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Top Hiking Trails in Tahoe

Top Hiking Trails in Tahoe

There is no shortage of hiking trails in the Lake Tahoe area, but it's nice to know how “easy” or “hard” they'll be before you set out. Here are some of the most popular and easy-to-access hikes from the main towns, where most visitors stay. These four can be reached via Highway 89, which runs from Truckee down the west side of the lake.

 

Vikingsholm: 2 miles (3.2 kilometers)

If you’re driving to Emerald Bay, one of the lake’s most popular destinations, known for its tiny Fannette Island, the hike down to Vikingsholm Castle is a must. You can take in the view of the bay from the observation area on Highway 89, but most visitors walk down the mountain to the water to see the 1929 mansion and get another perspective on the bay. It’s a wide, out-and-back trail that doesn’t take long, but the change in elevation is almost 500 feet (152 meters), and you do have to hike back up to return to your car. Vikingsholm Castle is open for tours on select days. To continue hiking, join the Rubicon Trail or Eagle Falls trail once you’re on the lakeshore.

 

Five Lakes: 5 miles (8 kilometers)

Climb about 1,000 feet (305 meters) in elevation to reach a series of five small, pristine mountain lakes in the Granite Chief Wilderness. The trailhead sits on the road to Alpine Meadows ski resort, six miles (10 kilometers) from Tahoe City and 13 miles (21 kilometers) from Truckee. Most of the steep climbing is at the beginning, and then the trail flattens out a bit, rewarding you as as you meander to the lakes, where you can rest and refuel.

 

Shirley Canyon: 3.6 miles (5.7 kilometers)

Also known as Shirley Lake, this trail starts at the base of Squaw Valley ski resort and takes you up to the top of the mountain, known as High Camp, where you can hop on the aerial tram to ride back down. The trail is a favorite for its scenery of waterfalls, granite boulders, wildflowers, and Shirley Lake, which some hikers use as a turnaround point instead of hiking all the way to the top. If you do reach High Camp, you can toast your hard work with a drink while you admire the expansive view of the lake and surrounding peaks.

 

Eagle Rock: 0.7 miles (1.1 kilometers)

Not to be confused with Eagle Falls or Eagle Lake, which sit near Emerald Bay in the South Lake area, Eagle Rock viewpoint provides a quick way to get a panoramic view of the lake from its west shore. Just under five miles (seven kilometers) south of Tahoe City, before Homewood, the trailhead is off the west side of Highway 89. This is not a hike you’ll need to plan your whole day around, making it a great choice for families with younger kids.

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40 Tours and Activities | All Lake Tahoe Tours

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Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II

Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II

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375
Take a boat tour on Lake Tahoe to soak up the alpine beauty of Emerald Bay, one of the lake’s most scenic spots. As you glide across the water on the M.S. Dixie II, admire the surrounding Sierra Nevadas, and cruise past Emerald Bay’s Fannete Island, the lake’s only island, as well as Vikingsholm Castle, a unique home on the shore. Plus, watch a video on board about the interesting underwater features of the lake.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.75
From
$69.75
Taking safety measures

M.S Dixie II Sunset Dinner Cruise

M.S Dixie II Sunset Dinner Cruise

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277
Watch the sun slip behind the mountains on a Lake Tahoe dinner cruise aboard the M.S. Dixie II, and enjoy champagne, live music and an elegant dinner on the water. Dance to tunes from the local Steve Walker Band, see a spectacular Sierra sunset, then sit down for a freshly prepared meal. Enjoy selections like grass-fed beef or trout, organic greens, and vegetables. Finish the evening with fresh berries and cake as the first stars appear above the peaks, and Lake Tahoe’s scenic shoreline is illuminated.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$99.00
From
$99.00
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Day Trip to Yosemite from Lake Tahoe

