After the large amount of snow received this winter, finding good Tahoe hikes for early summer can be a challenge! Desolation wilderness will have snow for quite awhile and Carson Pass to Winnemucca Lake is said to likely have snow around until end of July! Though we have hopes that one will be clear sooner. 🙂
In the meanwhile, we still love to enjoy the outdoors and get out on the trail. Here are a few we’ve done recently that we know are clear, and a few others that are worth checking out to see how far in you can make it!
You’ll note, many of our favorite Tahoe hikes for early summer feature waterfalls. Especially this year, they are just too gorgeous not to pass up! But try to hit the trail early, especially if on the weekends as many others have the same idea.
- Cascade Falls:
- With great views of Cascade Lake, Cascade Falls AND Lake Tahoe this is always one of our early summer favorites. The trail is clear enough to make it through and is a nice mile or so hike to the falls themselves. Parking at the Bayview Trailhead can be tough on the weekends or at the height of the day around noon, as it’s also located near the Emerald Bay lookout, so we do try to get there early to park. Dog friendly.
- Vikingsholm and Emerald Bay:
- Also wise to get in early for parking this is a trail to the bottom of Emerald Bay that is also even handicap accessible (though difficult to push a stroller or wheelchair up and down the elevation climb). Dogs are not welcome on this trail but if you’ve never made the walk to the bottom of Emerald Bay it is worth the walk. You can follow the trail along the North shore of Emerald bay and around the point for miles, with gorgeous views, or you can just stop off at the bottom, enjoy a picnic and the views. It is not dog friendly.
- Eagle Falls and continue on to Eagle Lake:
- We’ve only walked to the falls this year, but Eagle Lake is one of the first ones to usually be clear in desolation wilderness and is a gorgeous alpine lake to make it to. The falls are just raging right now and it is worth the short hike just to go check them out. It is dog friendly.
- Cold Creek Trail to High Meadow:
- If you are looking for a nice and quiet hike that is not as crowded, as of the last week of May, Cold Creek Trail to High Meadow was clear to about 7800 ft. elevation. Nice views and not nearly as crowded as the other hikes listed above. Dog friendly.
- Van Sickle:
- If you are staying down in the Stateline area and want a great trail to get to but don’t want to drive anywhere just head back to Van Sickle park and head up the trail there! As of the end of May it was clear up to the water fall and is a nice hill climb that provides great views of Lake Tahoe along the way! Dog friendly.
- Glen Alpine Falls:
- At the end of May it was possible to hike back into the falls and further along the trail from Glen Alpine Trailhead, but did require a bit of maneuvering around the low creek in the middle of the trail at the beginning of the trail. The snow melt increasing, it may ebb and flow as far as ease of making it back there, but it is worth exploring, especially if you have waterproof boots! Dog friendly.
- Horsetail Falls:
- While located out of the basin and down Highway 50 into Strawberry, this is a spectacular area to explore and the falls are just gorgeous right now. Whether it’s possible to make it up to the top remains to be seen though, as the falls are very wide right now and it usually requires some three point climbing up there at the top. Definitely not wise to bring your dog if you plan on going far up the falls, as it is dangerous for them with the boulder climbing you have to maneuver. Regardless of if you can make it to the top or not though, the falls and the river alongside the trail are just gorgeous to go explore, however far you can make it!
We hope these trails get your wheels turning as far as fun locations to go explore during the early summer months while we anxiously await the higher elevation trails to clear out!