Mary West: Hiking the Tahoe East Shore Trail
The Tahoe East Shore Trail, also called the Impossible Trail, is a three-mile stretch of paved walkway offering world class views of the international destination that is Lake Tahoe. Many community organizations and individuals who love Lake Tahoe opened their wallets and donated their time and energy to make this 40.5 million dollar dream a reality. All along the trail you find tributes and words of thanks offered to those who made the trail possible.
The Governor of Nevada cut the ribbon in late June of 2019 on the path that stretches from Incline Village to Sand Harbor on CA-267 South/Highway 28 in Washoe County Nevada. To get there take Interstate 80 east to CA-267 South to Incline Village. At the state line it becomes 28. Follow 28 to the parking area at Incline Village or up at Sand Harbor. This is a 3 mile out and back trek for a total of 6 miles round trip.
The Tahoe East Shore Trail is gorgeous. The views of Lake Tahoe and the multiple access points to the water is a pleasure. More importantly, it’s safer than walking or cycling along the roadway. If you park in Incline Village you start across the road from the lake. But the trail takes a turn under the highway to get you closer to the water the rest of the way to Sand Harbor.
There are drawbacks to this lovely trail. This is Tahoe and parking is at a premium at both ends of the trail. On summer weekends you need to arrive early and prepare to pay to park. This is a very popular trail with families, cyclists and dog owners. It can get crowded. Speaking of dog owners. The blacktop heats up fast, even with Tahoe’s cooler temperatures. Your dogs feet will burn. Much of this trail is exposed to direct sun, be prepared with a hat, sunglasses and sunblock. Take plenty of water. One more drawback is walking on a paved surface can be hard on your feet and joints.
If you have friends and family from out of the area take them to the Tahoe East Shore Trail. It’s a bit like showing off for company. After you enjoy the view, enjoy all that Tahoe has to offer.
Mary West is the author of the book series Day Hiker – Gold Country Trail Guide. The books are a collection of Day Hiker columns where West shares her longtime love of the outdoors, and favorite hikes in Northern California’s Gold Country and beyond (Available on Amazon). West was the recipient of the 2017 and 2019 CRAFT Award for Best Outdoor Newspaper Column by the Outdoor Writers Association of California. You can follow West on Facebook and Instagram.
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