Small-Group Day Trip to Yosemite from Lake Tahoe

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39
Explore the scenic highlights of Yosemite National Park on a full-day, small-group guided trip from Lake Tahoe with a lunchtime picnic beside Cascade Falls. Capture unforgettable images of the park’s soaring rock walls and craggy peaks then enjoy an invigorating hike to Yosemite Falls or Bridalveil Falls, where high-mountain rivers tumble from sheer granite cliffs. Spot rock climbers scaling the face of El Capitan, watch for deer in alpine meadows, and take in the timeless beauty of California’s High Sierra mountains.
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  • 14 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$220.00
From
$220.00
Taking safety measures

Lake Tahoe Ultimate Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour in Small-Group

Lake Tahoe Ultimate Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour in Small-Group

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558
Tahoe photographic tours offer a unique way to enjoy Lake Tahoe’s natural wonders and receive photography tips as you are led by an experienced photo guide who provides tips and shares information about the area. Whether you’re looking to snap a poster-worthy shot of snow-covered mountains, towering trees, wild flowers or the glassy lake itself, you’ll learn how to shoot in the great outdoors and see some of Lake Tahoe’s most beautiful natural sights, including Emerald Bay. Select either a half-day or full-day tour.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$179.00
From
$179.00
Taking safety measures

Private Boat Charter on Lake Tahoe with Captain Half Day

Private Boat Charter on Lake Tahoe with Captain Half Day

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6
This is an all inclusive price! Bring up to 6 guests on your private charter. Includes all gas, equipment and your own licensed Captain to drive you around the lake! If you love cruising the lake and visiting the famous and beautiful beaches of Tahoe... this is for you! Cruise Lake Tahoe with your own private boat captain and relax and enjoy on the beautiful, elegant boat, the Grateful Red. This is one of only two Mariah z250 Limited Shabah boats ever built in this style. It is definitely a head turner! Sun, Sand, Swim. Option to bring a picnic lunch, or we'll stop at one of the Lakeside lunch venues.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,000.00
per group
From
$1,000.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Emerald Bay Sunset Boat Charter - Romance on the Lake

Emerald Bay Sunset Boat Charter - Romance on the Lake

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8
Sit back and leave the driving to us while you enjoy beautiful Lake Tahoe in comfort and style aboard the luxurious Grateful Red. She is a 27- foot Mariah Z250 Limited Shabah, one of only two boats crafted in this stye. Includes Captain, guide, all gas, equipment and fun! This is the Ferrari of Lake Tahoe and has power and a smooth ride. This is the best way to see Emerald Bay up close and personal.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$550.00
per group
From
$550.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Wild West Day Trip from Lake Tahoe with Train Ride

Wild West Day Trip from Lake Tahoe with Train Ride

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54
Go back in time to the old Wild West on this tour from South Lake Tahoe to Virginia City, Nevada, including a train ride on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. With a guide, you’ll start your day trip by minibus, driving along part of the Pony Express. When you reach Virginia City, a National Historic Landmark District, take a 6.5-mile round-trip train ride before enjoying free time in town to explore at your leisure, perhaps visiting museums or a historical saloon.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.00
From
$72.00
Taking safety measures

Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe

Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe

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51
Showcasing beautiful Fallen Leaf lake, Cascade Lake, Taylor Creek, and Pope Beach, this tour heads to breathtaking Emerald Bay. Surrounded by granite cathedrals and fed by Eagle falls, the lake's only true bay is named for its emerald green waters.
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  • 10 to 12 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$94.00
From
$94.00
Taking safety measures

Zephyr Cove Helicopter Tour

Zephyr Cove Helicopter Tour

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14
See more of South Lake Tahoe from one of the best vantage points—the air—during this Zephyr Cove helicopter tour. This helicopter flight over South Lake Tahoe includes views of the lake, Emerald Bay, and Zephyr Cove from a window seat, as well as noise-reducing headphones so you can hear your guide’s commentary more clearly as you fly.
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  • 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$180.00
From
$180.00

