Elevation Gain
130.00 ft (39.62 m)
Trail type
2.90 mi (4.67 km)
Warming hut
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While Spooner Lake tends to be one of the more popular warm weather hikes on Lake Tahoe's eastern shore, visitors during the snowy season will more often find the trails throughout the area picturesque and visited by far fewer people.

The Spooner Lake area benefits from being nearly 1000' above Tahoe's lake level, and is well shaded by the dense forest surrounding the landscape, so when lower snow may be melting, the accumulation around Spooner will offer far better snowshoe and x-country ski opportunities with an incredible ease of access than most other points around the lake. The snowshoe trail follows the route of the hiking trail, circling the lake's perimeter, crossing over a few footbridges over the creeks and wetlands areas, and passing by vault toilets and covered picnic areas.

Upon entering the park, a right turn leads to the Spooner Lake parking area. While there are rarely more than a few cars here, the lake does tend to get visitors, so with luck there will be some tracks following the route to keep you headed the right way. If not, it's simple enough to just follow along the perimeter of the lake. Pine trees draped in snow cover the mountainous landscape, providing an amazing view regardless of which side of the lake you're on. The Spooner Lake Trail also forks with a path to the Tahoe Rim Trail, with the North Canyon Trail that heads several miles to Marlette Lake, and is surrounded by pristine backcountry just inviting snowshoers to ditch the trail at their convenience and start blazing a path through the forest.

Vault toilets and covered picnic benches are located at the parking lot, and there are interpretive signs along the way which may or may not be visible depending on the snow conditions.

In all, one loop around the lake is just under 3 miles, with only a couple short sections of ascent or descent. 

Winter brings quieter conditions to Spooner Lake, and the snowshoe/x-country ski path circling the lake is a great spot for families with kids, as well as experienced hikers looking for a scenic trail or easy access to Tahoe's backcountry.

Visitors to Spooner Lake must pay the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park entry fee ($10 for Nevada residents, $15 for out-of-state vehicles as of winter 2024), and are subject to park day use hours and rules.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Day use fee


Access to backcountry. Snowier conditions than nearby lower elevations.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

7,055.00 ft (2,150.36 m)

Highest point

7,055.00 ft (2,150.36 m)


Family friendly
Vault toilet
Picnic tables
Near lake or river
Big vistas
Covered picnic areas

Typically multi-day


Groomed trail


Snowmobiles allowed



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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