Many of the best hikes are found on the southwest shore, near the city of South Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe Waterfall: Shirley Canyon Falls, Squaw Valley. Lake Tahoe Waterfall: Horsetail Falls, Twin Bridges. The best part of the lower falls is that there is virtually no hike to get there. South Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to go hunting for views-whether it be mountains, lakes or waterfalls, find the best day hikes in the area here! The lower falls are more impressive, plummeting about 60 feet down the step-like rocks. 3. The falls are found on the popular Hawley Grade hiking trail, which was once the Old Meyers Grade over Echo Summit before Highway 50 took over. After parking, follow the signs to the wilderness boundary. Due to snowpack, the trail isn’t user-friendly until late June. (Fee required). Take Hwy 89 north from the Hwy 50 junction for 7.5 miles to the Bayview Campground. If you’re hiking with your dog, note that dogs are allowed (on leash) on each of these trails, except Lower Eagle Falls. In summer, dogs are welcomed on all trails and the cable car. This hike has a lot of elevation change and sun exposure, so it is advised to start early, bring plenty of water/food/sunscreen and know your route. Top this off with a few beautiful nearby waterfalls, Lake Tahoe belongs on everyone's bucket list. As with most Lake Tahoe waterfalls, Fontanillis is best in spring and early summer when the winter runoff is at its strongest. (There are numerous trails which follow the creek up to Shirley Lake; this is one of them.) When the snow melts, you get to explore the mountains by doing one of the many Lake Tahoe hikes. The most challenging hike on this list of waterfalls, true outdoor adventurers could use this nearly 13-mile roundtrip trek to Heath Falls as just a starting point to visit five other Lake Tahoe waterfalls in the area, but consider camping out overnight. Choose to park here and walk the .3-mile to the falls (you may also drive); the main hike is to the right – go left for the falls and the Upper Truckee River. The first route is via the Eagle Falls trailhead. Hiking up, follow the blue trail markers and stay left of the creek. Nope. Simply park and stroll down to the already visible rushing waters. Fortunately, Lake Tahoe is a hiker’s paradise, with plenty of options for athletes of any level. Stepped out along the rocks, the trail will lead you to the top of the Lake Tahoe waterfall with great views of Cascade Lake and, of course, Lake Tahoe! Drive 6.9 miles to an unsigned dirt road on the left (immediately after Lake of the Woods). Lake Tahoe hiking is plentiful in the fall. The trailhead is at the far end of the lot. The Lake Tahoe region is certainly famous for its large body of aquamarine lake, but in spring and summer many impressive Lake Tahoe waterfalls are flowing at their peak. Visitors to Squaw Valley can choose from riding the cable car up to High Camp and hiking down or hoofing up and using the tram for the return. Horsetail Falls are the perfect attraction for visitors from the Bay Area and Sacramento looking to spend a quick day hike on the way to or from Lake Tahoe. Start out early in the morning on this trail at the top of Emerald Bay and hike about a quarter of a mile up to the falls. Getting there: Drive north on Highway 89 8 miles from South Lake Tahoe (or 20 miles south from Tahoe City) to the Bayview Campground. It is near the southwest end of Lake Tahoe and takes hikers down along the beautiful shores of Emerald Bay. Getting there: From South Lake Tahoe, drive south on Highway 89 about 13 miles to Pickett’s Junction (the Highway 88/89 intersect). Click here for the most up-to-date info on local guidelines. Springtime is most impressive for visiting Cascade, which also includes views of Lake Tahoe. As one of the most popular short hikes in the South Tahoe area, Eagle Falls can be crowded on summer weekends. This time of year is prime time for wildflowers and waterfalls as you’ll find here on some of my favorite local trails. tallac is one of the more scenic and challenging hikes in the south tahoe area, offering incredible views. Eagle Falls Trail - South Lake Tahoe. Have you heard of Havasu Falls? Thursday, December 31st 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm. For the Bayview route, refer to Cascade Falls. Location: Heavenly Valley, South Lake Tahoe Hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Like the Tahoe.com Facebook page to stay connected! Turn right and drive 4.3 miles to the Palisade Creek trailhead. In the winter the lake turns into a ski resort town with plenty of skiing, snowboarding, and other snow sports to do. 2. It follows Squaw Creek about 2½ miles each way to Shirley