Monday, August 9, 2021

Stateline Lookout Trail - A Family Friendly Trail That Leads to Priceless Views

street parking next to trailhead

(North Shore)
364 Lakeview Avenue
Incline Village Nevada 89451 

Lake Tahoe is the largest Alpine Lake in North America (22 miles long x 12 miles wide) and has endless hikes and viewpoints that draw about 15 million visitors yearly (both tourists and locals alike).  

Stateline Lookout Trail is among a local list of favorites due to the small effort spent on the trail in obtaining stunning views.  With its' paved path, the trail is accessible to all ages and abilities.

The trail is a short 1.7 mile out and back/loop trail that has a gradual slope upward (305 ft elevation gain) with plenty of points from start to finish  to look outward to the lake and enjoy the views.  

Most of the trail goes up in a straight line until you get to the lookout loop that lines the shore.  Towards the end, before the restrooms, take the small path on the left to start the scenic loop.  You'll find a handful of benches, educational plaques, and some amazing views.  

I went with my three little ones (two, five, & seven years old) on this hike and although it was during a hot part of the day, we survived with mini-breaks under the shade from trees lining the trail. They all made it to the top, but my two-year-old needed help back down, so I carried him on my back in my carrier.

The kids had fun exploring plants, climbing rocks, and gained some survival skills on learning how to cope with heat and watching out for loose rubble.  It was a challenging yet rewarding day at the Stateline Lookout Trail with quality family time and views that we will come back to visit again and again.

When to Visit
Visiting May-October is your best bet to avoid snow, which can make hiking a bit more of a challenge.  If snow isn't a problem for you, visiting during winter with snow boots/shoes can result is stunning views of the lake and snow-capped mountains.

If you follow Google Maps, directions will lead you all the way up to the trailhead.  When directions tell you to go right, it will lead you to a green fence that's closed.  This is the trailhead of the hike.  There's plenty of parking along the streets across of the fence. 

Trailhead. Park Along Lakeview Ave.

What to Bring
-Plenty of water, especially when hiking with kids in the summer (We like to freeze our water the night before so that we have ice-cold water on hand).  We also bring an additional bottle that's not frozen. 
-hat and sunscreen
-good footwear although my kids made it in their Crocs
-lunch (handful of benches at lookout points at end of trail)
-camera or phone for pictures
-hand sanitizer 
-portable toilet and liners if hiking with kids 
-Carrier if hiking with little ones
-bandaids and alcohol pads for unexpected scrapes

Follow the trail all the way to the end to get to the restrooms.  You will find compostable toilets without sinks.  Don't forget to bring hand sanitizer.

Know Before You Go
-Check Accuweather for hour-to-hour weather to dress accordingly
-family friendly, biker friendly
-dog friendly (poop bags available at trailhead)
-You'll pass a few narrow roads through a neighborhood to get to the trailhead
-This trail can get busy on weekends
-visiting early morning or late afternoon in the summer is ideal to avoid the heat
-watch out for loose rubble next to the mountain
-To take advantage of views, be sure to finish the whole (short) loop at top
-If you really want guidance, AllTrails app has a live map that shows your position at all times on the trail map.  Make sure to make an account beforehand.  It's super handy for longer hikes.

Nearby Fun and Food After the Hike
-King's Beach is only a six min drive and is a popular beach that is fun to hang around.  It's family-friendly with a playground, restrooms, water sports rentals, and lots of food and entertainment nearby, including King's Beach Miniature Golf (family favorite), King's Cafe, Log Cabin Ice Cream, and Sweet Tahoe Time Ice Cream & Yogurt (all within walking distance of one another).  Note:  Weekends get super busy at King's Beach. 
-If going back toward Reno, Grab a smoothie and some homemade food from Thania's Juice Bar at the Christmas Village shopping center.  The owner takes pride in what she offers, aiming to use the best produce and ingredients possible.  I tried her Mangonada (Mango slushy with her homemade chamoy sauce (salty, pickled, sweet, spicy, and fruity sauce)) and it was so amazing, especially after the hike.  

Map from Trail to King's Beach - Six Min Drive
Photo Opportunity at the Beginning of Trail
Right when you pass gate at trailhead
Kids loved playing with the beautiful moss
Bench at lookout to help you take it all in
Click to enlarge panorama pic
Plenty of climbing opportunities
The views are amazing!
Go straight, all the way to end for restrooms. No sinks, no hand sanitizer.

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