Weather and snow conditions will have a big impact on where you can walk or hike in winter, but snow boots should suffice on most days if you stay around lake level and inquire locally about what is and isn’t accessible. Even a little bit of snow and ice can cause a stumble, so we suggest sticking to paved hike/bike trails and flat trails or roads if you’re walking without snowshoes and there’s any chance of obstruction.
Because fewer hikers are out in winter than summer, parking spaces are somewhat easier to find. Days when there’s no snow at lake level are ideal for easy hikes such as the three-mile in-and-out trek to Skunk Harbor, an idyllic cove about 2.5 miles north of Spooner Summit on Highway 28. Another good leg-stretching bet for visitors to the South Shore are the trails around the Taylor Creek Visitor Center (closed in winter) and Tallac Historic Site near Camp Richardson. The trails here are flat, scenic and far enough from the highway to be serene.
Photo: "Tahoe Trail Blazer" – Phil King (CC)