Dog Friendly Hiking

There is no shortage of places to hike with your best friend. While most of the hiking in North Tahoe and Truckee is dog friendly, don't forget to pick up after your dog, keep them on a leash where required and be mindful to those without pets. This will ensure our area remains dog friendly for years to come!  


 The Tahoe Rim Trail intersects most of the North Shore hiking trails. If you're looking for a multi-day backpacking trip around the lake, this is your trail. Dogs are allowed on all sections. The Rim Trail is 165 miles with some of the best views ever -- but then, we might be a little biased! 


 NOTE: The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) manages about 75% of the land within the Lake Tahoe Basin, so if you want to take your dog hiking, camping, or snowshoeing, chances are you will end up on National Forest System lands. Your well-behaved, leashed dog is welcome almost anywhere within the LTBMU, with the notable exceptions of designated swimming beaches and areas that are restricted for wildlife protection. 

Please pick up after your pup.NORTH SHORE (Incline Village to Tahoe City)

Stateline Lookout in Crystal Bay Lake Tahoe

Stateline Lookout 

Distance: 1
Difficulty: Easy

Trailhead: Take Hwy 28 North from Tahoe City and turn left on Reservoir Drive, just past the Tahoe Biltmore Casino. Turn right on Lakeshore Avenue. Park on Lakeshore Avenue near Forest Service Road 1601 (by the iron pipe gate). 

Description: Walk up the forest service road to the lookout, which is a concrete pad with rock walls. A short, self-guided nature trail explains the history of the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. 

Check it outStateline Lookout Trail

Brockway Summit Trail Kings Beach Lake Tahoe

Brockway Summit / Rim Trail

Distance: 3.1

Difficulty: Moderate

Trailhead: Take Hwy 267 North from KIngs Beach for 3 miles. Park on the left. Trailhead is on the right. 

Description: A very short walk up a Forest Service access trails brings you to the trailhead on your left. Several switchbacks with beautiful views of Lake Tahoe take you to a fork in the trail -- continue straight on the Rim Trail or turn left to Brockway Summit. From the summit enjoy panoramic views of Tahoe to the south and Truckee to the north. Bring water for fido! This out and back trail has no water! Local's Favorite: this makes a spectacular snowshoe in the winter. While snowmobiles are plentiful on the west side of Brockway Summit, you won't find them on this side of the road. 

Check it outBrockway Summit Trail

Tahoe Cross Country North Lake Tahoe

Tahoe XC Mountain Bike Trails

Located at 925 Country Club Drive, Tahoe City, CA, 96145, the Tahoe XC summer hiking and biking trails have something for every type of runner, rider, or hiker. Tahoe XC now provides trailhead services such as full suspension and front suspension bike rental, great food from the Free Heel Cafe, and whatever supplies you might need as you head out onto the trails. Come on out and play in the woods.

Check it outTahoe City Cross Country

WEST SHORE (Tahoe City to Emerald Bay)

Paige Meadows

Distance: Varies
Difficulty: Easy

Trailhead: Take Hwy 89 South from Tahoe City approximately two miles and turn right on Pine Ave. Take the first left onto Tahoe Parks Heights Drive. Right on Big Pine and  first left onto Silver Tip Dr. Park at the end of the road. 

Description: Paige Meadows is a great place to get lost in the beauty of fields of camas lilies just after the snow melts. Several trails meander through the meadow. The Tahoe Rim Trail also interects Paige Meadows. Be prepared with bug spray! Local's Favorite: hike in early July when the snow has melted but the meadow still has water. 

Check it outPaige Meadows

Eagle Rock

Distance: 0.7

Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

Trailhead: Approximately 4.7 miles south of Tahoe City, just after the turn to Blackwood Canyon. Parking is on West Lake Blvd. 

Description: Looking for spectacular views of Lake Tahoe after your swim in Hurrican Bay with your four-legged beauty? This out and back trail is easily navigated and offers panoramas of Tahoe. 

Check it outEagle Rock Trail

Hike Ellis Peak in beautiful Lake Tahoe

Ellis Peak

Distance: 6.9

Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced

Trailhead: From Tahoe City, drive 4.2 miles to Blackwood Canyon, turn right. The trailhead is on your left about 7 miles up the road, parking on the left. 

