Photo by Mike Frye, from above Upper Eagle Falls. Difficulty: Easy Distance: About 2 miles Time: About 1 hour Route: Out and back Dogs allowed: No Permit: No permits are needed. Eagle Falls Trail - South Lake Tahoe. The waterfall is beautiful, sliding down the rocks 150 feet into Upper Velma Lake with a glimpse of Tahoe from the top. Lake Tahoe Waterfall: Shirley Canyon Falls, Squaw Valley. One of the best ways to stay active and have a meaningful experience with the whole family is to the hit the trails and head out on one of the best Lake Tahoe hikes. It might be five miles to reach the waterfall with a 150-foot cascade … The second route is a bit more difficult, as you summit South Maggie’s Peak along the way, and is via the Bayview Trailhead. This hike is also well known for viewing spring wildflowers. “ Started at Mt Rose Tahoe Rim Trailhead at the base of the ski resort and hiked the 5 miles to the top of Mt Rose. On the heels of an El Niño 450+ inch season, Lake Tahoe is full to the tip top, which means the roaring that you hear isn’t bears waking up after their winter hibernation. Turn left at the Webber Lake sign (Road 07). Getting there: Park at the Eagle Falls or Emerald Bay lots (see above) and follow the trail signs past Eagle and Velma Lakes. Some hikes, like the Tunnel Creek Trail, offer amazing views of the lake less only a few minutes in. Horsetail Falls are the perfect attraction for visitors from the Bay Area and Sacramento looking to spend a quick day hike on the way to or from Lake Tahoe. Five miles deeper into the wilderness area past Eagle Falls, Fontanillis is a marvelous 150-foot tumble down into Upper Velma Lake. Getting there: Three miles north of the Highway 50/89 intersect in South Lake Tahoe, turn left onto Fallen Leaf Road and drive 4.8 miles out to the marina (right at the T). Really one of the most noble waterfalls in the region, Horsetail is magnificent in early spring but continues to impress well into summer. This is one of the most popular in the area, so parking will be difficult. By working together we achieve more than by working alone. Lake Tahoe hiking is plentiful in the fall. Stepped out along the rocks, the trail will lead you to the top of the Lake Tahoe waterfall with great views of Cascade Lake and, of course, Lake Tahoe! It is only 1.5 miles round trip from the Bayview Campground. |. Cascade is probably one of the best short hikes you can do in the Emerald Bay area. Nope. These Lake Tahoe hikes range from very easy to very strenuous so a bit of background work will required by our readers to understand which hike(s) will be best suited for them. Cascade is probably one of the best short hikes you can do in the Emerald Bay area. Grouped mainly on the western side of the Tahoe basin, here are several Lake Tahoe waterfalls to top your Must-See list. learn more. This is one of my all-time favorites any time of year. Others, like Mount Tallac, make you work your way across steep trails through miles of deep forest before being rewarded with epic lake views. The trailhead is located on the right side after some switchback, steep downhill turns. The upper falls is a one mile, round trip hike where the falls drop about 30 feet. The falls themselves are only about 25 feet, however, rewarding nonetheless. With a distance of only 1 mile, it’s a very strenuous climb, taking about an hour and requiring some scrambling. From easy to expert, we have the best hikes in Lake Tahoe. This time of year is prime time for wildflowers and waterfalls as you’ll find here on some of my favorite local trails. One of the best hikes in Tahoe is the Skyline Trail, situated within the Heavenly Ski Resort. With lots of snow still in the mountains, the waterfalls around Lake Tahoe will be flowing strong this summer! Keeping the creek to your right and the falls straight ahead will lead you up just fine. Just south of the Eagle Falls parking area is the Bay View campground, which is the trailhead to the majestic 200-foot Cascade Falls. Click here for the most up-to-date info on local guidelines. Visitors to Squaw Valley can choose from riding the cable car up to High Camp and hiking down or hoofing up and using the tram for the return. This easy, half-mile round-trip hike is one of the most popular in the area and excellent for any level of hiker. Take Hwy 50 West from South Lake Tahoe towards Twin Bridges. Shirley Lake. This is one of the best North Lake Tahoe hikes with waterfalls. Both of these Lake Tahoe waterfalls lead into the huge Desolation Wilderness area with Eagle Lake only 1 mile farther in for a perfect family picnic and swim site. The most challenging hike on this list of waterfalls, true outdoor adventurers could use this nearly 13-mile roundtrip trek to Heath Falls as just a starting point to visit five other Lake Tahoe waterfalls in the area, but consider