El Dorado Wine Country Tour from South Lake Tahoe

El Dorado Wine Country Tour from South Lake Tahoe

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54
Visit the wineries near Lake Tahoe on this day trip to the El Dorado AVA (American Viticultural Area), a wine appellation outside the town of Placerville in the Sierra foothills. Accompanied by a wine guide, you’ll enjoy visits to multiple wineries, where tastings are included at the first three. Also included are a stop at Boa Vista fruit orchard, an outdoor picnic-style lunch, and transport from South Lake Tahoe. If you’re interested in wine or agriculture, this is a great way to see more of this region of Northern California. 
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$90.00
From
$90.00
Taking safety measures

Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley

Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley

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50
Travel all the way around scenic Lake Tahoe in a comfortable shuttle on this 7-hour tour. Led by a local guide, you’ll cover close to 70 miles (110km), making stops at the beautiful vistas of Sand Harbor and Emerald Bay. You’ll also visit a charming village at Squaw Valley Ski Resort, and explore Tahoe City on the lake’s north shore, stopping to purchase lunch. As you go, your guide will provide rich historical context for the beautiful landscape surrounding you.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$61.54
From
$61.54
Taking safety measures

Heavenly Premium Ski Rental Including Delivery

Heavenly Premium Ski Rental Including Delivery

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5
Get delivery of your ski and snowboard rental with this premium service in South Tahoe. Avoid waiting in the long lines at rental shops to get your boots, helmets, skis and snowboards. Order your gear ahead of time and get your equipment delivered to your home or vacation rental at a time of your choosing. Enjoy a custom in-home fitting by the expert technician to ensure you get the right fit. After you've shredded the slopes, schedule pickup at a time that's convenient for you.
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  • 5 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$106.34
From
$106.34

Lake Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Circle the Lake

Lake Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Circle the Lake

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9
This 45 minute ride follows Lake Tahoe's pristine 72 mile shoreline, shimmering in shades of green and blue. While most of the shoreline is visible from the roads and highways circling the lake, nothing can compare to the view from a helicopter! Start by flying to Emerald Bay, then continue your journey around Lake Tahoe to witness the many stunning views Lake Tahoe has to offer.
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$392.00
From
$392.00

Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Lakes and Waterfalls

Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Lakes and Waterfalls

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19
Get epic aerial views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding peaks and waterfalls on this 30-minute helicopter tour. Listen to your pilot-guide's commentary as you soar over Emerald Bay, Cascade Lake, Fallen Leave Lake, Glen Alpine Falls, Echo Lake, and other area attractions. This small-group tour means you'll have personalized attention while you travel.
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$265.00
From
$265.00

South Lake Tahoe Kayak Rental

South Lake Tahoe Kayak Rental

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7
Get an up-close look at Lake Tahoe with a kayak rental, which allows you to paddle across the water at your own pace, admiring the stunning mountain scenery or searching for hidden coves and beaches. With an easy-to-maneuver single kayak, you can paddle as fast or as slow as you wish to enjoy an outdoorsy workout or to simply relax. When booking, select a rental duration that suits your budget and schedule.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$48.83
From
$48.83

 Private Boat Charter Emerald Bay

Private Boat Charter Emerald Bay

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8
All inclusive price for gas, 6 guests and captain! Sit back and leave the driving to us while you enjoy beautiful Lake Tahoe in comfort and style aboard the luxurious Grateful Red. She is a 27- foot Mariah Z250 Limited Shabah, one of only two boats crafted in this style. Guests can bring aboard snacks, food, beverages, (except Red wine) and enjoy! Bring up to five passengers. Includes Captain, guide, all gas, equipment and fun! This is the Ferrari of Lake Tahoe and has power and a smooth ride. This is the best way to see Emerald Bay up close and personal.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$550.00
per group
From
$550.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Ski or Snowboard Rental in Lake Tahoe

Ski or Snowboard Rental in Lake Tahoe

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4
Hit the slopes of Tahoe this winter with a ski or snowboard rental package in South Lake Tahoe. You’ll be fitted by trained staff members who will make sure you leave with the boots, bindings, and skis or snowboard that are right for your skill level. Plus, receive maps of area resorts and tips about mountain safety. By reserving in advance, you’ll ensure you won’t miss out on rentals for your family during the busy ski season. Four rental locations are available, and you can choose a 1-, 2- or 3-day package.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
$44.59
From
$44.59

