One of the most fascinating areas to explore near Donner Pass is the old railroad tunnels. It’s great for history buffs, archaeologists, and photographers.
A popular hiking trail near South Lake Tahoe is Horsetail Falls. An easy loop takes you along Pyramid Creek and the adventurous can continue to the falls.
If you can’t get a wilderness camping permit, check out the Big Meadow Trailhead. There are multiple camping opportunities, including Round Lake.
Webber Lake is rich in history and nature, and was in private hands for 150 years. Recent acquisition by a land trust has just made it open to the public.
The Hay Meadow trailhead offers some great hiking near Lassen National Park – it will take you past dozens of small, beautiful hidden lakes!
Floating Island & Cathedral Lakes are a great intermediate stop to Mt Tallac, or just a final destination for a short South Lake Tahoe hiking trail.
The 10-mile Lake Sylvia hike near South Lake Tahoe is a great option for an overnighter, secluded at a scenic lake in Desolation Wilderness.
The Granite Lake hike is the shortest excursion into Desolation Wilderness from the Bayview Trail, and offers some amazing views of Lake Tahoe.
One of the most well-preserved ghost towns in California is Bodie, an old mining camp off of US395 just over two hours south of Lake Tahoe.