The Cave Rock Trail is a short hike that leads to one of the most easily accessible panoramic views of Lake Tahoe. All in all, the out-and-back trail is less than a mile round trip and slightly shorter for those who opt not to scramble to the top of the rock itself.
The trail is a hardpacked dirt path with a gradual uphill incline. The hike is easy, and though there are a couple forks, the route to reach the rock formation is straightforward. Once at the side of the 3 million year-old volcanic rock formation, visitors can either take in the views from the saddle, or take on the slippery scramble up the stone to the top. The peak sits about 75 feet above where the trail meets the rock. At the top, there is plenty of uneven granite to find a spot to sit and take in the wide views.
Cave Rock is sacred to the Washoe Tribe, and as such, activities on and around the rock itself are limited. The stone formations and trail itself may be icy during the colder months, and there are no trash cans, bathrooms, or water anywhere along the hike. Parking is very limited; time a visit during less busy hours, typically mid-week.
Cave Rock is visible from much of the Lake Tahoe's perimeter, and those who make the climb to the top are rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains circling the lake basin. The hike is popular, especially for catching the sunsets.