Explore Waterfalls - 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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Awesome views. A bear crossed the trail in front of us on the way back down. The hike to the lake is easier than the nearby Bayview trail to Granite lake.

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful hike. Our family did it on July 10, 2018 and the kids (11yrs and 6yrs) loved it. We got there by 9:00am so the trail wasn’t too crowded. We hiked around to the right side of the lake and it was so quite and peaceful. The water was clear and cold. I definitely recommend this hike.

Absolutely breathtaking views. Easy to moderate at times, but thoroughly enjoyed the hike. Would recommend you don't pass this one up!

My family did the hike this morning. Started at the bottom, and hiked to the lake where the kids enjoyed the lake. Trail can be challenging, but take your time! We then hiked to the top, and had some drinks at the pool. Caught the gondola back down. If you hike up, the gondola down is free. It's $10 to swim at the pool up top. Looked like a cool place to hang, but we traveled back down. Definitely gets your heart pumping!

hiking
3 days ago

This is a short and sweet trail with great view and a nice little lake (Eagle Lake) that you can dip in. There are also waterfalls right by the lake that you can reach. This hike is great for families and doggies :). We spent some time at the lake and enjoyed it a lot. Parking (alone the road) is limited but not too bad.

So hard!!! A lot of climbing straight up rocks. But GORGEOUS and a great workout. Highly recommend.

backpacking
3 days ago

This was a superb trail, and the falls are unbelievable! We camped at heath falls overlook and hiked down to the falls for day trips, very sweet situation. Went in mid July, lots of water, great trails well defined by way of cascades lake trailhead. We met a few homies who came in from the south end, sounded pretty steep, and it seems their trail put them out right near the main falls south of the bridge.

backpacking
4 days ago

Worth the views and almost a hidden gem! We backpacked this in June and had the trail and campsite (next to waterfall) to ourselves. Perfect for a 1-2 night trip and great for beginner backpackers.

The reviews were confusing before I went. That's because there are two ways to get to the lake. Many ride the gondola to High Camp, which allows you to hike to Lake Shirley, w young children. If you do the actual climb from the bottom, (CCC alumni here) it is tough. Do not attempt if you are not in shape.
If you make it to Lake Shirley, you may as well keep going up to High Camp. It's 3.82 miles to High Camp from the trailhead at the bottom with close of an 2,000 elevation gain. Caught the last gondola ride before close. The gondola is dog friendly, Which was a huge plus. Definitely will do this again in the fall.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful hike
We crossed the river at the beginning and stayed on the side to avoid the people as it was pretty crowded

This is an Absolutely gorgeous hike. Fun scrambling up and down. It was very quiet and peaceful at Ropi lake.

I haven't been back here for many years, but it's still the same..and that is a great thing! (Considering how much foot traffic this trail gets)
Nice and easy trail to the Falls.

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful Hike. My 10year old daughter Ella loved it. She walked around in the lake.

absolutely amazing!

Great views it’s worth it when you get to the top

It was not an easy hike. Some parts were of course but scaling the 300ft wall to get to the other section was a bit of a leg burner. We did get to the lake and we were hiking in 88 degree weather. So with that we were more than happy to jump in the lake. I would recommend this hike waterfalls and beautiful landscaping just bring water it can get warm out there. loved that we did it.

This is an amazing hike. Today was my third time. Two times have been successful to the top, and one was thwarted by snow. My husband, myself and two boys did it three years ago (they were 10 and 7), on a slightly overcast day in July. Temps were probably in the 70's. My husband and I attempted it in late April, and there was still too much snow to get to the top without snowshoes. The hike itself is really not that difficult, but a couple variables will really up the difficulty... On a hot, sunny (no relief from any clouds) day, it's quite difficult to get to the summit. Our group included two very fit grandparents in their mid 60's, two boys now 13 and 10 and a fit 43 yo. The last section past Shirley Lake was tougher than I remember, and if I could do this again, I would not bring my parents beyond the granite slope/boulder portion. If you live in altitude, it may not be an issue. If you live closer to sea level, perhaps take caution to go on a day where it's a bit more overcast, and make sure to bring plenty of water and food. The members of our group declined food, and if i knew what I know now, sandwiches at Shirley lake would have been mandatory!

Clearly the trail is hard to find. I was off course a few times. Keep the river to your right as you go up and on your left as you come back down.
However, the scenery more than made up for that. The river flowing by on the right as you go up toward the falls was awesome. The sounds of this river flowing is hard to describe. As you get further up you will see the Horsetail Falls flowing from the top and you can hear that as well.

Beautiful! Where a good pair of boots

Beautiful views! The hike will take your breath away!!!

great trail a bit tough. not for weak of heart. last section needs help. slippery steep gravel road

Have done this hike about a dozen times. Found it easiest to stay closer to the falls when scrambling up to Avalanche Lake. Look for the heavy brush area once you're at the top of the main fall and remember that trail that goes through it on your way back! I see a lot of people miss it and stick too close the water, hit a dead end and have to hike back up. Personal opinion is don't bring a dog if you're going this route up to the lakes.

nature at its best!

hiking
11 days ago

Love this hike! We’ve been here twice in the past two years in early July and we absolutely love it! The trail isn’t marked all that well, but that’s part of the fun! The view from the top is amazing! We found a nice pool for the kids to cool off on the way down. Overall a great hike!

Not as bad as you think. some technical sections but we did it with our 3 year old daughter. Took it slow plenty of water to play in. 2000 feet vertical to get to the top, but free ride down, and only 10 bucks to swim in the pool.

Everything you could want in a hike. Woods, waterfalls, pools, lots of dogs, wildflowers, a swimming hole, and extraordinary vistas. Definitely worth continuing to High Camp and taking the gondola down. Beautiful!

hiking
13 days ago

Eagle lake at the top is worth the hike. Water is crystal clear. You can swim in the lake.

One of my favorite hikes. It’s challenging as much as it is breathtaking. Every section of the hike brings something new whether it be hiking through a flat, forested area or climbing rocks alongside a series of cascading waterfalls or scaling a huge granite side of a mountain. A lot of people underestimate this hike. Be prepared for it to take at least 3 hours and bring plenty of water and snacks.

As others have suggested, instead of turning around at the lake we continued the final mile or so to High Camp at the top. Be prepared if you intend to do this as it does add about 800 feet in additional elevation gain to the climb. Trail was steep and technical, but well-marked, with plenty of good views. The first mile or so is more wooded and follows the stream rather closely, with plenty of waterfalls and pools to enjoy. The terrain gets rockier and steeper in the second leg, and becomes more exposed- make sure you have plenty of water and take frequent breaks. The lake is a good spot to stop for a while. The final stretch up to High Camp is unpaved road, which means loose gravel and steep inclines, and it's completely exposed to sun and wind. It's a bit of a bear to get up but is entirely worth the views of lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains. There are all manner of activities in High Camp, and the gondola ride back down is indeed free. It deposits you right in the village, so you can go straight from the top of the ridge to enjoying a meal with friends in about ten minutes. Had a fantastic time on this trail, it's tough but rewarding.

Incredible hike through treed areas, along a creek, up a rock face, and past lots of wildflowers. Strenuous because of the scrambling and steepness (at times) but there are lots of kids on the trail including ours that did great. Continued past beautiful Lake Shirley to High Camp, stopping for some snow ball play. Swam at the pool and played then took the tram back down.

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