Snowshoeing Grass Lake, near South Lake Tahoe

grass lake snowshoeing
Thanks to the winter starting off with a bang, I’m going to continue my Lake Tahoe Hiking Trails series but on snowshoes! We’ll start with an easy one – Grass Lake.

  • 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

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.

grass lake snowshoeing

Specks of people snowshoeing across Grass Lake, under Pickett & Hawkins Peaks

snowshoeing grass lake

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.

aspens grass lake

snowshoeing grass lake

Entering the trees south of Grass Lake, towards Waterhouse Peak

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′.

snowshoeing grass lake

sunlight through trees

Questions or comments about snowshoeing Grass Lake?  Leave them below!

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