Our trip to Lake Tahoe was nothing short of magical. This was a last-minute trip during a super busy time in our lives so it was a welcome escape but that also meant that we didn’t really have a lot of time to plan and prepare. We actually started our trip off with a few days in Napa Valley. You can read about that trip here.
Driving up the mountain to Lake Tahoe we really didn’t have any sort of plan of what we wanted to do other than spend a lot of time hiking in the fresh air. And boy did Tahoe deliver.
Wheret to Stay in South Lake Tahoe
We stayed in South Lake Tahoe at the Wyndham Worldmark South Shore Resort which is on the Nevada side. We really loved the location of this resort. It was just a short distance to a beautiful beach surrounded by trails which was just want we needed. It was also located near lots of great restaurants, casinos, and shopping.
Best Hiking in South Lake Tahoe
Tahoe has some of the most beautiful and picturesque hiking trails. No matter what your hiking experience or physical ability, they have trails for you. One of my favorite apps for hiking is called Alltrails. I use this anytime we travel to a new area to discover the best hiking, running, and biking trails. Think of it as the Yelp for hikers.
Castle Rock via the Tahoe Rim Trail
We really loved this hike. It was very easy with a moderate incline and beautiful views along the way. It is an out-and-back trail with a total length of 3.2 Miles and takes about an hour and a half to complete (depending on how long you stay at Castle Rock).
Sand Harbor Nature Trail
This was our favorite trail. Everywhere you looked there was beautiful coastline littered with huge boulders. The pictures just don’t do it justice. There is a $15 parking fee but trust me, it is $15 well spent. The trail is only half a mile and actually a boardwalk, making it perfect for all levels of hikers. If you are surefooted there are a few places to venture off the trail and navigate the boulders near the water’s edge. Harbor Sands is the perfect place to rent kayaks or paddle boards and explore the coastline, and don’t forget the drone if you packed it. The clarity of the water here is incredible and photos from above as you paddle board are quite breathtaking. We actually packed some charcuterie and walked over to one of the beaches and had a picnic by the water.
Emerald Point Trail
This is a 4.4-mile hike out and back taking just under 2 hours to complete. There is a $10 parking fee but parking is allowed along the road for free. There are also bathrooms at the trailhead The only real elevation is at the beginning. After that, it becomes more of a shoreline hike with plenty of places to sit and look over the bay. The trail along the water is beautiful and you will also pass Vikingsholm Castle. Be sure to wear waterproof shoes if you are going when the snow is melting. It can get a little sloshy.
Barn Trail to Cal Nevada Loop This is typically considered an easy trail but the first mile is considerably steep. But, there are plenty of places to stop and rest while enjoying the beautiful view. Though the climb was considerable, the views once we made it to the top, after some serious rock climbing, were totally worth it.