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Why I love to run in South Lake Tahoe

There are many great trails for running in South Lake Tahoe, it's hard to choose just one!

Some of my favorites are various parts of the Tahoe Rim Trail -- Kingsbury to Spooner and Spooner Summit to Snow Valley Peak.  The Rubicon Trail is also amazing. These are challenging routes (lots of climbing), but the views are worth it!  If there are two cars available, I prefer point-to-point runs, but that takes extra logistics. An out-and-back works too.

On the Kingsbury to Spooner run there is a bench at the peak.  It makes for a great re-fueling spot.  If you choose to go out-and-back, you should turn around at the bench.

hiking tahoe rim trail

Hikers rest on the bench on the Tahoe Rim Trail | Photo: LTVA

On the Spooner to Snow Valley Peak run you get an absolutely fantastic view of both Marlette Lake and Lake Tahoe. That’s where I snapped this picture!

running the tahoe rim trail

Running the Tahoe Rim Trail, July 2011 | Photo by Julie Armbrecht

The Rubicon trail is highly traveled by tourists.  I suggest going early in the morning or during the off-season.  You can also extend this run by adding in Eagle Falls and Vikingsholm.  I like to start near Emerald Bay and run to Bliss State Park.  Carry some cash for parking fees.

Extra Tips

  • Bring plenty of water -- I suggest a backpack-type hydration pack
  • Pack a camera

I have run in tons of other locations, but Tahoe is by far my favorite place for trail runs.  Anywhere in Tahoe is great!  South Lake Tahoe is especially great because of the amazing scenery.  On a beautiful, bluebird-sky day, South Shore is amazing.  The peaks, the trees, the wild flowers, the water, the clean air -- there's nowhere else like it.  I also like the challenge of climbing, and the fun of running down the roller coaster-type trails.

But perhaps the best part of running in South Lake Tahoe is being able to put your feet in the water when you're done.

- Julie Armbrecht

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