Eagle Lake Trail

MODERATE 623 reviews
#1 of 39 trails in

Eagle Lake Trail is a 1.8 mile moderately 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

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

43 minutes ago

just beautiful.

1 hour ago

Third time we have been on the trail over the past twelve years. Love it! Serenity up in the mountains.

7 days ago

Great family hike. Takes about 30 minutes

8 days ago

A short hike to a beautiful lake to swim in.

hiking
9 days ago

Loved it! It took us about 30 minutes to get to Eagle Lake and about 20 to get back down. It is a little strenuous in the beginning with lots of steps to climb but it’s a good, quick workout. The lake was warm enough to get into it and truly a hidden gem! It would be fun to take inflatable paddle boards and spend some time on the lake itself.

hiking
10 days ago

Great little hike with a great swimming lake at the end.
Parking is problematic as the Emerald Bay hi way traffics terrible.

hiking
16 days ago

This hike was beautiful! Lots of Incline in the beginning but I took my time to enjoy the view. The lake was breathtaking. It was such a treat to swim in the lake. Bring water shoes if you plan to walk into the lake.

hiking
19 days ago

A family favorite for many years. It never fails to delight. The granite peaks to the north against a deep blue sky are a sight I look forward to each time we hike this trail.

hiking
20 days ago

What a great adventure to take your family on during a day off! Make sure you arrive very early for easier parking! We went on a Monday and there were still an abundant amount of people, literally hundreds on the trail but every single person we met were friendly. I took my Fiancé and German Shepard, what a blast we had.

The trail is very dog friendly and quite a few people brought their extra family member on the trail. There are some steep parts so if uphill is a challenge for you normally watch out for it. A lot of beautiful spots to take pictures and videos with scenery. I will bring a tripod and a go pro next time for the most experiences.

The end result was fantastic with the beautiful Eagle Lake. Some people were fishing and swimming, others were relaxing in the water or shore. The lake was well worth the time it took finding a parking spot.

22 days ago

Great views and dog friendly

25 days ago

Awesome views. A bear crossed the trail in front of us on the way back down. The hike to the lake is easier than the nearby Bayview trail to Granite lake.

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful hike. Our family did it on July 10, 2018 and the kids (11yrs and 6yrs) loved it. We got there by 9:00am so the trail wasn’t too crowded. We hiked around to the right side of the lake and it was so quite and peaceful. The water was clear and cold. I definitely recommend this hike.

hiking
27 days ago

This is a short and sweet trail with great view and a nice little lake (Eagle Lake) that you can dip in. There are also waterfalls right by the lake that you can reach. This hike is great for families and doggies :). We spent some time at the lake and enjoyed it a lot. Parking (alone the road) is limited but not too bad.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful Hike. My 10year old daughter Ella loved it. She walked around in the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Eagle lake at the top is worth the hike. Water is crystal clear. You can swim in the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved the hike! My 4 year old and 8 year old girls geeked the entire path without a complaint and LOVED getting in the Lake when we got there!

hiking
1 month ago

This was a great hike. The spectacular lake view at the end is worth every step. The hike had views around every corner and after the falls the number of people dropped off dramatically. The large trees along the path keeps you in shade for most of the trip.

1 month ago

So worth the time! Hike to the lake was a little tough for us since we are sea level folks and the altitude made breathing harder on the climb up. But WOW! The lake is gorgeous. Amazing view of Lake Tahoe down below and the falls leading to it.

1 month ago

Bring water and a camera! What a great hike! We carried our baby and our 3 year old trekked the entire hike. I recommend wearing proper shoes just to better enjoy your hike. Lots of rocks and our Nike wearers easily slipped several times. We had a great time! Even our niece and nephew who aren’t very patient with outdoors loved it.

hiking
1 month ago

Took the dogs today for a short hike. Thus was a beautiful hike. Started early at 9 to beat the crowds. The waterfalls were great and the lake was crystal clear. The only bummer was not much space to sit at lake and enjoy it. On the way out around 11 there were people everywhere.

hiking
1 month ago

Fairly easy hike through the rocks. Mostly stairs. Eagle lake is refreshing.

1 month ago

The trail to Eagle Falls is pretty easy, kids were hiking with their parents. Once you get to the water falls, which is gorgeous, there is a big beach area with breathtaking views of the lake! The hike back is moderate, due to going up hill a bit. But it’s not to long...worth it!!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful view for a 4 mile pretty moderate level hike. Goes in a big loop, this way there is a different view coming back down the mountain. While we went there was a deceased horse on one of the trails that they warn you about on the message board before the trails begin. Be careful if you’re sensitive to that kind of stuff. They will probably let nature take its course for a while before they can get it out of there. Otherwise, highly recommend the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great trail. I've been doing it for many years. It's also fun when covered in snow. In the summer, eagle lake makes for a great spot to stop and take a swim. It's really just the gateway to all the other trails in desolation wilderness.
Instead of doing an out and back, you can head towards Bayview and make it a full loop. Keep in mind that if you park near Eagle falls trailhead and you exit at Bayview, you will need to walk along 89 back to your car. It's pretty safe, but I'd recommend walking on the east side of the road (with traffic) to avoid all the potential falling rock on the west side.

2 months ago

Beautiful views!!!

hiking
2 months ago

Easy hike to get to the bridge with the falls, after that you have to climb a bit to get to Eagle Lake. Nothing terrible and there are several spots that you can hang out on the side if you need to catch your breath or snap some photos. Make sure you bring $5 to pay for the parking at the bottom or have a friend drop you off and pick you up. You could even take the trolley if it is running.

2 months ago

family loved it, well worth the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

This hike is beautiful, well marked, used by many, but also quiet and contemplative. The views are rewarding and following along the creek and seeing the falls reminded me of Eagle Lake's hydrological connection to Lake Tahoe. Once at the lake, we managed to find a spot to picnic between rocks where we could not see any other people. Really rewarding and nice. We took this hike thinking we were going to hike the Rubicon Trail but couldn't because we had our dog with us. She loved this hike, made it the whole way with enthusiasm despite her age and relative inactivity.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Great view at every stop. Great to hike up and have a picnic with your kids. Will come again.

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