Shirley Canyon Cascades Trail

HARD 798 reviews
#2 of 195 trails in

Shirley Canyon Cascades Trail is a 3 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Olympic Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 3.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,925 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

waterfall

rocky

scramble

snow

The tram is open weekends only through Sept. 29 from 10am-5pm. The last upload is at 5pm. The last download is at 5:30pm.

hiking
19 hours ago

This is a great hike. Very beautiful landscape. It is a bit treacherous with a steep mountain climb and descent. Very scenic. From the mountain you can see squaw valley. It takes several hours so come early-also the sun sets early because of the position of the mountain. It is doable. My 5 year old did it with us, but you must bring snacks, plenty of water, etc.

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
11 days ago

A VERY challenging hike due to the altitude and some scrambling on the rocks. Lost the trail at a fork and ended up in the brush before turning around and looking for the Blue markers on the rocks. All along the trail keep an eye out for boulders and rocks with a spray painted BLUE line indicating which way to go and that you're on the correct path. A line curved to the left means to go LEFT. Curved to the right means go RIGHT and a straight line means keep STRAIGHT and a fork means you can go either way, but that's where I lost the trail so just follow it left . The lines can be hard to decipher and took me a while to figure them out. There are also trail markers on the trees trunks in Yellow and Green so keep an eye for those also. Small Waterfall at 0.3 miles into the hike. A lot of ice build up along the river/ creek. Rocks can be slippery due to smoothness, watch your footing. Lots of mosquitoes in the late afternoon and in shaded areas it was freezing. Turned back at the RED indicator sign at 700 ft since it was later in the day and did not want to hike down in the dark and cold. If you meet any of the stipulations on that RED SIGN, please turn back as the asend from there is 1300 ft elevation. Stopped a lot to catch my breath was soaked through in sweat but it was a great workout. Go with a buddy to be safe.

hiking
rocky
scramble
23 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

I would recommend this trail if you’re looking for a challenge and like rockier terrain. The last 1.5+ miles are a 1300 foot climb. Personally the descent was tougher than the climb up. Recommend a pole, plenty of water and snacks.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

great hike, not easy .

hiking
1 month ago

Spartan race!!!!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Lots of elevation. Bottom follows river, beautiful water falls and spots to boulder. Top has bouldering on granite rewarded by Solitude Lake.

hiking
2 months ago

Rewarding challenge. Big altitude change to the top of this ski mountain. Wait a day or two from arrival in tahoe to do this hike. Met friends at the top who took the tram up. Awe-inspiring views. Some scrambling. Before the harder territory you are warned by a posted sign to consider going forward. Near the summit a section is paved but steep and less enchanting. Overall terrific hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Pleasant off-season challenge. Hardly anyone else on the trail for this mid-week hike. I had intended to hike up, and take the tram down, but after Labor Day the tram is running only on the weekends, so I had to hike back down. Lost the trail on on the way down in the large granite area midway, but found my way back using "All Trails" app GPS map. Some blisters from the hike down, but worth it for a good workout on a lovely day on a great trail with beautiful views. I plan to go back next year when the tram is running so that I can have a drink and take a dip in the hot-tub that all the other reviewers mentioned!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
scramble
2 months ago

Beautiful tough trail. Our group had 50 year old, a 60 year old, and a 70 year old. The gondola was not running so we stopped at the warning sign and turned around

hiking
scramble
2 months ago

A fabulous and challenging 3 miles! I’ve hiked this trail many times, and finally brought a hiking pole today. What an improvement! The wild flowers at Shirley Lake and up to high camp were gorgeous.

hiking
2 months ago

I hike regularly, but this was definitely a challenge! Don’t let that stop you, though, as it was beautiful, with a great reward at the end-a High Camp experience without the $49 gondola price tag ;)

hiking
2 months ago

wow. fun and tough trail w lots of sun. have enough water and wide brim hat. the tram ride back was cool way to end. one of the hardest 3 miles ive done. no joke.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked in early September. Challenging but beginners can do it if you pace yourself and have moderate lower body strength. Bring at least a Nalgene per person. We hiked in tennis shoes and got away with it but bring hiking shoes for a safer climb. At the top we hit up the Granite Bistro and pool area.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Loved this trail! Shady areas, beautiful views, waterfalls, lake swimming and wildflowers. We went with family and our 3 girls ages 7, 10 and 12. Challenging hike but well worth it. Bring money for snacks and drinks at High Camp.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Awesome hike lots of rock scrambles. Still some waterfalls. We hiked all the way up to high camp. Took us about 2 hours. The trail is very exposed lots of sun. We had a nice lunch and swam $10pp at high camp. Riding the gondola down is awesome.

hiking
2 months ago

A stunning, but challenging half day hike. The first mile or so follows a creek uphill past several small pools (great for people and dogs to cool off) with shady wooded areas. This part alone is well worth following. Eventually you reach a warning sign that informs you you've gained 700 feet of elevation and still have 1400 feet to go. Definitely don't go beyond here if you don't have ample water. We passed a family in converse with no water who looked miserable and dehydrated. The next section involves clambering / hiking over exposed granite rock for about a mile, while gaining elevation quickly. We saw people of all ages hiking it, so it's definitely possible for anyone with reasonably good fitness, but it's a good workout! From the top of the granite outcrops to the lake is less demanding. The lake makes a great lunch spot and many of the dogs we saw had a cool off in the lake. From here it's a shortish, but fairly challenging hike to High Camp. Well worth doing this last stretch, rather than walking back down. The views of the mountains and Lake Tahoe are stunning, AND there's a restaurant/bar and a pool/hot tub. Best of all, there's a free cable car tram back down to Squaw Valley. Highly recommended, but wear hiking boots and bring snacks and a ton of water!

hiking
off trail
2 months ago

Too long

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Great trail. Definitely had some rocky spots. The trail was hard to find sometimes due to walking across some granite faces, but just stopping to look around fixed that no problem. Good incline and a great workout. Would not recommend taking dogs due to the terrain. Would totally go again.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike and great weather today, light wind and no clouds. Hiked with the OVI group. Maybe sharing some photos, sometime. A M A Z I N G . . . ! ! !

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

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