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Cascade Falls Trail

MODERATE 621 reviews

Cascade Falls Trail is a 1.4 mile heavily 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: 255 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.

hiking
rocky
22 days ago

A short hike in but very rocky. the magnificent views make it completely worth it!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

fun trail but tough for kids. unless you have very athletic kids that love climbing rocks. I felt like I was stair stepping the entire hike because we were climbing rocks pretty much. Olaf, our dog,, did excellent and very dog friendly.

hiking
2 months ago

Fantastic trail. Perfect mix of moderate scrambling. Once you get to the falls, you can go past them to climb higher and get awesome views of Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe. Takes about half hour each way. Falls themselves are pretty small but the views make up for it. Do note that past the falls the trail goes all over as you’re stomping on granite/rocks. Trailhead/parking is small and at the end of the Bayview Campground.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Wow! The views alone are worth going. Such an amazing hike and good for all ages. We wore our runners, but hiking boots might have been better due to the rocky bits so your ankles are more supported. If you venture past the red trail mark there’s a beautiful little stream/waterfall to check out. It’s also such a nice area to continue hiking around at. Will definitely be returning. Also there’s parking across the road but mostly tourists are going there as it’s a view point. You can drive into the campground and up the road for parking to the trail. Bring your camera!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike but it’s probably a little longer than what is posted.

hiking
2 months ago

Short and sweet!

backpacking
no shade
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Rocky, pretty easy to follow trail. Payouts come early as Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe come into view quite early. Quick, moderate, recommend trail!

hiking
off trail
rocky
2 months ago

This is trail is more moderate than easy, and one can lose track of the trail and make it harder on oneself, lol, but so many amazing views of Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe at every turn it’s well worth the extra effort. We will be back before it closes for the winter!

recorded Recording - Sep 22, 04:08 PM

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Short and sweet.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

It was a beautiful hike. worth the views !

hiking
3 months ago

Enjoyed the hike and the gorgeous views. Be warned - there is no potable water at the trailhead. We filled up at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center about 10 minutes south of the campsite at the trailhead.

hiking
3 months ago

challenging up and down trail. it's actually in the campground with a fair amount of parking right at the trailhead. you can wade in the water around the rocks. lived it. well marked!

hiking
3 months ago

Went after Granite Lake / Maggies Peak cause it’s the same trailhead. By the time I got there was not crowded (late afternoon), but since the access is easy, people kept arriving. Gave 3 instead of 4 because there wasn’t much water. But still a few ponds to rest the feet!

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent trail!

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail! Everything perfect except it was a little difficult finding the trailhead back - that’s why it’s a 4 instead of 5 star.

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

OK, here’s why I’m giving this one 2 stars. After completing the Granite Lake/Maggie’s Peak trail, I decided to take this trail since it’s short and starts back on the same trailhead as Granite Lake/Maggie’s Peak. Giving it 2 stars not because of the trail or scenery, but because of the people. Too crowded. People laying all around the falls, some with loud music. Hard to take a decent photo and appreciate the falls. Some people were jumping around as if they were pros, yet it’s very easy to slip and hurt yourself. Also saw a bunch of girls in bikinis jumping in the water, which I didn’t appreciate because I wanted to just to enjoy the falls.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

great walk..bit rocking in the middle walking up hill..lovely view on the falls..

bugs
rocky
3 months ago

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