The Best View of Lake Tahoe? The Breathtaking Hike to Monkey Rock

It’s best known for its world-famous rock formation shaped as the head of a gorilla. But the 4.7-mile out-and-back hike on the Tunnel Creek Trail, which is part of the Tahoe Flume Trail, is so much more.

In fact, it may be the best panoramic view of Lake Tahoe that one can find.

The Tunnel Creek Trail begins in Incline Village and climbs high above the lake, giving views of Tahoe’s water clarity from thousands of feet up. From the top of the trail, you can see the entirety of the 71-miles of shoreline surrounding Lake Tahoe. But to snap a photo, you may want to sit by Monkey Rock.

As rumor has it, an Incline Village local noticed the shape of the rock matched that of the head of a gorilla. While going through a devastating divorce, that local hiked up the hill and carved the ears and nostrils into the rock. Today, it makes for an interesting photo above Tahoe.

To get to Monkey Rock, go to the east end of Incline Village and park by the Tunnel Creek Café. Follow the paved road south through the Forest Service gate and follow that trail all the way to the top of the mountain.

If you’re looking for a breathtaking view on incredible photo in the Tahoe area, try the hike to Monkey Rock. Heck, you can even bring a banana for sustenance.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


  1. Very nice, but think the old fire lookout above Crystal Bay is better. When I lived there in 80s we would go up on the 4th of July. Could see all 4 fireworks displays (Incline, Kings Beach, Tahoe City, South Shore).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button