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3 Beginner-Friendly Snowshoe Hikes in Lake Tahoe with Fantastic Scenery

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

snowshoe hikes in lake tahoe

Snowshoeing is an enjoyable way to take in Lake Tahoe's winter scenery. It's a terrific workout and a low-impact alternative to skiing or snowboarding. In this post, I'm sharing three picturesque snowshoe hikes in Lake Tahoe that are all beginner friendly.

*When visiting Lake Tahoe, help keep it beautiful by LEAVING NO TRACE.



1. Chickadee Ridge

snowshoeing at chickadee ridge in lake tahoe

snowshoeing at chickadee ridge in lake tahoe

One of my go-to snowshoe hikes in Lake Tahoe is Chickadee Ridge. The serene snowshoe trek starts at Tahoe Meadows, just north of Incline Village. It doesn't take very long to reach the ridge, which has stunning views of Lake Tahoe. Chickadee Ridge is also a well-known location to spot Lake Tahoe's friendly chickadee birds.


  • Distance: 2.4 miles out and back

  • Location: Mt Rose Wilderness, Incline Village

  • Trailhead: Tahoe Meadows off HWY 431

  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate


2. China Cove Trail Loop

Snowshoeing Donner Memorial State park

Snowshoeing Donner Memorial State park

The China Cove Trail is an easily accessible 3-mile trail that loops around Donner Memorial State Park. This snowshoe hike is perfect for beginners and is incredibly scenic, especially when the towering pine trees that frame the trail are blanketed in snow. Along the hike are numerous mini trails that veer off the main loop and lead to Donner Lake.


  • Distance: 3.2-mile loop

  • Location: Truckee, California

  • Trailhead: Donner Memorial State Park

  • Difficulty: Easy


3. Johnston Canyon Overlook

snowshoeing at johnston canyon in  tahoe donner

snowshoeing at johnston canyon in  tahoe donner

Located in Tahoe Donner, Johnson Canyon Overlook is an easy snowshoe hike with a big payoff. From the trailhead, it only takes about 1 mile to reach the ridge, which offers gorgeous panoramic views of Johnson Canyon and the surrounding area. You can end the hike at the first ridge or continue along the trail for a little more of a challenge.

The trail starts at the Glacier Way Trailhead off Skislope Way in Tahoe Donner. Keep in mind that the parking lot at Glacier Way is small and fills up quickly.


  • Distance: 2.0-mile out and back

  • Location: Tahoe Donner

  • Trailhead: Glacier Way Trailhead

  • Difficulty: Easy


I hope you enjoyed my Lake Tahoe Snowshoeing Guide! Before you go, be sure to subscribe to the blog so that you don’t miss the latest blog posts, videos, and other good stuff. You can also check out more adventures on Instagram and 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...

About Gabriella

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Tahoe Blues is a curated collection of  9 pieces that showcase part of what makes Lake Tahoe so incredibly special- that crystal clear, brilliantly turquoise-colored water.  The selected images capture unique conditions and perspectives of Lake Tahoe during the day and represent calmness, joy, and awe.

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