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6 Incredible Hikes In Lake Tahoe To Do This Summer!

Updated: Jun 30, 2023


best hikes in lake tahoe in the summer

This post lists some of the best summer hikes in Lake Tahoe.


Lake Tahoe is home to some of the most scenic hiking trails in the country. Whether you prefer an easygoing day hike or a more challenging off-the-beaten-path trail, you won't be short on hiking options in Lake Tahoe.


Although many of Lake Tahoe's trails are accessible year-round (especially if you're willing to slap on snowshoes and crampons), most of Lake Tahoe's hikes are best enjoyed after the snow has melted and the trails are more accessible. Here are six incredible hikes to do in Lake Tahoe this summer.


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


CHECK OUT THE VIDEO VERSION HERE:


 

Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake Hike in South Lake Tahoe

Eagle Lake Hike in South Lake Tahoe

Eagle Lake is in Lake Tahoe's Desolation Wilderness. The trail starts across the street from Emerald Bay State Park in South Lake Tahoe. At roughly 2 miles out and back, the hike is relatively easy and features plenty of beautiful scenery. About 5 minutes into the hike, you'll reach Upper Eagle Falls. Once you take in the beauty of the falls, walk across the bridge and continue on the trail for about 20 minutes or so and you will arrive at Eagle Lake.


HIKE STATS:

  • Distance: 1.9 miles out-and-back

  • Elevation Gain: 459 ft

  • Location: South Lake Tahoe, California

  • Length of Time: 1 hour

  • Difficulty: Moderate

 

Winnemucca Lake

Wildflower hike Winnemucca Lake

Wildflower hike Winnemucca Lake

At 5.1 miles out and back, the hike to Winnemucca Lake is relatively short and easy. Even though this hike is short, the scenery is nothing short of jaw-dropping. And, if you're looking for a summer wildflower hike near South Lake Tahoe, Winnemucca Lake is a great one. The best time to do this hike if you want to see wildflowers is in July. The trailhead to the Winnemucca Lake hike is at Carson Pass in El Dorado National Forest near Kirkwood, California.


For more on the Winnemucca Lake hike, check out this post: Winnemucca Lake Hike: A Beautiful Wildflower Hike Near Lake Tahoe.


HIKE STATS:

  • Distance: 5.1 miles out-and-back

  • Elevation Gain: 629 ft

  • Location: Kirkwood, California

  • Length of Time: 2 hours

  • Difficulty: Moderate

 

Monkey Rock

Monkey Rock Hike Lake Tahoe Nevada

Monkey Rock Hike Lake Tahoe Nevada

The Monkey Rock hike is 2.6 miles out and back and offers spectacular 180 views of Incline Village and the east shore. The monkey-carved rock is fun to take a picture with, especially if it's your first time on the trail. My favorite things about this hike are the views facing south (see first pic) and the overhanging rock shaped like a perfect chair (second pic). The trailhead to Monkey Rock is behind Tunnel Creek Cafe in Incline Village.


HIKE STATS:

  • Distance: 2.6 miles out-and-back

  • Elevation Gain: 498 ft

  • Location: Incline Village, Nevada

  • Length of Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

  • Difficulty: Moderate

 

Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock Hike in Lake Tahoe

Eagle Rock Hike in Lake Tahoe

Eagle Rock is a 0.7-mile, out-and-back hike near Homewood, California. The short but slightly steep hike offers panoramic views of the northwest side of Lake Tahoe and features volcanic rock formations at the top of the trail. The trailhead to Eagle Rock is off HWY 89 just south of Tahoe City and north of Homewood.


HIKE STATS:

  • Distance: 0.7 miles out-and-back

  • Elevation Gain: 239 ft

  • Location: Homewood, California

  • Length of Time: 25 minutes

  • Difficulty: Moderate

 

Rubicon Trail

Rubicon Trail in lake tahoe

Rubicon Trail in Lake tahoe

Rubicon Trail in Lake Tahoe California

The Rubicon Trail is one of the most beautiful hikes in Lake Tahoe, hands down. It connects D.L. Bliss State Park and Emerald Bay State Park and has gorgeous views of the rugged shoreline the entire way!


The trail is about 10 miles out and back and rated as moderate. Aside from the length, I don't consider the Rubicon Trail overly challenging. The trail features flat sections, some moderate inclines, and a number of small granite staircases. You can pick up the trail from Emerald Bay State Park via the Vikingsholm Trail or from D.L. Bliss State Park.


HIKE STATS:

  • Distance: 10 miles out-and-back

  • Elevation Gain: 1020 ft

  • Location: South Lake Tahoe, California

  • Length of Time: 4 hours

  • Difficulty: Moderate


For more on the Rubicon Trail check out this video!


 

Maggies Peak

Maggies Peak hike in lake tahoe

Maggies peak hike in lake tahoe

Maggie's Peak features an overlook of Emerald Bay, an alpine lake, and jaw-dropping views of Lake Tahoe and Desolation Wilderness. It's also quite the workout, which always feels rewarding at the end of a hike.


The hike is a little over 4 miles, out and back, and is rated as hard on alltrails.com due to the switchbacks and elevation gain, but I would rate it as moderate, although challenging. The trail to Maggies Peak starts at the back of Bayview Campground. Instead of going left towards Cascade Falls, you head right towards Desolation Wilderness.


For more on Maggie's Peak, check my post: Hiking to Maggie's Peak in South Lake Tahoe.


HIKE STATS:

  • Distance: 4.1 miles out-and-back

  • Elevation Gain: 1778 ft

  • Location: South Lake Tahoe, California

  • Length of Time: 4 hours +

  • Difficulty: Moderate

 

I hope you enjoyed my guide to the best summer hikes in Lake Tahoe! For more hikes with gorgeous scenery, check out my Hiking Guides playlist on YouTube.


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gabriella viola lake tahoe

Hi, I'm Gabriella, an outdoor photographer living in Lake Tahoe, California. 
 
I'm originally from New York and moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to try out living somewhere new and different.  I found myself loving the adventurous lifestyle and dramatic scenery on the west side of the country.  Eventually, I moved to Lake Tahoe in 2019 after falling in love with its natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle. 
 
On this site, I share adventure tips and destination guides to help you explore the beauty of Lake Tahoe, the Sierras, Northern California, and beyond...

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