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Gear Up for Lake Tahoe Hiking

Last updated: July 2024

The breathtaking Sierra Nevada that surrounds Lake Tahoe never disappoints. Whether it’s hiking on the shoreline along crystal blue waters or up into the mountains for waterfalls and awe-inspiring scenic views, these hikes are well worth the effort. The right shoes and clothes can make a big difference and you’ll want to check out extras like backpacks, water bottles and snacks too.

Check out what Alpenglow Sports’ Director of Marketing Max Rehkopf recommends bringing on your next Lake Tahoe hike.

Where to Find Your Gear

Alpenglow Sports can gear you up for all things outdoors. Located in Tahoe City, this outdoor specialty store has everything you need for summer hiking, backpacking, rock climbing and trail running. And you’re covered in the winter, too, when some trails require snowshoes, skis, poles and warmer gear. They have a passion for the outdoors, so feel free to ask all your questions. It’s their favorite topic.

Alpenglow Sports Picks

Match up the numbers in our hiking collage to the Alpenglow Sports products below.

  • 1: Dog water bowl.
  • 2: GPS watch.
  • 3: Boots.
  • 4: First aid kit.
  • 5: Water bottle.
  • 6: Pack.
  • 7: Headlamp.

Where to Go

The shortest hike with the best views is Eagle Rock. It’s just one mile out and back and offers panoramic views of Lake Tahoe, with volcanic rock formations to trek on at the top.

Short and historic is the Vikingsholm Trail, which starts in the parking lot of the famous Vikingsholm Castle. It’s about an hour’s walk through a forested paradise at a striking Scandinavian-inspired castle and ends at a sandy beach with picnic tables.

For the best view of Lake Tahoe, try the Tunnel Creek Trail. It’s 4.7 miles out and back and moderately difficult. It starts at Tunnel Creek Café and takes you up to Monkey Rock, a boulder that looks very much like a gorilla and makes for great pictures.

For even more trails to trek, check out our Happy Trails list.

Make a Clear Difference

While you’re taking in all the unique natural beauty, be sure not to leave anything behind.

There’s also a Tahoe trend for regenerative travel, where you not only sustain the area but leave it better than you found it. You could learn about the area at the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, participate in a cleanup or in gathering research, or just shopping local.

TART Connect is a very eco-friendly way to get around Lake Tahoe for hiking, taking you all over the North Shore to different trails. You just download the app to your phone, and then you’re hooked up to a free curb-to-curb, on-demand shuttle service.

There are so many inviting places to stay in Lake Tahoe with several right on the shore for even easier access to the lake. You can also stay further up the mountain or in any of the 12 surrounding towns. Check out more know-before-you-go tips to help preserve Lake Tahoe.