Explore lake tahoe - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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It’s a very beautiful hike with lots of lake views. We stopped by at Granite Lake for lunch and since it was end of fall, it wasn’t very crowded. The trail is well maintained. The views at various vistas are spectacular. I’d rate it between moderate and difficult.

If you're an avid hiker, this is an easy trail. If you're new to it, moderate. Beautiful hike taking you through the forest of mixed trees of golden Aspen , pine and fur and alongside trickling creek and calming pools of water. Plenty of places to stop along the trail to hike in a little bit to have a picnic lunch by one of the many water pools.

The trail is not easy to follow but it's not hard to get back on when you realize you're going the wrong way. Just make sure the creek is to the right of you. As long as you can hear it, you're good. When you are almost to the falls, you'll be climbing up and over boulders. Make sure you have appropriate shoes that have good traction.

This trail is doable in runners or cross-trainers but the terrain is a bit tricky. Rocks, sticks, logs and one small part of trail where you're walking over a pooled water area covered with logs. I would recommend shoes that have ankle support. If you aren't careful, you can easily roll your ankles. I did this in trail running shoes and was fine.

hiking
2 days ago

Great views and fun to check out the old lighthouse - tho it looks more like an outhouse :D

A relatively easy hike. The trail was kind of hard to spot near the end but otherwise it had great views of the lake with the falls at the end.

hiking
3 days ago

Super easy with nice views. Lin Cotton’s trail was a bonus, with lots of photo opportunities.

Not too difficult. Took 2 hours even though we stopped for some photos. The toilets in the parking area are extremely dodgy... Bring your own toilet paper!

5 days ago

Very nice falls and trails however there are lack of guidance signs to get to the starting points and also to the destination points... people may get lost if they do have maps or offline navigation, trail does not get signal.

Nice and easy hike to Cascade Falls. So many great views along the way.

Beautiful hike!! The trail is very hard to follow but it doesn’t really matter, it is very difficult to get lost! Just follow the creek and you won’t get lost. This was a very fun hike, not too difficult at all and lots of area to explore. We ended up taking the very low creek/river bed back to the trailhead and it was a great way to take back. Beautiful and fun!

10-15-18 The parking lot is closed. Park off the highway and the trailhead is 1/4 mile. Bathrooms were unlocked, but have no running water. Outstanding hike. Tons of room to explore at the end of the trail. Waterfall was small at this time.

10-15-18 Parking lot is closed, but it is only 1/4 mile to the trailhead. Cascade Falls is to the left and this trail (to the right) appeared to be labeled Desolation Wilderness. The notice posted at the trailhead stated that from 8-29-18 until 12-31-20 the Desolation Wilderness is closed unless you have a permit (see photo). THERE ARE NO PERMITS IN THE BOX. Cascade Falls was awesome!

hiking
8 days ago

Super fun bouldering toward the upper part of the falls. The trail is not always real obvious, but you’re always in cell service and GPS works great. Lots of friendly people on the trail, too. The lower part of the trail is pretty shady and there are a lot of picture perfect places to stop along the way.

Delightful

I have mixed feelings about this hike.
The trailhead is somewhat easy to access (located at the very back of bay view campground). Limited parking especially on busy weekends.
You get incredible views of Emerald Bay from several view points on your way up.
There are lots of switchbacks on your way up. LOTS of elevation gain!
Granite Lake is lovely and a very nice place to take a breather.
There are two peaks:
The northern peak has better views of emerald bay. I did not see a clear trail to this peak.
The southern peak is about 200ft higher in elevation, has better views of desolation wilderness. The trail to this peak is very clear.
Dog friendly!

hiking
10 days ago

Beautiful hike.
Gorgeous views of Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe.
Trailhead easy fairly to locate (at the very back of bay view campground), not a lot of parking especially on a busy weekend.
Trail to the general ‘falls area’ is short but narrow and pretty rocky.
Once you reach the general ‘falls area’ there is no defined trail, lots of space to wander.
Lots of rushing water in the spring, only a trickle in the fall but there are some beautiful fall trees.
Dog friendly.

hiking
11 days ago

Wide, paved road. No obvious trailhead from the road. You just figure out a place to park alongside the road in. We are average fitness and 60ish years old; we just took it slow and took breaks so that our lungs could catch up. A good short hike for the first day at a high altitude! Also: amazing views!

Best in winter/spring when the falls are flowing. Trail is a little difficult to follow.
Views are stunning at the top.

Beautiful!!!

hiking
13 days ago

9/29/18 Arrive early to beat the crowds! Quite stunning views and clear alpine lakes. Lovely to hear nothing but the occasional fish jump, duck quack, and wind through the trees! On our way back we encountered multiple large groups heading up. So get here before 9 or go on a weekday!

it's a great trail considering the length, difficulty and what you see on the way. there's enough views on the way to the lakes where u won't feel bored. i doubt it's good for winter time, the trail might get covered by snow. btw, the trail ends at the last lake, u might need to explore before finishing the trail if u wanna find other lakes

hiking
14 days ago

I hiked 5 miles around the first Lake. Nice day.
Lots of views to the local ski areas, houses when coming back lots of construction noises.
The lake area was quiet and nice.

A little steep at some points, but views at the end make it worth it

hiking
15 days ago

The yellow jackets are aggressive on this trail. BEE aware and keep your dogs on a leash, they may trigger a bee swarm. We (group of 6) each got stung at least 3-4 times. And not only did it happen once, it happened twice on different sections, two different days, two wks apart. It's a beautiful hike! (I, myself will probably stay away, being allergic to bees). Haven't had that issue anywhere else in the Sierras. *knock on wood*

on Echo Lakes Trail

hiking
16 days ago

Echo Lake is one of the best easy hikes in Tahoe but past Upper Echo Lake is not my favorite because it has lots of scree which makes it challenging to keep your footing while enjoying the view. Ankle support is a must on Upper Echo Lake section. Views are tops & lakes are plentiful past Upper Echo. Heavily trafficked. Lots of climbing on rock steps. Not much shade so avoid in July.

hiking
16 days ago

Was hard to follow at times. Loved the ability to stop and enjoy the water on the way back. Got caught in a little rain. Be careful! Rocks became slick pretty quickly.

hiking
16 days ago

Pretty short and easy. The views of the lake are amazing. We did this hike the first weekend of October. The sound and views of cascade falls are beautiful. It probably took us 20 minutes one way, maybe less. You can explore further than the falls if you want, but the falls are a great place to stop and have a snack. Even if you’re not a hiker or someone who keeps active, this hike is fairly easy and the views are well worth the travel.

We didn’t realize parking is available in the campground right in front of the trailhead. Although there isn’t an abundance of parking there, it is available. There are signs indicating where parking for the trailhead are allowed. Just FYI for anyone thinking you have to park on the road outside of the campground.

Great view from the top!

on Lighthouse Trail

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful trail, well maintained!!!! The views are breathtaking! Would definitely do this one again....

This is an amazing hike! Anyone with some hiking experience can do it w/o a problem! It drizzled all the time but we still enjoy it very much! On a clear day the views must be breathtaking as they were on a rainy day! I totally recommend it!

hiking
18 days ago

Awesome hike! Trail can be difficult to follow but well worth the time.

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