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Tahoe Rim Trail

Every summer, 100,000 outdoor enthusiasts walk and bike around Lake Tahoe on a scenic 165-mile trail with everything from wildflowers to stunning vistas.

A hiker crosses a ridge above Lake Tahoe.
Photo caption
A hiker crosses a ridge above Lake Tahoe.

For over a century, outdoor enthusiasts have flocked to Lake Tahoe, a vast oval of blue so beautiful that even irascible Mark Twain rhapsodized that “it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.”

But for only 10 years has it been possible to walk or bike around the entire lake on a developed route: the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail, completed by volunteers in September 2001.

“Each summer the trail attracts more than 100,000 users,” says Mary Bennington, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association’s executive director. For easy access, Bennington suggests the Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Trail on the North Shore for its wildflowers and a three-mile southern stretch beside Echo Lakes for its stunning views and water-taxi ride. On the east side, Kingsbury Grade North Trail offers vistas over the lake to Emerald Bay. (775) 298-0012, tahoerimtrail.org.

Photography by SCPhotos/Alamy

This article was published in July 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.