I’ve never hiked out by Homewood Ski Resort on the West Shore, but Quail Lake made me want to go back. Quail Lake was surprising larger than I had expected with a mountain backdrop. The hike is quite short, only about 2 miles out to the lake and back. The lake is actually a reservoir that feeds parts of Homewood so there is a dam. There are multiple routes for the hike, some a little further than others with the lake sitting at about 6,800 feet above sea level. The vertical can vary slightly depending on which route you take, but you’ll gain about 500 vertical feet. Difficulty can vary as well depending on the route, but generally it’s pretty easy.
We hiked to Quail Lake a few weeks back on a beautiful weekend day. Two pups, Mariel and I made the trek this time. We parked at the top of Ellis Road. You can also start from the bottom of Homewood or Meadow Road. Once we made it to the top of the road, we packed up our Granite Rocx packs, leashed up the pups and were on our way. At the top of the road, you’ll see a gate into a home, but just go through that gate and the trail starts right there. The trail starts on a pretty flat dirt track with a slight incline where we saw some beautiful, blooming snow flowers. Then you’ll bare right to reach a small, but cool wooden bridge over a creek. Below are some pictures.
From here continue on and you’ll come to another section where you can go left or right. Left takes you up a steeper hill covered with brush. We decided to go right, which took us onto the Homewood ski trails. We continued up and had beautiful views of Lake Tahoe. A few more pictures are below.
Travel uphill and bare left and you’ll eventually come to the lake. We sat at the lilly pad covered lake for a bit while the dogs played in the water. It was pretty peaceful with a gorgeous mountain backdrop. When leaving, we saw some people fishing. The lake is private however so make sure to get a special permit if you plan to fish. We looped down by the dam of the lake when we left and traveled down the steeper section. Take a look at more pictures below.
This is definitely an easier hike. It was a great hike with the pups and the lake was super peaceful. We were the only ones there. It was pretty cool to hike on Homewood as well. Here is a MyTracks of the hike. Have you hiked to Quail Lake or near Homewood? If so, make a comment below! Also follow me on twitter @sberei!
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Great write-up! I’ll be in Tahoe in September, part of the time doing the rim trail and the rest doing some good day hikes. Will definitely be using your site to find some good trails. Quail Lake looks beautiful!
Thank you! Awesome, sounds great. There are definitely some amazing day hikes in the Tahoe area. I haven’t posted in awhile, I need to get back on it!!
Hi Stephen! Making our first trip to Lake Tahoe October 12 – 19, 2014. Looking for easy trails to hike with good views. Quail Lake looks like good one. Can you recommend any others? What do you think weather and temperatures will be like mid October?
Hey Cheryl! Thanks for reaching out. October is a difficult time to predict weather. We’ve definitely had snow in October. Generally, the nights will be starting to get pretty cold, but the days usually are warmer. I would say highs would be mid-50s. As far as hikes go, this one is on the West Shore. Other hikes that could be good would be leaving from Bayview Trailhead near Emerald Bay (South Shore). Go right off the path and that will take you to Granite Lake. Beautiful views of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe about halfway through. If you go left at the trailhead you can go towards Cascade Lake which is a good flat hike. Another could be Eagle Lake Hike. This is near Emerald Bay as well, but you wouldn’t leave from Bayview Trailhead. You could also hike Cave Rock. It’s less than a mile with gorgeous views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierras. This is on the South East Shore. Hope that helps. Feel free to reach out if you have other questions as your trip nears!