Many people come to the Lake Tahoe area to go hiking in the mountains around the lake. From most of these hiking trails you can find incredible views of the big, blue lake and the surrounding forests. One of the most overlooked hiking trails may have one of the best vantage points on the North Shore.
The Stateline Fire Lookout is not really covered on any of the local trail maps, but within a quarter of a mile you can have some of the best views of the lake at over 7,017 feet. It's a great hike for kids too.
You can see the entire North Shore from the trail — Photo courtesy of Jodi Womack
The trail starts out as a fire road (used by fire vehicles) then becomes a paved trail up to the top of the lookout. There are several signs along the trail that have historical information about the Lake Tahoe area. From the lookout, you can see Crystal Bay and the Brockway area and the Tahoe Basin, the pine trees dropping down from the summit which is covered with large granite boulders. During the winter, this trail is also available for snowshoeing.
To find this trail in Crystal Bay, NV, turn up Reservoir Road between the Tahoe Biltmore Lodge and the old Tahoe Mariner casinos, then turn right at the firehouse. Continue up the hill until you reach a point where a steeper U.S. Forest Service road doubles back to the left above you. Follow this for a quarter mile beyond the green metal gate to the parking lot. When parking, make room for other cars to turn around and don't block the gate.