Lake Tahoe is not only one of the largest alpine lakes anywhere, but it’s also one of the highest, which, after the fact, makes for some fabulous Lake Tahoe hiking. About 2 million to 3 million years ago a large block fault caused surrounding ranges to rise and the block beneath Lake Tahoe to sink. Over time this basin filled with water and formed what is now one of the most crystal clear lakes on the planet. This geological process is also what made Lake Tahoe the second-deepest lake in the United States, at a staggering 1,645 ft (501 m). Coincidentally, it created some pretty staggering peaks, perfect for getting that picturesque view of the lake below. If you're into Lake Tahoe hiking, this place is paradise, but it's also important to know your skills!
Here are some of Tahoe’s tallest peaks to get you started.
Freel Peak at 10,891 ft (3,320 m) — The highest peak surrounding the Tahoe Basin with spectacular view, well above the tree line.
Monument Peak at 10,067 ft (3,068 m) — A picturesque peak, home to the Heavenly Ski Area.
Pyramid Peak at 9,983 ft (3,043 m) — The highest Peak in The Desolation Wilderness. A permit is required for overnighters, although the hike can be done in one day by those of you who are quick on your feet.
Mt. Tallac at 9,735 ft (2,967 m) — Perhaps one of the most climbed peaks in the area. Known for great views of the lake below. Best hiked late summer to early fall to avoid snowy conditions.