Description: This is a well-used out and back trail by hikers, runners and bikers with over 1,700 feet in elevation gain. The first mile is steep! From there the trail is generally flat with a few  step sections. The views from the summit are spectacular. There is a short half-mile side trip to Ellis Lake which makes a GREAT camping spot or just a quick dip for you and your pup. 

Check it outEllis Peak

Eagle Lake at Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe

Eagle Lake

Distance: 1.8 

Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

Trailhead: Park in the lot across from Emerald Bay or along West Lake Blvd in Emerald Bay. 

Description: This might be the most heavily used trail in all of Tahoe. Even so, when you arrive at the lake, you won't be disappointed! There are several spots along the way to take photographs. A short walk in any direction around the lake will give a more remote feeling. Local's Favorite: stop at PDQ in Tahoma for a sandwich to take with you. 

Check it outEagle Lake Trail


Five Lakes

Distance: 5
Difficulty: Moderate

Trailhead: Five Lakes can be accessed via Barker Pass or the Five Lakes Trailhead off of Alpine Meadows Rd. Barker Pass Access: To get to Barker Pass, take 89 South from Tahoe City 4.2 miles to the Caspian Picnic Area. Turn right on Blackwood Canyon Rd. and continue 7.1 miles to Barker Pass, where the pavement ends. The trailhead is 2.3 miles beyond that. Alpine Meadows Access: Take Alpine Meadows Rd. aprpoximatley 2 miles and park along the right or left side of the road. The trail begins on the right hand side. Look for a small sign just off the road.

DescriptionBarker Pass Access: From Barker Pass, follow the Powderhorn Trail 4 miles to Diamond Crossing where the Five Lakes Creek Trail begins. The trail winds alongside and across Five Lakes Creek until reaching Whiskey Creek, with several intersecting trails and detours along the way. Alpine Meadows Access: Alternately, from the Five Lakes Trailhead off of Alpine Meadows Road, follow a well-manicured trail up through the valley between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. This trail is in the sun with very little shade so go early and bring lots of water for you and your pup! The five serene lakes are open to fishing and swimming. Camping is not allowed within 600 feet of the lakes.

Check it outFive Lakes from Alpine Meadows

Shirley Canyon

Distance: 4

Difficulty: Moderate

Trailhead: From the Squaw Valley parking lot, walk down Squaw Peak Road and find the trailhead on the left as the road curves to the right.

Description: Follow blue blazes and Shirley Creek up over boulders and past scenic waterfalls 2.5 miles to Shirley Lake. You'll find it refreshing to take a dip in this high alpine lake. From here you can either turn around and come back down or keep climbing to High Camp, where you (and your dog) can take the Cable Car tram down for free. Local's Favorite: for the best views from the Cable Car, maneuver your way to the front (east) side of the car. 

Check it outShirley Lake Trail

Truckee Legacy Trail California


Truckee Legacy Trail

Distance: 6

Difficulty: Easy

Trailhead: Park in the lot at the end of East River Road from downtown Truckee. 

Description: The Legacy Trail is an out and back paved from Truckee to Glenshire. It is generally accepted as off-leash after crossing the bridge from the East River Road parking going downstream towards Glenshire; however, keep your dog leashed if you turn right (up river) after crossing the bridge. There are a lot of places to access the river. You may also choose to walk along the dirt path that parallels the Truckee River. 

Check it outLegacy Trail

Mt. Judah

Distance: 4.8 Lolipop

Difficulty: Moderate

Trailhead: From Truckee, take Donner Pass Road from I-80 Exit 184 approximately 7 miles west to the summit. The parking lot is on your left. Once parked, walk south about 1/4 miles to the trailhead on your left.

Description: Depending on the snow year, this trail is open beginning late June/early July. The wildflowers are amazing during wet years where hikers will see penstemon, paintbursh, pennyroyoal, angelica, currents, and more. The beginning is relatively steep over the well-groomed Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) with some high steps. At a field of pennyroyal (blooming July to August) there is a sign pointing to the Mt. Judah loop to the left. Local's Favorite: for the hardy hiker, shuttle a car to Squaw Valley for a one-way hike from Sugar Bowl to Squaw (17.8 miles). Bag several peaks along the way including Mt. Judah, Anderson Peak, Tinker's Knob, and Granite Peak. Choose to hike down Shirley Canyon for a dip in the lake or take the Cable Car for a swing over the towers. BRING WATER as there is only one spot during wet years to possibly refill!   

Check it outMt. Judah Loop

Check it outSugar Bowl to Squaw