I feel very fortunate to have Lake Tahoe as my “backyard.” What I mean by that is I can leave my house, explore the beauty of the lake, and make it back to Reno in time for happy hour. However, this isn’t just a benefit for locals but also visitors to the Reno Tahoe destination. So, whether you are a local or just here for the weekend, here are a few of my favorite hikes with a picture-perfect view of Lake Tahoe.
Just over Mt Rose Hwy is a short and steep jaunt with gorgeous views. Located in Incline Village, this hike is accessed behind Tunnel Creek Café of Hwy 28. Parking is limited and this hike is popular so be prepared during peak times. After climbing for approximately 1.5 miles, you’ll see a steep short cut to the left, and then another trail that heads into the rocks. It’s here you’ll find Monkey Rock and breathtaking Lake Tahoe views.
Mount Rose is the closest hike to Reno on my list and one of the most rewarding. When you reach Mount Rose summit, you’ll find a large parking lot, this is the base for the Mt Rose hike. To reach the summit it’s about 10 miles round trip and 2,400 ft of elevation gain, and there is a beautiful waterfall about halfway in. You’ll see your first view of Lake Tahoe less than 1 mile in, but then you venture into the trees and up into the granite, and Big Blue doesn’t make her next appearance until you’ve reached the top. From the summit, you get a Birdseye view of Lake Tahoe and the Truckee Meadows.
In my personal opinion, this is the most grueling hike on this list. Located on Tahoe’s south shore, this hike is long at just over 10 miles, steep with over 3,000 ft in elevation gain, exposed and rocky. So why are there so many people flocking to this hike? The views. You start climbing over Fallen Leaf Lake and then Lake Tahoe emerges in the distance. Eventually, you get a view of all the little lakes speckled throughout Desolation Wilderness and then you reach the top. In one frame, you can see Tahoe, Emerald Bay, Cascade Lake and Fallon Leaf Lake. Then you’ll turn behind you for a view of the Sierra Nevada you didn’t know was possible.
On the list
A Lake Tahoe summit hike on my to-do list is “The Three Sisters.” These are the three gigantic peaks located on the southeast shore that comprise of Job’s Peak, Job’s Sister and Freel Peak – the tallest mountain in the Lake Tahoe Basin. It’s possible to summit all of them in one day, but it’s approximately 12 miles long and over 4,000 ft in elevation gain. A goal of mine for sure.
Lake Tahoe is a hiker’s paradise, and I know there are a ton of other trails I didn’t mention. Please comment below your favorite Lake Tahoe hike. I am always looking to explore new trails and would love to hear from you! Until next time…