers panoramic views of the northwest side of Lake Tahoe and is a fantastic spot to catch the sunrise or sunset. The trailhead is off HWY 89 in Tahoe Pines.


↠ Emerald Bay State Park ↞

Lenticular clouds over Emerald Bay State Park
Emerald Bay Observation Area

Level: N/A

Distance: N/A

Trail: N/A


Emerald Bay State Park isn't really a hiking trail; it's an observation area with spectacular views of Lake Tahoe's most photographed spot, Emerald Bay. From here, you can wander along the rocks while taking in the views, or you can pick up one of the many hiking trails located within/nearby the park, including the Vikingsholm Trail, Eagle Falls Trail, or the longer Rubicon Trail.


Sand Harbor Overlook

Sunset over Sand Harbor


Level: Easy

Distance: 0.3 miles (roughly)

Trail: Out and back


Sand Harbor Overlook, located on Tahoe's east shore, is a short and easy little trail that leads to a beautiful lookout over the north side of Sand Harbor. Sand Harbor Overlook can be accessed off State Route 28 or directly from the East Shore Bike Trail.


Tip: For pristine conditions, visit this spot during the off-season. Also, be sure to explore the rest of Sand Harbor State Park and the East Shore Bike Trail.


Stateline Fire Lookout



Sunset over Crystal Bay

Level: Easy

Distance: 1.5 miles (roughly)

Trail: Out and back with a loop at the top.


The Stateline Fire Lookout hike is a paved forest road with a steady climb that leads to a historic fire lookout and panoramic views of the north shore. Stateline Fire Lookout is located in Crystal Bay off State Route 28.


Flume Trail/Monkey Rock

Sunset views along the Flume Trail


Level: Easy to Moderate

Distance: 2.6 miles (roughly)

Trail: Out and back


The hike to Monkey Rock is a relatively short but steep hike along the Flume Trail that offers stunning views over Incline Village and Tahoe's east shore. It's also my favorite hike on the list! I marked this trail as easy to moderate because even though it's short, there is a steep incline right before you arrive at Monkey Rock. The trailhead is located behind Tunnel Creek Cafe on Highway 28 in Incline Village.

I know I have left quite a few spots off the list. What are some of your favorite hikes in Lake Tahoe? Share in the comments and let me know if you have any questions!

Please enjoy Lake Tahoe responsibly.

Always practice the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.


You might also enjoy:


Living in Lake Tahoe: Pros and Cons


A Guide to the Most Stunning Photo Locations in Lake Tahoe


6 Amazing Spots to Catch the Sunset in Lake Tahoe



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ABOUT

Gabriella Viola is a photographer and outdoor enthusiast currently living in Lake Tahoe, California. 

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