Explore the most popular river 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.

Great views and slightly challenging

hiking
6 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.

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!

13 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.

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

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.

hiking
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.

hiking
2 months ago

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

3 months ago

Great for a walk with a baby carrier

Great hike! Beautiful!

hiking
5 months ago

Easy hike if you have the appropriate footwear. Went in Dec and lots of the rocks were icy, a few other visitors turned back before they reached the falls. Short beautiful hike with views of Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe.

Love this hike. One of my absolute favorites.

Went on 11/22 and the area plus trails were marked as closed for the season, although there was no snow yet there

hiking
6 months ago

Make sure you have a good pair of hiking shoes. You will have to climb through the rocks at some point.

hiking
6 months ago

Great bang for your buck. Pretty easy walk, comes out to a beautiful waterfall overlooking some lakes

beautiful in all seasons

Hike was pretty easy and not crowded at all! Because of the snow melt the waterfall is rushing and creates a stunning view. A very family friendly hike. The only tricky part is finding parking

walking
6 months ago

Short, easy trail. Some of it is paved and there are plaques along the way you can read about the environment. The trail goes along Taylor Creek and underground where you can look through a glass into the creek and see all the fish. Lots of tourists but a good trail for kids.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike! Easy to follow trail with rocky sections. Crossing the waterfall requires some rock-hopping and has slick rocks. Beautiful overlook of Cascade Lake. Recommended to people of all ages.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike! Definitely some areas where you begin to wonder where the trail is though. But it was a fun out and back hike that led to some amazing views. We had a great time scrambling around the waterfall area and trying to get the best pics. A little crowded, but it was also the middle of a Sunday afternoon. Definitely recommended!

on Cascade Falls Trail

7 months ago

Very nice walking trail along lake and moraines. Nice vistas along lower west side of lake. Trail ends near ruins of historic Baldwin sawmill turned boathouse and homesite. Trail would also be good for biking or running. Lake water clear. One of the few EASY trails in the Tahoe basin.

hiking
8 months ago

Pretty cool trail which ends in multiple water falls across granite rocks. There are multiple pools you can put your feet in. I brought my dog and she did a great job navigating. Make sure you bring sun cover as it's hot out and plenty of water or bring a filter. It was a pretty easy trail but gets a bit in marked at the end and takes time to find way back to trail when leaving as not really marked but eventually can be picked up.

walking
8 months ago

The trail was great except for the section that was closed due to repairs. We walked one way until the trail ended then back the other way. We all enjoyed the under water viewing area.

hiking
8 months ago

Very fun hike. The falls were not raging this time of year (September) but this allowed hikers to find their own spot along the tributaries to play in the water or eat lunch.

It was a warm humid day today though being next to fallen leaf lake made for a nice cool day with breathtaking pictures. Thank you Alltrails.

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