Hiking can be a leisurely activity spent with friends or it can be a challenging adventure that can take you to the very top of the world. For those in either category, Tahoe provides many trails that travel to hidden waterfalls, crystal clear alpine lakes and the highest peaks in the Basin. Individuals looking for a real test of their endurance and strength need look no further than the following hikes rated hard in the Tahoe Basin.
The summit of Mt. Tallac offers stunning views of Tahoe. Credit: Rachid Dahnoun / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
9.6 miles | 3,323 elevation gain
Mt. Tallac is the towering peak that marks the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. Its iconic cross, which typically bears the final remnants of an epic winter, can be seen throughout the southern community. In addition to its staggering height and beauty, Tallac offers an extremely difficult, but very rewarding hike that takes you through troves of wildflowers to its summit where you can peer into Desolation Wilderness and view the many alpine lakes dotting the region.
Tips: Leave early to beat the heat and the crowds. We recommend leaving by first light.
6.2 miles | 3,228 elevation gain
Freel Peak sits at 10,892 ft. (just over 1,000 feet higher than Mt. Tallac) and claims the title for tallest peak in Tahoe. With this status, it’s easy to imagine that a hike to its summit would be, well, staggering! By many accounts, Freel is much more difficult than Tallac with sand accounting for much of its final ascent. Like Tallac, Freel provides very gratifying views of not only Lake Tahoe and its surroundings, but also of Carson Valley. If you want to claim that you’ve hiked the highest peak in Tahoe, then Freel is for you!
Tips: Take it slow when approaching the summit as it’s mostly sand and your footing may stumble.
6.4 miles | 3,018 elevation gain
For wildflowers and impressive mountain overlooks, hikers will find a stimulating, albeit thigh burning, hike in Ralston Peak. Much of the hike is uphill and steep, so be prepared for a long climb to the top. However, this hike is much less populated than Freel and Tallac, which means you’ll have the gorgeous summit mostly to yourself
Tips: Check the weather before you head out as weather can change quickly towards the top.
Take in multiple lakes and views of Emerald Bay from Maggies Peaks. Credit: Robbie Graves
3.7 miles | 1,774 elevation gain
The more moderate option of the aforementioned hikes, Maggies Peak is a fairly steep, mostly uphill hike that provides generous views of Emerald Bay and Desolation Wilderness. Choose between the north peak to see more of the bay and the south peak for more of Desolation. Butterflies abound at the top, making it the perfect picnic spot.
Tips: If you’re new to more difficult trails, try Maggies before attempting any of the first three hikes.
See you out on the trails!
Summer may be ending, but there’s no reason to be sad! End your summer on a high note during this upcoming Labor Day weekend and beyond with live music, food and wine, and plenty of activities to make you summer but a distant dream.
Enjoy the last days of summer at the beach or a number of fun events. Photo credit: Rachid Dahnoun / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
New this year, the Heavenly Village Carnival, Art & Music Festival will bring family-friendly entertainment to the Heavenly Village, only a 10-minute drive from the Ridge Tahoe. Starting on Friday, Sept. 1, the festival will include carnival themed rides, foods, and games, as well as live music from Hit Parade and Holidae House among others. The carnival will also feature a car show and specialty acts from stilt walkers, plein air artists, and jugglers.
Send off summer with a carnival at Heavenly Village.
Also on Sept. 1, Beach Retreat & Lodge will host their Summer Luau on the Lake. Eat and drink Island favorites while watching traditional Hawaiian performances and music.
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena will celebrate their last outdoor arena concert of the summer with country music sensation Eric Church. The two-day performance will take place on Sep. 2-3, giving everyone a chance to sing and dance along this Labor Day Weekend to hits like “Record Year,” “Give Me Back My Hometown” and “Drink in My Hand.” Church has been featured on the “Billboard Hot 100” 10 times in the last eight years. Joining Eric Church will be country singer Margo Price.
