The Truckee and Lake Tahoe region is marvelous for hiking.  Here are some of our favorites hikes.  These hikes are mainly in the North Tahoe / Truckee region, but a couple are in the Gold Lakes region.  See the notes below for explanations on difficulty ratings and hike types.

  • Squaw Valley to Shirley Lake and High Camp (medium, out-and-back, map).  One-way length: 2.9 miles to Shirley Lake, 1 more mile to High Camp.  One-way elevation to Shirley Lake: gain 1,360 ft, loss 73ft.  One way elevation from Shirley Lake to High Camp: gain 650 ft, loss 47 ft.
  • Loch Leven Lakes (medium, out-and-back, map, track).  One-way length: 3.1 miles.  One-way elevation gain: 1,275 ft, loss: 300 ft.  Total two-way elevation gain: 1,575 ft.
  • Lola Montez Lakes (medium, out-and-back, map, track).  One-way length: 3.4 miles.  One-way elevation gain: 776 ft, loss: 329 ft; total elevation gain: 1,105 ft.
  • Jamison and Rock Lakes (medium, semiloop, maptrack).  Total length:  7.2 miles.  Total elevation gain: 1310 ft.
  • Devils Oven Overlook (difficult, out-and-back, maptrack).  One-way length: 6.7 miles.  One-way elevation gain: 2,360 ft, loss: 1,362 ft; total elevation gain: 3,722 ft.
  • Long Lakes Loop (medium, loop, maptrack).  Loop length: 5.6 miles.  Total elevation gain: 1,300 ft.
  • Donner Ridge Summit (easy, out-and-back, maptrack).  One-way length: 1.5 miles.  One-way elevation gain: 550 ft.
  • Mount Judah Loop (medium, semiloop, maptrack).  Overall length: 5.7 miles.  Overall elevation gain: 1,431 ft.
  • Five Lakes (medium, out-and-back, maptrack).  One-way length: 2.1 miles.   One-way elevation gain: 1,030 ft, loss: 66 ft.  Total elevation gain: 1,096 ft.
  • Castle Pass (medium, out-and-back,  maptrack).  One-way length: 2.3 miles. Elevation gain: 800 ft.
  • Castle Peak (medium, out-and-back, map, track).  One-way length: 2.5 miles. Elevation gain: 1,800 ft.
  • Donner Peak (easy, out-and-back, map, track). One-way length: 2.1 miles.  Elevation gain: 1,050 ft.
  • Maggie Peak (moderate, out-and-back, map, track).  One-way length: 2.35 miles.  Elevation gain: 2,000 ft.
  • Upper Salmon Lake to Deer Lake (easy, out-and-back, map, track).  One-way length: 2.1 miles.  Elevation gain: 1,050 ft.
  • Granite chief from High Camp (moderate to difficult, traverse, map, track).  Length: 7 miles.  Elevation gain: 1,540 ft.  Elevation loss: 3,360 ft.
  • Rowton Loop (easy, loop, map, track).  Length: 5 miles. Elevation gain: 900 ft.
  • Long Lake (easy, out-and-back, map, track).  Length: 2.5 miles.  Elevation gain: 450 ft.


Hikes can be of the following type:

  • Out-and-back: the return trail backtracks the trail used to get to the destination.
  • Loop hike: no part of the path is repeated.
  • Semi-loop:  an out-and-back trail is used to get to a loop hike.

For out-and-back hikes, we give the distance, elevation gain, and elevation loss of the one-way trip; the total elevation gain of the complete hike is obtained by adding the elevation gain and loss of the one-way portion.  For semi-loop and loop hikes, we give the complete length, and the total elevation gain; the total elevation loss is obviously equal to the total elevation gain.

We use the following difficulty scale:

  • Easy: a stroll.
  • Medium: a day hike suitable for families.
  • Difficult: a day hike suitable for hikers in good shape.

Additional information: