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Hiking Trail Recommendations

Angora Lakes
Hiking distance: 1.5 miles round trip
Hiking time: 1 hour
Elevation gain: 250 feet

Summary of hike: A visit to the Angora Lakes is an easy, enjoyable trip. The short hike leads to Lower and Upper Angora Lakes. It is a great place to lay on the beach, swim, fish, rent a boat, slip lemonade and eat.

Driving directions: From the Y-junction of Highway 50 and Highway 89, drive 3.1 miles west on Highway 89 (Emerald Bay Road) to Fallen Leaf Road on the left (south)—turn left. From the west, drive 0.8 miles east of the Baldwin Beach turnoff to Fallen Leaf Road on the right. Continue 2 miles to Tahoe Mountain Road and turn left. Drive 0.4 miles to the first road on the right-Angora Ridge Road #1214-turn right. This partially paved road follows the ridge 2.9 miles to the trailhead parking lot at the end of the road.

Brockway to Mount Rose
Hiking distance: 4 miles round trip

Summary of hike: This moderate hike, generally forested, has panoramic views from a vista spur trail one mile east of the summit and from Martis Peak.

Driving directions: Trailhead is located 200 feet east of Highway 267, accessed via a dirt road and parking pull-off a half-mile south of the summit, across from Brockway summit access.

Cascade Falls
Hiking distance: 1.5 miles round trip
Hiking time: 1 hour
Elevation gain: 100 feet

Summary of hike: Cascade Falls tumble 200 feet down smooth granite rock into Cascade Lake. The hike to Cascade Falls follows a hillside ridge 350 feet above Cascade Lake, a glacially carved lake surrounded by forest.

Driving directions: From Y-junction of Highway 50 and Highway 89, drive 7.6 miles northwest on Highway 89 to Bayview Campground on the left. Turn left and continue a short distance to the trailhead parking lot at the end of the road.

Chimney Beach/Hidden Beach via South Flume Trail
Hiking distance: 14 miles round trip
Elevation gain: 1,500 feet

Summary of hike: This difficult hike, travels from beach to mountains and back to beach. Following Marlette Creek, climb to the outlet dam at Marlette Lake. From this point follow the old Flume Trail for five miles north until it reaches the junction with Tunnel Creek Road. While on the Flume Trail watch out for mountain bikes. Square head nails may also be found on this trail, which were used to construct the original flume in the 1870s. Once at Tunnel Creek Road, descend the road to Hidden Beach.

Driving directions: Begin at the paved parking area 2.6 miles south of Sand Harbor. This hike requires two cars, one at the beginning and one parked at the end in the scenic pullout just north of Sand Harbor.

Diamond Peak to Snowflake Lodge
Hiking distance: 2.6 miles round trip
Hiking time: 2 hours including sightseeing
Elevation gain: 700 feet

Summary of hike: If you are looking for a short, refreshing hike to one of the Lake Tahoe's best picnic sites, look no further.
Driving directions: Park at the Diamond Peak base lodge and follow the dirt and stone covered road alongside the Lodgepole Quad Chair and around the Crystal Quad base loading area.

Donner Memorial State Park, Donner Lakeshore Trail & Donner Creek Nature Trail
Hiking distance: 4.4 mile and 0.6 mile round trips
Hiking time: 2 hours and half an hour
Elevation gain: level hiking

Summary of hike: The Donner Lakeshore Trail parallels the shoreline of 3-mile-long Donner Lake. The hike includes sandy beaches with interpretive display panels with information about the area's history, geography, and ecology. The Donner Creek Nature Trail is a short loop trail along Donner Creek that starts at the Emigrant Trail Museum.

Driving directions: From the intersection of Highway 89 and Interstate I-80, drive 0.8 miles west on I-80 to Donner State Park/Donner Lake exit. Turn left, crossing over I-80, and continue along the frontage road 0.5 miles to the state park entrance and turn left.

