Granite Lake & Maggie's Peaks

MODERATE 282 reviews

Granite Lake & Maggie's Peaks is a 3.6 mile heavily 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, trail running, and rock climbing 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: 1,761 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

rock climbing

trail running

lake

views

rocky

scramble

snow

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 hours ago

I did this Granite Lake trail (sans Maggie’s Peak) yesterday in 80 degree weather with 6 other people, including a 12, 9, and 2 year old. I’d rate this hike as a moderate to difficult hike and we only made it to Granite Lake. Strava reported it as 1.8 miles and 900 feet of climb to get to Granite Lake. It was pretty much a climb 90% of the time. Lots of shade on the hike but also great sunny views of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe along the way. We had to carry the 2 year old on several spots that looked precarious but she had a great time walking on her own two feet for a lot of the time. The kids and I loved getting into Granite Lake, which wasn’t that cold. and checking out all the minnows swimming around. Seeing as it took us 2 hours to get to Granite Lake, we decided not to go all the way up to Maggie’s Peak, which fellow hikers were claiming would take another hour to get up to. It looked like it would’ve been to steep for the kids. Hiking down from Granite Lake took us about 35 minutes. Overall loved it.

hiking
6 days ago

Great hike! Did it with our puppy and three boys 10, 5, and 3. My husband carried our three year old but my 5 year old did great. It's steep but worth it. We cruised it and took it all in. Definitely worth the views!

Beautiful views begin at around 1.5 miles up. Highly recommend it. Make sure you bring lots of water/fluids and snacks for energy. Trail is rated moderate but I would consider it strenuous. We completed it at about 3 hours and 45 minutes. Highlight of the trail: hail at the top!

hiking
9 days ago

Besides Tallac, best hike in South Tahoe! (Easier, too!) Fantastic views at multiple points on the trail. It’s also where we got engaged, and 3 years later, announced we were pregnant - so it holds an extra special place in my heart ❤️

Besides Tallac, best hike in South Tahoe! It’s also where we got engaged, and 3 years later, announced that we were pregnant - so it has an extra special place in my heart ❤️

hiking
bugs
muddy
13 days ago

This is a good trail if you have extra free time. It isn’t very hard, and has great views. It is good for dogs and is kid friendly. It is a good hike except that there are a lot of people around, it is sometimes muddy, and there are mosquitos.

hiking
off trail
snow
13 days ago

Loved the views!

hiking
15 days ago

Great morning hike, about 5 miles all in with plenty of shade and breeze. Great views of Emerald Bay and multiple alpine lakes.

hiking
16 days ago

I would highly recommend this trail to anyone! We just did this yesterday with two dogs and it was challenging but the views are more than rewarding and breathtaking. The three of us are in pretty decent shape, but this trail climbs fast! The entire trail is beautiful with plenty of things to see, and even views along the way. Granite lake is a great break spot for the dogs, lunch, or just a breather. The total distance to the peaks is actually 5.07 miles, out and back. I believe the app is counting if you only go to Granite Lake and back. Have fun!!!

hiking
21 days ago

just went up to granite lake for a nice day hike on Saturday. the lake was very peaceful and refreshing. great hike.

hiking
bugs
22 days ago

Did this today (Sunday, July 28, 2019) with our dog so it took a little longer than expected, but it's great. Easy trail to follow until you look for the way up to the peak from the saddle, which is said to have no real trail up. On the way down though we found a very worn trail that we totally missed so it was easy going down! Views from the top are amazing with plenty of rocks to sit on, and the little lake is nice for a dip if you're hot. We got here at about 7:30am and weren't sure if we could park by the trailhead since it was a campsite, so we parked across the street with plenty of parking. When we got to the trailhead it looked like we could park back there, but it was already pretty full, with maybe 3 spaces left! When we got back down before noon, the place was a madhouse. Across the street it was even worse. When we started in the morning we had a few people on the trail with us, but by the end it was getting crowded. Get there early.

Loved this trail! It is steep and not a lot of shade. Swimming in Granite Lake on the way down was a great way to cool off! Get there EARLY. Parking is a mad house.

hiking
27 days ago

Hiked the south peak this morning at 8. Trail was totally clear with a small snowbank off trail. The pups enjoyed a flowing creek and some water time at Granite Lake. Took 3 hours r/t.

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
snow
1 month ago

I hiked to Maggie’s Peak South Summit -8,699ft 7/9/19. I started the trail at the Bayview Trailhead at 10:30 am. After filling out my day permit for Desolation Wilderness I headed up to the right on the trail towards Granite Lake. A bit beyond the official Desolation Wilderness sign is a wonderful opportunity to look down upon Emerald Bay! Continuing on to Granite Lake, the climb is steep, with well groomed switchbacks. I stopped at Granite Lake for lunch, then headed up to the summit. Before reaching the Maggie’s Peak Summit spur I encountered 4 very large snow banks that had to be crossed. Slushy and slippery-take caution (trekking poles helped)! At the base of the peak, open forest and boulders covered with more snow, with no distinguishing trail, must be navigated around to Summit. Once you do, the 360* view is ... amazing! Big beautiful butterflies! Everywhere ! Up on the Summit! Magical! 6.5 miles, 3:45 hrs. Enjoy!

hiking
off trail
1 month ago

The trailhead starts in the back of the bayview campsite. There is a small parking lot at the back of the campsite and a little street parking. Was not that long of a hike, the two things that will take your breath away are the views and quick elevation gain. The lower peak does not have a trail leading up, but the view is amazing and easy to find. Took 3 hours round trip including a 20 minute break at the top.

hiking
rocky
snow
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
snow
1 month ago

Great moderately trafficked trail. There was some snow at the top but nothing to worry over (June). To get to the top you should be prepared to climb some rocks to see the incredible views. It took me ~3 hours with a half hour stop on the top. Definitely doing it again.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail turns into snow about .5 miles from the top. We pushed through to the top for some amazing views. This is a must do trail if you are in South Lake Tahoe.

hiking
1 month ago

Snow still covering some of the trail which made it challenging to summit the peak. Use the AllTrails GPS to help guide you since we got lost a few times going off trail which made it more difficult. We were in trainers and didn’t have trekking poles so proper equipment would have made it easier, too. But the views at the top is worth the effort.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Amazing views and well worth the hike.

hiking
bugs
scramble
snow
2 months ago

very busy hike but awesome lake and view from the top. parking was insane too but hike was very enjoyable, well worth it even if I prefer much less people

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