Surrounding the Serene Lakes in the Tahoe National Forest is a plethora of nordic skiing trails, hiking trails, and fire roads. The Truckee Donner Land Trust owns the 3,000 acre land known as the Royal Gorge Property surrounding these lakes. There are about five main all-purpose trails that offer variety and spectacular scenery, and can be hiked separately or combined into a loop around the Serene Lakes. This property offers world-class recreation that outdoor lovers and their dogs will love!
Most trails in this area can be accessed from the Summit Station Trailhead, on Kidd Lakes Road, where you’ll find free parking and restrooms. The Royal Gorge Rim trail is a 15 mile loop that combines three of these trail, including Lyle’s Lookout, Rowton’s Peak, and Point Mariah. Starting from the trailhead, Lyle’s Lookout is a short 3 mile hike that leads to spectacular views of the Devil’s Peak. From here you can continue the adventure through wildflowers, bird areas, and unique volcanic geology.
Another trailhead closer to Point Mariah is the Hoelter Hall Trailhead. Perhaps the highlight at Point Mariah, is where you can stare down 4000 feet into the Royal Gorge of the North Fork of the American River, featuring waterfalls and deep pools. Some other sights to enjoy on the trail are sweeping views of the Pacific Crest and the Chief Granite Wilderness.
The Serene Lakes area has something in it for everybody and their dog, whether it’s a casual day hike to a challenging trek, or a ski through the pristine snow to a gentle walk through a butterfly-filled meadow. Dogs are welcome to join their two-legged friends, as long as they stay under voice control and get picked up after at all times. Whatever your fitness level and whatever the season, the Serene Lakes will give you and your doggo an unforgettable experience!