Fresh squeezed local foods and flavors at Sample the Sierra, Sept. 16. Photo credit: Matt Morning / Tahoe Chamber
The diverse and growing Lake Tahoe culinary scene will be celebrated during September with the 8th annual Sample the Sierra, Sept. 16, featuring locally sourced food, wine, beer, and spirits exploring the regional palate. This major event is the basin’s largest farm-to-fork food and wine festival featuring 20 of South Shore’s restaurants and local chefs with neighboring growers and producers to create delicious samples appropriately paired with a wine, spirit or brew. There will also be fun local goods and crafts in the marketplace for people to pick up some souvenirs!
Locals and visitors alike will rejoice at the return of Oktoberfest at Camp Richardson, Oct. 7-8. The festival features traditional German foods and desserts complemented by authentic German beers and wines. Attractions include craft booths, pumpkin patch, climbing wall and live music.
See salmon spawn at the Fall Fish Fest, Oct. 7-8. Photo credit: Brad Scott / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Right next door to Oktoberfest is the Fall Fish Fest, which celebrates the annual migration of Kokanee salmon at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, Oct. 7-8. Children and families will learn about the Lake Tahoe ecosystem while participating in activities such as treasure hunts, crafts and visits from Smokey Bear and Lulu the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout.
Valhalla Art, Music & Theater Festival is wrapping up their summer events with an array of musical performances. The Songwriter Celebration series will feature songwriters with unique musical sounds on Sep. 6 and SambaDa will be performing their Brazilian masterpieces on Sep. 20.
The Lake Tahoe Marathon offers amazing views around the Lake, Oct. 13-15. Photo credit: Dan Thrift / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
The 22nd annual 3-day Lake Tahoe Marathon, Oct. 13-15, includes multiple options: 5k, 10k, half marathon, 18-miler, 144-miler, or a four-day 288-mile run. The kids will have the option to kayak or swim in the beautiful lake!
It’s been a wonderful summer at Lake Tahoe and we look forward to sharing the end of it with you at the Ridge Tahoe!
When it comes to Instagram hot spots, Tahoe South has quite a few you’d be proud to feature on your feed. Whether you’re looking for colorful vistas, rustic charm, or a signature Tahoe splash of blue, we’ve got you covered on places to explore for that perfect shot.
One of the most iconic spots in Tahoe South is Emerald Bay. Its beautiful, calm waters attract viewers every day. With several trails leading down to the shore line, or up to higher elevation, helps you create the right photo you are looking for.
While in the Emerald Bay area, be sure to explore a few of the surrounding lakes and water falls within a few miles distance from the bay. Each small lake offers something different. One popular Insta-spot is Fallen Leaf Lake, a more secluded lake than Tahoe. Discover bridges, docks, and streams in the area or saddle up to the crystal-clear shores for an iconic shot of Mt. Tallac, which resides on Fallen Leaf’s shores.
Another Instagrammable spot in Tahoe is Eagle Lake. Nestled high in the mountains, the trail to this lake offers scenic views, rock stair cases, and magnificent water falls along the way. There are several spots to admire the area and, of course, take a few snaps for your social media.
Tahoe South has several unique rock faces, including Cave Rock, located along Highway 50 on the Nevada side of the South Shore. The rock, which houses two tunnels, sits directly on the lake and referred to as the “Lady of the Lake” for the rock’s distinctive profile that resembles a woman’s face. In addition to giving good face, this is also a popular spot for its unique vantage for sunset when the lake is bathed in warm, colorful light.
Fortunately for guests of the Ridge, there are Instagram worthy spots right outside your door! Since the Ridge Tahoe is nestled in the Sierras, there is an amazing view at almost every corner of the resort’s property. Get cozy in the hot tubs or relax in a pool chair at one of three pools to overlook the Carson Valley or even the lake. Sunset is a favorite time to visit these spots because the clouds regularly light up in different colors.
