The Thunder Mountain Trail and the Western States Trail, excluding the portion that is currently closed for gondola construction, will remain open. The hikes from High Camp on the upper mountain will remain open as well and can be accessed via the Aerial Tram (subject to closure pending conditions). Check out our summer hiking map for more information.

Scenic hiking and walking trails can be accessed at the base of Olympic Valley

Olympic Valley and the surrounding Sierra Nevada provide one of the most spectacular settings in the world and are any hiker's paradise. You can access a variety of hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, alpine lakes, meadows, peaks, and lookouts right from the base of Olympic Valley at Palisades Tahoe. Ride the Aerial Tram to High Camp and choose from even more scenic hiking and walking trails. Climb to the weathered buttresses atop Squaw Peak, visit the historic Watson Monument at Emigrant Peak, or meander through the meadows covered with wildflowers, and enjoy the panoramic views from Palisades Tahoe's high alpine environment.

Use the Palisades Tahoe App in the Summer!

Download or upgrade to our summer app to access summer hiking maps, track hiking performance, find your friends on hiking trails and more.

IMPORTANT: the KT Road is closed to hiking due to construction of the base-to-base gondola. The Western States Trail and Five Lakes Trail will be subject to intermittent closures during Summer 2021 due to construction of the base-to-base gondola. For updates on trail closures, please visit our Gondola Construction blog.
Please note: the Western States Trail will experience intermittent closures throughout the construction of the base-to-base gondola this summer. During closures, hikers are encouraged to use other trails, with nearby Shirley Canyon and Granite Chief trails in Olympic Valley as great alternatives. Hikers who ascend to High Camp during operating hours of the Aerial Tram can download for free.

IMPORTANT: the KT Road is closed to hiking for construction of the base-to-base gondola.

View Hiking Trail Map

Hikes & Walking Trails from High Camp

Easy to Moderate
  • High Camp Loop (approximately 1.23 miles): This gentle trail begins at High Camp, traverses the ridge to the top of the Mountain Meadow Chairlift. Hikers then loop down through the upper mountain’s spacious open bowls to High Camp. During the winter this area serves as Palisades Tahoe’s beginner ski and snowboard slopes.
  • High Camp to the top of the Gold Coast Chairlift (approximately .92 mile): Follow the High Camp Loop trail past the Mountain Meadow chairlift and continue until you reach the Gold Coast lift. This trail offers views of Lake Tahoe, the surrounding mountains and the meadows below.
  • High Camp to the top of the Emigrant Chairlift (approximately 1.38 miles, 680’ elevation gain): This trail offers a stunning 360 degree view of Lake Tahoe and surrounding mountains from the top. The historic Watson Monument is located near the top of the chairlift.

Moderate to Difficult
  • High Camp to the top of Squaw Peak (approximately 2 miles, 844’ elevation gain): Follow the trail from High Camp, past the Gold Coast lift and continue up to the top of the Palisades for a view of the Granite Chief Wilderness and Olympic Valley below.
  • High Camp to Shirley Lake & down Shirley Canyon (approximately 3.6 miles, 2,109' elevation loss): This is a great half day hike through a mountain canyon that passes by waterfalls and spectacular granite boulders. Hikers begin on either the Shirley Lake trail (a dirt road) or the Solitude trail (a narrower single track trail). Once the trails meet and you reach Shirley Lake, hikers can either hike back up to High Camp and ride the Aerial Tram down for free or hike down the canyon. Please Note: This trail may sometimes be hard to follow, so remember the general rule is to keep the creek on your left side and follow it down until you arrive at the base of the mountain. There are also some steep sections to negotiate through the granite so hiking boots are strongly recommended.

Hikes & Walking Trails from Base Area

Easy to Moderate
  • Trollstigen (approximately .6 mile): This gentle trail traverses the base of Olympic Valley from the Resort at Squaw Creek to the Village at Palisades Tahoe. The trail meanders in and out of the trees just above the valley floor. Enjoy spectacular views of the meadow and surrounding peaks.

