There's a trail near South Lake Tahoe, California known as Hawley Grade, and it stretches for a little more than four miles. Among the many things that make this a special trail is its 160-year history. The path was initially a wagon road finished in 1857, and it also had Pony Express stations along the way. This hike is rated as moderate, and many visitors say their young children were able to complete it alongside them. Not only can your two-legged children enjoy this hike, but your furry companions can come along, too, as long as they're on a leash.
You'll often see mountain bikers along this trail in addition to hikers and dog walkers. If you choose to bike this trail, be prepared to have to walk your bike in some areas and cross bodies of water.
This trail is quite well-traveled, but it's very narrow in spots, which will make you wonder how wagons ever navigated their way along it. The beginning of the hike is relatively flat, and it will take you past rows of cabins.
If you continue on for about another half an hour, you'll begin to hear rushing water, and you'll reach a gorgeous waterfall that many hikers say makes the trip! Depending on the time of year, you may have to cross through some water, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear.
When you continue beyond the waterfall, you'll reach Echo Summit. This is a great place to stop and take a break and enjoy the scenery. Some hikers choose to begin their hike at Echo Summit and then hike down, so that's an option, too, but most people prefer to hike up to the summit to start.
Don't forget to bring lots of drinking water for you and your dog, as well as doggie bags to clean up after your pet.