Hiking Around Tahoe and Truckee

I’ve been hiking around Tahoe Sierra’s since I was 12 years old.  Now I enjoy hiking with my Daughter Makeala age 4. Here is a suggestion of Hikes you can take with Kids 4 years plus. Living in the Tahoe National Forest makes it easy for me to find new hikes. Here are some that I wish to share with you.   
Makaela at Shirley Canyon – Notice the hiking shoes
My First Pick for Summer and Fall is Shirely Canyon
It’s in Squaw Valley and the trail starts at the end of Squaw Peak Road.  It is sometimes difficult to find the trail head. 
Here are the directions to the trail headI like to use when hiking with my daughter Makaela and my dog Korry: Follow Squaw Valley road up past the Tram Building and past Squaw Valley Lodge.  Continue on as the road as it raps around the the right. It will wind through some condo complexes and dead end. Mostly like you will see cars parked along the gravel road.  If you look up you will be directly under Granite Cheif.

Shirley Canyon Trail
On the Shirley Canyon trail you can go all the way to Shirley Lake,  about 2½ miles each way to Shirley Lake, passing gorgeous waterfalls and canyon boulders. It is sometimes difficult to find the trail going uphill, stay to the left of the creek; going downhill, stay to the right. The trail diverges and disappears at times but just keep following the creek.  Carry water. Bring a Swim Suit, Sunscreen, Good Hiking Shoes, a camera and a smile.
I rarely make it all the way to Shirley Lake, but enjoy the hike as we go.  We usually stop 30 -45 min. up. Take a break, eat maybe swim depending on the conditions, and then turn back.
5 lakes Trail Near Alpine Meadows: Distance is 2 miles up to the first lake. Elevation gain: 1000 feet: Bring a Swim Suit, Sunscreen, Good Hiking Shoes, a camera and a smile. BRING LOTS OF WATER!
This is a great hike for kids 7 years and older who are fit.   This is a great hike to take kids to really explore.  I suggest starting before 10:00 am. The climb is continous for the 2 miles and it is a fairly steep.    The Five Lakes trail is dramatic yet tranquil surroundings,and there are many places to relax, fish or swim. Dogs are welcome, however make sure they aren’t inclined to chase wildlife or other hikers. 

Meet at the 5 Lakes Trail Head near the west end of Alpine Meadows road . The  trail has many switch backs towards the Five Lakes plateau and up the through Alpine Meadows Valley

The two mile trail maintains little more than a slight incline, but still gains nine hundred feet of elevation before reaching the lakes. With the Kids take lots of breaks. I don’t recommend it for children under 8 years or who aren’t fit. Bring lots of water and make it lots of stops. On the warmest Tahoe days this trail lacks a great deal of shade, but the lakes themselves provide plenty of cover from the sun and opportunities to cool off in the waters.

5 lake Trail

A four mile hike roundtrip takes you to the lakes and back, but if you want to explore the lakes themselves, add another mile or so. Trails exist between all the lakes, making them nicely accessible.

This summer due to the high snow levels, I don’t recommend this hike until mid July when the snow has retreated, the Five Lakes Trail is one of the easiest and most accessible hikes in the Granite Chief Wilderness. So you’ll see other hiker on the trail. Once you’re at the lakes themselves you’ll have plenty of chances for private space.

These are the two hikes to start with. I promise I will update you on other hikes as the summer goes along. You can follow me on Twitter if you’d like updates.