Walk to the Historic Stateline Fire Lookout site



1.8 miles

Elevation Gain

340 ft

Route Type


Added by Neonconflagrations

A short path climbs steadily before opening up to a series of panoramic viewpoints that offer breathtaking views of north Lake Tahoe.

The hike up to the Historic Stateline Fire Lookout above Lake Tahoe's Crystal Bay area is somewhat of a misnomer, as the fire lookout no longer exists. Instead, the path, which follows a paved forest road, up to the site where the tower once stood will bring hikers to a panoramic viewpoint that looks out over wide swaths of the northern Tahoe lakeshores.

Start off by parking in a neighborhood that lies in the state of Nevada, though by the time you've made it up the semi-steep walking path to the lookout site, you've crossed an unsigned boundary into California. The tower site has a small cement platform with a rock-lined wall. It's a great spot to sit down and look west over the shores and seasonally busy waters of Kings Beach. Interpretive signs explaining the history of the lookout site and tower, as well as some of the lodges below which provided retreats for wealthy vacationers, are dotted throughout the area, appearing on paths that circle the tower site. 

A short path leads from the upper parking area, which has a small bathroom, down to picnic tables in a shaded forest area. And if you look closely a short ways before reaching the top, you'll notice some cement paths that veer from the road and circle the area. This path leads to several other interpretive signs and benches where one can sit and take in the calming blues of the lake and sky.

While paved, the trail to the lookout area is relatively short and steep. Parking is free and available along the road around the trailhead, which begins behind a green forest service road gate.

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Know for

Family Friendly
Picnic Area



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Catch a Sunset, You'll Be Happy

Short, wouldn't call it much of a hike, but the views from the fire lookout are amazing...especially as the sun is setting!

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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