Eagle Lake Trail

MODERATE 676 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

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
rocky
1 day ago

loop trail to falls portion. we enjoyed this hike.

hiking
muddy
1 day ago

BEAUTIFUL lake at the top. Little complicated to stay on the trail once you hit the rocks near the top but you figure it out. Only way to go is up.

hiking
muddy
over grown
1 day ago

You’ll be working over granite rocks, and there is a lot of muddy spots because it is near a fall. You are allowed to bring dogs but they must be on leash at all times. There is a steep incline to get to the lake once you get to the lookout point and there is granite stairs on that part. once you get to the top of that, there is granite rocks you must climb over be very careful as these can be extremely slippery and there is no guard rails. I suggest wearing very good hiking shoes and although this says moderateI would rate this as difficult. Overall I would highly recommend going on this hike.

hiking
2 days ago

I love this hike. It is a perfect out and back for family. Our group of 9 ranged from 1-70 years old and everyone enjoyed. There are times where we had to pause to rest a bit, but the shady patches, scenery and lake views are worth it. Enjoy!

hiking
3 days ago

Easy short hike. Go left at the lake and climb over the rock in the middle of the path to get to another vantage point of the lake for photos

hiking
bugs
rocky
7 days ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
7 days ago

Went on 6/18 and is a short hike that does get busy so I'd start hiking by 8:30 or earlier. It has muddy sections right now from the snow melt. Beautiful waterfalls and clear lake at top.

hiking
bugs
10 days ago

hiking
rocky
snow
10 days ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
12 days ago

Beautiful sights and sounds of the falls the entire way with pristine Eagle Lake to dip in at the top of the climb. You may want to pair this home with volksholm and lower falls trail to experience all of Eagle falls.

hiking
16 days ago

Deducting one star because it was just absolutely crowded both at the parking and the trail itself. Half the people have brought their dogs and kids and there is not enough space at the lake so it does not feel peaceful at all. The lake was gorgeous but next time I would go as early as possible to avoid the crowds and maybe catch a reflection. The eagle loop trail is not worth doing and the Vista point was quite disappointing.

hiking
18 days ago

Great quick hike, a little bit of snow left towards the top but doesn’t interfere with the trail. Great views, amazing place for a picnic or quick get away.

hiking
rocky
19 days ago

Beautiful, easy hike up to beautiful Eagle Lake. Trail was rocky but not bad. Gorgeous views of Lake Tahoe and snow capped mountains all around. The waterfalls were fully flowing and saw some small wildlife on the trail, but nothing scary! Lol

rocky
25 days ago

We took our two young kids and our dog, we do a lot of hiking and our 3 year old daughter was able to do this whole trail on her own. it's a lot of steps so be ready for that. plus the there is quite a bit of foot traffic. other than that it was a great trail!

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
26 days ago

Epic views at the lake. No major water crossing, thanks to bridge. Right now there are 3 patches of snow that are only 20-30 ft long. Snow melt off causes a bit of water on the trail in some places (2” deep occasionally. Totally easy to handle. It’s only getting better as June approaches.

hiking
muddy
snow
26 days ago

hiking
muddy
snow
28 days ago

Very beautiful lake that’s worth the scramble to get there! There’s still the 3 patches of snow and lots of muddy areas due to the melting snow. Don’t forget to fill put the Desolation Wilderness permit and $5 vehicle fee!

hiking
rocky
scramble
28 days ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
snow
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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!

2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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.

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