Explore the most popular kid friendly trails in Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

After hiking the Eagle Falls Trail with my wife this morning I decided I needed a good cardio workout. I chose this trail because it was flat and recommended for running. It’s a very simple trail but great for a short run. I wish I could have taken the time to read the markers along the way as it seems there is a story that goes along with this area.

Great views and slightly challenging

5 days ago

Very pretty - very easy for a first hike. We did it when I had a fever and cold so didn't explore much but it was manageable. Parking is fairly limited. Go early.

Wonderful hike! Parking is limited

Beautiful trail, easy hike.

Lovely trail! There’s a nice change from rocky to meadow to forest to lake throughout, which keeps it exciting. Not a lot of great vistas for the most part, but I found the meadow charming, some nice mountains were visible after a while, and the lake was gorgeous. It was a little wet this time of year (mid-May) - I’d recommend waterproof hiking boots if you’ve got them, but I got by fine in my tennis shoes for the most part, just had to do a little scampering on rocks adjacent to the trail when I came upon puddles in the meadow. Further up it got a tad muddy, but I didn’t see any consistent snow until the last half mile or so. It got cold FAST once I got close to the lake - I almost turned back before I realized how close I was. 70+ degrees in the parking lot but the water was still partially frozen. Bring layers!
Also, note that there are two different trailheads that leave from this parking lot - you want the one that’s downhill, further away from the bathrooms. I almost went on a completely different adventure!

The hike back is a workout if you don’t hike a lot. However the views were worth it! Road construction by the entrance with a one lane road so be careful.

Great trail, but beware as there is a lot of rock climbing along the edge of the mountain. Be extra careful if it is raining and definitely wear boots! If you make it to the end, you can try and climb higher for better views!

11 days ago

Wonderful trail! Great view of the lake, beautiful rocks, boulders and trees all along the trail. Easy trail. It's also part of PCT and TRT!

12 days ago

The super rocky path kept two kids, even one who complains on all hikes, engaged and happy. Parking difficult with the campground closed for season and road construction. Come early. Awesome view. Wear appropriate footwear and layers. We'll be back.

21 days ago

Worth the hike for these views

Been going here every year since I was in 1st grade. I love it there and I am also looking forward to another trip. Great fishing and greats views. If you are up to it you can even hike to the peak.

Still lots of snow and ice on the trail but beautiful. You will enjoy it if you bring the right foot ware.

Nice little hike. Well maintained and marked to cool view. We just saw a few people and some discarded dog waste bags (eww). Otherwise a great moderate short hike.

Pretty good trail challenging but the waterfall was great. April 25, 2018

Unfortunately he road was impassible and we could not get there. April 26,2018

Lovey easy walk with a bit of historic information about early estates on the land. It made me wish I got to visit the summer lake home with the Pope, family! Great views of the mountains that surround the lake. Also, nice stretch of beach for som sun.

nature trips
1 month ago

SUPER EASY and informative trail that made me appreciate how Lake Tahoe has stayed crystal clear.

Well marked trail, mix of gravel, wood decking, and asphalt. Hardly any elevation.

Nice easy hike, as with all hikes in this area it can get busy on weekends and during the summer. Don’t be surprised to see people hiking in flip flops. You do walk over large boulders so finding the trail in this section can be a little tricky, especially if there’s snow on the ground. Beautiful view of Cascade Lake and side view of Cascade Falls.

1 month ago

Bayview Campground closed for season, reopening in late May. Parking available at Inspiration Point and just off Highway 89. Walk through Bayview Campground adds 0.3 miles to the route; it's blanketed in packed snow as of 4/9.

Having seen Cascade Lake dotted with surrounding snow from Highway 89, I wanted to photograph it from the west (rather than north or northeast). I hadn't yet done a sunset hike in Tahoe and, even though the trail's orientation is geared towards a sunrise, Cascade Falls seemed like an inviting trek. Its short distance and negligible elevation allowed me to get on the trail less than an hour before sunset.

The first portion of the trail goes through Bayview Campground, at least during the winter. Even with the recent warm rainfall and prevalent sunlight, an icy blanket of snow covers the campground, aided by the wooded surroundings. This should mostly melt by May. I saw cross-country skiers in the campground, a concerning premonition as I expected the trail to be mostly snow-free. The path winds its way through a covered forest, easily discernible as footprints are firmly indented in the snow.

