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Marlette-Hobart Backcountry

State Park
Bethany Drysdale

ADA Accessibility Notes

Spooner Lake is wheelchair accessible.

Marlette-Hobart Backcountry is part of the Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park and is made up of 13,000 acres of backcountry and 50 miles of trails and dirt roads. Prior to the 1850s, it was populated by Washoe Indians as they migrated seasonally between the Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe. When miners discovered gold and silver in Virginia City (the Comstock Lode), they needed large amounts of water and wood for the mines. They created Marlette Lake, Hobart Reservoir and Spooner Lake and a system of flumes and pipelines to transport water to Virginia City via a 4,000-foot tunnel and a pipeline. This became the Marlette-Hobart Water System, now a National Civil Engineering Landmark.

Pet Friendly Notes

Dogs are allowed on leashes at Spooner Lake and on voice command in the backcountry.

Recreational Opportunities

The Marlette Flume Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail are the most popular hiking and mountain-biking trails on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe. Catch-and-release fishing is available at Marlette Lake; catch-and-keep at Spooner Lake and Hobart Reservoir, but there are bait and other restrictions at each location, so check the website for details.

You can hike or bike to Marlette Lake from Spooner Lake, which has a large parking area, restrooms, picnic tables and a variety of trails. The trail is about five miles one-way.

Camping is allowed at no cost at three developed campgrounds. Check the website for details.


Seasons Accessible

Depending on snowfall, the trail to Marlette Lake is passable from mid-May to early October. Other backcountry trails also depend on the snowfall. Spooner Lake is open year-round and is popular for cross-country skiing and snow shoeing in the winter.


Entrance to Spooner Lake is $10 ($8 for Nevada residents)