Lake Tahoe’s beauty is no secret, but many people have no idea where to enjoy it from above. Enter the Tunnel Creek Trail: home to the most beautiful panoramic view of Lake Tahoe, and a cheeky Monkey Rock.
What Is It?
The Tunnel Creek Trail is a 4.7-mile out-and-back hike located near Incline Village on the Tahoe Flume Trail. This moderate hike has become known as the home to Monkey Rock, a rock formation in the shape of a gorilla’s head overlooking the lake. The peak of this trail rewards visitors with the best panoramic view of Lake Tahoe, with the entire lake visible from its vantage point.
Where Can I Find It?
The Tunnel Creek Trail is located on the East end of Incline Village. Park by the Tunnel Creek Café
, and follow the paved road behind it that heads South. The paved road ends in a few hundred yards and gives way to a Forest Service gate. Pass the gate, and head up the trail to greet the top of the mountain.
- Early morning or late afternoon in the fall or spring are the best time to hike the trail and catch incredible sunrises or sunsets over the lake.
- The lake’s increased clarity during fall makes the aerial views even more beautiful than usual!
- Reward yourself after your hike with coffee, soup and sandwiches at the Tunnel Creek Café, where you started your journey.
- Looking out on the lake from the summit, you’ll notice that you can see the clarity of the water even from a thousand feet up. Lake Tahoe’s water actually reaches peak clarity in the fall when runoff, wind, and boat traffic all diminish.
- Rumor has it that an Incline Village local who was going through a divorce carved ears and nostrils into Monkey Rock.
- Tunnel Creek Trail is great for hiking or biking, and is even dog-friendly as long as your four-legged friend is on a leash!
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