Outbound Collective logo

The 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 Outbound community.

Top backpacking spots in and near South Lake Tahoe

  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Cold Creek and Monument Pass Trail to Monument Pass

    10.21 mi / 2569 ft gain
    Cold Creek and Monument Pass Trail to Monument Pass is a loop trail that takes you through a nice forest located near South Lake Tahoe, California.
    Read more
  • Stateline, Nevada

    Monument Pass, Freel Peak, and Mr. Toads Wild Ride via Tahoe Rim Trail

    23.63 mi / 3871 ft gain
    Monument Pass, Freel Peak, and Mr. Toads Wild Ride via Tahoe Rim Trail is a point-to-point that takes you through a nice forest located near Zephyr Cove, Nevada.
    Read more
  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Backpack to Eagle Lake and Dick's Lake

    4.5
    13 mi / 1500 ft gain
    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 let the climb discourage you! As you climb, the v...
    Read more
  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Hike to Snow Lake in Desolation Wilderness

    5.0
    5 mi
    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 to the lake. Although there is a rough trail, the ...
    Read more
  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Hike to the Velma Lakes in Desolation Wilderness

    3.0
    4.5 mi / 880 ft gain
    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 to a high point with a spectacular view of Lake T...
    Read more
  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Dicks Lake, Gilmore Lake, and Lake Aloha from Cascade Lake

    22.36 mi / 5207 ft gain
    Dicks Lake, Gilmore Lake, and Lake Aloha from Cascade Lake is an out-and-back trail where you may see local wildlife located near Tahoma, California.
    Read more
  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Granite Lake, Dick's Lake, Velma Lake, and Eagle Lake Loop

    11.65 mi / 2756 ft gain
    Granite Lake, Dick's Lake, Velma Lake, and Eagle Lake Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near South Lake Tahoe, California.
    Read more
  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Bayview Trail to Velma Lakes

    10.16 mi / 2316 ft gain
    Bayview Trail to Velma Lakes is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a lake located near Tahoma, California.
    Read more
  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Camp at Bayview Campground

    5.0
    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 table, grill, and bear boxes. Bring plenty of water -...
    Read more
  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Gilmore Lake in Desolation Wilderness

    8.66 mi / 1919 ft gain
    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 desolation is a wilderness area, you must fill out a perm...
    Read more
  • Tahoma, California

    Susie Lake, Desolation Wilderness

    5.0
    7.96 mi / 1496 ft gain
    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 firehouse on the left side of the road. You'll fol...
    Read more
  • Tahoma, California

    Hike to Half Moon Lake in Desolation Wilderness

    5.0
    11 mi / 1600 ft gain
    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 overnight permit either online or at the Taylor Creek Visi...
    Read more
  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Glen Alpine Loop

    12.11 mi / 2064 ft gain
    Glen Alpine Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near South Lake Tahoe, California.
    Read more
  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Hike to Fontanillis & Dicks Lake

    10.4 mi / 1921 ft gain
    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 Fontanillis Lake. Make sure you have proper permits i...
    Read more
  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Backpack to Middle Velma Lake

    4.5
    9.18 mi / 2251 ft gain
    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 9+ miles roundtrip, but you can add to it depending on how many other lakes you wa...
    Read more
  • Tahoma, California

    Hike or Backpack to Clyde Lake

    3.0
    14.8 mi / 2847 ft gain
    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 Pass and Emerald Bay. 
    Read more