Location: Spooner Backcountry, Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, Nevada
Distance: 7.3 miles
Type: Day-hike; Out-and-back
Permits & Fees: $10 parking fee and a $2 hiker permit (located on trail).
Driving Directions: Click HERE. Note: The name of the parking lot is “Bullwheel Parking Lot”. This is also the trailhead for the Monkey Rock Trail.
TIP: To avoid paying for parking, park along Tahoe Blvd.
Preparation: Water, sunscreen and good hiking shoes. Arrive early to ensure a parking spot!
Dog Friendly? Yes, on a leash.
Click HERE for the AllTrails Navigation Map.
After hiking in the parking lot off of Tahoe Blvd (or along Tahoe Blvd), locate the Tunnel Creek Cafe. The hike begins to the left of the cafe on Tunnel Creek Road:
After walking up Tunnel Creek Road, the pavement turns into a sand trail and is marked by the following sign:
To the right of the trail are spectacular views of Lake Tahoe. About a half a mile into the hike, a green gate will come into view. After crossing the green gate a $2 “walk-in” fee is required:
Shortly after this gate, there is a fork in the trail; the Tunnel Creek Trail continues to the left and Hidden Beach can be reached via the trail on the right:
The trail veers to the left and the real challenge begins; from this point on, the rest of the hike is entirely uphill. NOTE: There is an option to hike to Monkey Rock via this trail (information on that hike can be found HERE). Follow the signs that read “Tunnel Creek Road”, “Twin Lakes Trail” and/or “Tahoe Rim Trail”:
During certain times of the year, snow can still be found on the trail, so be aware and make sure you utilize a GPS map in case the trail isn’t visible:
The “end” of the Tunnel Creek Trail is marked by the following sign, however, the hike continues to the right about another 0.5 miles to Twin Lakes:
After reaching this sign, take the same trail back to the parking lot. Enjoy the downhill and lake views on the way back!