camping out overnight. Take Fallen Leaf Road about 5 miles and continue left upon seeing the marina and signs for the falls. Parking is in the back past the campsites. tallac is one of the more scenic and challenging hikes in the south tahoe area, offering incredible views. In spring, the force of the two falls makes swimming in the middle pool impossible, but summer visitors to Lake Tahoe will find the river and pond much tamer. The waterfall is about 200 feet and is very impressive. The cable car ride is $10. Lake Tahoe Waterfall: Horsetail Falls, Twin Bridges. One of the best beginner hikes in the area, as well as one of the most popular, the moderate mile-long path along the rocks leads you to the top of the falls that tumble gracefully through the valley adjacent to Emerald Bay and Eagle … The falls themselves are massive, cascading nearly 500 feet! Top hikes for waterfall viewing in Lake Tahoe April 16, 2016. 3. The Eagle Lake Trail is one of the most popular at Lake Tahoe. With all the beauty Tahoe has to offer, it’s natural you would want to see the great outdoors. In total, the hike from the trailhead to the lake is a little over two miles. Lake Tahoe Waterfall: Fontanillis Falls, Desolation Wilderness. Take Hwy 89 north from the Hwy 50 junction for 8.5 miles to the Eagle Falls Picnic area. de Lake hike, turning left at each junction. Getting there: From Truckee, take the Soda Springs exit off I-80, go right for .7 miles to Soda Springs Road then right again and .8 miles to Pahatsi Road. At 10 miles round-trip, the way is moderate, but hikers should plan all day for this trek. (Top of tram to Shirley Lake adds considerable distance.) Bliss State Park but transitions to Emerald Bay State Park. Have you heard of Havasu Falls? Visible from Highway 50, the falls rumble 500 feet down and are aptly named. Keep an eye out as you can easily see the falls from the highway. Because this trail does have a vertical climb to it, it’s not well suited for younger children. (Fee required), A slightly more difficult hike than the upper falls, but a much bigger reward! When the snow melts, you get to explore the mountains by doing one of the many Lake Tahoe hikes. LIVE LOCAL UPDATES! Squaw Valley is a main hub for excellent Lake Tahoe hikes in the summer, especially if you enjoy waterfalls. Getting there: From South Lake Tahoe, drive south on Highway 89 about 13 miles to Pickett’s Junction (the Highway 88/89 intersect). Getting there: Driving west from South Lake Tahoe on Highway 50, the trailhead begins 2 miles east of Strawberry, at the Twin Bridges parking lot. Getting there: Just past the Squaw parking lot, the trail starts behind the fire station. It follows Squaw Creek about 2½ miles each way to Shirley Lake, passing gorgeous waterfalls and canyon boulders. Simply park and stroll down to the already visible rushing waters. One of the best ways to experience those natural wonders is to lace up your shoes and go for a hike. Looking west, Lower Eagle Falls is visible from the parking area. Lake Tahoe Waterfall: Webber Falls, Truckee. They’ll need to be collected from either Lake Tahoe basin management unit, Lake Tahoe visitor’s centre or pacific ranger district. Camp Lifestyle, Featured Posts, Hiking, Truckee & Tahoe Activities As a Truckee resident for more than 20 years, I’ve laced up the boots, grabbed the camera and covered a lot of ground. Take Hwy 89 north from the Hwy 50 junction for 7.5 miles to the Bayview Campground. Best in spring, this is an easy hike, which can make the trail a busy place so bring a leash if you have Fido along. Drive 6.9 miles to an unsigned dirt road on the left (immediately after Lake of the Woods). After parking, it’s possible to hike down the steep cliffs to view the falls from their side, but use caution. If you really want to do it right, take food with you and enjoy a picnic lunch with stellar views of Lake Tahoe’s north shore. Subscribe to our newsletter. Located at the end of Squaw Valley Road is the Shirley Canyon hike that brings you eventually up to Shirley Lake and then to the High Camp of Squaw Valley (make it a full loop by taking the tram down). While the many picturesque Lake Tahoe waterfalls on the Shirley Canyon trail have no actual names, they are scattered along the entire 4-mile (round-trip) moderate hike. Like the Tahoe.com Facebook page to stay connected! This hike has a lot of elevation change and sun exposure, so it is advised to start early, bring plenty of water/food/sunscreen and know your route. A Desolation Wilderness day pass is required and can be found at the trailhead. Deli sandwiches and mosquito spray ought to top the supply list before leaving town. Stepped out along the rocks, the trail will lead you to the top of the Lake Tahoe waterfall with great views of Cascade Lake and, of course, Lake Tahoe! It's in Squaw Valley and the trail starts at the end of Squaw Peak Road. Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places to visit in the United States no matter what time of year it is. For the Bayview route, refer to Cascade Falls. From Tahoe South take Highway 50 west about seven miles from Echo Summit and park in the well-developed parking area near Twin Bridges and the Pyramid Creek Trail. Located approximately 20 miles outside of South Lake Tahoe, this torrential chute of water gets its namesake from its resemblance to the long, skirting hairs of a horse’s tail. Location: Heavenly Valley, South Lake Tahoe Hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Lake Tahoe Waterfall: Glen Alpine Falls, Fallen Leaf Lake. Lower Glen Alpine Falls by Steve Dunleavy via Flickr. Start out early in the morning on this trail at the top of Emerald Bay and hike about a quarter of a mile up to the falls. A half-mile north from Camp Richardson, the rickety road to Fallen Leaf Lake and the falls is its own adventure (but beautiful), so take your time and use the many turn-outs. There is a fee for parking, and a free wilderness permit is required but available onsite. “The Dirt Around Lake Tahoe: Must-Do Scenic Hikes” takes readers on a journey to dozens of trails throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond. photo ops & good vibes! Visit the famously blue waters of Lake Tahoe, hike below Half Dome and El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, and enjoy peaceful nights in Tuolumne Meadows, the scenic Yosemite “High Country”. For the Eagle Falls route, refer to Upper Eagle Falls. The beauty of Lake Tahoe, straddling the border of California and Nevada, is in it’s mountains, waterfalls, and of course the lake itself. Arizona has some amazing landscapes but I think one of the highlights are the hikes in Arizona with waterfalls. This Lake Tahoe waterfall is reserved for the more experienced of hikers. We’ve rounded up some of the best hikes in Lake Tahoe for you to choose from. "Stunning drive to get there and the falls easily accessible from the car but for the best bit take a walk up Glen Alpine Trail and see a lot more falls and some truely stunning scenery!" Best Beginner Hike in Lake Tahoe: Eagle Lake Trail. Book Direct and Save Big at Forest Suites Resort. And there is no parking fee at the Bayview lot. This is a great destination that is a little off the beaten path. Sometimes referred to as Fallen Leaf Falls or Big Falls, by any name this cascade is worth the drive. One of the most gorgeous South Lake Tahoe hikes, Eagle Falls sits right above Eagle Lake. embark on an epic adventure into desolation wilderness through waterfalls and small lakes. All rights reserved. It is only 1.5 miles round trip from the Bayview Campground. 2. Getting there: From Truckee, take Highway 89 north for 15 miles. Many of the best hikes are found on the southwest shore, near the city of South Lake Tahoe. There is a small pool to bathe in at the top of the trail. The trail is an easy 1-mile walk to the top of the falls where you can watch it plunge down into Cascade Lake. Not only is Lake Tahoe one of the oldest and deepest lakes in the world, but it's also one of the most beautiful. mt. North Lake Tahoe Hiking Trails The hikes in North Tahoe reveal a gorgeous landscape of hidden waterfalls, wildflower meadows and granite slopes that will delight any nature lover or hiker. This way will take you past Eagle Falls, Eagle Lake then Lower, Middle and Upper Velma Lakes. The hike is pretty difficult as the trail is not all that clear at times and the rocks can be slippery. As with most Lake Tahoe waterfalls, Fontanillis is best in spring and early summer when the winter runoff is at its strongest. Find detailed instructions here. “The Dirt Around Lake Tahoe: Must-Do Scenic Hikes” takes readers on a journey to dozens of trails throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond. Both of these Lake Tahoe waterfalls lead into the huge Desolation Wilderness area with Eagle Lake only 1 mile farther in for a perfect family picnic and swim site. This tour is led by Matt Brown of Rubicon Outdoors, a veteran of this region, who loves to show off his favorite hikes in Yosemite and the Lake Tahoe region. From the top of this 9.5 mile round trip hike you can see Emerald Bay, Cascade Lake, Fallen Leaf Lake, Desolation Wilderness and the entire South Shore of Lake Tahoe. Getting there: From South Lake Tahoe, drive north on Highway 89 for 8.5 miles – parking at the Emerald Bay/Vikingsholm State Park if the smaller Eagle Falls lot is full. You will see Fallen Leaf Road on your left. Lake Tahoe Waterfall: Eagle Falls, Desolation Wilderness. (There are numerous trails which follow the creek up to Shirley Lake; this is one of them.) Getting there: From the junction of highways 50/89 in Meyers, drive west on Highway 50 a short distance, turning left onto South Upper Truckee Road. Tallac and into Desolation Wilderness, but hang left once you see the falls and the trail will take you up to the top. The first route is via the Eagle Falls trailhead. Fontanillis Lake Falls. In summer, dogs are welcomed on all trails and the cable car. The region abounds with unique natural wonders and breathtaking landscapes to explore. ... lake tahoe summit hike. For hikers looking to reach new heights, challenging summit trails offer jaw-dropping panoramic views. Get there as soon as possible as the parking lot fills quickly. Rubicon Trail. The trail up to Eagle Lake gives you two rewards – Upper Eagle Falls, and a new view of Emerald Bay. This short (20-foot) drop from the Truckee River is lovely in spring but fades quickly as the runoff dwindles in summer. Turn right and drive 4.3 miles to the Palisade Creek trailhead. This road also becomes the trailhead to Lily Lake, which is a scenic mile-long stroll alongside Glen Alpine Creek. This is one of the most popular hikes in Arizona but there are other hikes in the Grand Canyon State to waterfalls. A moderate, 2.1 mile round trip hike will bring you down to the water level of Emerald Bay on a well-maintained trail. Please be safe – water can flow fairly rapidly in early spring and summer in Tahoe. A simply majestic Lake Tahoe waterfall that drops out of the Desolation Wilderness plunging 200 feet into Cascade Lake, rewarding visitors with some of the best views of Lake Tahoe. There you’ll need to fill out a permit to continue up to the waterfall since Horsetail once again heads into the Desolation Wilderness. Lake Tahoe is the largest Alpine Lake in the United States and the second deepest lake. Continue further and you’ll arrive at the parking lot for Desolation Wilderness and the upper falls. On your way, look to the ridge on the right for other, smaller falls if it is early enough in the season. South Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to go hunting for views-whether it be mountains, lakes or waterfalls, find the best day hikes in the area here! In the winter the lake turns into a ski resort town with plenty of skiing, snowboarding, and other snow sports to do. As a bonus for any non-hikers in your group, Glen Alpine is visible from the roadside. The trail heads up the backside of Mt. There are two different routes to get here, both which are just over 10 miles round trip and link with the Tahoe Rim Trail and PCT before hitting the falls. Parking: Park in the City of South Lake Tahoe parking garage for $25 (daily maximum). It has everything: stunning lake vistas, waterfalls, a river, a bridge, a climb, spectacular forest and mountain views, and a gem of a lake at the end of the trail. You’ll be able to see small falls and hidden pools on your way. Keep heading west past the marina and turn left at Road 1216. The Lake Tahoe region is certainly famous for its large body of aquamarine lake, but in spring and summer many impressive Lake Tahoe waterfalls are flowing at their peak. A little history on Lake Tahoe – Lake Tahoe straddles the border of California and Nevada. (Fee required). Pahatsi Road turns into dirt and becomes Kidd Lakes Road. Receive Tahoe South information on lodging deals, events, and more! The trail starts at the Eagle Falls Trailhead Parking Lot right off the highway and gains about 400 feet in elevation as it takes you all the way to the amazing waterfalls. The trailhead is past the entrance kiosk on the left just past the campground. (Fee required). The lower falls are more impressive, plummeting about 60 feet down the step-like rocks. Choose to park here and walk the .3-mile to the falls (you may also drive); the main hike is to the right – go left for the falls and the Upper Truckee River. Once at the Shirley Lake chairlift, continuing up to High Camp is more strenuous and adds some mileage. One of the most popular, easier hikes in the Tahoe Basin, Eagle Falls consists of an Upper (40 feet) and Lower (170 feet) just across from the Emerald Bay trailhead. As with any visit to the Desolation Wilderness, a (free) permit is required but available at the Cascade trailhead kiosk. Both the upper and lower falls here offer an up-close experience with the rushing water. The return hike can be difficult so be careful, as it is a steep climb back up the path. Plunging from the Glen Alpine Valley, the 75-foot Lake Tahoe waterfall to the right is hard to miss; it’s okay to park on the roadside and walk down to play in the various pools. Here are the 9 best Lake Tahoe Hikes: 1. Top this off with a few beautiful nearby waterfalls, Lake Tahoe belongs on everyone's bucket list. After a short distance turn left at the junction then immediately right into the dirt parking lot. Create or Claim your Page | Submit Your Content. By continuing to use the site, you agree to our cookie policy. Horsetail Falls (top cascade) by Steve Dunleavy via Flickr, Horsetail is a bit out of the way, but a great half day trip from Tahoe. One of the most popular, easier hikes in the Tahoe Basin, Eagle Falls consists of an Upper (40 feet) and Lower (170 feet) just across from the Emerald Bay trailhead. We use cookies to help us improve, promote, and protect our services. After parking, follow the signs to the wilderness boundary. Powered by the OneBoat® Community Content Management System. The trailhead is at the far end of the lot. The waterfall is about 200 feet and is very impressive. Check out the Vikingsholm Castle while down there, too. The falls are found on the popular Hawley Grade hiking trail, which was once the Old Meyers Grade over Echo Summit before Highway 50 took over. Commonly labeled as “The shortest hike with the best views” in Tahoe, Picnic Rock is a great trail for a quick morning or afternoon hike. Hiking up, follow the blue trail markers and stay left of the creek. The elevation gain is 3,500 feet, so be prepared for some terrain change from forest and alpine lakes at the bottom to … There is a moderate 1-mile hike down to the bottom of the lower falls from the trailhead. Take Hwy 89 north from the Hwy 50 junction for about 3 miles. Upper Eagle Falls is a short quarter-mile walk continuing up from the Eagle Falls picnic area. The Tahoe.com Lake Report is brought to you by: The Lodge Restaurant & Pub • Truckee From there you will pass Granite Lake before hitting the Maggie’s Peak, which gives a great look out into Desolation Wilderness. © 2020 SwiftOne, LLC. The water here cascades down about 150 feet and is really impressive. There is a $6 fee to park, and you’ll follow the signs for the signs for the Burnside Lake hike, turning left at each junction. Like the Tahoe.com Facebook page to stay connected! If you’re hiking with your dog, note that dogs are allowed (on leash) on each of these trails, except Lower Eagle Falls. The water is so clear that you can even see between 70 and 100 feet down! The best part of the lower falls is that there is virtually no hike to get there. Due to snowpack, the trail isn’t user-friendly until late June. Here are our top recommendations for Lake Tahoe waterfalls: Cascade Falls by Ray Bouknight via Flickr. Dick’s Lake is also a great side trip from this route. Park here and find the Palisades Creek trailhead. Fortunately, Lake Tahoe is a hiker’s paradise, with plenty of options for athletes of any level. "beyond Fallen Leaf Lake are a couple great waterfalls - first one is right on the road and second one is a short hike - road can be busy and require some pullouts but worth it" Another dog-friendly hike to a picturesque waterfall, Hot Springs Creek falls is a 50-foot drop viewed after a 1.7-mile hike. Turn right at the fork passing Kidd Lake – it ends at Cascades Lake. Head right at the start as the left takes you to Cascade Falls. As one of the most popular short hikes in the South Tahoe area, Eagle Falls can be crowded on summer weekends. It is about 3 miles round trip but can take some time. Located in the iconic Desolation Wilderness this doggy-friendly hike starts out with an uphill climb, but it’s worth the effort, spanning views of Lake Tahoe from the top of the hill make the Eagle Lake trail one of the best hikes in Lake Tahoe. Getting there: Drive north on Highway 89 8 miles from South Lake Tahoe (or 20 miles south from Tahoe City) to the Bayview Campground. Heath’s impressive 45-foot plunge is visible after hiking almost straight down one way, which means up, up, up for the return. If you’ve brought bikes, this is a quiet 3.7-mile ride through a residential area, or drive until you reach the right turn for the Hawley Grade Recreational Trail. These are favorites with families. Turn left and follow the signs to Markleeville, turn right on Hot Springs Road and drive 3.5 miles to Grover Hot Springs State Park. It is near the southwest end of Lake Tahoe and takes hikers down along the beautiful shores of Emerald Bay. Thursday, December 31st 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Enjoy the huge selection of hiking opportunities at Lake Tahoe and have a great time…just follow common sense and your will have a great experience. Lake Tahoe makes for the perfect weekend escape to get outside and back to nature. Rubicon Trail is a 16.5 mile out and back trail that starts in D.L. This Lake Tahoe waterfall's two tiers total a drop of more than 60 feet and are easily reached by a short drive. Continuing on brings you down the saddle of the peak towards Lower and Upper Velma Lakes before arriving at the falls. It’s the incredible waterfalls on full display. Each spring the Little Truckee River roars its way over a granite chasm, creating Webber Falls. 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