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Skunk Harbor - Lake Tahoe East Shore

Distance: 3 miles out and back
Difficulty: Moderate due to 600-plus foot elevation change
Fees and Permits: None
Map: National Geographic Lake Tahoe Basin Map

This is a great short hike that will take you down to a secluded bay on Lake Tahoe's undeveloped East Shore. It's a great hike for late spring and early summer when the high peaks are still snow covered, or for a quick afternoon swim in midsummer. The trailhead for this hike is not well marked, and finding it may well be the most difficult part of the hike. The trailhead is on the lake side of Nevada Route 28 outside of Incline Village. It is a simple pullout in the road with a green gate across the trail about 2.4 miles north of Spooner junction. It's tough to find, but this difficulty keeps the crowds down.

To begin the hike, walk around the gate and down a paved path that quickly turns to dirt. About half a mile in you will reach a fork, continue straight on the broad dirt road. After a few downhill switchbacks you will come to another fork, this time head left and in a short distance you will be at the historic Newell House at Skunk Harbor. From there you can wander around the house and the rocky lakeshore before retracing your route back up to the trailhead. Remember, the way out is all up hill and will take longer than the way down.

TMS Recommends Packing: a Lake Tahoe Hiking Map and Reef flip flops for some hang time at the beach

(photos by Jeff Moser/BikeCarson.com)

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