Lake Tahoe’s Best Hikes – Wildflowers and Waterfalls

  |   Camp Lifestyle, Featured Posts, Hiking, Truckee & Tahoe Activities   |   2 Comments

As a Truckee resident for more than 20 years, I’ve laced up the boots, grabbed the camera and covered a lot of ground. This time of year is prime time for wildflowers and waterfalls as you’ll find here on some of my favorite local trails.

By Paul Hamill

Lacey Meadows

This gem of a meadow is just 45 minutes northwest of Truckee but demands a full day at the least or, better yet, an overnight campout. Here, you’re at the headwaters of the Little Truckee River. The trailhead for this level, 6-mile round trip hike begins just west of Webber Lake. Aside from fields of flowers, you’ll find fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking and a campground where you can settle in under a night of Milky Way skies.

Shirley Canyon
Shirley Canyon Hiking - Lake Tahoe

Challenging and beautiful are two words that come to mind when I tell friends about this 4.5-mile trek at Squaw Valley. You can shorten the hike by traveling out and back along the creeks as far as you want or take it all the way up and over granite fields, past Shirley Lake and up to High Camp at Squaw Valley. If the tram’s running and your legs aren’t, take the free tram ride down (when running).

Sagehen Creek
Truckee's best hike - Sagehen Creek

Head north of Truckee on Highway 89 a few miles and you’ll pass over Sagehen Creek. Parking is limited and weekends normally find the pullout crowded but set out on this gentle 4-mile roundtrip hike and – toward the end of the trail – you’ll encounter meadows that are mad with Camas Lilies. Come back five months later and you’ll find aspens and
kokanee salmon sporting coats of gold and red.

Horsetail Falls
Tahoe Best hikes - horesetail falls - paul hamill

Plan early for this drive as you’ll venture beyond South Lake Tahoe to Highway 50 and the Twin Bridges trailhead just past Strawberry. Parking is $5 but the scene is priceless, a 3-mile round trip hike loaded with one amazing sight after another. Best plan: pack a lunch, water and your camera and make a full day of it.

By Paul Hamill

  • Sharon Elaine Wall | Aug 4, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Do you have photos of a hike through a meadow and up to a craggy rock to look down on Donner Lake. The time I hiked it there was a guide leading a person on a tall llama with day pack on llama or overnight pack on saddle. The group I was with stopped on a large rock to have lunch before the practical vertical upward climb.

    • Paul Hamill | Aug 5, 2018 at 8:58 am

      Yes, We have been on many hikes above Donner Lake.

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