Today's hike has to be labeled "most scenic". It's the "Tunnel Creek loop" of the Tahoe Rim Trail on the Eastern ridge of Lake Tahoe. The actual length is about 23 miles ending up at Spooner Summit, but we chose to only do a portion (6 miles total). You start in the Tahoe Meadows off Hwy 431 for a walk in the woods. Veer to the right and begin an ascent which is not really strenuous but will get your blood pumping until you reach the highest point on the ridge (around 8800 ft). You are immediately rewarded with one of the prettiest views and for the hike along this ridge the views are king!
It might be worth mentioning that this trail is frequented by mountain bikes also, however they are limited to odd number days only. Even though hikers have the right of way we normally pull to the side to let them pass especially if they are headed uphill! It has to be hard to gain your momentum on a bike.
The trail skims the top of the mountaintop and winds around through the forest so there's always a chance of welcome shaded areas. You even pass over a few creeks along the way! The trail is littered with car size granite boulders, occasional wild flowers and spectacular views at every turn.
I will do this again in it entirety perhaps in two days, splitting it up near the Tunnel Creek cafe.
It's hard to tell from the picture but these sure look like mountain lion prints!