Eagle Lake Trail

MODERATE 337 reviews
#1 of 22 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
495 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Leading into the heart of Desolation Wilderness (permit required), the 2 mile round trip moderate 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. Trail can be crowded but offers a great workout and good places to picnic near Eagle Lake on big boulders.

1 minute ago

Great views. Places to relax, eat and spend the day. Bring blankets!

19 hours ago

1 day ago

Awesome hike with views over Emerald Bay. we took our two dogs and had a blast. There was plenty of water for them to drink. Definitely get there early for parking.

hiking
2 days ago

2 days ago

Busy hike. I had a small dog and had to pick him up for some of the incline portions. Pretty lake and views.

3 days ago

MAKE SURE TO GET HERE EARLY!! Parking fills up really fast. We like to be on the trail no later than 8am. It's such a great hike. It's short and easy. We do it every year. Some of us swim in eagle lake - it's pretty cold, but not unbearable. Once we get to the lake, we go to the right and go across the stream. You have to be careful - the rocks can be slippery and the flow is strong. Once you get across, go to the left and walk a little bit until you get to a place where there's a boulder in the water. We LOVE swimming there. There's the bolder, and then it completely drops off and it's incredibly deep, so we like to stand on the boulder and jump in. Be cautious, it's cold, so it'll take your breath away.

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3 days ago

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4 days ago

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5 days ago

Great hike if you're looking for a short, but beautiful trail. Do get there early though....Very popular and parking can be difficult. This year the falls are spectacular thanks to the amazing amount of rain this past winter. After the hike up to Eagle Lake, make sure to visit lower Eagle Falls across the road towards Emerald Bay. I completed this hike in about 1 1/2 hours, hiking with my 10 year old niece and giving her time to kick off her shoes & socks and enjoy the refreshing lake water. The hike consists primarily of steep granite steps leading up to the lake.

hiking
5 days ago

Awesome trail! Great for all ages and you get a little bit of everything. Good if you are out here on vacay looking for a 3hr or less adventure like me! Beat the crowds this seems to be a popular trail, and get here early!

hiking
7 days ago

7 days ago

Short trail; huge payoff. Wish I had brought swim gear.

8 days ago

Beautiful lake.

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9 days ago

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10 days ago

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11 days ago

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12 days ago

I hiked this recently with my family- my husband wore our 3-year old in a carrier and our 4-year old hiked it by herself! I can see why it's so popular- fairly short and not much elevation gain, but plenty of rewarding views! Please use caution with your kids if they're hiking it themselves. There are a lot of rocks (easy to trip over and injure yourself if not careful). Because it's so popular, parking can be an issue. But if you get an early start, it shouldn't be a problem. We hiked it on the 4th of July and arrived before 10am, there were still a few spots left in the lot, but when we left around lunch time, it was a mad-house!