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Eagle Lake Trail

MODERATE 1098 reviews
#1 of 55 trails in

Eagle Lake Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily 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

walking

bird watching

running

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
2 days ago

One of the best hiking trails we've done in Tahoe yet. Good elevation changes, awesome views, incredible foliage and craggy twisted trees, with the bonus of the sheer beauty of the lake at the top. Strongly recommend shedding your socks & hiking boots to wade in the icy water...totally refreshing! Not the best trail for older folks with balance issues and kids who want to run (saw a lot of face plants, tripping over tree roots and rocks.) Def a no flip-flop zone (hiking in sandals?!). Being from the Carolinas & both experienced hikers, love the higher elevations! Got some incredible photos... exhilarating hike tho, wow!

hiking
rocky
7 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

Did this the same day after Echo Lakes. We were there early Oct on a weekday. Saw a couple hikers on the way up. When we got to the lake, we had it to ourselves for 30 minutes. Beautiful lake. Worth the hike if you want to fit a short one into other activities. As others have mentioned, parking is tight if you hit popular times.

hiking
9 days ago

Arrive early. Parking is rough depending on time of day/day of week. The trail itself is very easy to navigate through and read. It’s a very short and easy day hike if you want something to do in a few hours. The lake is gorgeous, the waterfall before the lake is very “flow-ie”. Pack a snack for the lake and then head back. Not my first choice of a short hike in Tahoe due to the crowd factor. Definitely recommend for a one time deal.

hiking
10 days ago

Good short trail. I would consider it more more difficult than just 'easy'. Parking is $10 for all day. Get there early because it got really packed around noon.

hiking
11 days ago

Nice walk in the middle of the trees so most of the time in the shade. Rides especially at the start and after the path is flatter. Suitable for families and dogs. The lake is very beautiful by its transparency

hiking
rocky
12 days ago

Fun starter hike in Tahoe, with pretty steep elevation and a rocky trail - but nothing you can't overcome. For a real challenge and AMAZING views, hike another .5 miles towards Velma and take in all the views. Nobody was on that stretch, but it is worth every extra step.

hiking
rocky
18 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful trail with fantastic views of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe on the way up. Steady uphill, but nothing too strenuous. Path is mostly rocky after the bridge. Eagle Lake itself is fantastic and peaceful - even at midday, we had the lake to ourselves for about an hour during midweek.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
21 days ago

Gets very rocky towards the end. View of the lake is beautiful. I would rate it a definite intermediate.

hiking
23 days ago

Great choice for our first Tahoe hike! Beautiful views without much strain. We went on a Sunday late afternoon when it wasn't crowded. The air was so fresh and crisp, and we had the lake to ourselves.

hiking
25 days ago

Awesome trail! Brought my photography gear to take shots of the lake. It was very windy and clouds kept passing by to give different shots perspective. Overall, great trail!

hiking
rocky
26 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

Great easy hike with amazing views! Highly recommend. Be sure to get there early so that you can get a parking spot and beat the crowd. We started at 9am we had the trail to ourselves. By the time we got back to our car it was packed with people starting their hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Great short but sweet trail in Tahoe. Perfect if you have other things planned to do but still want to squeeze in a hike. Very crowded however and parking seems to be difficult.

hiking
1 month ago

Our 1st hike in Tahoe and it was great! Beautiful views. We went a couple days ago. Not to busy on the trail after the bridge. We had nice long stretches of solitude which is just how we like it! Lake was stunning. We found a nice spot and ate a little lunch before heading back. Would definitely recommend and will definitely be doing it again. So happy to add Tahoe to our hiking resume!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

It's Sept. It's a bit chilly, but sunny and gorgeous out. Perfect temps for hiking in this sun/shade trail. Super crowded this trail. Dogs, kids, kids in backpacks, groups of peeps. You must get there early or you'll have to walk up to a half mile just to get to the trailhead. The main road is only 2-lanes, the lot is tiny and parking is along the side of the highway. It's dangerous. But the trail is along an outflow creek from Eagle Lake and the hike along it is beautiful. It's also the Benetton of trees: white fir, black cottonwood, blue spruce, etc. Lots to see. The lake itself is serene. Get ready to sneer at the Insta-girls who dominate the trail tho, shooting 'influencer' photos like they're goddesses. They're super annoying.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice short hike up to the top with a bridge cross and short distance into The Desolation Wilderness. Nice payoff at the end at Eagle Lake. Some nice elevation gain over the short distance but nothing crazy. Very picturesque with the granite sentinels sounding and some nice old growth forest in spots.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, busy today but a good workout and great views!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike, lots on steps going up and a little hard to follow the trail. The views are amazing!

hiking
1 month ago

Tough. It’s quite the uphill Climb Very busy! People in flip flops and such! Not sure how they made it! But it’s gorgeous! The entire way! From the bridge , to the waterfalls, and the lake was ahhhhmazjng! Clear, cold and stunning!!!! Parking is tough so go early or prepare to hike before the hike

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Gorgeous! Decent stair climb but not too difficult for the inexperienced hikers with the group. Halfway up is a beautiful waterfall, and at the lake are trails to explore. Water was a little chilly but clear and a great swim. One in our group got strong by a wasp, but the home is short enough that he was ok.

hiking
1 month ago

There is limited parking at this trail head. There are bathrooms not very well maintained. The trail is very well marked. We went up to Eagle lake beautiful lake to swim. Pet friendly and very shaded. Took us about 1.5 hours.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

One of the most beautiful hikes We’ve been on. It’s relatively short. This means crowds. Parking is a bitch. ARRIVE EARLY! This will make your experience more enjoyable

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