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on Gray Whale Cove Trail

hiking
20 hours ago

Good views, even through the fog. Nice elevation gain from the parking lot followed by a flat trail. My only complaint is that the trail was pretty overgrown or narrow in some places and LOTS of poison oak. Keep an eye out for it!

Beautiful trail, nightmare parking. Get there early!

Had an awesome time on this hike, great lookouts, huge rocks and a waterfall(might be more water in the early months of the year). We took the short cut about 2 miles in to head on back which made the hike 3.5 miles and it took us about 2 hours just relaxing and exploring. Highly recommend!

hiking
4 days ago

Hike was easy with limited moderate spots. Just beautiful but what can I say, it is Tahoe! Go early to secure a parking spot.

just beautiful.

Third time we have been on the trail over the past twelve years. Love it! Serenity up in the mountains.

Amazing views!

Great hike! Easy to follow the trail!

off road driving
7 days ago

Went up Saturday morning in my 2018 Tacoma off road.
Stock no mods, all weather tires, literally got it two days ago.
Trail was well maintained. We were behind an explorer that couldn’t make it up half way. .
Lots of hikers on the trail.
Definitely a fun trip.
Upper lake was beautiful.

off road driving
7 days ago

Gorgeous lakes. My brother and I drove up to Upper Sardine. People say it’s a gnarly road up, and while Subarus won’t make it up, my mild Toyota made it up without a single scratch. I highly, highly, recommend camping at Upper Sardine... We had it to ourselves and could see the PACKED campsite at Lower Sardine from where we set up camp.

We hiked to Sierra Buttes Lookout from Upper Sardine. What an incredible hike! Highly recommend it!

Fun trail. Didn’t have my hiking boots, so bouldering was difficult. Areas of the trail require you to climb over rocks so be prepared.

Also parking in the parking lot is $8 cash. You can park on the side of the road but be warned that there is a ditch and I saw a car get stuck. Not hard to park, just be safe!

Road construction closed the road leading up to the trailhead so we had to take a pretty janky trail around the road to get there. Trail was great once we found it; well-marked with some cool views. Was a good workout for both my ten year-old and me!

Great family hike. Takes about 30 minutes

There is a couple of benches towards the end of the trail that overlook the beach. Very beautiful coastal scenery! Visited 8/5/2018

Short hike, the lower portion is paved and accessible, great views and even some connecting trail options, including a nice viewpoint to a rocky overlook. Upper part via the initial "plank trail" takes you to the top and fire lookout, with a great 360 view. Go on a clear day. On top of the east peak of Mt. Tam, this hike is worth a stop with great views of the city and surrounding areas. The pay station was overstuffed, had not been emptied for a while.

A short hike to a beautiful lake to swim in.

hiking
15 days ago

Loved it! It took us about 30 minutes to get to Eagle Lake and about 20 to get back down. It is a little strenuous in the beginning with lots of steps to climb but it’s a good, quick workout. The lake was warm enough to get into it and truly a hidden gem! It would be fun to take inflatable paddle boards and spend some time on the lake itself.

Nice mix of rocky path and forested trail, sun and shade.

hiking
15 days ago

Great little hike with a great swimming lake at the end.
Parking is problematic as the Emerald Bay hi way traffics terrible.

16 days ago

Wow. A great hike.

hiking
21 days ago

This hike was beautiful! Lots of Incline in the beginning but I took my time to enjoy the view. The lake was breathtaking. It was such a treat to swim in the lake. Bring water shoes if you plan to walk into the lake.

This trail has become one of our favorite trails in the El Dorado/ Tahoe area. The views from the Hemlock and Smith Lake are amazing (there was even some snow on the northeast side of the lake, where the granite wall prevents the sun from reaching).
The full trail (back and forth) is 9.8 miles instead of 5.5 miles as originally reported (we had a tracking device that recorded the distance and altitude gain; and if you check the full map here and add the distances, you'll see that it's close to 5 miles one-way).
As mentioned before, the trail is well-visible until a certain point (up to where it splits with the Twin Lakes 16E12); from that point on, it's essential to have some guidance (the AllTrails map works great), keep an eyes on the stacked rocks too.
On our way back, we saw some commotion due to someone getting lost (there are too many splits) and the Rangers and El Dorado Police had to be called (when we got back to the parking lot, we heard that they had found the guy).

If you are going on a weekend, chances are that the parking lot by the trailhead will be full. Don't park by the cabins or by the road or you will get a ticket. Park at one of the two Wrights Lake parking lots.

hiking
25 days ago

A family favorite for many years. It never fails to delight. The granite peaks to the north against a deep blue sky are a sight I look forward to each time we hike this trail.

hiking
26 days ago

What a great adventure to take your family on during a day off! Make sure you arrive very early for easier parking! We went on a Monday and there were still an abundant amount of people, literally hundreds on the trail but every single person we met were friendly. I took my Fiancé and German Shepard, what a blast we had.

The trail is very dog friendly and quite a few people brought their extra family member on the trail. There are some steep parts so if uphill is a challenge for you normally watch out for it. A lot of beautiful spots to take pictures and videos with scenery. I will bring a tripod and a go pro next time for the most experiences.

The end result was fantastic with the beautiful Eagle Lake. Some people were fishing and swimming, others were relaxing in the water or shore. The lake was well worth the time it took finding a parking spot.

Great views and dog friendly

Great hike, be sure to go past the lake about 1 mile during flower season for the best display in the entire basin.

trail running
29 days ago

It is about 6 miles total from the parking area. Very very rocky in the beginning. Almost impossible to run. It’s worth it as you get to the summit and then a great run back to the parking area. Running up to the summit is really hard at a high altitude! Beautiful area!

hiking
29 days ago

Went early there were a bunch of family’s at the lower lakes but if ya hike up the 4 wheel rd and hang a left around the lake there’s great swimming spots with a good Mt. backdrop.

Great trail and great views. I took about 6 hours, but I like to stop and take lots of pictures! Definitely wish I had hiking poles for this hike since there was a good incline/decline! My Fitbit had me clocked at 7 miles round trip! Not a bad day!!

I’ve hiked this trail almost every year since middle/high school. Absolutely breathtaking views at the top with incredible (and diverse!) scenery along the way.

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