8 Best Hiking Trails near South Lake Tahoe

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Although this is a short hike, it lies within the Desolation Wilderness area and requires a permit. These are free for day hikers and readily available at the trailhead.

Granite Lake and South Maggie’s Peak

View from South Maggie's Peak

Hikers have the option of tackling an easy to moderate hike up to Granite Lake, which lies at the base of Maggie’s Peaks, or for more adventure, continuing onward and upward to the summit of South Maggie’s Peak. The rewards are views over Lake Tahoe as you make your way up to Granite Lake, a peaceful and scenic spot for relaxing. If you choose to go all the way to the top, you’ll be treated to outstanding views over Lake Tahoe and the entire area. The hike to Granite Lake is just under one mile (two miles return), with slightly less than 900 feet in elevation gain. To the top of South Maggie’s Peak, the total elevation gain is 1,900 feet. The trail to the very top is steep and demanding, and will add another mile round-trip to the entire hike.

This hike is a good introduction to the Desolation Wilderness area, which extends into the mountains beyond the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe. All hikers in this area are required to pick up a permit. These are available at the trailhead.

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