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Short Hikes with Great Views in North Lake Tahoe
Short Hikes with Great Views in North Lake Tahoe

So, you’re visiting North Lake Tahoe and you’re looking for a short hike with a great view? Maybe you don’t have time for a longer hike, or maybe you’re just beat after a day in the sun, but you still want that perfect vantage point to catch an incredible Tahoe sunset. Check out a few of our favorite short hikes with big payoffs below.

Short Hikes North Lake Tahoe

Stateline Fire Lookout Views

Stateline Fire Lookout

Location: Crystal Bay, NV
Total Round-Trip Distance: 1 mile

This trail is a favorite if you just have a short time before the sun sets. To get there, take Reservoir Road in Crystal Bay (located just east of the Tahoe Biltmore), and park near the forest-service gate.  This short hike is well-marked and easy to find, with a gravel road going all the way to the top. Once at the top, you’ll enjoy an interpretive walking loop, benches and seating areas, and of course, panoramic views of Lake Tahoe. Watch the sun set over Kings Beach at this stunning location. You won’t want to leave until it’s dark.


Monkey Rock

Tahoe Beachfront Hotel

Views from the Tunnel Creek Trail

Location: Incline Village, NV
Total Round-Trip Distance: 1 mile

Monkey Rock is an offshoot of the Tunnel Creek Trail. To get there, park at the Tunnel Creek Cafe, and take the paved road behind the cafe up to a forest-service gate. You’ll follow a dirt road for about a 1/4 mile, and then take a left on the singletrack to find the monkey. He’s a stone, overlooking the lake, with an ear and some eyes carved into him. It’s a beautiful spot to stop and enjoy the view, and if you are feeling tenacious, you can continue up the Tunnel Creek Trail until it meets the Flume Trail–a 7 mile trail ending at Marlette Lake, with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe. However, for a short hike, Monkey Rock is a great choice.


Picnic Rock

Location: Kings Beach, CA
Total Round-Trip Distance: 3 miles

Get a taste of the Tahoe Rim trail when you make your way to Picnic Rock. To get there, take Hwy 267 up from Kings Beach about 2.5 miles. You’ll see a pullout on the left side of the road, there are usually cars parked there. Cross the road to the right side, and you’ll see markers for the Tahoe Rim Trail. Follow the Tahoe Rim Trail Spur Viewpoint Trail up to Picnic Rock, which offers a fantastic views of Lake Tahoe, and the perfect place to stop for a picnic (you’ll be hungry after the hike!).


Short Hikes North Lake Tahoe

Eagle Rock Views

Eagle Rock

Location: Homewood, CA
Total Round-Trip Distance: .50 miles

This short but steep hike is just off of Hwy 89S, about 5 miles south of Tahoe City. There is a small trailhead parking area on the side of the road. Once at Eagle Rock, you’ll feel almost like you’re standing over Lake Tahoe. If you’re an early bird, it is well worth waking up to catch a sunrise on Eagle Rock, which faces east. However, this hike serves up amazing views any time of day, all year round.


We hope that you take some time to check out these hikes the next time that you stay in Tahoe! Looking for some longer hikes? Check out a few of our favorites here. The Franciscan Lakeside Lodge is located less than 30 minutes from all of these hikes, and is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking to do some Tahoe exploring and Tahoe relaxing. Learn more about our lodging options and book your stay here.







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