Granite Lake & Maggie's Peaks

MODERATE 175 reviews
#3 of 37 trails in

Granite Lake & Maggie's Peaks is a 3.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tahoma, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1761 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

trail running

lake

views

rocky

Maggies Peaks overlook the rapturous blue waters of Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, Granite Lake and Desolation Wilderness. Maggies Peaks are gateway pillars to Desolation Wilderness overlooking Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe. There are two prominences: the north peak is 8,499' and south peak is 8,699'. The trail starts from Bayview trailhead and offers sweeping panoramic views on the way up to Granite Lake, and from the top of either peak. Allow 3 or more hours roundtrip. At the trailhead, make a right at the sign to Desolation. The first mile delivers steep elevation gains and the best views of the bay in comparison to points along the road. From there, the trail flattens out briefly where Granite Lake is tucked away in alpine forest. The southern peak of Maggies Peaks stands about 1000 feet above. After Granite Lake, the trail continues up a saddle in between Maggie's two peaks. At the top, you can choose which peak you'd like to summit; either will offer an amazing view. There is not a trail that goes to the top of either peak, but there is very little low lying vegetation, and it is easy to navigate. The trail begins to even out once you've reached the saddle, at this point, you'll head off trail up the slope to your left. You will also be able to see deeper into Desolation Wilderness, Middle Velma Lake and Azure Lake to the west. After returning to the trail, you can continue farther and take a right at the first fork. This will take you past Eagle Lake and Eagle Falls and terminates on the road just a short distance from the Bayview trailhead, or you can backtrack. The Bayview trailhead also offers campsites for $15 a night and is managed by the USDA. Emerald Bay State Park Campground offers more amenities such as showers, sites with a view, potable water, and beach access for $35 a night.

hiking
2 months ago

Completed on 2/18/18. Used microspikes for a little more than half of the hike, snowshoes for about the last quarter mile. Saw many people without spikes or snowshoes that were hiking so doable just harder. Great views at the top.

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely stunning views. Hiked this 1/6/18, there's snow past granite lake and the last 1/4 is about 1' deep. It was worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

Be prepared. Icy in spots but lots of snow at top.

3 months ago

Great trail! There was lots of snow and beautiful views!

4 months ago

Beautiful trail! The lake on the way to the top is great and there are a lot of early vistas to keep you interested. In late November there was a significant amount of snow as you move past the lake and towards the top though so definitely wear hiking boots and start earlier than us (1pm) if you’re trying to go to the top.

hiking
5 months ago

A nice out and back hike. However, do not underestimate the gain involved with this one. Even though it’s a relatively short hike in horizontal distance it’s almost entirely straight up and then straight back down.

The trail is loose soil most of the way along switch backs that zig zag up through forests and then chaparral. The trail is easy to follow until you get to the final ascent. At the last junction you basically turn south and find your way up to the top. There are some indications of trail but you’ll have to find your own way mostly. There are cairns that have been setup but they are hard to see and you must pay close attention to find them. But if you do you’ll know you’re on the right path. You’ll be greeted by an altar of granite boulders which provide a great platform to view granite lake, cascade lake, emerald bay and South Lake Tahoe.

Reverse your steps and find your way back down. 1.5hrs up (with a 10 minute break) ~50mins down.

hiking
6 months ago

Great views, well worth it!

6 months ago

Great views throughout!

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful hike with rewarding views.

6 months ago

Absolutely love this trail. Went there today (friday) got to the trail head by 9 and there were not many ppl at all. Views are gorgeous

hiking
6 months ago

Did this trail on 23Sept17 Great hike got there early it was a bit cold 28 F at 8:00 am had the trail all to myself until the trip down. trail head had about 2-3 " of snow at the peak there was about 4" actually made a snow angel while there. highly recommended trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Did this day hike recently and enjoyed every minute of it. Easy to follow and convenient parking at the trail head. Be prepared for solid elevation climb with relatively no flat spots until you reach Granite Lake where you can take a moment to stare up the lake towards Maggie's peak (south). Proceeded further up again to amazing 360 degree views of Tahoe side and deeper into the Desolation Wilderness side.

