Ditch the crowds on the 4th of July, go take a hike
Would you rather have an eagle eye view of the spectacular fireworks around the North Shore of Lake Tahoe ” Wendy Lautner of Tahoe.com compiled a few family friendly hikes to watch the fireworks at locations from Incline to Truckee and beyond.
Make sure to bring a blanket, warm clothes, some snacks and beverages to sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Pack light, but these hikes are not strenuous and make sure to remember and flashlights or headlamps because the sparks will fly, after dusk.
Kings Beach Fireworks on
Barge is off Kings Beach
State Recreation Area
The Hike: Brockway Summit
Hike in 1.2 miles from Brockway Summit trailhead of the Tahoe Rim Trail towards Mt. Rose. After 1.2 miles you’ll come to a turn off to a vista that will be 0.5 miles up. Great place to catch the firework show at dusk on July 3.
Suggested route: Park at the pullout just before the Brockway Summit on Highway 267, heading north it will be on the left. Start hiking on the Tahoe Rim Trail gradually climbing east (to the right if traveling north). The trail meanders through thick forest with filtered lake views before coming to a fork. Go left at the fork and follow a well-traveled spur trail off the Rim up to a nice Lake Tahoe lookout from a bed of boulders. Although the trail is pretty well-defined and easy-to-follow, you won’t want to forget the headlight on this one.
Crystal Bay Fireworks
Barge is off Incline Beach
The Hike: Stateline Lookout
Suggested route: From State Route 28 on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, turn north on Reservoir Drive, just east of the old Tahoe Biltmore Casino. Turn right on Lakeshore Avenue and left on Forest Service Road 1601, by the iron pipe gate. Park in the parking lot just below the lookout. During the summer the lookout is staffed with knowledgeable volunteers. Superb views of the lake can be seen through the free telescopes located here. A short self-guided nature trail, located by the lookout, explains the history of the north shore of Lake Tahoe.
Barge is off West End Beach
at Donner Lake
The Hike: Donner Summit
There’s a good number of pull-off spots on the way up Donner Pass Road west of the lake that provide spectacular firework views, but with a little effort you’ll leave the crowds and may even find a nook of Fourth of July nirvana.
Suggested route: Park at the Sugar Bowl Academy at the top of Donner Summit on Donner Pass Road. The Pacific Crest Trail heads north directly across the street (it’s even marked with an emblem). Within less than 100 yards of walking you’ll spot a bunch of easy-access views pretty much lining the trail. The further you walk, the fewer the crowds. At approximately half-mile from the start (and after the downed tree across the trail) there’s a small spur trail leading to a rocky outcrop that breaks off to the right of the PCT. You’ll find nice spots for watching the show from here. But if you’re interested in finding the “money spot” continue up the trail one mile from the start where a faint spur trail leads up the back of the tallest rock face in the area.
You’ll climb off trail for part of the jaunt, so good hiking shoes are a must. It’s about 200 yards to the peak ” 7,387 feet on my GPS. If you’re traveling with a GPS, the turnoff for this peak scramble is N39.19.07.7, W18.104.22.168. Be sure to pack a headlight, because the way down might get a bit tricky after dark.