Explore the most popular lake 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.

hiking
19 hours ago

10/10.. amazing views from Maggie’s peak saddle and maggie’s peak.. Hiked 5/19/18 and the snow starts just past Granite lake. We went all the way to the top, got some snow in our boots but nothing we couldn’t get out and the view was more than worth it. The view of desolation wilderness from Maggie’s peak saddle spot was amazing as was the view from the very top.

hiking
1 day ago

Very pretty - very easy for a first hike. We did it when I had a fever and cold so didn't explore much but it was manageable. Parking is fairly limited. Go early.

Wonderful hike! Parking is limited

Nice easy trail to walk on. The incline is steep coming back up but the path is smooth.

The hike back is a workout if you don’t hike a lot. However the views were worth it! Road construction by the entrance with a one lane road so be careful.

Great trail, but beware as there is a lot of rock climbing along the edge of the mountain. Be extra careful if it is raining and definitely wear boots! If you make it to the end, you can try and climb higher for better views!

7 days ago

The super rocky path kept two kids, even one who complains on all hikes, engaged and happy. Parking difficult with the campground closed for season and road construction. Come early. Awesome view. Wear appropriate footwear and layers. We'll be back.

hiking
10 days ago

Vikingsholm is a joy to descend. The level of enjoyment of the ascension is dependent on how much cardio you do. In all seriousness this trail contains some spectacular views and the house at the bottom is truly unique. As with other trails in the area parking is a premium so arrive early or expect to drive around waiting for a spot.

Did this hike 5-3-18 hardly anyone there. I did get there early around 9:30 am plenty of parking. I parked a bit up the road to avoid the 10 dollar fee. This hike was not as hard as it was stated or sounding. Granted I do hike some what frequently the incline was not really that bad at all. Made it back up pretty quick and there are plenty of places to rest should you need it. When you get to the bottom you can access the water which is nice. Never saw the house or whatever I was on a time constraint and wanted to enjoy the water and views. Great little hike early enough in the season I was basically alone the whole time. More people and the parking lot was pretty full by noon.

Pretty good trail challenging but the waterfall was great. April 25, 2018

Beautiful hike. A little manageable snowpack low down. We were heading for the lakes and hit soft snowpack about .75 miles before the lake. Post-holing up to the knees. Had to turn around because it was too much work. Take snowshoes or wait another couple weeks if you want to reach the lakes!

hiking
26 days ago

Fantastic and unique landmark!!! Loved seeing the architecture and beach views and the island!! Also had immediate access to Eagle falls and the Rubicon trail!!!

Beautiful hike. We went during the week, and the trails were nearly clear. Mild to moderate intensity, but amazing views. Saw a lot of wildlife Just past Emerald Bay. We plan on coming back to hike the rest of the lake.

Nice easy hike, as with all hikes in this area it can get busy on weekends and during the summer. Don’t be surprised to see people hiking in flip flops. You do walk over large boulders so finding the trail in this section can be a little tricky, especially if there’s snow on the ground. Beautiful view of Cascade Lake and side view of Cascade Falls.

Beautiful backpacking shuttle trip starting in Meeks Bay and continued from Crag Lake to the Velma Lakes and out the Bayview Trail to Emerald Bay.

hiking
1 month ago

Bayview Campground closed for season, reopening in late May. Parking available at Inspiration Point and just off Highway 89. Walk through Bayview Campground adds 0.3 miles to the route; it's blanketed in packed snow as of 4/9.

Having seen Cascade Lake dotted with surrounding snow from Highway 89, I wanted to photograph it from the west (rather than north or northeast). I hadn't yet done a sunset hike in Tahoe and, even though the trail's orientation is geared towards a sunrise, Cascade Falls seemed like an inviting trek. Its short distance and negligible elevation allowed me to get on the trail less than an hour before sunset.

The first portion of the trail goes through Bayview Campground, at least during the winter. Even with the recent warm rainfall and prevalent sunlight, an icy blanket of snow covers the campground, aided by the wooded surroundings. This should mostly melt by May. I saw cross-country skiers in the campground, a concerning premonition as I expected the trail to be mostly snow-free. The path winds its way through a covered forest, easily discernible as footprints are firmly indented in the snow.

The first half of the hike is uneventful without views. However, the trail presently narrows and the landscape opens, ascending sharply up a snow-covered rock. This provides the first view of Cascade Lake. The trail narrows further along the rock face, protruding rocks and steps aiding icy footing until the trail becomes relatively exposed. As of 4/9, there's little snow remaining on the latter section of the trail; the snow/ice that remains is easily passable with hiking boots.

As the trail approaches the falls, it gradually disappears into the rocky landscape. You're free to find a route to an optimal viewpoint. There's no single "best" outlook- there are multiple, some of which offer a view of Cascade Lake primarily, others which allow you to view the falls from a side, and one or two that provide both. In the summertime, trailblazing to Snow Lake seems like an inviting full-day endeavor.

This trail provides arguably the best view-to-effort ratio of any trail in Tahoe. There are two main attractions: a Cascade Lake view just off the trail at 0.6 miles, and Cascade Falls itself. Especially during the waking or waning hours of the day, Cascade Lake is unbelievably vivid and the roaring falls somehow serene. A less crowded alternative to Eagle Lake, the Cascade Falls Trail is a wonderful opportunity to spend a 30-60 minute slot.

Keep in mind that, even though this is called "Cascade Falls Trail," there's never a head-on view of the falls as with Glen Alpine, Eagle, or Horsetail Falls. That aside, it's a great winter/spring trek with unrivaled views of Cascade Lake with the calming atmosphere a roaring waterfall provides.

walking
1 month ago

Great weather when we visited, great views of emerald lake
Going back up is steep

hiking
2 months ago

beautiful views, got a little warm in February! Love the calming sound of the falls.

Amazing views once you get to Rubicon and head towards Emerald Bay. Bit slippery in parts with the snow so make sure to wear appropriate shoes.

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.

It was a great hike today not much snow!

Great trip,
Limited parking, a must see castle! Thanks

I was huffing and puffing on my way back up (I blame it on the altitude) but it was worth the views!! Lots of kids, being carried, and plenty of dogs.

Spectacular view with fresh water coming right out of the mountain

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful views of Emerald Bay! My husband and I were able to complete it with our 2.5 year old in his pack and our 2 month old in my front carrier. It was a little tougher on the way up because it’s pretty steep, but definitely doable. You can continue on the trail down to emerald bay and see Vikingsholm castle. We brought lunch and ate at one of the picnic tables. Vikingsholm is only open to tour in the summer, but it’s still beautiful to see.

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.

Great lil hike, brought my 8 year old son on his first two nighter backpacking trip and granted some of the uphill realllyy wore on him, I prepared ahead and planned to carry his tiny lil backpack for him for parts of the way. Dogs allowed, but definitely no fires allowed. Was out there for a meteor shower and while I didn’t see anything, it was beautiful at night

Decent trail a lot of ice in December
Would be great in spring

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

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

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