Moderate to Difficult
  • Shirley Canyon Trail (approximately 3.6 miles, 2,109' elevation gain/loss): This is one of Lake Tahoe's best half day hikes. Hike alongside waterfalls (seasonal; early summer only) and granite boulders and take in breathtaking views of Olympic Valley. To access the trailhead, park in the main Palisades Tahoe parking lot and walk to the end of Squaw Peak Road. This trail can be difficult to follow, so remember the general rule is to keep the creek on your right and follow it up for about 2.5 miles until you come to giant granite rock slabs. You will cross over this section and continue up to Shirley Lake. There are steep and rocky sections, so hiking boots are strongly recommended.
  • Thunder Mountain Trail (approximately 3.2 miles, 2000' elevation gain/loss): The Thunder Mountain Trail is the perfect hike to explore Olympic Valley from the base to High Camp. Hikers start their adventure to the north of Cushing Pond (to the far right of the Squaw One Chairlift). The trail is marked with three upright logs tied together and there is a map at the trailhead. From here you will walk towards the very wide bridge, which is where the route begins. The trail is clearly indicated by blue markings. Continue on the trail winding up the mountain. Your final destination will be the High Camp complex, where, during operating hours, you can visit our restaurant, marketplace, enjoy summer activities or ride the Aerial Tram back to the base of the mountain. PLEASE NOTE that the Thunder Mountain Trail passes over the summer construction access road. Please be aware of vehicle and heavy machinery traffic. Do not continue on the summer construction access road as it is closed for hiking.
  • World Cup Trail (approximately .75 miles, 600' elevation gain): Use this trail to access the national historic and scenic designated Western States Trail, which stretches from Salt Lake City, Utah to Sacramento, California. Subject to intermittent closures during Summer 2021 for construction on the base-to-base gondola.

All hikers who arrive at High Camp can ride the Aerial Tram down during summer operating hours free of charge.


Update 8/30: All guided hikes are canceled until further notice. For more information on the closure, please read our blog about Caldor Fire impacts.

Join one of Palisades Tahoe's experienced hiking guides for a memorable mountain experience on our scenic 1.5 mile trail around High Camp.

Guided Hike Details

  • Guided hike is 1.5 miles that departs from High Camp
  • Meet at High Camp lobby 10:30am and 1:30pm
  • No reservations necessary
  • All hikes are weather and conditions permitting

Call 800-403-0206 for more information.

The North Face logo

Hiking Tips

Here's a few tips to make the most out of your day on the mountain.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots. Many of the mountain trails traverse rugged terrain.
  • Palisades Tahoe’s mountain environment is prone to sudden weather and temperature changes so please carry adequate clothing.
  • Bring plenty of water (never drink directly from a stream) and a snack or energy bar.
  • Always use sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses for protection from the high altitude sun.
  • Please respect Palisades Tahoe’s beautiful natural environment by observing all signs and staying on designated trails and roads. Do not cut switchbacks. Stay out of any construction or roped off areas.
  • In case of an emergency, dial 0 from a phone at the base of our lifts or have a Palisades Tahoe team member contact an EMT.
  • Please stay off chairlifts and towers. During our summer maintenance, lifts may be started without warning.
  • Lightning travels at the speed of light. If lightning is in the area, ALL Tram operations will be suspended until lightning clears.
  • No smoking, please. The fire danger in this area is very high during the summer.

We're Dog-Friendly

You are welcome to bring your dog with you on your hike at Palisades Tahoe. Please be sure to bring a leash as all dogs must be leashed while riding in the Aerial Tram and inside any buildings or facilities. There is no charge for dogs on the Aerial Tram. Once at High Camp, your dog is welcome on the hiking trails, however, dogs are not permitted at the roller skating rink and pool, nor in any restaurants. We ask that you use your best judgment in leashing them on the trails.

You Might Also LIke