Cascade Falls Trail

MODERATE 314 reviews

Cascade Falls Trail is a 1.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Tahoma, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
236 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

This is a great short, moderate/easy hike to a beautiful waterfall within Emerald Lake State Park on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe. The trailhead is located off of Highway 89 north of South Lake Tahoe across from Inspiration Point. There is a small parking area with limited parking. The trail navigates through forest and over stone steps. There are many vantage points with excellent views of Cascade Lake, Emerald Bay, and Lake Tahoe along the way. Although there is not a lot of elevation change, there are challenging spots along the trail with large rocks/small boulders to navigate. Once at the falls, it is a good place to eat lunch, relax, and take in the views. The surrounding large granite rock outcroppings are impressive. There are multiple pools you can put your feet in. This is one of the more popular hiking trails Emerald Bay State Park and parking fills up quickly. Make sure to get there early to secure a parking spot. The best time to see the falls is in spring/early summer when Cascade Creek is roaring from the snowmelt that feeds it.

recorded Recording - Jan 31, 12:34 pm

snowshoeing
16 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous views down to frozen Cascade Lake. The final few hundred meters is blocked by a fallen tree though, and the way around it is a bit too precarious in 3ft of snow. Snow shoes definitely needed

hiking
1 month ago

nice day hike, good views

hiking
2 months ago

It was a beautiful and fun easy hike. It has great views of the lake. if you are short on time and want a beautiful hike this is the one. you first walk through the trees then eventually along the mountain. Mid hike it gets rocky so just be aware of your stepping. We went Thanksgiving weekend and the river was flowing but just not at full capacity. I would want to do this hike again in the Spring to see the river when the snow melts. but overall it was a beautiful hike!

hiking
2 months ago

This is a wonderful easy hike that is easy to access. Getting to the falls is pretty easy until you get very close, then the trail becomes a little unclear. Even so, just keep going straight and you will see where the falls are. Right now the water is barely moving. Would love to come back and check this out after a snow melt!

3 months ago

easily accessible

3 months ago

Great hike with beautiful scenery

3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

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!

hiking
3 months 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.

3 months ago

ok.

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
4 months ago

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

4 months ago

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.

hiking
4 months 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.

4 months ago

Beautiful!!!

hiking
4 months 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.

hiking
4 months 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.

hiking
5 months ago

Don't forget the falls aren't there in September. Still awesome though, was able to cross the "falls" and go way further and higher.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail was really scenic and a joy to walk. The only downfall is that the trail just ends. You need to be careful and walk through the big boulders and lead yourself to the cascades by the noise of the water.

5 months ago

Great short hike to beautiful views of cascade lake with lake tahoe in the background. I disagree with this hike taking 20 minutes.. we didnt bring water because we read that review =( About an hour to enjoy the stream / falls out & back. highly recommended.

5 months ago

Beautiful views nice short hike!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful and short. Could be done in 20 minutes one way. Great view of the Cascade lake with a waterfall at the end

hiking
5 months ago

This hike is just BEAUTIFUL! My husband and I did this hike about 2 years ago, and we had such fond memories we had to do it again. Our dog loved it too! The views are beautiful, it’s a little dusty, but SO worth it!

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike! Incredible views of both Cascade lake and Lake Tahoe. Hike was moderate with a lot of steps on and over boulders! I would definitely do it again!

5 months ago

Easy hike, great views, lots of waterfalls, double lake view and peaceful. Lots of mosquitoes, bring spray!!!!

hiking
5 months ago

As a 66 yr old in decent shape, I found this trail to be more moderate than easy. It’s short and well worth it, however. I was also with my 8 mo old dachshund who needed assistance over some of the more difficult terrain. Very, very beautiful!

5 months ago

Always a pleasure - go yearly. Two days ago heard osprey mates whistling to each other.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful easy, short hike. Great vistas of Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe at multiple points.

5 months ago

If you are going on the weekend, get there early. Trail starts getting very busy around 9:30-10:00 am.

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