Lakeside walking at Sugar Pine Point

Lakeside Walking at Sugar Pine Point
Tim Hauserman

While Emerald Bay and DL Bliss are the most famous state parks along Tahoe’s West Shore, I always enjoy a stroll along the shoreline at Sugar Pine Point State Park. Best known for the classically beautiful Ehrman mansion at the top of the grassy slope above the lakeshore, Sugar Pine also has a lovely sandy beach, gently meandering General Creek, secluded lakeside coves and some spectacularly beautiful pines and cedars.

 

Starting at the Pine Lodge/Ehrman Mansion you can do an easy several mile loop through the lakeside of Sugar Pine. The route starts with a quick descent to a crossing of General Creek. A slight climb on paved pathway reaches a junction, where a right turn, now on dirt, brings you quickly to a trail on your left. This nearly level pathway heads north passing evidence of recent controlled burns on your left, and an open forest on your right before meeting another junction where you turn right.  

 

The route descends through a thick grove of young trees before arriving at an enormous Jeffrey pine lording over the trail. A quick descent to the lakeshore is followed by a quiet, level walk that brings you past several use trails providing easy access to the lake. Near the end of the lakeside jaunt you pass several big sugar pines and an especially giant incense cedar. The loop concludes at a large dirt pathway where you can take just a few steps and be on the beach. 

 

Sugar Pine’s sandy beach is a beauty, and should entice just about everyone to take a dip in the lake. A stroll south along it brings you to General Creek. Don’t mind getting a bit wet? Take the short jaunt across the creek and then walk along the shore to the pier just below the mansion. 

 

From here, you can follow the paved path along the lakeshore past the former bath house where folks used to change into their bathing suits, and an old boat house that holds the classic shining silver Mercury. Soon, the trail turns to dirt and you can keep following the lakeshore as it winds around the point. Take a jaunt to the rocky beach to see a new perspective including Meeks Bay, Rubicon Peak and South Lake Tahoe.

 

The trail continues around and climbs back up to the Sugar Pine parking lot, where your venture is completed. Looking for more walking? Connect with the West Shore bike trail to the Sugar Pine Point Campground, then follow single track around the campground to the General Creek Trail which heads west for several miles. 

 
Categories: