One of the things we love most about living in Tahoe is the abundance of adventures available all-year-round! With the end of the ski season comes hiking and biking, then beaches and boating, or kayaking or paddleboarding as we head into summer. Right now, the snow is melting, the streams are running, and it’s waterfalls and wildflower season! Here are our top five spring hikes to enjoy this season!
Nestled along the north side of Squaw Valley, Shirley Canyon Trail follows Squaw Creek through the woods and up the canyon and continues all the way up to High Camp. It’s a great hike in the spring when the waterfalls are flowing. Depending on the snowpack, you might not be able to make it all the way up the trail until later in the season, when all the snow melts. It can get busy during the high season, but it’s a popular hike for all ages. Kids love scrambling around the large boulders along the edge of the stream, and dogs love splashing in the many small pools along the way.
Tahoe Rim Trail
There are plenty of spots to access the Rim Trail, the 165-mile loop around Lake Tahoe. There are so many options for day hikes, ranging from easy meadow strolls to more strenuous climbs. This time of year, the waterfalls are sure to be flowing, so check out McCloud Falls or The Galena Waterfall Hike. You can see all the waterfall hike options here. If you’re heading out later in the season, early summer is the best time for beautiful wildflower viewing. The best wildflower hikes can be found here. Some sections of the Rim Trail also allow mountain biking. You can check the website for updated trail conditions and information.
Cascade Falls Trail
This popular trail near Emerald Bay climbs up to Cascade Falls and offers gorgeous views of the Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe. This relatively short hike is great for kids, and there is plenty of space to spread out and enjoy a picnic lunch near the falls. You can also continue along the trail to the top of the falls for even more incredible views. There is limited parking near the Bayview Campground, which closes seasonally, but you can walk through the campground to access the trail.
Eagle Lake Trail
Another family-friendly hike near Emerald Bay, Eagle Lake Trail follows Eagle Creek past Eagle Falls to Eagle Lake. It’s a well-marked trail that can be quite popular in the summer months, and parking can be limited due to variety of trails and viewpoints in this area. If you head out earlier in the season though, you might have the trail to yourself, and you might even encounter a little snow! Make sure to check out Lower Eagle Falls on the other side of the road before you head home!