The first half of the hike is uneventful without views. However, the trail presently narrows and the landscape opens, ascending sharply up a snow-covered rock. This provides the first view of Cascade Lake. The trail narrows further along the rock face, protruding rocks and steps aiding icy footing until the trail becomes relatively exposed. As of 4/9, there's little snow remaining on the latter section of the trail; the snow/ice that remains is easily passable with hiking boots.

As the trail approaches the falls, it gradually disappears into the rocky landscape. You're free to find a route to an optimal viewpoint. There's no single "best" outlook- there are multiple, some of which offer a view of Cascade Lake primarily, others which allow you to view the falls from a side, and one or two that provide both. In the summertime, trailblazing to Snow Lake seems like an inviting full-day endeavor.

This trail provides arguably the best view-to-effort ratio of any trail in Tahoe. There are two main attractions: a Cascade Lake view just off the trail at 0.6 miles, and Cascade Falls itself. Especially during the waking or waning hours of the day, Cascade Lake is unbelievably vivid and the roaring falls somehow serene. A less crowded alternative to Eagle Lake, the Cascade Falls Trail is a wonderful opportunity to spend a 30-60 minute slot.

Keep in mind that, even though this is called "Cascade Falls Trail," there's never a head-on view of the falls as with Glen Alpine, Eagle, or Horsetail Falls. That aside, it's a great winter/spring trek with unrivaled views of Cascade Lake with the calming atmosphere a roaring waterfall provides.

1 month ago

Road conditions up to the official trailhead are questionable; no snow removal during the winter months. Parking is available both at trailhead (currently closed) and alongside the road. Ice and snow remain on last 0.5 miles of road as of 4/9.

As others have stated, the trail begins on a rocky path. The rocks are cobble rather than pebbles or boulders. After warm rainfall and above-freezing spring temperatures, this trail was flooded under ~6 inches of water for a short section. Waterproof boots worked well. After Lily Lake, the trail is a mixture of cobble and paved, wide enough for an ATV but not quite a 4x4 trail. The immediate surroundings are poor compared to other Tahoe hikes.

Since there was significant snow accumulation over 7,000 feet, I turned back at Glen Alpine Falls rather than heading up to Grass Lake. Others have noted there's little to see after the falls. I didn't travel far enough to verify this, but based on satellite and heatmap, this seems correct. Assuming you park before the Lower Glen Alpine Falls, located right past the fire station, there are three main attractions.

The first is Lower Glen Alpine Falls, which can be reached by car and is a popular tourist attraction. Some call it the most popular waterfall in Tahoe (debatable, since Lower Eagle Falls commands attention). The second is Lily Lake, a swamp-like flooded basin that beautifully reflects Echo Peak. Lastly, the true Glen Alpine Falls, around 0.5 miles up the trail, is a rushing fall at the base of Tallac. Beyond that, there's Grass Lake an additional two miles further.

Even though the waterfalls are beautiful and Mount Tallac is always a surreal sight, this trail is little more than a decent outing. Paved portions and operational cabins/houses detract from the backcountry feel. Similarly, the two-mile section of relative uninterest combined with a wide track falter when compared to vicinity hikes, especially Aloha and Ralston. Keep in mind that I didn't hike the full trail, though, so take this review with a grain of salt.

A nice trail to get away from the hustle/bustle of the casinos and stretch your legs after skiing.

Super easy walk to Picnic Rock. Great view of the Tahoe basin. Take a picnic and enjoy the sunny view. Good snow shoe hike in the winter. Could be 5 stars but copious amounts of dog poop require constant attention on the trail and detracts from outdoorsy atmosphere.

2 months ago

beautiful views, got a little warm in February! Love the calming sound of the falls.

2 months ago

Nice short hike. Well traveled, slightly icy so we used yaktrax.

3 months ago

Easy effort, big reward!

3 months ago

Beautiful hike with incredible views of the lake the entire way. Would definitely recommend it! Went during first week of February and the trail was snow covered but easily walkable in regular hiking boots (though notably this was after a week of no snow and 50 degree temps). Note that you have to turn off the main road and drive an additional 1+ mile to get to the actual trail head- would need all wheel drive to do this, at least during the winter. Otherwise can park in the lot right off the paved road and walk to the trail head. You have to have a Sno-Park permit to park there between November and May. This can be purchased at nearby gas stations or online and print in advance ($5 for day pass).

3 months ago

Great for a walk with a baby carrier

Flat and easy. Ideal for carrying baby.

Great hike! Beautiful!

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