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Tahoe Summer Activities

Chimney Beach/Secret Cove/Creek Beaches-East Shore of Lake Tahoe - Difficulty: Easy, 1-3 miles round trip +/- 200 feet

A tiny parking lot located 8.2 miles from the roundabout in Incline Village offers access to some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches on the lake. Less than a ¼ mile northwest of the parking lot, Chimney Beach is the easiest to access. Then, if you hike along the dirt road to the south, you will reach the trail down to Secret Cove in just under a mile. If you continue on the road you will reach beautiful wide-open Creek Beach after about a mile and a half from the parking lot. There are several nice beaches along this route.

Donner Peak Hike - Truckee - Difficulty: Moderate, 5 miles round trip, +/- 1000 feet

Donner Peak Trail – The trail starts where Donner Pass Road crosses the Pacific Crest Trail, 0.4 miles past the Old 40/Rainbow Bridge when going up Donner Pass Road from Donner Lake. You will see a parking lot on the left and some buildings. Parking is not allowed in the lot, but you can park on the street. Follow the road behind the parking lot to the Donner Peak Trailhead, you will see the Pacific Crest Trail zig-zagging up the mountain to your left. Follow the trail 0.8 miles until you almost cross under the ski chairlift where a trail will cut hard left, almost a making u-turn. Follow this trail another mile and you will be at Donner Peak. 

Eagle Rock Hike – West Shore of Lake Tahoe - Difficulty: Easy/Moderate, 1.5 miles, +/- 250 feet

Located on Highway 89, 4.7 miles south of the traffic light in Tahoe City, this half-mile hike takes you up 250 vertical feet to the top of a large rock outcropping, and one of the most spectacular views of the Lake. The trailhead can be found by searching for “Eagle Rock Hiking Trail Homewood” on Google Maps. 

Five Lakes Trail – Alpine Meadows - DIfficulty: Moderate, 5 miles round trip, +/- 1000 feet

Called one of the best short day hikes in California, the Five Lakes Trail takes you 2.5 miles and 1000 vertical feet into Granite Chief Wilderness. Nestled in between Alpine Meadows and Olympic Valley, the trail to these 5 scenic lakes starts at the corner of Alpine Meadows Road and the 2nd (Upper) Deer Park Drive.

Shirley Canyon Trail – Palisades Tahoe, Olympic Valley - Difficulty: Strenuous, 4 miles one way, +2000 feet

The Shirley Canyon Trail is a moderate/strenuous yet very rewarding hike from the base of Palisades Tahoe in Olympic Valley up to High Camp. It starts along beautiful Squaw Creek as you pass along clear pools and rushing waterfalls of freezing snowmelt. Rising 2000 vertical feet in just under 4 miles, the trail takes you by Shirley Lake, a perfect place to take a dip on a hot summer day. From there you are just a short distance from High Camp, where hikers are rewarded with a pool, hot tub, bar, and restaurant, AND a complimentary ride down on the tram! If you wish to experience high alpine scenery but prefer an easier walk, you can buy a ticket and take the tram up to High Camp and walk around from there. The Shirley Canyon trailhead is located at the end of Squaw Peak Road.

Mount Rose – Outside of Incline Village - Difficulty: Strenuous, 8 miles round trip, +/-2000 feet

Trailhead: Take Hwy 431 (Mt. Rose Hwy) north of Incline Village. Park at the trailhead one mile before (south of) the summit. Description: Mt. Rose is one of the highest peaks near Lake Tahoe and offers spectacular views of the Lake, Reno, and the Tahoe basin. Follow a dirt road for 3 miles through a forest full of Lodgepole, mule ears, and sagebrush. A meadow at the halfway point bears lupine, paintbrush, and larkspur. The last two miles follow slippery switchbacks to the ridgeline. Don’t forget to sign the logbook when you make it to the top!

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