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Eagle Lake Trail

MODERATE 659 reviews
#1 of 46 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

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

bird watching

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.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
7 days ago

Snow flurries while hiking and snow melt made the trail a bit of a muddy hike but fun to avoid the puddles of water by jumping from rock to rock(also able to walk around puddles). Fairly easy trail. Had to hike over about 3 patches of snow still covering the trail which were all an easy short trek. Beautiful view of Eagle Lake at the end of the trail.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
9 days ago

Nice hike, our conditions were not terrible (fog, snow / rain, wind) but in better conditions it must be top. Very easy hike.

hiking
11 days ago

I love this trail. It begins the ascent into desolation wilderness, it’s a fairly easy hike and the lake is so clear and peaceful. I have been here many times and even with many folks hiking around everyone seems to find their own peaceful spot.

rocky
snow
11 days ago

Such beautiful views! I am a beginner at hiking and although it was very steep, this was a decent hike for me. There are still large patches of snow to cross over but most of it is just dirt and rocks. im sure in a few weeks the snow will have mostly gone along the path.

hiking
15 days ago

Awesome views and great conditions for us. Snow on ground and wearing shorts

hiking
snow
23 days ago

Super fun. Take walking sticks to keep your snow melt sliding from being too bad. Beautiful short walk.

hiking
27 days ago

This trail was beautiful and worth the trip. Most of the hike is still snow and parts of it are steep with small drop offs nearby. Wear well treaded shoes and be cautious.

hiking
27 days ago

We hiked this trail in July. There were lots of people on the trail. It was an easy hike with beautiful views.

hiking
snow
29 days ago

Really nice and easy trail! The views were breathtaking, the lake is still mostly frozen but it was very beautiful! 95% of trail is covered in snow! So worth the trip!

1 month ago

I loved this trail! The views are beyond amazing. Snowshoes helped a lot. The lake was completely frozen :).

hiking
1 month ago

Pathway is clear due to other hikers but unmarked as far as I could see. Slippery. Very beautiful and not overly technical. Would hike again.

snowshoeing
snow
1 month ago

Beautiful views of Emerald Bay. Snow mostly pretty packed now but plenty of it. Snowshoes are helpful but not required. In lieu of traversing the “snow wall” mentioned by another reviewer, you can go right up a shallower slope and then round a turn back left. I *think* that this is actually the intended trail, but I havent done it in the summer to know for sure. River is very full and roaring. Small Eagle Lake mostly frozen and snow covered but very serene.

hiking
1 month ago

Very snowy, but we made it to the lake. There is a large snow wall that stop most people, but we managed to climb it and saw only 2 other people on the trail. Had the lake to ourselves. Beautiful!!

snowshoeing
scramble
snow
2 months ago

Excellent hike with deep, firm snow. towering rocky peaks all around and a frozen lake with a view at the end

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Really pretty trail with views along the way. Did it 2/1/19 with yak tracks and hiking boots and we made it, just slipped on the snow a couple times. Lake is frozen over and it’s beautiful! Keep in mind it looks like you are supposed to pay $5 to park at the trailhead (but there weren’t any fee envelopes left when we went so I’m not sure if that’s a thing or not anymore.)

hiking
muddy
rocky
4 months ago

snowshoeing
4 months ago

Super short but with some good ups.. especially in the snow. It seems fairly popular on the weekends but not obnoxious. The lake is frozen - people were walking all the way out to the island with no issue today.

4 months ago

Completed on 1/11/18. This hike was definetly a low-effort, high-reward kind of trek. There were a ton of incredible views, from Lake Tahoe to mountain peaks to frozen Eagle Lake. A little sketchy in a couple of spots, but definitely doable with some snowshoes and poles. Highly suggested! Didn't see anyone on the way up and only a few hikers on the way down.

hiking
4 months ago

I just hiked this one today (12/29/18) and really enjoyed it. Beautiful views.The lake was frozen over so plenty of hikers walked out onto it. Very cool. Some parts of the trail were really icy and can be tough to hike on. I saw plenty of people slip and a few younger kids and older adults had difficulty with icy steps.

4 months ago

Great scenery!

4 months ago

An easy hike with amazing view.

Amazing view of the frozen lake!! Our first Christmas Eve hike

5 months ago

it was a great snowy winterland. it was a wonderful trek and not to long. it is also pretty well marked except after the waterfall. then it got tricky so I decided not to continue and headed back down.

5 months ago

Amazing hike!

hiking
6 months ago

Loved it. Great views. A good amount of uphill climbing on the way up to Eagle Lake but well worth it!

hiking
6 months ago

Amazing views all around, watch your step, & keep your kids away from the mountain edge, lots of slippery loose rocks. Parking is sheer luck if you get one. So much beauty here, enjoy!

6 months ago

Great trail for families. Kids loved climbing the rocks. Beautiful views.

6 months ago

5 stars for beautiful family trail but had to only give 3 because waaaay too crowded

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