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Granite Lake & Maggie's Peaks

MODERATE 28 reviews
#2 of 10 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 1768 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.

hiking
23 days ago

Fabulous views, and although a bit of a steep incline not too challenging and totally worth it. Definitely a must do. There weren't many people when we went but I can see it being busy at times

24 days ago

Great views, variety of terrain, and nice short hike. Only downside is that it is a VERY popular hike so you will be passing lots of other hikers during the busy season

hiking
1 month ago

If you are looking for a shortish hike that delivers a huge variety of landscape then look no further. Superb views of Lake Tahoe and Desolation Wilderness from the top, takes about an hour to hike up there and it is mostly uphill but not too difficult if yu are in reasonable shape.

hiking
1 month ago

Great workout. The top is worth every step.

1 month ago

Spectacular views! Great cardio uphill climb! And worth every huff and puff.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

What a view!

hiking
3 months 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.

3 months ago

hiking
3 months 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.

3 months 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
3 months ago

hiking
4 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
4 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
4 months ago

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

hiking
4 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.

5 months ago

hiking
10 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
1 year 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.