Cascade Falls Trail

MODERATE 363 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

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

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.

hiking
8 hours ago

Much of trail is rocky so need to be agile

Easy hike. Great for the kids.

hiking
2 days ago

It was a great hike. Took my 8 year old and while it was shorter, the hills made it a great workout. She made it just fine! Beautiful view, go early to avoid crowds.

3 days ago

Easy, lovely trail. Views of the lake and once you reach the falls you can get right up to them. Plenty of space to hang out by the falls and enjoy the views or even picnic.

Lovely early summer hike up a rocky steppe and along a rushing mountain stream, capped by a beautiful waterfall.

12 days ago

So awesome and surprisingly beautiful

15 days ago

Love all of the beautiful views on this trail!

hiking
15 days ago

We enjoyed the walk and the amazing views.
A bit rocky at times, walking sticks are very helpful.

hiking
20 days ago

A beautiful trail. Great views of the falls along the trails. We sat in the shade by the creek for a light snack. It was wonderful and invigorating.

22 days ago

Stunning views. Initially the rating said “easy” until we put in GPS, then it rated “moderate”.....more accurate. You are hiking up a mountain over boulders and rocks. The Falls are beautiful and it is worth the hike. Wear good hiking shoes and drink water.

hiking
23 days ago

short hike in after you pass small camp grounds you will see trails signs. Trail is easy to follow/ marked. Rocky, but not slipper in summer time. Views are absolutely breath taking. You can get in water and rocks in water are not extremely slippery either. LOTS of bugs!!! Wear spray!!! I had some service at Falls too for recording live feed.

hiking
23 days ago

Fairly easy and short hike with beautiful views of Cascade Lakes and exploring alongside Cascade Falls. Rocky sections but manageable - some narrow sections.

1 month ago

The view is amazing and not a hard hike at all

1 month ago

A fantastic Kid friendly hike! Like most hikes, wear appropriate foot wear. Our 7 and 9 year old had a great time and were able to vear off the trail a little to enjoy the area. There are some areas where you will need to use your hands a little, nothing major. Pack a lunch to relax at the falls area. Its beautiful!

1 month ago

Wouldn't say it's an easy trail as while quite short (1.4m/2.2km roundtrip) almost all of it is rocks and boulders. Don't wear flipflops. The views are breathtaking, a must-do/see

1 month ago

The views are amazing, and it isn't a long hike, but who ever called climbing the boulders in the path an easy hike... Some people aren't that tall!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail; just watch where you step

1 month ago

This is one of the best short hikes in the Tahoe area. Big Bang for small amount of effort. Amazing views. We went later in the early evening and had it all to ourselves. Great views as sun fades in the west and colors hills with a red hue.

hiking
1 month ago

easy hike with lots of foot traffic. parked in the campgrounds near the trail head. the falls are awesome, lots of places to sit right by the water.

hiking
1 month ago

Fun Little Hike!!

1 month ago

Nice quick hike - about 1 to 1.5 hours round trip with a snack/pix break at the falls. Starts shady in tall pines for 1/4 mile then 1 mile of a rocky hillside trail that was not flat per se’ - so you go up and down a bit but not long and not difficult. Wear boots to grip the rocks. Falls were pretty and view from falls was spectacular.

1 month ago

Really fun hike to take lunch and do with some friends

hiking
1 month ago

A must hike while in the area!

1 month ago

Great hike.. More difficult on the way back. Do not bring young children (under 3). Saw so many people struggling with young children due to many rocks/boulders along the trail.

1 month ago

Great views and slightly challenging

hiking
1 month 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.

1 month ago

Wonderful hike! Parking is limited

2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

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!

2 months 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.

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