Best Backpacking in South Lake Tahoe

Looking for the best backpacking in South Lake Tahoe? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around South Lake Tahoe. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the incredible Outbound community.

  • Backpack to Eagle Lake and Dick's Lake

    Get ready to get your lake on! This backpacking trip will take you 13+ miles through awesome scenery to several alpine lakes.Starting at the Bayview Campground, off of HWY 89, this hike follows the Granite Lake Trail along a difficult climb. Don't...

    13 miles 1500 ft gain

  • Hike to Snow Lake in Desolation Wilderness

    This wonderful alpine lake is a relatively short hike in Desolation Wilderness and is a perfect introduction to off trail exploration. This area lacks the crowds that other lakes in Desolation garner because most maps don't show the trail leading ...

    5 miles

  • Hike to the Velma Lakes in Desolation Wilderness

    The hike starts at Bayview Trailhead (Latitude: 38.938619 | Longitude: -120.14197). A wooden sign points right to "Desolation" and left to Cascade Falls. Follow the sign towards Desolation. The first 3/4 mile is comprised of switch-backs that lead...

    4.5 miles 880 ft gain

  • Camp at Bayview Campground

    Bayview is a first come, first serve campground in South Lake Tahoe, halfway between Emerald Bay and Cascade Lake. You can catch an amazing sunrise over Emerald Bay! Large pine trees provide ample shade, and each site is equipped with a picnic tab...

  • Backpack to Susie Lake, Desolation Wilderness

    Starting at the Glen Alpine trailhead (best access to Susie Lake): To get to the trailhead, head toward Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe. From HWY 89, turn onto Fallen Leaf Rd and drive past the summer homes and marina until you reach a small ...

    7.6 miles 2400 ft gain

  • Hike to Half Moon Lake in Desolation Wilderness

    This hike starts at the Glen Alpine Trailhead near Fallen Leaf Lake. Because Desolation is a wilderness area, you are required to fill out a day-use permit which can be found at the trailhead. If you are backpacking make sure to obtain an overnigh...

    11 miles 1600 ft gain

  • Backpack to Gilmore Lake in Desolation Wilderness

    The easiest way to get to Gilmore Lake is to start at the Glen Alpine trailhead. The trail head is southwest of Fallen Leaf Lake. There is a decently sized parking lot at the trailhead, but parking is also available on the road up. Because desolat...

    8 miles 1901 ft gain

  • Hike to Fontanillis & Dicks Lake

    Bring bear cans for bears, and be aware that rattlesnakes and mosquitos are also common on the trail. Fontanillis and Dicks Lakes provide secluded campsites and great fishing. Campsites are on the north shore of Dicks Lake and at either end of Fon...

    10.4 miles 1921 ft gain

  • Backpack to Middle Velma Lake

    Hiking or backpacking to the Velma Lakes area is a must do if you want to explore and escape the summer crowds of South Tahoe. There are 3 lakes, Upper, Middle, and Lower Velma Lake. The trek out to Middle Velma is 7.6 miles roundtrip, but you can...

    7.6 miles

  • Hike or Backpack to Clyde Lake

    The Clyde Lake Trail is perfect for fly fishing, wildflower spotting, and enjoying changing forest scenery. If you hike this trail early in the season, there is an ice cave just before you reach Lake Heather. This trail also connects to Rockbound ...

    14.8 miles 2847 ft gain

  • Hike the Echo Lake Trail

    The Echo Lakes Trail goes through California's Desolation Wilderness and features incredible views. This trail is rated as moderate, and is best for excited beginners or intermediate hikers. This hike takes roughly 3.5-4 hours. Dogs are allowed on...

    5 miles 688 ft gain

  • Backpack to the "Waterfall Camp" in Desolation Wilderness

    Although this hike can be done as a day hike, it is an awesome place to camp. There is a lot to explore and you will want to spend as much there time as you can. The easiest way to start this hike is to start at the Echo Lakes. There is ample park...

    10.5 miles 840 ft gain