This challenging hike rewards you with some of the most spectacular views of Lake Tahoe around.
Features: Fall Colors — Lake — Views — Wildlife
This hike is recommended as a shuttle. You can park one car at the southern end at Spooner Lake. The second car can be left at Tunnel Creek Station where you can pop into the Tunnel Creek Cafe for a bite to eat after working up an appetite on your hike!
Starting from the Spooner Lake parking lot, hop on North Canyon Road to start the hike. At approximately one mile start looking for the beginning of the Marlette Lake Trail
which will be on the left-hand side of the road.
This trail begins just to the north of Spooner Lake. In the first three miles, the trail climbs approximately 1,500 feet to Marlette Saddle which is the high point of the trail at 8,200 ft. Although this part of the hike is challenging, be sure to take in the scenery as you'll pass through groves of aspens and conifers through which you may catch a glimpse of old logging cabins.
Once you crest Marlette Saddle, enjoy a half mile descent down to the beautiful blue Marlette Lake. The Marlette Lake Trail
ends at the southern end of the lake, but you can continue along the lake using the Marlette Lake Road that runs along the shore.
This flat jeep road is scenic in its own right as it skirts the shores of Lake Marlette giving you a chance to take in the views. This is just a short segment of dirt road that connects to Marlette Flume Trail
where the real fun begins!
The Marlette Flume Trail
boasts some truly spectacular views of Lake Tahoe. It begins with a 4.4-mile gentle descent from Lake Marlette to its northern junction with Tunnel Creek Road
. This historic trail traverses the ridge, weaving around rocks and trees and then opening up to expansive views of Lake Tahoe and the mountains beyond. Although the trail feels mostly flat or slightly downhill, do use caution as this section has very steep drop offs and the trail can be very narrow in some sections. Make sure you take the time to take in the views!
From Marlette Flume Trail
, get ready for a slightly steeper downhill cruise as the next three miles features a 1,500-foot descent down the Tunnel Creek Road
. This dirt jeep road will still give you glimpses of Lake Tahoe before ending at Tunnel Creek Station.
Predominantly conifer and aspen forests, which are beautiful in the fall.