Best Hikes for Kids & Dogs at Lake Tahoe!

Lake Tahoe is one of the best family-friendly & dog-friendly vacation destinations in California!  My family has been going there every summer for as long as I can remember.  And one of the greatest things about Tahoe, besides the lake itself, is all the fabulous hiking opportunities & outdoor adventures you can have there!  In this post, I’ve recruited my niece to help me find the best hikes for kids & dogs at Lake Tahoe.  We’ll focus on hikes that aren’t too long, & are relatively flat, so that everyone can complete them with no problem!  

Best Hikes for Kids & Dogs at Lake Tahoe, Girl Who Travels the World

Let’s find some of the best hikes for kids & dogs at Lake Tahoe ~ & on every side of the lake!

Map of Lake Tahoe Hikes!

No matter what side of the lake you’re staying on ~ we’ve got an option for you!  Eagle Rock & Shirley Lake Trail are on the west side of the lake, while Logan Shoals Vista is on the east side.  Fallen Leaf Lake is on the south shore, & Skylandia Park is near Tahoe City & the north shore.

Eagle Rock Hike

Skylandia Park

Fallen Leaf Lake Trail

Logan Shoals Vista

Shirley Lake Trail

1) Eagle Rock Hike

Eagle Rock is one of my favorite quick hikes in Lake Tahoe.  I took my niece & nephew, & our dogs ~ & everyone made it up & down in about 30 minutes, no problem!  There’s also a really lovely creek that winds back, away from the highway, which also has trails that will take you further back into the wilderness if you want a longer hike.  

Trail Length = 1.5 miles

Skill Level = Beginner 

Address = 3555 California 89 (in Tahoe Pines); park in a dirt lot right off Highway 89.  You’ll see Eagle Rock looming above, over the highway.

Best Hikes for Kids & Dogs at Lake Tahoe! Girl Who Travels the World

The view from Eagle Rock is INSANE!! And only takes about 15 minutes to climb. Perfect for kids & dogs!

Best Hikes for Kids & Dogs at Lake Tahoe! Girl Who Travels the World

Eagle Rock also has a lovely creek that winds away from the highway, & more hiking trails that follow it.

2) Skylandia Park

Skylandia Park, which is located near Dollar Point, close to North Lake Tahoe, is less a hike ~ more an easy walking trail that starts in the forest, & leads to the shores of Lake Tahoe.  The beach is dog-friendly, & dogs are allowed off-leash: so if they like to swim & play in the sand, this is a great spot to take them!  

Skill Level = Beginner (flat trails)

Address = Lake Forest Road, Tahoe City, CA 96145 (there are two different parking lots for Skylandia along Lake Forest Road)

Best Hikes for Kids & Dogs at Lake Tahoe! Girl Who Travels the World

Skylandia Park has prime-time real estate right on the lake, with nice sand that dogs are allowed to play in (off-leash)!

Best Hikes for Kids & Dogs at Lake Tahoe! Girl Who Travels the World

Forest trails (by the parking lot) lead to Lake Tahoe, at Skylandia Park.

3) Fallen Leaf Lake Trail

Close to South Lake Tahoe is the lovely Fallen Leaf Lake, which has a trail around the lake, as well as the more formal Fallen Leaf Lake Trail.  When I take Dylan there, I usually just park in the campground & walk towards the lake ~ then follow the trail around.  There are several spots where the doggies can jump in the lake & cool off!  Fallen Leaf Lake Trail is longer, at 8.1 miles; but if you’re just walking by the lake, you can go as short or long as you want.  

Trail Length = 8.1 miles (for full Fallen Leaf Lake Trail)

Skill Level = Beginner to moderate

Address = Type in “Fallen Leaf Lake Campground” for a shorter hike, or “Fallen Leaf Lake Trailhead.”

Best Hikes for Kids & Dogs at Lake Tahoe, Girl WHo Travels the World

Dylan cooling off in Fallen Leaf Lake, by South Lake Tahoe!

4) Logan Shoals Vista

Logan Shoals Vista is a hidden gem.  Many people who’ve been coming to Lake Tahoe for a long time have never heard of it!  It’s on the east side of the lake, on the Nevada side near Zephyr Cove.  I literally found it by seeing a sign on the side of the highway, so I pulled into the parking lot.  When you descend down from the highway, you’ll find a lovely, sandy path that hugs Lake Tahoe.  Stunning.  Come here for sunset views, because you’re facing west…

Skill Level = Beginner

Address = Highway 50, North of Cave Rock, near Zephyr Cove, NV 89448

Best Hikes for Kids & Dogs at Lake Tahoe, Girl Who Travels the World

Views at Logan Shoals Vista are STUNNING!!

Best Hikes for Kids & Dogs at Lake Tahoe, Girl Who Travels the World

Park up by Highway 50, then descend down to sandy trails right on the lake!

5) Shirley Lake Trail

We’ve saved the hardest trail for last…but if you have active kids & dogs who need to get a lot of energy out ~ this is your trail!  The Shirley Lake Trail starts out in Squaw Valley, near Plumpjack Restaurant & Squaw Valley Resort.  We found two different trail heads (which is a little confusing), & if you make it all the way to the top ~ you’ll find lovely Shirley Lake, AND a gondola (which can save your knees on the way down)!  There are also waterfalls & a nice stream along the way, but make sure that everyone is prepared to climb up big boulders!

Trail Length = 3 miles to the top (gondola); 6 miles round-trip. Plan at least 3-4 hours if you plan to do the entire trail! 

Elevation Gain = 1,900 feet to the gondola (& keep in mind, you’re starting at 6,000 feet)

Skill Level = Moderate. There are some big boulders you’ll need to scramble over (my older dog, Dylan, couldn’t do it ~ so we had to turn around 1/4 of the way through).

Address = 1750 Village East Rd. (The Village at Squaw Valley). Park here & walk about .5 miles towards the mountain, or type into your GPS “Shirley Canyon Trailhead.”

Best Hikes for Kids & Dogs at Lake Tahoe, Girl Who Travels the World, Shirley Lake Trail, Tahoe

The pay-off here is Shirley Lake ~ if you can make it all the way to the top!

Best Hikes for Kids & Dogs at Lake Tahoe, Girl Who Travels the World, Squaw Valley

The entrance to Squaw Valley. Though not on the lake, it’s an exceptionally beautiful area ~ great for bike-riding, hiking, & family adventures!

Best Hikes for Kids & Dogs at Lake Tahoe!

Want more easy hike options around Lake Tahoe?  Try “Stateline Lookout Trail” if you’re on the north shore, near King’s Beach, or “Sand Harbor Nature Trail” if you’re on the northeast corner, near Incline Village!  Both are basically flat, with stunning views of the lake. 

That completes our list of the best hikes for kids & dogs at Lake Tahoe.  Thanks to Emma & the dogs for helping me pick out the absolute best trails on the lake ~ we all agreed on these top five! And if you’re looking for a great pet-friendly hotel in Lake Tahoe that won’t break the bank, try the Landing Resort & Spa.

xoxo Noelia, Emma, & Dylan

Read Next: Best Scenic Spots on Drive Around Lake Tahoe!

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