5 Awesome Early Summer Hikes in South Tahoe


—By Laura Van Antwerp A.K.A. JANGLES!!!

As we defrost from a killer winter, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Dang! I really want to go hiking, but I don’t know what conditions to expect after all that snowfall!”

Fear not, for we’ve embarked into the great unknown to get the scoop on five AWESOME, dried out hikes you can check out this early summer.

 Round Lake


Round Lake is a pleasant departure from your standard Tahoe alpine lake. The trail meanders through a flowery stretch of meadow early on, and finishes with a breathtaking view of commanding volcanic cliffs that tower over the south shoreline. Be sure to spend some time with”Harry”, the solitary juniper tree that reigns over the lake from his throne at the end of the peninsula.

Miles: 6.2 miles out and back
Difficulty: BlueSquare

 Lake Dardanelles


Dardanelles resides in the same vicinity as Round Lake, however, this shimmering oasis offers a much different experience from its neighbor to the south. The best part about this lake is the sloping granite shoreline that stretches out into the water. This area is so unique from the surrounding region it practically feels like an island. Speckled with ponds, scraggly trees, and all kinds of interesting features, you’ll feel like you’ve landed on another planet. Arrive early and you’ll be able to claim the campsite nestled right in the middle of this cool area!

Miles: 7.5 miles out and back.

 Horsetail Falls


Horsetail Falls, which cascades down glacier-carved granite, will leave you feeling humbled in the presence of her spectacular strength and grace. The trail itself has a tendency to disappear, so you’ll likely find yourself feeling lost at one point or another. Don’t worry—it’s totally normal. Just keep the aimless wandering directed towards the falls and you’ll make it.

For the physically fit and ambitious, make a point to head to the top. It’s totally worth it!

Miles: 3 miles out and back
Difficulty:BlueSquare to the base, BlackDiamond to the top.

 Susie Lake

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The approach to Susie Lake via the Glen Alpine Trail is nothing short of stunning. Be sure to stop and admire the wildflower patch on the way in —Josheph’s technicolor dreamcoat ain’t got nothin’ on this spot! The stream crossing just before reaching Susie is particularly treacherous this year—look for the more sturdy log crossing located upstream. Upon arrival to Susie, set up camp and then head out for some exploration. Susie Falls and Heather Lake are nothing short of spectacular.

Miles: 9 miles out and back.
Difficulty: BlueSquare

 Echo Lakes


If you’re looking for something mellow to take the grandparents on, look no further. It’s the views, rather than the hike itself, that will leave you short of breath. The trail travels along the north side overlooking both Lower Echo and Upper Echo lakes. If you care to add some adventure to your hike, take the strenuous scramble up to Flagpole Peak. The mind-blowing vista at the summit overlooks Echo Lake to the south, and the entire Tahoe Basin to its right.

Miles: 5 miles out and back.
Difficulty:GreenCircle or BlackDiamondBlackDiamond to summit Flagpole.

 Happy trails and please, PLEASE pack out ALL your trash—and be sure to dig your poopholes far from the water!


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