With many areas to visit, we hope this guide can bring some ideas spark adventure during your stay at the Ridge. Don’t forget to tag us
You’ve made it to Tahoe and you’ve checked into the Ridge Tahoe. Now, your first stop may be taking a nap or grabbing food at the Bistro, but your next step should be snagging a map for a local hike! You’ll find an abundance of trails for hikers of all experience levels that’ll take you up granite slopes, near hidden waterfalls and through alpine meadows. Tahoe is truly a hiker’s dream, but for those visitors unaccustomed to strenuous treks, we’ve compiled a few of the best hiking trails for beginners.
A personal favorite of ours is the Castle Rock Trail. It’s two miles round-trip and offers a steady incline throughout the trail. Hikers will take in gorgeous views of the Tahoe region and views of the Ridge Tahoe emerge in the distance. Once hikers reach the appropriately named peak, they’ll experience panoramic views of the lake and its surrounding valleys.
Van Sickle Bi-State Park Rim Trail has everything an adventurer could want to be packed in a 6.6-mile round-trip hike. From views of the valley to the lake and towering pine trees, this trail has much to offer novices of any age. It is a great hike for beginners and those seeking a general hike conveniently located in the center of the South Shore.
Hiking in Van Sickle Rim Trail is accompanied by beautiful views. Credit: Rod Hanna / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
There are numerous small lakes that are accessible via relaxed trails. A favorite lake of many locals and visitors alike is Fallen Leaf Lake. Catch a glimpse of this peaceful lake on the 8.1-mile round-trip loop around the lake. This is also a dog accessible hike, so bring your favorite hiking buddy – but please leave him or her on a leash!
Two well-loved trails in the South shore are Cascade Falls and Eagle Falls . Both trails begin near Emerald Bay with Eagle Falls visible from the highway. These are must-do hikes in the region due to a large amount of snowfall this past year generating literal tons of runoff water.
Eagle Falls pictured during after a very active snow season. Credit: Kristin Rust / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
If hikers are interested in a leisurely stroll through a blooming meadow, check out the Lam Watah Nature Trail. This trail has a low level of difficulty but offers magnificent views of the Tahoe’s meadows. It also takes you right up along the lake to Nevada Beach for a relaxing and scenic pit stop.
These are just a few of the trails you can experience while staying at the Ridge Tahoe. If you are seeking more adventure and difficulty, download the All Trails app on your phone or find more posts about our favorite hikes in the area. Happy trails!
This summer has reached some extreme temperatures, and even the mountains can’t hide from the beating sun! If you are heating up, we have some tips to cool off this summer.
Easy and Breezy
The Ridge Tahoe includes three pools that are short walks from any room on property. Not only do the pools help you chill out, but they also have beautiful views of Lake Tahoe to the west, and Carson Valley to the east. This is one of the most convenient, easy, and fun ways to cool off when staying at the Ridge Tahoe. Check out the property map to find a pool near you.
The bear necessities: just you and the clubhouse pool.
Life is Better at the Lake
The lake is a natural choice on a summer’s day. Our resort offers complimentary transportation that takes guests from the Ridge Clubhouse to Heavenly Village, from which you can take a short walk to Lakeside Beach.
If you’d like to explore other beaches, consider taking the water taxi offered by Round Hill Marina. The water taxi can take you to three other South Shore beaches: Camp Richardson, Round Hill Pines and Timber Cove. This is great option to bypass traffic while also enjoying the lake breeze as you bounce from beach to beach.
The water’s just right! Jump in. Photo credit: Jamie Kingham / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Explore the great outdoors, take in some gorgeous views and find natural waterfalls to jump in with a hike!
If you’re looking for a hike close to the Ridge Tahoe, take a ride on the Ridge Shuttle to Heavenly Village, then walk straight to Van Sickle Bi-State Park where you will find yourself hiking among tall pine trees near Heavenly Mountain Resort. With several shaded resting stops, this hike is a great option for working up a sweat and then cooling off in a natural waterfall at the top of the trail.
Is there a better reward after a hike than a waterfall? This one is seen at Van Sickle Bi-State Park. Photo credit: Rod Hanna / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Another great hike near Emerald Bay is Eagle Falls, which is the perfect for alpine lake swimming. With stone walking steps, this hike includes a beautiful canyon, an abundance of shade and beautiful views of Emerald Bay during your hike.
