Best Snowshoe Hikes in the Basin
When Tahoe is covered in snow, you may feel the urge to curl up by a warm fire instead of head out in wintry conditions but some of the best Tahoe experiences are had in the winter! In addition to skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing offers a fun way to explore a white wonderland with numerous trails in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Check out a few of our recommended snowshoe hikes below.
Snow means more fun and adventure outside! Courtesy: The Ridge Tahoe
Castle Rock: The closest snowshoe hike to the Ridge Tahoe is Castle Rock, an easy to moderate snowshoe hike with views of Lake Tahoe along the way. This trail, which includes parts of the Tahoe Rim Trail, can be accessed via Kingsbury Grade and is a 2.8-mile loop with less than 600 elevation gain.
Vikingsholm: Situated in iconic Emerald Bay, the Vikingsholm Trail is a great option for an easy snowshoe hike under two miles. Elevation gain is minimal during this hike that takes you to the shores of Emerald Bay where Vikingsholm Castle resides. This home, which was designed in the Scandinavian style, is not the only striking part of this hike – hikers will also be privy to up-close views of the only island in Tahoe, Fannette Island.
Watch Eagle Falls rush into Emerald Bay after a hike to Eagle Lake. Photo credit: Kyle McCoy / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Eagle Lake: Close by to Vikingsholm is Eagle Lake, accessible by the Eagle Lake Trailhead. A very popular hike for families, this short trail takes hikers to a serene alpine lake and is accessible during the winter months. Stop by Eagle Falls across the highway to see where Eagle Lake’s water ends up.
Van Sickle Bi-State Park: For those interested in epic views of the South Shore and Lake Tahoe, Van Sickle Bi-State Park is an ideal setting for snowshoeing. Hikers can choose to go as short or as far as they prefer, though the trailhead to Tahoe Rim trail is just over three miles and includes stunning vistas of the lake.
Experience a new world of winter hiking when snowshoeing. Photo credit: Kyle Smaine / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Before heading out to snowshoe, there are a few things to consider:
- Check the weather forecast before heading out to snowshoe. Though a trail may seem easy, it can become treacherous if it’s icy or temperatures are low.
- Know your limits! If you’re uncomfortable on a trail, don’t push it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Pack extra necessities including clothing, food, and water, as well as a first aid kit in case of emergencies.
- Consider using trekking poles for easier navigating through deep snow. Ski poles work great in a pinch!
After a snowshoe adventure, stop by the Bear Trap Lounge to warm up with a drink or a soak in one of our many rooftop hot tubs.
Sources: AllTrails, Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority