Granite Lake & Maggie's Peaks

MODERATE 23 reviews
#2 of 11 trails in

Granite Lake & Maggie's Peaks is a 3.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tahoma, CA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from March until November.

3.7 miles 1706 feet Out & Back

hiking

lake

views

rocky

Maggies Peaks overlook the rapturous blue waters of Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, Granite Lake and Desolation Wilderness. Maggies Peaks are gateway pillars to Desolation Wilderness overlooking Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe. There are two prominences: the north peak is 8,499' and south peak is 8,699'. The trail starts from Bayview trailhead and offers sweeping panoramic views on the way up to Granite Lake, and from the top of either peak. Allow 3 or more hours roundtrip. At the trailhead, make a right at the sign to Desolation. The first mile delivers steep elevation gains and the best views of the bay in comparison to points along the road. From there, the trail flattens out briefly where Granite Lake is tucked away in alpine forest. The southern peak of Maggies Peaks stands about 1000 feet above. After Granite Lake, the trail continues up a saddle in between Maggie's two peaks. At the top, you can choose which peak you'd like to summit; either will offer an amazing view. There is not a trail that goes to the top of either peak, but there is very little low lying vegetation, and it is easy to navigate. The trail begins to even out once you've reached the saddle, at this point, you'll head off trail up the slope to your left. You will also be able to see deeper into Desolation Wilderness, Middle Velma Lake and Azure Lake to the west. We had an impressive balcony that granted us limitless views of the surrounding lakes and of Desolation Wilderness. After returning to the trail, you can continue farther and take a right at the first fork. This will take you past Eagle Lake and Eagle Falls and terminates on the road just a short distance from the Bayview trailhead, or you can backtrack. Backtracking is a bit shorter and what we chose to do based on the amount of time we had. The Bayview trailhead also offers campsites for $15 a night and is managed by the USDA. Emerald Bay State Park Campground offers more amenities such as showers, sites with a view, potable water, and beach access for $35 a night.

17 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

What a view!

hiking
27 days ago

Excellent hike! Stunning views from the Maggie's Peak and from the trail to Emerald bay, Granite lake, Cascade and Fallen leaf lakes and Eagle lake . Be ready for a rather steep uphill - 1700ft. Perfect hike for afternoon - the trail was mostly shady. Granite lake halfway to the peak was beautiful too. Worth uphill efforts. Downhill is very easy and quick.

27 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was great yesterday! You start off at a pretty high elevation (around 7,000 ft) so a couple older people in our group really noticed how the air had thinned and made it harder for them. We started at the trailhead inside the campsite and hiked up the Granite Lake, stopped for lunch, and then proceeded upwards to Maggie's Peak. It was steep in some places but absolutely doable, and coming down is pretty fast. WARNING: We went in mid-late August and there were aggressive bees EVERYWHERE. From the beginning of the hike almost to the very end I had bees trailing me and landing on my hands and legs whenever I stopped. (I had eaten some fruit and they probably smelled it on me) Normally this wouldn't be much of a problem but if you're severely allergic to bees DO NOT hike this in late summer/early fall. I was stung twice without ever swatting or threatening a bee. Apparently they're just really aggressive right now trying to prepare for winter.

1 month ago

Great hike with wonderful views. I'd rate it as difficult vs moderate since it is pretty much a straight up hike. We went to Maggie's Peak and it was well worth the extra time and effort. Granite Lake is also beautiful. On the day we hiked, there were few people. The majority of people were taking the other hike at the beginning of the trail head to Cascade Falls. Left for Cascade Falls, right to Maggie's Peak. I'd do it again!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent half day hike. Definitely make the effort to summit Maggie's peak, the views are outstanding.
Be aware that while not long, this is a steady uphill climb of 1700 feet or so from the trail head to the summit (in only 1.9 miles). You'll enjoy the way down after you make it. Granite lake is a good stop midway for some food, or a quick splash in the cool water. Be sure to carry water and stay hydrated.

hiking
2 months ago

I would consider this more of a hard hike. We did Susie Lake the previous day & found this one much harder even though it's shorter. You are climbing the entire time to the peak. Beautiful lake & view totally worth the climb.

hiking
2 months ago

Steep start but nice to have shade on the climbing. Worth the views, great half day hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Make sure to climb to the top of Maggie's Peak. The final 0.5 mile is steep, but it is worth it. On one side you have views of Desolate Wilderness and on the other side you have views of Lake Tahoe, Cascade Lake, Fallen Leaf Lake, and Granite Lake. On a cloudless day, this is a special hike.

2 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

I couldn't find Maggies Peaks on here, so I think is the closest to it. If you are in Tahoe during nice weather, I would highly recommend this hike! If you have lots of strength, climb all the way to Maggies Southern Peak (the higher one) and you will get stunning views. Granite Lake is a nice stop where we swam and cooled off before we continued onto to higher climbing! Enjoy :)

hiking
11 months ago

Steady, upward climb. Had lunch at Granite Lake and continued upward to Maggie's Peak. Definitely worth the upward climb. Spectacular views await..
Recommend trekking poles for the descent for those with weak knees though..

hiking
1 year ago

A lovely hike, moderate incline. Hardest part is at the beginning. If you're open to it, the tadpoles will bite the dead skin off your feet which is super fun :) Definite recommendation, and hike the extra 0.5 miles up to Maggie's Peak for some killer views.

hiking
1 year ago

It's a great little trail. You get a nice overlook of Emerald Bay around the half way point. Continue up to Granite lake, take a swim, have lunch and hike out. Parking at Vista Point is the hard part.

hiking
1 year ago

Medium steep. Beautiful views.

1 year ago

Great trail! Definitely a climb to get to the lake but it's a beautiful high altitude lake! Totally worth it, you even get to see a cool view of emerald bay. Did this trail right after the cascade falls trail and it made for a great work out! Make sure to bring lots of water.

hiking
1 year ago

camping
3 years ago

I camped at Granite Lake on the last night of a trip in Desolation. When I left there I was glad to be walking down the hill towards Tahoe as it is a long series of switchbacks down a steep grade. The lake is a nice place for a swim and great views.