Note: This trail closes to hikers seasonally in Winter, and is only available to cross-country skiers. Passes must be purchased for this sport use.
Burton Creek State Park has been described as Lake Tahoe’s secret state park. Burton Creek is a spectacular watershed of over 2000 acres tucked away in the hills overlooking Tahoe’s North Shore just outside Tahoe City.
Set aside so that the lands may heal from over a century of logging and dairy farming it is a place of recovering forest and meadowlands, its located down the highway from the lakeshore campgrounds at Tahoe State Recreation Area and potentially tricky to find.
Note: the Tahoe SRA campground entry kiosk is a good place to ask questions about Burton Creek.
Burton Creek is ideally situated to be an easily accessed playground for trail users in all seasons! It’s minimally developed and the trails are ideal for hikers, cross country skiers, mountain bikers, jogging…
This hike covers the core of the park up Burton Creek and around the park’s meadow areas; the Burton Creek Natural Preserve and Antone Meadows Natural Preserve, both protected for the local fauna and flora as well as to help preserve a clean watershed into Lake Tahoe.
Much of the 6 plus miles of trail looks to be town water tank service road and other old logging tracks, in fact, an isolated portion of the park has recently been culled as active forest thinning for fire protection and forest health by state parks and fire agencies. The majority however, aid in accessing the deeper portions of the park. In the winter, Tahoe Nordic Center grooms the trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
Also keep in mind, there’s a few roads not on the Park Map. There’s not much trail signage in the park so if you get turned around, there are numbered posts along the main routes at road junctions to aid in navigation within the tangle of roads; a huge help if you’ve downloaded the park map (or picked on up at the Lake Tahoe SRA Campground).
Also, for further exploration, a section of the new Tahoe Rim Trail leads through the western part of Burton Creek as does another popular route, the Fiberboard Freeway.