Please note: Construction is underway to build a new Visitor Center and Amphitheater at Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, Spooner Lake. A temporary park closure is necessary to protect the safety of park visitors due to the presence of open trenches and heavy equipment operations. The main entrance, parking areas, and front-country will be closed to public access beginning on July 19, 2021, and are anticipated to re-open in early September 2021. More information.
Sitting at 7,150 feet, Spooner Lake is a manmade lake on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. Spooner Lake as well as much as the backcountry surrounding it lie within Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. Using downstream flow from nearby Marlette Lake, Spooner Lake was created as a means of redirecting water to chutes transporting logs from Spooner Summit to mills in Carson City. These logs were used to support the walls of the ambitious silver mining operations in what is now Virginia City.
The 2.5-mile loop around the lake may be better presented as a nature walk. Many informational signs dot the path, and there is an abundance of waterfowl and wildflowers in the springtime. In the fall, watch out for falling pinecones from the copious lodgepole pines. From the main parking lot, simply follow signs for Spooner Lake. Once you reach the lake, the trail will be fairly self-explanatory. Make your way around the lake, taking breaks to enjoy the flora and fauna along the waters edge. Don’t expect much elevation change, as this hike is almost entirely flat.
Once you return to the parking area, check out some of the informational plaques near the picnic area. If you wish to continue your adventures, the entrance fee to Spooner Lake can be applied to the Sand Harbor Park entrance fee, lowering the $12 entrance to only $2.
Spooner Lake Hike