Emerald Bay, Vikingsholm, and Eagle Falls
Hiking distance: 2.5 miles round trip
Hiking time: 1.5 hours

Summary of hike: This hike leads down to Vikingsholm, a Scandinavian style mansion completed in 1929 that resembles an 11th century Viking castle. It is a popular trail that passes numerous water cascades to the shores of Lake Tahoe's spectacular, glacier-carved Emerald Bay.

Driving directions: From the Y-junction of highways 50 and 89, drive 8.7 miles northwest on Highway 89 to the large Vikingsholm parking lot.

Fallen Leaf Lake - Moraine Trail
Hiking distance: 2.5 miles round trip
Hiking time: 1.5 hours
Elevation gain: level

Summary of hike: Picturesque Fallen Leaf Lake, measuring three miles long, is the second largest alpine lake in the Tahoe Basin. The Moraine Trail crosses the Fallen Leaf Lake dam and parallels the west shore to Sawmill Cove.

Driving directions: From the Y-junction of Highway 50 and Highway 89, drive 3.1 miles west on Highway 89, the Emerald Bay Road, to Fallen Leaf Road on the left (south) — turn left. From the west, Fallen Leaf Road is on the right, 0.8 miles east of Baldwin Beach turnoff. Drive 0.7 miles to the fallen Leaf Campground on the right.

Five Lakes Trail
Hiking distance: 4.5 miles round trip
Hiking time: 3 hours
Elevation gain: 980 feet

Summary of hike: The Five Lakes Trail climbs along a ridge overlooking a rocky canyon into the Granite Chief Wilderness with spectacular granite formations and sheer cliffs. The hike up to the lakes is the best part of the trip. All five tree-lined lakes are small yet beautiful.

Driving directions: From the intersection of Highway 89 and Highway 28, drive 3.8 miles northwest on Highway 89 to Alpine Meadows Road and turn left. From the intersection of Highway 89 and Interstate I-80, drive 9.9 miles south on Highway 89 to Alpine Meadows Road. Continue on Alpine Meadows Road 2.1 miles to the trailhead parking pullouts along the road.

Hidden Beach to Twin Lakes
Hiking distance: 15 miles round trip
Elevation gain: 1,500 feet

Summary of hike: Follow the same directions as Chimney Beach/Hidden Beach via South Flume Trail hike, but continue on along the clearly marked road one additional mile to the Twin Lakes.

Lower and Upper Echo Lakes
Hiking distance: 2.7 miles one way with boat shuttle return, 5.4 miles round-trip hike
Hiking time: 2 hours with boat shuttle and 3.5 hours without
Elevation gain: 100 feetSummary of hike: This a near-level hike along the north shore of two beautiful alpine lakes. The hike overlooks the lakes the entire trip. The boat shuttle passes close to the island of Upper Echo Lake. After 5 p.m. there is no shuttle service.
Driving directions: From the Y-junction of Highway 50 and Highway 89 in South Lake Tahoe, drive 9.8 miles south on Highway 50 to the Echo Lake/Sno-Park turnoff on the right-turn right. Continue 0.6 miles to Echo Lakes Road-turn left. Drive 0.9 miles to the parking lot overlooking Lower Echo Lake.

Marlette Lake
Hiking distance: 12 miles round trip

Summary of hike: This is a beautiful hike at any time of the year, but the abundance of Aspen trees along its path makes it especially beautiful in the fall. Once you arrive at Marlette Lake, which is a manmade lake, you can see both Marlette and Lake Tahoe at the same time. It is a medium to difficult hike up North Canyon, but follows a wide, sandy path and is easy to find.
Driving directions: The trailhead is at the Spooner Lake parking lot just north of the junction of Highway 28 and Highway 50 on the East Shore. A day use fee is charged at the campground.

