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Trail Guide: Picnic Rock Hike in Lake Tahoe | Beautiful views!

This is a short-and-sweet trail with a little bit of elevation gain but so much payoff. The Picnic Rock Hike is easily done in the summer and, with the right equipment, winter, too! Here’s everything you need to know before you hike.

Picnic Rock Hike Key Information

Trailhead: Brockway Summit Tahoe Rim Trail Trailhead

Hike End: Brockway Summit Tahoe Rim Trail Trailhead

Hike Type: Out & Back

Length: 2.7 miles

Time: 1-2 hours

Ascent:  731 ft

Difficulty: Easy—this is a short hike with a gentle incline. Many families do this hike!

Hiking to Picnic Rock: Trail Guide!

I wanted to get out of the house for a quick midday walk and this was the perfect hike for it. We drove to the trailhead, a pullout on the side of North Lake Boulevard. There’s a decent amount of parking—just make sure to park head-in.

Once you’ve parked, cross the street up to the Tahoe Rim Trail. There’s a trail marker sign with general information about the Tahoe Rim Trail and surrounding area. Walk past it, along the trail, which takes you on a gentle ascent through the forest. The trees are really beautiful and provide a fair bit of shade. There are only 2 or 3 switchbacks before the trees clear, and then it’s just a short bit further to Picnic Rock. You’ll know you’re at your destination when you see craggy rocks and when you have a great view of Lake Tahoe.

This hike is totally possible in the wintertime with the right gear and a day with good visibility. We strapped on some microspikes and were able to complete this hike in March during a pretty heavy snowpack year. Microspikes were fine, but snowshoes would have saved us from taking some knee-deep steps into snow.

Once you’ve enjoyed a coffee, snack, or the view at the top, head back the way you came, back down to the parking lot.

What to pack for the Picnic Rock Hike

Because this trail is so short, you don’t need to carry too much. Pack weather-appropriate layers, good shoes, water, and maybe a snack.

Heading out on a longer trip? Here are my gear recommendations.

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