Best Hiking Trails in Lake Tahoe – Easy to Moderate

In a few weeks my family is coming to visit me in Lake Tahoe. It will be their first time here since I moved from the midwest in December and their first time ever experiencing a Tahoe summer. I can’t wait to show them all the best parts of this amazing place.

One activity I definitely want to do with them is to go hiking. There’s one catch though, my sister will be six months pregnant! This means no steep, long or rugged hikes. With this in mind, I’ve been exploring some of the easy to moderate hikes around the lake that still pay off some incredible views and sites.

Here’s my list for the best easy to moderate hikes in Lake Tahoe:

1. Hiking at Heavenly: If what you want is a hike with a view, then Heavenly is where it’s at. You can take the Gondola and Tamarack Express chair up 9,800 feet to access some of Tahoe’s most scenic and highest hiking trails. Heavenly offers trail options from beginner to expert, so you can’t go wrong.

2. Rubicon Trail: Located on the south west side of the lake, this trail hugs the coast of the lake and provides plenty in terms of views. We started at DL Bliss State Park and found the trail to be clear and pretty flat if not downhill the whole way. You can do it as an in and back, or park a pick up car at Vikingsholm in Emerald Bay for a good 5 mile hike. Just be ready for a steep ending up to your car at Vikingsholm.



3. Cascade Falls: On the south side of the Lake near “Inspiration Point” at Emerald Bay, Cascade Falls trail has been my favorite so far. It’s just a short 1 mile hike around Cascade Lake before you arrive at the falls that literally cascade over rocks, platforms and walkways. Wear your bathing suit and you can walk through, sit or even lay in the water.


4. Eagle Lake: Right next to Cascade Falls near Emerald Bay, Eagle Lake hike is a bit more steep, but relatively short. Right when you’re about out of breath, you’ll arrive at the lake and marvel at the beautiful setting. Pop a squat and soak your hot feet in the cool waters.


5. Angora Lake: This hike, near Fallen Leaf Lake, can be as easy or difficult as you’d like depending on how far back you park your car. If you park it at the farthest in lot, you’ll skip a lot of the uphill climb and be able to enjoy a short 15 minute walk to the lake. Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted with breathtaking views of the lake surrounded by cliffs and mountains. If you have an adventurer in your group who is complaining about the “easy hike,” just dare them to partake in some of the cliff jumps! Can you spot the brave jumpers in the picture below?


There you have it. As you can see we’ve been doing a lot of walking this summer. When my family comes to visit I’m excited to take them to all my favorite spots for a little low impact hiking.

What are you favorite hiking trails in Tahoe or in your neck of the woods?

~ Liz



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