Granite Lake, Dick's Lake, Velma Lake, Eagle Lake Loop

HARD 23 reviews
#5 of 18 trails in

Granite Lake, Dick's Lake, Velma Lake, Eagle Lake Loop is a 11.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California that features a lake. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

11.7 miles
2936 feet

dog friendly









wild flowers




A trek through Lake Tahoe's Desolation Wilderness past several lakes including Granite Lake, Dick's Lake, Velma Lake, Fontanillis Lake, and Eagle Lake. This hike provides a great tour of some of the best features of desolation wilderness. It is great for a 2-day, 1-night backpacking trip on a weekend or for a long day hike. All lakes along this hike are spectacular and are great for swimming. There are a number steep sections, particularly near the beginning and end of the hike, but the views make up for it.

19 days ago

Went early June 2017 and the amount of snow made the hike a bit of an adventure. The views were sumptuous and the weather gorgeous. We camped at Fontanillis lake, the wind was howling all night long but waking up to the sunrise over lake Tahoe was worth the loud night.
The hike is moderate and could be done within a day but I recommend camping up in altitude to be able to spend more time taking the scenery in.
We actually did the loop the other way round and I would highly recommend doing that way since you end up walking down with a glorious view over Tahoe city, Heavenly and Granite lake.

23 days ago

Went at the end of May 2017 and unfortunately the trail was snowed over. We walked into desolation and made it to Granite Lake (which was mostly still frozen over) From there we were unsure of where to go so we climbed the snowed over mountain to the top of the ridge. From there we could see Eagle Lake. We walked along the ridge (by which I mean we scaled across the rock cropings) and then scaled down the mountain and ended up at Eagle Falls where we pitched our tent and camped for the night. It was absolutely beautiful and I would recommend doing it if you're looking for a short but demanding hike. The hike up in the snow was difficult as we were just in hiking shoes and slippery on the way down. This way also required a lot of bouldering. Sad we didn't get to do the loop but just a heads up, check conditions before heading up :)

2 months ago

7 months ago

8 months ago

8 months ago

fly fishing
9 months ago

9 months ago

Excellent hike with great views. Spent the night at Middle Velma which was pristine and a nice swimming spot after a long hike.

The trail out of Bayview is pretty steep and draining for a little over the first mile and a half, especially with a pack, but levels out nicely after reaching the "summit."

Would not recommend the taking Eagles Pass, and just go back down the Bayview trail. Eagles was overly crowded, and the walk back on 89 was a disappointing way to end a great hike. If you are planning this hike Fall 2016 be aware of road construction on 89.

9 months ago

9 months ago

A great day hike: countless pristine lakes, bogs, and views, all enjoyed at a moderate grade. Plus, even on a holiday weekend, this trail was not overly-trafficked. You start up a sandy slope but that doesn't last too long until you level off for the rest of the hike and hit your first lake.

I see many weren't thrilled with the walk back up the highway, but we didn't mind...especially since started the hike a bit later in the day so it was sunset over Lake Tahoe when we made the short trek back to our car, parked along road near Inspiration Point.

9 months ago

Great loop, we turned this into a nice overnighter and stayed at Lower Velma. Beautiful lake. If I did this again, I would not hike down to eagle lake and eagle falls. It was so crowded and we found the trail out of Granite lake to be a better hike. Also finishing on the highway and hiking back up to Bayview is not so much fun.

10 months ago

10 months ago

10 months ago

Took our time and split this into 3 days for a very enjoyable trip. Slept at middle Velma and Dicks while stopping to swim at the 6 lakes along the way. Desolate, but beautiful

11 months ago

Enjoyed a quiet lunch at the outflow from Upper Velma, nice shade on a hot day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Did this hike to only to Lower Velma Lake and back (8.5 miles). We hit snow about 2 miles in. There would be a patch of snow, then rocks, then snow. It was like this all the way to the lakes. The snow was walkable, but I'd recommend having something on your boots to help grip. The hike out in the afternoon was really wet. The snow was melting fast and running over the trail. Beautiful hike. Beautiful lakes (they were still half frozen). Well worth the effort and time.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Had a great time, despite a sleepless first night at Dick's Lake. Be forewarned, the spots there are beautiful, but the wind can be extreme. All of lakes are incredible. Some of the best swimming out there. Even in the drought.

Ran into a couple of groups that didn't quite have their bearings, but everyone on the trail was very polite.

Walk back up to Bayview at the end went quickly, but the cars drive rather quickly along the road.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Really, really great hike! So happy I stumbled across this recommended itinerary :D
- Definitely a healthy climb the first 2 miles but very doable.
- The trail becomes a bit free-form at times and we would subsequently get off trail. Always able to recover though (granted, we went just after a snowfall which made the trail easier to follow at times since we could see foot prints but would also hide markers)
- The lakes are absolutely gorgeous! Great for filtering water and eating a serene lunch
- The walk back after visiting Eagle Lake along highway 50 sorta sucks especially after experiencing all the wonderful trails... It is a 1.02 miles walk. There is a shoulder but minimal at times + for some reason all the cars passing are going pretty quickly... All in all we would still stick to the proposed trail as it was great to finish with Eagle Lake.

Will definitely do this trail again!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Awesome guide Chris! Our group had a wonderful time (7 ppl, 2 dogs). Got a Saturday overnight permit reservation on for Fontanillis Lake, car camped at Luther Pass on Friday night, headed out early to the Taylor Creek Visitor Center to pick up the permit on Saturday, and drove over to the Bayview Trailhead. Dropped people off and shuttled the second car to the Eagle Falls Trailhead so we had a way of getting back. We got slightly off trail when we reached Upper Velma but found our way back to Fontanillis where we camped on the side of the hill. Beautiful views and great swimming spots. Only pests were the mosquitoes that were in full force at that time so make sure you bring bug repellent! Awesome trip and I can see why one would do this hike again :D