Lake, passing gorgeous waterfalls and canyon boulders. Getting there: Driving west from South Lake Tahoe on Highway 50, the trailhead begins 2 miles east of Strawberry, at the Twin Bridges parking lot. Bliss State Park but transitions to Emerald Bay State Park. Turn right at the fork passing Kidd Lake – it ends at Cascades Lake. Turn left at the Webber Lake sign (Road 07). The trail starts at the Eagle Falls Trailhead Parking Lot right off the highway and gains about 400 feet in elevation as it takes you all the way to the amazing waterfalls. On your way, look to the ridge on the right for other, smaller falls if it is early enough in the season. This Lake Tahoe waterfall's two tiers total a drop of more than 60 feet and are easily reached by a short drive. Getting there: Just past the Squaw parking lot, the trail starts behind the fire station. “ Started at Mt Rose Tahoe Rim Trailhead at the base of the ski resort and hiked the 5 miles to the top of Mt Rose. At 10 miles round-trip, the way is moderate, but hikers should plan all day for this trek. It is only 1.5 miles round trip from the Bayview Campground. This tour is led by Matt Brown of Rubicon Outdoors, a veteran of this region, who loves to show off his favorite hikes in Yosemite and the Lake Tahoe region. Lake Tahoe makes for the perfect weekend escape to get outside and back to nature. There is a fee for parking, and a free wilderness permit is required but available onsite. On the heels of an El Niño 450+ inch season, Lake Tahoe is full to the tip top, which means the roaring that you hear isn’t bears waking up after their winter hibernation. For hikers looking to reach new heights, challenging summit trails offer jaw-dropping panoramic views. Once at the Shirley Lake chairlift, continuing up to High Camp is more strenuous and adds some mileage. The trailhead is located on the right side after some switchback, steep downhill turns. Book Direct and Save Big at Forest Suites Resort. Getting there: From South Lake Tahoe, drive north on Highway 89 for 8.5 miles – parking at the Emerald Bay/Vikingsholm State Park if the smaller Eagle Falls lot is full. By working together we achieve more than by working alone. This is one of the best North Lake Tahoe hikes with waterfalls. This way will take you past Eagle Falls, Eagle Lake then Lower, Middle and Upper Velma Lakes. Shirley Lake. Others, like Mount Tallac, make you work your way across steep trails through miles of deep forest before being rewarded with epic lake views. Each spring the Little Truckee River roars its way over a granite chasm, creating Webber Falls. One of the best hikes in Tahoe is the Skyline Trail, situated within the Heavenly Ski Resort. The falls themselves are massive, cascading nearly 500 feet! One of the most popular, easier hikes in the Tahoe Basin, Eagle Falls consists of an Upper (40 feet) and Lower (170 feet) just across from the Emerald Bay trailhead. It is only 1.5 miles round trip from the Bayview Campground. "beyond Fallen Leaf Lake are a couple great waterfalls - first one is right on the road and second one is a short hike - road can be busy and require some pullouts but worth it" As a bonus for any non-hikers in your group, Glen Alpine is visible from the roadside. It’s the incredible waterfalls on full display. Looking west, Lower Eagle Falls is visible from the parking area. Located in the iconic Desolation Wilderness this doggy-friendly hike starts out with an uphill climb, but it’s worth the effort, spanning views of Lake Tahoe from the top of the hill make the Eagle Lake trail one of the best hikes in Lake Tahoe. Powered by the OneBoat® Community Content Management System. Receive Tahoe South information on lodging deals, events, and more! “ When the weather is nicer, there is an abundance of beautiful wild flowers that accentuate the already gorgeous surroundings with peek-a-boo views of gorgeous Lake Tahoe. While the many picturesque Lake Tahoe waterfalls on the Shirley Canyon trail have no actual names, they are scattered along the entire 4-mile (round-trip) moderate hike. Take Fallen Leaf Road about 5 miles and continue left upon seeing the marina and signs for the falls. Dick’s Lake is also a great side trip from this route. LIVE LOCAL UPDATES! The elevation gain is 3,500 feet, so be prepared for some terrain change from forest and alpine lakes at the bottom to … Take Hwy 89 north from the Hwy 50 junction for about 3 miles. Best Beginner Hike in Lake Tahoe: Eagle Lake Trail. Getting there: Three miles north of the Highway 50/89 intersect in South Lake Tahoe, turn left onto Fallen Leaf Road and drive 4.8 miles out to the marina (right at the T). From the top of this 9.5 mile round trip hike you can see Emerald Bay, Cascade Lake, Fallen Leaf Lake, Desolation