Eagle Lake Trail

moderate 1179 reviews
#1 of 55 trails in

Eagle Lake Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near South Lake Tahoe, 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: 1.8 miles Elevation Gain: 433 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

Leading into the heart of Desolation Wilderness (a permit is required), the Eagle Lake trail offers forest, lake and far reaching views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra high country. At the Eagle Falls trailhead, obtain your wilderness permit. Head SW up the trail, climbing gently at first, then ascending a steep set of stone steps. Climb the stairs about 5 minutes to the falls and the short loop trail. Cross the high bridge and enjoy the vista back down the canyon to Emerald Bay. To continue on to Eagle Lake, follow the trail gradually uphill another half mile or so until you reach a fork. The right hand trail leads to the lake, resting in a glacial cirque below North Maggies Peak (about 20-25 more minutes, this is a good hike for children). Take a swim in the cold! Eagle Lake waters, or keep going further to reach Velmas, Dicks, and Fontanillis lakes. The trail can be crowded but offers a great workout and good places to picnic near Eagle Lake on big boulders.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
2 days ago

Hiked today, 2/22/20 mid afternoon. Plenty of snow...Yaktrax a minimum-or Micro-spikes if you have them. Witnessed plenty of people not wearing proper footwear, slipping and sliding, falling... Beautiful ice-melt water rushing under bridge. No parking available. Must park on road and cross over iced lot to begin trailhead. Bathrooms not open, but that’s expected. It closed until season opens. Enjoy !

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful trail and even more beautiful destination! Great for dogs!

hiking
icy
snow
3 days ago

Hiked Presidents’ Day weekend (2/15). Parking was limited but if you wait around you’ll find a spot. Highly recommend microspikes. We had spikes and cruised our way up and down while several other groups struggled or turned around after just a few minutes. Easy little out and back up to the lake. The altitude will get your breathing going though! Dog friendly! Lots of dogs off leash :) beautiful views. If you bring spikes you can ditch the crowd!

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
4 days ago

hiking
icy
snow
12 days ago

Beautiful weather 2/12/2020 Trail is primarily icy with soft deep snow in a few areas near mid view point. Crampons or snowshoes are recommended as many areas would quite slippery and dangerous without. The lake is ice melting at the river outlet. Note: parking lot & restrooms are closed.

hiking
icy
23 days ago

hiking
icy
snow
26 days ago

Awesome trail, gorgeous views. For sure want your crampons or snowshoes

hiking
icy
1 month ago

Beautiful, easy trail IF you have spikes. I would not recommend going without them. Awesome trail.

hiking
icy
1 month ago

A trail that always gets your heart rate up. Didn’t start tracking until we were at the lake and on the way out. Lake is very solid!!!!

hiking
icy
snow
1 month ago

snow shoes aren't needed up to the lake, but there are several icy patches, so micro spikes will come in handy. The trail above the lake has much deeper snow and at this point you will need snow shoes unless otherwise you will be knee deep in snow. there are great views of frozen eagle lake, and the surrounding mountains are beautiful.

This trail was perfect for snowshoeing although the shoes probably weren’t needed until past the lake. We only did 4 ish miles total. Deep snow about 1.6 miles in. Decently trafficked - saw XC skiers, lots of dogs, other hikers. Recommend studded shoes or snowshoes as it’s pretty icy.

bugs
fee
off trail
over grown
1 month ago

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Initial plan was to snow shoe, but talked to some people and didn't seem like we needed them. Hiked in with Microspikes no problem. the views at the end were amazing. So peaceful!

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Short jaunt up to a gorgeous lake. Very few people out on the trail 11-30-19. Perhaps 12-18” of snow covering most parts of the trail, with deeper drifts.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Short trail (about 2h overall with few stops and picnic on the lake), open even covered of snow for Thanksgiving Day. Nice point of view on the lake at the top.

Great views,

hiking
3 months ago

To short for my liking.

3 months ago

Great hike for casual hikers and families with kids and pets. I've done this several times and love it! Beautiful views of the lake. Highly recommend!

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

I highly recommend this short little hike! Lots of stairs, clear paths, great views! We did it with our pup and she had a great time. Very busy, so start early! We started around 10 and coming down got crowded.

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