Five must-do snowshoe hikes at Lake Tahoe
From hikes with sweeping views to routes with brutally steep climbs, this area has a little bit of everything.
— Winnemucca Lake
— Level: Moderate / Difficult
The approximately 2-mile hike up to Winnemucca Lake offers some of the best views in the region, especially for such a short, easy route. Start at the Sno-Park on top of Carson Pass, about 27 miles south of South Lake Tahoe. You’ll be starting at above 8,000 feet, which means you’ll most likely be hiking in a lot of snow. Unless you’re ready for a world of hurt, snowshoes aren’t optional. Leashed dogs are welcome.
You’ll need to buy a parking pass if you plan to leave your car in the lot at the top of the pass — it is, by far, the easiest option. The Chevron Station on Highway 50 in Meyers sells both day and annual passes, as does Kirkwood Mountain Resort.
The trail climbs steadily through groves of conifers before you abruptly leave the trees behind and start traversing a fairly open, west-facing slope. You’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of Caples Lake to your right as the Pacific Crest Trail runs parallel on your left. Another mile, and you arrive at Winnemucca, a frozen gem below the jagged Three Sisters. Feeling intrepid? It’s another mile up to Round Top Lake, which offers more great views of the surrounding valley and peaks.
— Camp Richardson Historic Resort
— Level: Easy
The Camp Richardson Historic Resort in South Lake Tahoe offers groomed, level snowshoe trails for the whole family. The popular destination is located about 2.5 miles north of South Lake Tahoe on Highway 89 and sits just yards from the lakeshore.
Rent equipment at the Mountain Sports Center, which is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day in the winter. Adults can buy a full day snowshoe pass at the resort for $19 while child tickets cost $12. Half-day options are also available, but don’t bring your dog. There’s a strict no-pet policy at the resort. For more information, call 530-542-6584.
— Meeks Bay
— Level: Easy
Across the road from the bay, there’s a ...