Nevada Shoreline
Hiking distance: 4 miles round trip
Elevation gain: 300 feet

Summary of hike: This is an easy hike that leads to several secluded beaches along Lake Tahoe's east shore. The trail drops to the beach and follows the shoreline, passing Chimney Beach, Secret Harbor and Whale Beach. The trail eventually connects to a service road which can be followed back to the parking area.
Driving directions: Begin at the paved parking lot on Highway 28, 2.9 miles south of Sand Harbor.

Pacific Crest Trail, Donner Summit to Squaw Valley
Hiking distance: 15 miles
Hiking time: It's a long way, but well worth the effort.

Summary of hike: Some of the most spectacular views around Tahoe can be seen from this trail, but make sure you're a hardy hiker before you try it. The windswept ridges of the Sierra crest will take you from Donner Summit's Old Highway 40 to Squaw Valley by way of Anderson Peak and Tinker Knob.
Driving directions: You will need two cars to hike this trail; leave one at Squaw Valley and drive the other to the Pacific Crest Trail. That trailhead can be found left of Old Highway 40 after driving 4 miles west from the west end of Donner Lake.

Relay Peak
Hiking Distance: 11 miles round trip
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,575 feet

Summary of hike: Standing on the 10,338-foot summit of Relay Peak provides bragging rights for the highest point along the entire 176-mile Tahoe Rim Trail, as well as fine views of Lake Tahoe and the Truckee-Donner area. Be alert for mountain bikers on the Relay Ridge Service Road (they are forbidden on the single-track section of trail from Relay Ridge to Relay Peak).
Driving directions: Head southwest from Reno on the Mt. Rose Highway, cross the highway summit and continue 0.4 mile to the start of the Relay Peak Service Road. Park on the highway shoulder as space allows. The service road begins near a concrete block building.

Rubicon Trail
Hiking distance: 6 miles round trip
Hiking time: 3.5 hours

Summary of hike: The Rubicon Trail parallels and overlooks Lake Tahoe along the west side cliffs through D.L. Bliss State Park. The hike begins along the cliffs at Rubicon Point and eventually loops around Emerald Point at the mount of Emerald Bay.
Driving directions: From the Y-junction of Highway 50 and Highway 89, drive 10.8 miles northwest on Highway 89 to the D.L. Bliss State Park turnoff on the right. Continue 2.4 miles, following the "Beach" signs on Lester Beach Road to the parking lot at the end of the road.

Slaughter House Canyon Trail
Hiking distance: 3 miles round trip

Summary of hike: This trail has two equally beautiful destinations: a classic Sierra meadow, or one of Tahoe's most secluded beaches.
Driving directions: The trailhead for this hike is located 2¼ miles north of the Highway 50/28 junction. Look for a green gate on the west (lake) side of the road. Follow this road down to a fork at about 1 mile. The left fork will continue to Prey Meadows while the right fork continues on to skunk Harbor on the Lake's shore.

Snow Valley Peak
Hiking distance: 12.5 miles round trip
Hiking Time: 6-7 hours
Elevation gain: 2,450 feet

Summary of hike: Hike a mostly forested section of the Tahoe Rim Trail from Spooner Summit to the summit of Snow Valley Peak, where you'll be treated to a fine view of Marlette Lake and the Lake Tahoe basin. Bring plenty of water, as by mid-season the entire route is dry.
Driving directions: The well-marked trailhead is near Spooner Summit on Highway 50, 0.75 mile east of the junction with Highway 28.

South Camp Peak
Hiking distance: 10.5 miles round trip
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Elevation gain: 1,875 feet

Summary of hike: A seldom-used section of the Tahoe Rim Trail heads south from Spooner Summit, quickly gaining the Carson Range crest. Along the way are views to the east of Eagle Valley and west of Lake Tahoe, culminating in a supreme view of the entire Tahoe basin from broad-topped South Camp Peak. Pack plenty of water as none is available en route.
Driving directions: Follow Highway 50 west from Carson City to the Spooner Summit picnic area on the south side of the highway, 3/4 mile east of the junction with Highway 28.

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