Shirley Canyon Cascades Trail

HARD 243 reviews
#4 of 114 trails in

Shirley Canyon Cascades Trail is a 4.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Olympic Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1433 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

trail running

forest

lake

views

waterfall

rocky

scramble

hiking
8 hours ago

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
1 day ago

The wettest winter in years left the waterfalls gushing and the wildflowers in full bloom in mid-August for a perfect day. This assumes you are in shape for the final uphill grind from beautiful Shirley Lakes. Watch for the pink/blue spray paint on rocks to stay on the best track, though it's pretty hard to get very far off trail with the stream on one side and the cliffs on the other. We planned lunch at High Camp. After 30 minutes seated in the crowded restaurant, we noticed NO ONE had either food or beverages, and assumed the restaurant was on hold for the day. The free ride down could be a thrill for those not used to such dramatic (vertigo) views.

1 day ago

Beautiful trail with lots of variety in terrain. Hard to follow trail at some points. Just stay close to the creek.

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike. Not too long but some good elevation. Water flows were spectacular. All along the trail are spray paint lines indicating direction which was helpful in a few wide open spots.

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

7 days ago

Wow! Hard , but nice internal sierra views of close in forest and distant peaks. Lots of elevation gain 2,100+ . The best part of the trail is the first half with nice views of streams and waterfalls and granite slabs and boulders. Up to Shirley lake is for me where the trail gets harder and less scenic for a bit as you travel some of squaws ski runs and steep man made switchbacks to get you to the top. The reward for the last bit of difficulty is a free tram ride down courtesy of Squaw that descends into squaw village. The high mountain camp is beautiful as you wait for the tram lots of wild alpine flowers. There is a pool and hot top at the top too and you can call Squaw for hours and access I believe it closes at 4pm. The last tram ride down the mountain in August 2017 was 5pm. Otherwise it's a long walk back to the trail head.

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

A very beautiful and strenuous hike. I recommend getting there early to find parking near the trailhead, because the trail can get crowded. It can be easy to get off trail, so download the map and enable GPS if possible (stay close to the water if you wing it). Once you get the lake, you have the option to keep going up to get to high camp and take the tram down - the stretch from the lake to high camp is challenging.

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

Great little hike. The bouldering definitely isn't easy so I wouldn't recommend I experienced or young hikers, although my 10 year old had no problems. (However, he's been hiking since he was 3). Beautiful scenery and my puggle made it too.

10 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

Challenging with 5 year old boy. 9 year old boy and a dog.