While we might be sad to see the end of ski season, Lake Tahoe has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in the spring and summer months! While few things beat a day out on the water, the mountains surrounding the Lake offer plenty of hiking trails awash with colorful flowers in the spring and early summer. Check out our list below of five florally fabulous hikes:
OPHIR CREEK/TAHOE MEADOWS
This more accessible trail loop takes about 1 hour and 15 mins to complete the 3-mile trek. Popular for hiking, snowshoeing, and walking, you can take any one of the three mild trails for easy access to meadows and the nearby forest.
From Incline Village, you can take Mt. Rose Hwy heading toward Reno for about 7 miles until you reach the Ophir Creek Trail to the edge of the large meadow to your right. There are plenty of boardwalks and signage along the trail.
Sagehen Creek is just about 7 miles north of Truckee, taking Highway 89, and is considered an easy hike due to its primarily even terrain. This popular trail loop is a favorite among locals, so arrive early! The hike is about 5 miles round-trip and is one of the first to emerge from the snow in the spring.
Beginning with views of the creek, followed by a pleasant stroll through the forest before opening up to brilliant meadows full of purple camas lilies. Best enjoyed by hikers and mountain bikers during the summer months, wildflower season is a showstopper offering a truly spectacular view.
Great for hiking, mountain biking, and trail running, this 3-mile moderate hike offers variety. Page Meadows is full of sweet surprises. If you catch them in-season, you will be delighted by fields of beautiful wildflowers. You may even spy the carvings of old sheepherders in the nearby aspen trees if you look closely.
MARLETTE LAKE TRAIL
At just over 10 miles to Marlette Lake and back, the Marlette Lake Trail is considered a moderately challenging hike. The landscape contains an incredible variety of wildflowers, lush pine forests, and aspen trees. This trail includes a long, steady climb from Spooner Lake, and eventually descends to the shores of Marlette Lake.
Popular with birders, hikers, and horseback riders, the trail will likely be busy during the summer months, but once you find yourself amongst the beauty of nature while peering up to view Snow Valley Peak above – the 4-hour 45-minute hike is worth it.
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
MEISS MEADOWS/SHOWERS LAKE
This challenging route is located near South Lake Tahoe, and boasts volcanic rock formations, epic views, and a menagerie of wildflowers blooming waist-high around you. With an elevation gain of 3,400 feet, the climb will be tiring, but you will be sure to feel rejuvenated after a refreshing dip in Showers Lake! At just under 20 miles, this hike takes about 9 hours to complete.
Note: Take the trailhead on the right just after the trailhead for Winnemucca Lake to get started on the right path.
Map of Lake Tahoe’s Best Wildflower Hikes