Explore the most popular forest trails near Tahoma with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Outstanding hike. Moderate at times but overall a very doable hike. Multiple shady spots to relax and take a break on the longer uphills. Suggest hiking up the falls a bit as there are a lot of places to relax in the cool water and shade of trees but also going down to the edge of the falls for the great photo opportunity. Trail head on the return is poorly marked but it's not too difficult to find your way.

Beautiful hike! First gain is a challenge but the view at the top is well worth it. Stopped there for lunch then ventured on toward the Dick’s Lake and Fontanillis Lake round about and up to middle Velma. Set up camp and ate dinner at dusk. Photographs because my credit card background. Mosquitoes were a nightmare (4th of July weekend) and the trails were a bit more congested on the descent with lots of day hikers.

7 days ago

Challenging hike even for the seasoned hikers. Definitely worthy of effort for the beautiful lake view at start, during and on top! Recommend poles for balance and safety coming down.

As others have said, this is a steep one! I wasn’t able too see much because of the smoke, but I imagine it’s a beautiful eyeful on a clear day. I actually thought the trail was quite easy to navigate most of the way up. By the time the trail begins to get vague you can see the summit block in front of you so just follow the path of least resistance. Word of warning, there are cairns EVERYWHERE, plenty of them leading you off trail, so have your wits about you and don’t blindly follow every one you see.

9 days ago

I had been wanting to hike down to the castle for some time now but I chose the wrong day. I arrived at 9am and it was so heavily trafficked with all the end-of-summer vacationers that it took me almost an hour just to find parking.

Besides that reservation, it is a short but sweet trail descending down to the beach with stunning, scenic views. There was a bit of incline coming back up but nothing too challenging. I would definitely do it again on a less busy day.

10 days ago

A beautiful hike! The day was perfect with blue skies and could see for miles. The view of Cascade Lake was breathtaking. The falls were still a great site to see despite from what we read that the water fall is much greater during the spring/early summer. Bring water and a snack/lunch to enjoy around the falls.

10 days ago

Beautiful, but there's a 600+ lb California Brown bear that's way to comfortable with people and knows how to bring down a properly hung bear bag.

very nice trail.....if this fatboy Texan can do it......so can you !

14 days ago

Beautiful views of Cascade Lake and nice stone steps.

Park down by the campground to avoid walking on the road... great views. Bring your suit for little beach swim.

Excellent trail with lots of varied scenery ending at a great little uncrowded beach

Awesome views of the lake. Beautiful forest scenery. Mostly down hill one way. Nice treasure at the end Vikingholm was breathtaking. would definitely recommend.

Great little trail for the whole family. During the summer months the parking can be quite scary, most of this is due to Emerald Bay overlook on the other side of the freeway. Saw a handful of parents with kids in backpacks.

18 days ago

The hike was steep and therefore difficult. We went up to the top of the Rubicon. There were only very few people doing the hike. The hike path is marked with stones. And we went up to the peak. It’s a bit dangerous and getting there isn’t really marked because I guess it’s not a part of the hike. But we made it up there and enjoyed the view. It took us 6hrs up and down but we made a lot of stops. And the stops weren’t short.

20 days ago

Steep all the way up making it a perfect training trail. As good as it gets!

24 days ago

Beautiful hike with great views of Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe beyond. Trailhead parking area was full but no problem finding parking along street outside of the campground and only a short walk back to the trailhead. Would rate this as moderate for anyone with older joints due to the rocky trail. Trekking poles are a great help. This was a crowded trail - mentioned in local tourist news papers- so not one if you enjoy solitude along with your hike.

Beautiful views! Lots of traffic; even during the middle of the week. Pretty rocky in a few spots. Wear good shoes and pack plenty of water.

27 days ago

Leave early in the a.m. for a better chance of parking, What a great easy hike, rocky in the beginning with mild elevation change. The falls are a good place to dip your toes and eat your lunch. Great views.
We did Eagle Falls first then headed to Cascade.

on Cascade Falls Trail

28 days ago

Much of trail is rocky so need to be agile

Great hike. We were headed to campers flat for an over night. We did encounter a mountain lion in the rock field before the creek prior to Middle Velma. We did see a ranger the next day on the way out and he confirmed that there was one in the area. It was a great weekend and recommend this to anyone. Bring water and/or water filter. If your in good condition this is a fun hike if not you may have a time of it. Remember - enjoy the journey.

Easy hike. Great for the kids.

It was a great hike. Took my 8 year old and while it was shorter, the hills made it a great workout. She made it just fine! Beautiful view, go early to avoid crowds.

Did this as a day hike with a stutdy 9 year old and a daypack from Eagle Falls starting at 8am in mid July. Steady climb for about 2 miles with great landscapes. As you descend towards the Velma lakes the trail crosses a stream, which I could imagine being easy to miss or inaccessible with higher flows. The trail gets within 200-300 yds of Middle Velma, you have to scramble through boulders to get to the shore which isnt too tough. Tried to fly fish the lake in a few spots but saw nothing. Heard the park service is clearing fish from these lakes to restore Yellow Legged Frogs, fwiw. Bring insect repellant. Passed many backpackers who had overnighted at Dicks, Fontanellis and elsewhere.

1 month ago

Easy, lovely trail. Views of the lake and once you reach the falls you can get right up to them. Plenty of space to hang out by the falls and enjoy the views or even picnic.

Last weekend (7/7-7/8) backpacked from the Bayview Trailhead to Middle Velma for the night. Great hike! Definitely a steep incline going up, but beautiful views and flowers along the way. Be sure to stop at the lookout halfway up the initial incline for a stunning view of Emerald Bay. We took a detour to Dick’s Lake (not on this map), then continued on to Middle Velma to camp. Once we got to Middle Velma, we had a beautiful view, great swimming, and a warm evening. Bugs didn’t come out until sunset. Beautiful hike back down— recommend poles. Definitely a great weekend trip!

This trail is excellent.. We are not expert hikers neither do we hike often but it very doable. It starts off with a climb up so don’t take off at great speed pace yourself.. My husband has a bad knee but was able to do the whole hike., he did wear a strap. The views are wonderful. It was a Friday morning we started off at 10.30am got to Emerald bay for lunch walked up to Eagle Falls just behind the beach and we returned back to DLBliss at 5.30 pm after a short stop to dip our feet in the lake. I would highly recommend this hike....it is arduous and probably longer than I anticipated when we set out but so worth it. A great day.

1 month ago

This trail is really easy for an active person. The terrain is flat and easy to walk on and the trail is very obviously marked. There are restrooms available as well which is nice. Love the water at the bottom and the short walk up to eagle falls!

This is definitely doable in regular running shoes and great for kids. I did this with my son when he was 3 years old and again 5 years later.

1 month ago

This has to be be one of the most challenging hikes I’ve completed in some time. We stopped at the Forrest Service station nearby and got good directions to the trailhead from “Big Mike”. The Forrest staff are the best!
The couple spots that weren’t going straight up gave excellent vistas of Lake Tahoe and the Rim. At the top to the west were a number of mountain lakes in the valley below. It was hot going up but the peak rewarded us with cool breeze off Lake Tahoe.

Lovely early summer hike up a rocky steppe and along a rushing mountain stream, capped by a beautiful waterfall.

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