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easily accessible

Great hike with beautiful scenery

Nice easy hike with some great views. Parking can be tricky so get here early when you can. Definitely steep at some points, wear good shoes. Lovely views of the lake.

I brought two 11 year olds and an 8 year old. The trail got a little bit muddy as it got warmer. Overall, it was really fun and beautiful.

November 10,2018

6 days ago

Good casual hike. Negligible snow. Minimal ice and mud. Lake was frozen over but not enough to walk on.

Overall a short and pretty easy hike with some rocky spots towards the end. Would love to go in Spring to get a chance to see the waterfall after the creek gets some snowmelt. The creek is peaceful right now, and there’s lots of space to take in the view. Beautiful views of the lakes and granite rock formations!

14 days ago

Nice trail to walk - short and easy to complete in a little over an hour. Views over cascade lake and lake tahoe were very nice.

We did this hike on Oct 31, 2018. We drove out to the trailhead in a front wheel drive Nissan Rogue rental car with about 10” of ground clearance. We took the lower canyon road and although it’s a bit rough, it’s not a difficult drive for anyone with experience driving on dirt roads, From the point where the upper canyon and lower canyon roads converge, the road gets a bit rougher. The conditions were dry and the lower part of the road was pretty easily passable for a little over two miles. At that point, we came to a ~14” rocky drop off spanning the whole road that we didn’t want to risk in our rental car. At that point, there’s a tun out with a parking area on the right. From there, it’s only about a ten minute walk to the official trailhead. The best views are gained by taking the trail down the backside of the mesa to the right. The hike goes counter clockwise around the mesa with spectacular views of the arches after about 1.5 miles. It’s a pretty easy hike but take plenty of water—particularly if it’s hot. The climb out through the last arch is not for the faint of heart. I’m a technical rock climber and soloing the 200’ of dirt covered friction climbing in my approach shoes had my full attention. I thought that the hardest move might have been 5.5 or maybe even 5.6. It’s not super hard but the consequences of a slip would be bad. It’s doable but I personally wouldn’t recommend it for most folks—particularly for those without any climbing experience. If you don’t want to risk the climb out, just turn around and backtrack to get out. The views from the top of the mesa are good as well (but not as good as from below.). Either way, there’s a lot to see and explore in this area! Overall this is an A+ hike. Highly recommended!

This was by far the most beautiful place I've been. Me and my husband only had an 2 hours to spend but during that time we jumped from boulder to boulder over the river.

This is a great hike for beginners or those looking for a short but scenic hike. The majority of the trail is through beautiful aspens and there are great views of the mountains on the opposite side of the canyon. Parking is easy and safe due to the long, wide shoulder. As of 10/27/18 all of the leaves have fallen, there are patches of snow, and the lake is low.

Perfect trail if time is limited. The views of Lake Cascade and Lake Tahoe are amazing!!!

24 days ago

Awesome hike! Very strenuous especially with a 40 pound pack. Don’t listen to people saying you can’t climb through the last arch to make it a loop. You most certainly can, it’s just for experienced hikers.

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.

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

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.

1 month ago

Challenging and beautiful

1 month ago

Very beautiful. We saw two moose, ducks, and a woodpecker. Definitely steep for the first half.

1 month 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.


Hardest hike of the summer! But I had the place to myself and the views were worth it! Lots of different terrain and scenery!

1 month ago

Lol... this one is steeper than some rated hard on here. It’s just short. I’d say this is moderate, because of the steep part. It’s really not hard, but still a lot steeper than some others rated lower. Decent view.

1 month 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.

1 month ago

Incredible hike through a wonderful Aspen forest. The lake is worth the hike. So peaceful. We talked with a local or two who said that this is a great place to spot moose. Sadly we didn’t see any. We did the hike with a 7 year old and were from Louisiana. Great hike for beginners. When you get to the Y in the trail the left path is a bit easier terrain.

Loved this hike fall colors were great there was
a lot of moose activity
I think the AllTrails description of
“lightly trafficked “ is off I would call it moderate to heavy and it was a Monday night when I went I can’t imagine what it looks like on the weekend.
I will be back love this area

Really loved this hike! The aspens are so beautiful in their fall colors. Leaves have fallen onto the evergreens, making them look like Christmas trees with gold lights. Then at the lake we saw two moose! A word of caution...the trail is not marked once you go up. If you aren't careful coming down you could end up away from your car. Look for a fork to the left to go back down to the Willow Heights trailhead.

1 month ago

Nice hike. Path starts out flat and even then turns Rocky. My adventure took me about 1.5 hours total but I stopped at the water and explored for a good 45 minutes. I hear it is better when there is more water but there was still a sloping stream to explore. Very peaceful if not crowded. I went on a Monday morning and it wasn't too crowded and I found parking.

Nice short trail, great for trail running!

Hike was great. It’s pretty short (I did not think it was steep as other reviews were) and my kids did great! Probably took 30-40 min with many stops for breaks to get up. Very pretty this time of year

First off, this is not 11.1 miles from parking lot after Orson park. We used a fit bit and this is 14 round trip. Maybe 11.1 from Jacobs ladder beginning though. Other thing. I hike hard and a lot. I hiked this one hard and it pushes back. Hardest hike I’ve ever done. Quads will rage unless you pace it slowly most likely. So, I’m 6’ and I weigh 200 lbs. Roughly 14% body fat. I bring this up ONLY to let anyone know who is athletic built that 102 ounces of water was not enough. You need AT LEAST a gallon to be safe. The ladies that came with us were fine with like 80 ounces actually. Anyway, awesome views the whole way. Be cognizant of where trail is on way up also. :)

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