Eagle Lake Trail

MODERATE 467 reviews
#1 of 33 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
383 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 (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.

21 minutes ago

High return on investment in this short hike to a beautiful lake. Right now there’s a lot of packed snow and some ice on the second half of the trail. Micro spikes were helpful.

23 hours ago

This is the second time I have been on the trail. Two days ago the weather was perfect but yesterday it warmed up and the snow melted and turned to ice. The entire trail was icy and dangerous. We made it there and back and still had fun but just a warning to be careful after warm days!

Still beautiful and would do again!

hiking
3 days ago

I loved everything about this trail. It's right behind Emerald Bay and you can view the Vikingsholm at the bottom. The drive alone was worth it. The trail was easily accessible even with the snow. It lead to Eagle Lake which was entirely frozen over. The trip took about an 1.5 hrs, and we took our time and made a few stops! Really enjoyed this trail and would love to do it again.

hiking
29 days ago

This was a beautiful and fairly easy trail. Most of the beginning is uphill, with lots of stone steps that are covered in icy snow right now. We got lucky because the trail was fairly easy to see even though it had just snowed the day before. The lake is completely frozen over right now, so it’s definitely a beautiful sight. Would highly recommend!

hiking
1 month ago

We walked this trail last summer with our little ones in the backpack carriers. It was beautiful and the lake itself was perfect for the babies to play in.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike with views of Tahoe and Eagle Lake. The lake itself was still frozen and was stable to walk out on. The trail has some extremely icy patches, with the worst section right after the bridge crossing at Eagle Falls - make sure you have hiking boots and take it carefully!

1 month ago

Very beautiful hike,but need to be careful with icy paths.

Make sure to wear micro-spikes or similar if you’re doing a winter hike. It gets icy! Worth it to go to the vista and out to the lake, but you’re asking for a broken arm if you don’t have spikes!

hiking
2 months ago

I will never forget this as it was my first ever and favorite hike. It was breathtaking every step of the way!

Beautiful hike. A bit icy in parts making some parts a bit treacherous. I guess that's one (only) advantage of a dry December that you can get to experience this area. Once it starts snowing the road can be closed. Amazing views on Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, and this entrance to the Desolation Wilderness. Hockey players were enjoying the lake in the am but right now I wouldn't go out on the ice after midday.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. There are some icy parts now (mid Dec) - but the extra caution in those areas is well worth taking for the view of the lake. Ice skaters were enjoying the lake as well. Don’t be put off by the numerous cars - most visitors don’t go beyond the entry to the park.

hiking
3 months ago

Views every step of the way

3 months ago

Good and easy go.

3 months ago

Great

hiking
3 months ago

Fairly difficult beginning up the granite stairs but the climb is so worth it. amazing views along the trail and the lake is gorgeous. Will defiantly revisit this trail and the desolation wilderness area.

3 months ago

Love this hike! Great views and good balance of challenge and leisurely

hiking
3 months ago

Great end of October, crisp and beautiful view !

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! We took our time, stopping here and there to enjoy the view. A little crowded (end of October). Wish more people kept their dogs on leash, not because I don't like doggies, but some part of the trail are a little narrow and a dog running into you could be dangerous, specially for kids. We'll do it again with friends, for sure :)

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike with beautiful views.

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