Snowshoeing Grass Lake, near South Lake Tahoe
- Trailhead: South side of CA89, north of Luther Pass – Open in Google Maps.
- Length: As long as you like – the normal loop is almost 3.5 miles.
- Difficulty: Easy. Essentially no elevation gain.
- Usage: Snowshoeing, ski touring, dogs. Free.
- Best Time for Photography: Any time during the golden hour.
- Trail Info Current: January 14, 2017
Grass Lake Snowshoe Trail Narrative
This is an easy snowshoe trail near South Lake Tahoe, suitable for skiers as well. The main trail is a loop around small Grass Lake. This area is usually not much more than a marsh by late summer, and so in winter it’s completely covered in snow. This allows you to make the loop as long or as short as you like. If you keep to the treeline the distance is almost 3.5 miles.
You can even add some elevation and make your trek much longer by climbing Waterhouse Peak to the south, go west to Big Meadow, or east to Hope Valley. There are a lot of options starting here!
CALTRANS does a great job of keeping a parking area clear on the south side of CA89 – there are multiple spots to pull over on the shoulder just after passing Big Meadow from South Lake Tahoe. From Tahoe, you’ll pass signs for Big Meadow, see some rising terrain to your south (right) and then that levels off. You’ll catch some glimpses of a meadow through the trees – this is Grass Lake.
There’s really not much else to snowshoeing Grass Lake. As mentioned earlier, you can circle the treeline, make the circle smaller, or extend your trek much further away. I’ll be adding some photos of snowshoeing to Waterhouse Peak soon – that’s the peak immediately to the south just shy of 9.500′.