South Lake Tahoe Stand-Up Paddleboard Rental

South Lake Tahoe Stand-Up Paddleboard Rental

Combine fun in the sun with a total body workout on the clear blue waters of Lake Tahoe. With a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) rental, you can paddle across the lake at your own pace, using your legs to balance and stopping on the water or pulling up on a beach whenever you need a break. Enjoyable and exciting for water lovers of all ages, SUP-ing is easy to do and a memorable way to experience Lake Tahoe from a different vantage point.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$32.55
From
$32.55

Tahoe City 3-Hour Single Kayak Rental

Tahoe City 3-Hour Single Kayak Rental

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4
Explore the western shore of Lake Tahoe independently by kayak with a 3-hour kayak rental from Tahoe City. Soak in the views of forest and granite as you paddle across the crystal clear waters of this enormous lake, which is surrounded by 12,000-foot-tall (3,660-meter) mountains.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$54.49
From
$54.49

Sunset Wine & Cheese Emerald Bay Boat Charter

Sunset Wine & Cheese Emerald Bay Boat Charter

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2
Enjoy the best of Lake Tahoe on the elegant boat, "The Grateful Red." Sit back and leave the driving to Captain Bryan while you enjoy beautiful Lake Tahoe in comfort and style aboard the luxurious Mariah, Z250 Limited Shabah, one of only two boats crafted in this style. Each week, we'll be enjoying one of our favorite white wines and a selection of cheese, fruit and crackers. This private charter is for up to four guests and includes Captain, all gas, equipment, wine, cheese and of course, fun! This is the Ferrari of Lake Tahoe and has power and a smooth ride. This is the best way to see the lake up close and personal with friends before enjoying your evening in Lake Tahoe.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$650.00
per group
From
$650.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Tahoe's Sand Harbor Helicopter Tour

Tahoe's Sand Harbor Helicopter Tour

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1
Soar over Lake Tahoe and discover some of the hidden beaches and coves on this private helicopter tour. Admire the turquoise-blue waters of this alpine lake tucked away in the Sierra Nevada Mountains as you cruise over the landscape. Listen as your pilot-guide points out Glenbrook Bay, Secret Harbor, Skunk Harbor, and Chimney Beach as you reach Sand Harbor and Marlette Lake.
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$265.00
From
$265.00

Heavenly Premium Snowboard Rental Including Delivery

Heavenly Premium Snowboard Rental Including Delivery

star-5
1
Get delivery of your snowboard rental with this premium service in South Tahoe. Avoid waiting in the long lines at rental shops to get your boots, helmets, skis and snowboards. Order your gear ahead of time and get your equipment delivered to your home or vacation rental at a time of your choosing. Enjoy a custom, in-home fitting by the expert technician to ensure you get the right fit. After you've shredded the slopes, schedule pickup at a time that's convenient for you.
More
  • 5 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$106.34
From
$106.34

1-Hour Stand Up Paddleboard Lesson on Lake Tahoe

1-Hour Stand Up Paddleboard Lesson on Lake Tahoe

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2
Take a 1-hour stand-up paddleboard (SUP) lesson on the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe. Your instructor provides all necessary gear and instruction for your introductory class on this popular water sport. Take in the granite mountains and pine forest that ring the largest alpine lake in North America.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$43.59
From
$43.59

Cross-Country Ski Rental in Lake Tahoe

Cross-Country Ski Rental in Lake Tahoe

Go cross-country skiing in South Lake Tahoe, and enjoy the winter wonderland scenery while getting an excellent workout. With this cross-country ski rental package, you’ll receive the equipment you need to explore the mountain trails of the Sierra Nevada. Get fitted for boots, poles, skis, and bindings—plus you can rent or buy outerwear, if you need it. Reserving your rental in advance ensures you won’t miss out during the busy ski season.
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  • 1 to 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$34.80
From
$34.80