Would recommend. After returning and feeling like I could go a bit further I bypassed the parking lot and kept going the left at the trailhead to Cascade Falls. Worth the additional views for the relatively easy short hike.

hiking
7 months ago

For views of Emerald Bay, this has got to be one of the best lookouts. It is a steep but relatively short climb up to the top of Maggie's Peak. The small alpine lake is a great halfway point of the hike that offers a place to sit, cool off, or snack. Once to the top, you have great views of desolation wilderness, emerald bay, fall leaf lake, etc. great views!

Parking can be tough on weekends, go early!

hiking
7 months ago

Trail starts with some part walking in through the campground. There is a sign at the trailhead which says cascade falls and desolation. If you are planning to go for Maggie's peak, take desolation side. It's pretty streneous hike. Uphill all the time. We reached the top in about 2.5 hrs, we took our time through the trail. Coming down is very easy. Takes about 3 to 4 hrs. You get to see many lakes during the hike. Granite lake is so cool. Its really steep hike but rewarding views at the top. I would recommend it to anyone interested in good afternoon hike, lots of shade. Bring lots of water. Totally worth it! you will not regret.

hiking
7 months ago

This is such a challenging yet awesome hike! It's totally worth getting to 8600 ft and get the views you'll see.

hiking
7 months ago

Epic views

hiking
7 months ago

Pretty tough trail but it's so worth the trek. Went to the very top and I am confident in saying it's one of the best views I've ever seen. It's pretty steep the whole time but nothing you can't handle if you take your time. Would recommend to anyone visiting and want to get an amazing view of a few surrounding lakes. Took a quick dip in the lake on the way up as well. You won't regret the hike.

7 months ago

You must be very fit to get all the way to the peak but it is well worth it. Took us about two and a half hours to get to the top and an hour to get down. SPECTACULAR views!

hiking
7 months ago

Straight up, the lungs burn, but its beautiful!

hiking
7 months ago

This trail is hard. Probably didn't help that I am 20 weeks pregnant. Lol It had incredible views and I highly recommend it!!

7 months ago

I didn't go all the way to Maggie's Peak but ended turning back where you turn from the trail to get to the peak. Steep hike but was rewarded with great views.

hiking
8 months ago

Fairly steep climb which only takes about 40-50 minutes to the saddle section. If you go left up the hill, around boulders (there is no marked path), you'll get to the top of Maggie's Peak in 5 minutes. The view looking over Cascade Lake out to Lake Tahoe is incredible!

8 months ago

Steep climb indeed. Only slightly over a mile to get to Granite Lake.

8 months ago

Killer climb right out the gate, views are amazing and a quick dip in Granite Lake made the rest of the hike perfect

8 months ago

It's a difficult, consistently steep hike to the top but it is a great hike and workout with amazing views throughout.

hiking
8 months ago

Superb. Incline is intense at points, wouldn't recommend bringing the dog unless it's used to pretty steep hikes with some points off trail

hiking
8 months ago

Ascent is a little rough but worth the views. Bring lots of water. Amazing scenery all around. Swim at Granite Lake on your way down!

hiking
8 months ago

If there was a category for Moderate/Hard, I think the ascent on this hike would fit in that category. Great views throughout. Was surprised to have a cell signal at the top.

backpacking
9 months ago

Quick high incline hike to granite lake. Set up camp and did a day hike to Maggie's Peak and Azul Lake. We were there 2 weeks ago and there was still some snow on the way to Maggie's Peak from Granite Lake but you can navigate around it. Really nice flat camping spots on the west side of the lake.

hiking
9 months ago

Phenomenal views! A work out to get all the way. Still a little snow in places at the top.

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