If you want to find more hikes that offer water falls great for swimming, check out TahoeSouth.com.
More Pro Tips
Now that you’re equipped with great ideas to cool off while visiting Tahoe, there are few things you can do right in your own room to prevent hot temperatures from sneaking in:
- Blackout Shades: Utilize the shade in your room! The temperatures reach their warmest between the hours of 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., so make sure you while you’re out lying by the pool, that your blinds are closed to prevent sunrays from entering your room.
- Fresh, Mountain Air: Around 7 p.m. we recommend you open your windows while keeping your blinds closed until the sun is completely out of sight. Average nighttime temperatures in August dip down to 50°F. The natural air will seep into your room, cooling it down much like an air conditioner.
- Don’t Use Heavy Material: Even when you are on the mountain in the summer, keep your heavy blankets and clothing at home. Strip your bed of any heavy blankets and store them away. Any large blanket can lock in heat, making it difficult to cool down at night.
- Refresh Yourself at the Bear Trap Lounge: Happy hour starts at 3 p.m. every day at the Bear Trap Lounge, which is located in the clubhouse. Enjoy a glass of wine or beer, unwind and cool off!
Celebrate the last weeks of summer at the Ridge Tahoe!
Tahoe outdoes itself during the summer with concerts, water skiing, boating, and shopping galore. In addition to these easy-going activities, Tahoe also has plenty of entertainment for adrenaline junkies looking for a fix! Summer is the perfect time to check out those blood-pumping adventures and we’ve compiled a few of our favorites.
Heavenly Mountain Epic Discovery
Our first choice takes us to Heavenly Mountain Resort, the Ridge Tahoe’s neighbor (and easily accessed from the resort’s on-site Hilltrac Skier Express)!
Heavenly not only offers an array of skiing slopes during the winter time but also a jungle of ropes courses and ziplines at Epic Discovery, Heavenly’s adventure park, which is home to two of their popular scenic ziplines. The Hot Shot zipline provides gorgeous views of Mt. Tallac and Pyramid Peak while ziplining alongside three of your friends or family members. Alternately, the Blue Streak Zipline offers incredible views of Lake Tahoe as you glide through the sky on the 3,300 ft. zip line. Talk about heart pounding! Click here for more information.
Sky Combat Ace
Ready to pilot your very own fighter jet? Sky Combat Ace offers you an opportunity like no other with a truly unique aviation experience. You’ll have the chance to either ride along or get behind the controls of a fighter jet under the supervision of one of SCA’s highly trained fighter pilots. You can choose from four types of aviation experiences: aerobatics, air combat, combination or flight training.
Another aviation experience offered only a short drive from the Ridge Tahoe is Soaring NV. Soaring is a unique concept, using art, science and the natural environment to keep yourself afloat. As you are sitting in a glider, which is a plane without an engine, you are attached to another plane by a string, and then released in the air to control your movement. The glider will safely travel to the ground or any other way you would like to go. The sky is the limit!
See Lake Tahoe from a new perspective with Soaring NV. Photo courtesy of Soaring NV
What kind of adrenaline-soaked Tahoe adventure would be complete without mountain biking? Tahoe South has several mountain biking trails that will leave you speechless. A very popular mountain biking option is the Tahoe Rim Trail, which takes you along a slim ridge with views of Lake Tahoe. Another fan favorite is the Flume trail, a 4.5-mile-long narrow single-track trail that follows the ridge from the west end of Lake Tahoe to the north nearly 2,000 feet above the lake. It is a highly rated trail, as well as one of the most photographed. Check out more bikes trails offered here.
Hit the trails for heart pounding mountain biking in Tahoe South. Photo credit: Jamie Kingham / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
It’s clear that Tahoe has endless options for people of all ages and types. Whether you’re looking to go dancing, enjoy cocktails lakeside, ski, hike, go shopping, or get your heart pumping, Tahoe has it all. At a convenient location to all the action, the Ridge Tahoe is the place to stay if you’re looking for a healthy dose of adrenaline!