Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails in South Lake Tahoe

Come summer, hiking and South Lake Tahoe are all but synonymous. Especially here at Forest Suites, where we refer to our front yard by the better-known name of Van Sickle Bi-State Park. Outdoorspeople come from far and wide to hit the trail, then cool off on a beach or kick up their boots over a cold beer at Al’s Saloon.
If hiking is in your future (and we sense that it is) let us help you get ahead by sharing the best area trails. Take your pick and experience everything South Lake Tahoe’s great outdoors has to offer.

#10 - Van Sickle Bi-State Park

1 minute away | Endless Miles of Trails | Van Sickl Bi-State Park

Many of Van Sickle's trails are easy to moderate. Add in the fact that you can walk onto a trail from Forest Suites and this becomes one of Lake Tahoe's most accessible trail systems. Van Sickle also features a connection to the Rim Trail, so you really can hike for as many miles as you'd like.

#9 - Eagle Bay Vikingsholm Loop

35 minutes away | 2.5 miles of trails | Emerald Bay State Park

This is one of the most popular hikes in Lake Tahoe, so be sure to hit the trail early! This hike meanders along Emerald Bay and showcases Lake Tahoe's beautiful greenery in the spring and summer months. Continue for an extra 0.25 miles to see Lower Eagle Falls.

#8 - Fallen Leaf Road

30 minutes away | 7.8 miles of trails | Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Though Fallen Leaf Road is higher mileage, it's still a relatively easy hike at just 400 ft of elevation gain for the entire trip. This trail begins at Fallen Leaf campground and unravels alongside Fallen Leaf Lake. Don't forget to stop at the falls on your way to the trailhead! You can also drive this road if you want to take in the views but don't have a half-day to dedicate to the trail.

#7 - Rainbow Trail

20 minutes away | 0.6 miles of trails | Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

We're going to say this up front: Rainbow Trail is more of a nature walk than a hike. That being said, it's a fantastic interpretive trail that peels back the curtain on the ecology and diversity of South Lake Tahoe's natural environment. This is a great outdoor adventure for families as well as an easy, educational way for nature buffs to get outside for a quick trek.

#6 - Angora Lakes Trail

35 minutes away | 1.2 miles of trails | Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Families, we recommend you hit this trail first. Its shorter distance and more mild terrain make this an approachable trail for outdoorspeople of all ability levels. You can drive directly to the lake itself, but this short, out-and-back jaunt will leave you feeling like you've earned that dip in the lake.

#5 - Emerald Point Trail

30 minutes away | 4.4 miles of trails | Emerald Bay State Park

This trail is all about lake views. The majority of the bottom of the trail meanders along the lake before the ascent to Emerald Point begins. A hike on this trail is truly scenic from beginning to end. Just be sure to arrive early to snag a parking spot at the trailhead.

#4 - Floating Island & Cathedral Lakes Trail

30 minutes away | 4.7 miles of trails | Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Both hiking and trail running are favorite pasttimes on this 4.7-mile expanse. Though it does pose something of a challenge, you'll be able to distract yourself with magnificent views of Fallen Leaf Lake, Mount Tallac, and Lake Tahoe. Floating Island Lake also offers a fantastic refresher swim if you're willing to brave the rocky shoreline.

#3 - Echo Lakes Trail

30 minutes away | 5.3 miles of trails | Desolation Wilderness

This classic South Lake Tahoe hike is a little less challenging than Mount Tallac, but no less scenic.  Enjoy trees, rocky outcroppings, and wildflowers along the way, then cool off in gimmering Echo Lake at the top. Expect to see dogs on the trail as well as the lake tends to be a draw for hikers' furry friends.

#2 - Mount Tallac Trail

30 minutes away | 10.2 miles of trails | Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Don't let the high mileage count scare you. This is one of the most popular hikes in the South Lake Tahoe area, and for good reason. By the time you reach the top, you'll have climbed to 9,735 feet above sea level—and have endless views to soak up. Trek through forests, hike amid wildflowers, and reacquaint yourself with the great outdoors.

#1 - Tahoe Rim Trail

45 minutes away | 169.3 miles of trails | Toiyabe National Forest

This trail is not for the faint of heart. It's also, admittedly, not a day hike. But whether you through-hike the Rim Trail or simply hike a leg of it, you'll be trekking through quintessential South Lake Tahoe Terrain. Expect to see wildflowers, butterflies, lakes, and more, all of which you'll get to soak in amid plenty of peace and quiet. Some popular trail segments include Tahoe Rim Trail to Picnic Rock and Tahoe Meadows to Twin Lakes.


One of the first things you'll want to do after getting off the trail? Put up your feet. Our cozy guest rooms are the perfect place to relax for an evening in or make a quick pit stop to freshen up. Take a dip in the pool, savor the wine and cheese reception, or enjoy it for the gateway it is to all South Lake Tahoe and Heavenly Village have to offer.
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