Hiking around Lake Tahoe

Did you know Lake Tahoe…?

*is the second deepest lake in America, approximately 1600 feet deep!

*has only one outlet, the Truckee River which flows into Pyramid Lake!

*is so clear that objects can be seen clearly 67 feet below the surface!

The lake is mesmerizing in its beauty with a dizzying amount of outdoor activities available! It borders two states: Nevada and California, and the drive around the circumference can take over two hours. There are many intense peaks to summit around Lake Tahoe, but with just a short time to enjoy the scenery I wanted to pick a few different hikes to gather multiple perspectives of the landscape. Coming from Reno our first destination would be on the Nevada side to check out Bonsai Rock. The rock got its name because of the tiny trees growing atop it, which look similar to the Japanese tradition.

There is no parking lot or sign, just head into one of the pull offs. You can see the rock from the road and then find a herd path down to get a closer look. The trail is short (approx .25), but very steep so use caution and wear adequate shoes! The next stop was Chimney Beach, just a few minutes down the road. The trail starts behind the gate to the right of the dumpster, it is about 2.5 miles of hiking round trip. Heading down the hill you’ll meet a sign which in one direction points to Chimney Beach and the other to Secret Cove. If you make the detour to S.C., it is a stunning spot. On a cool fall day not another soul was there, but beware on hot summer visit, this is a well known nudist beach! Back in the other direction when you reach the water you will be sure to marvel at the sparkling crystal clear water.

Follow the coast until you reach the unmistakable Chimney Beach complete with a perfect stretch of sand. After hiking back out we continued driving towards the state line, to the Van Sickle Bi-State Park which spans over both states where there are many options. You can take a short walk under one mile (roundtrip) to a scenic overlook with expansive views of the lake in the distance and the casinos below come into view. You may catch a glimpse of a raptor or some prey.Keep going and you’ll reach a little waterfall with a two mile (roundtrip) hike, be prepared for an uphill climb.

Keep going and eventually you will reach the Tahoe Rim trail, to continue from there is quite a bit more of a commitment. Our final stop of the day now on the California side of the lake was at Inspiration Point. There is a large parking with a fantastic view of the only island on Lake Tahoe.

On the island is a Scandinavian castle called Vikingsholm, a summer home built in the 1920s. Directly across the street past the campground is the trailhead to Cascade Falls. A two mile roundtrip hike gives views glorious of Emerald Bay, and Tahoe peeking out behind.

The scenery is terrific the entire way, you’ll soon see the waterfall pop out from between the trees.

The trail will take you all the way beside the falls, be careful in this area drop offs are steep.

Driving back from the lake as the sunsets turned the mountains pink and purple, a most compelling sight.

Lake Tahoe is an amazing area with so much to do and see, other than hiking try skiing in winter, swimming in summer, and any number of mountain biking trails.

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