Wilderness and the entire South Shore of Lake Tahoe. It has everything: stunning lake vistas, waterfalls, a river, a bridge, a climb, spectacular forest and mountain views, and a gem of a lake at the end of the trail. Both of these Lake Tahoe waterfalls lead into the huge Desolation Wilderness area with Eagle Lake only 1 mile farther in for a perfect family picnic and swim site. The waterfall is about 200 feet and is very impressive. The Eagle Lake Trail is one of the most popular at Lake Tahoe. The trail is an easy 1-mile walk to the top of the falls where you can watch it plunge down into Cascade Lake. Both of these Lake Tahoe waterfalls lead into the huge Desolation Wilderness area with Eagle Lake only 1 mile farther in for a perfect family picnic and swim site. It might be five miles to reach the waterfall with a 150-foot cascade … The second route is a bit more difficult, as you summit South Maggie’s Peak along the way, and is via the Bayview Trailhead. “The Dirt Around Lake Tahoe: Must-Do Scenic Hikes” takes readers on a journey to dozens of trails throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond. From there you will pass Granite Lake before hitting the Maggie’s Peak, which gives a great look out into Desolation Wilderness. Heath’s impressive 45-foot plunge is visible after hiking almost straight down one way, which means up, up, up for the return. One of the best ways to stay active and have a meaningful experience with the whole family is to the hit the trails and head out on one of the best Lake Tahoe hikes. Hikes running along the lake offer beautiful scenery, with little elevation gain and level terrain. The hike is pretty difficult as the trail is not all that clear at times and the rocks can be slippery. The cable car ride is $10. Getting there: Park at the Eagle Falls or Emerald Bay lots (see above) and follow the trail signs past Eagle and Velma Lakes. Continue further and you’ll arrive at the parking lot for Desolation Wilderness and the upper falls. Create or Claim your Page | Submit Your Content. By continuing to use the site, you agree to our cookie policy. Take Hwy 89 north from the Hwy 50 junction for 9 miles to the Emerald Bay/Vikingsholm State Park lot. There is a small pool to bathe in at the top of the trail. Upper Eagle Falls is a short quarter-mile walk continuing up from the Eagle Falls picnic area. Cascade is probably one of the best short hikes you can do in the Emerald Bay area. This Lake Tahoe waterfall is reserved for the more experienced of hikers. Really one of the most noble waterfalls in the region, Horsetail is magnificent in early spring but continues to impress well into summer. Pahatsi Road turns into dirt and becomes Kidd Lakes Road. A simply majestic Lake Tahoe waterfall that drops out of the Desolation Wilderness plunging 200 feet into Cascade Lake, rewarding visitors with some of the best views of Lake Tahoe. It's in Squaw Valley and the trail starts at the end of Squaw Peak Road. This easy, half-mile round-trip hike is one of the most popular in the area and excellent for any level of hiker. There are two different routes to get here, both which are just over 10 miles round trip and link with the Tahoe Rim Trail and PCT before hitting the falls. Please be safe – water can flow fairly rapidly in early spring and summer in Tahoe. Commonly labeled as “The shortest hike with the best views” in Tahoe, Picnic Rock is a great trail for a quick morning or afternoon hike. The waterfall is beautiful, sliding down the rocks 150 feet into Upper Velma Lake with a glimpse of Tahoe from the top. The beauty of Lake Tahoe, straddling the border of California and Nevada, is in it’s mountains, waterfalls, and of course the lake itself. Just south of the Eagle Falls parking area is the Bay View campground, which is the trailhead to the majestic 200-foot Cascade Falls. Getting there: From Truckee, take the Soda Springs exit off I-80, go right for .7 miles to Soda Springs Road then right again and .8 miles to Pahatsi Road. Lake Tahoe Waterfall: Webber Falls, Truckee. (Top of tram to Shirley Lake adds considerable distance.) Located approximately 20 miles outside of South Lake Tahoe, this torrential chute of water gets its namesake from its resemblance to the long, skirting hairs of a horse’s tail. The waterfall is about 200 feet and is very impressive. You will see Fallen Leaf Road on your left. Difficulty: Easy Distance: About 2 miles Time: About 1 hour Route: Out and back Dogs allowed: No Permit: No permits are needed. Find detailed instructions here. Five miles deeper into the wilderness area past Eagle Falls, Fontanillis is a marvelous 150-foot tumble down into Upper Velma Lake. Lower Glen Alpine Falls by Steve Dunleavy via Flickr. photo ops & good vibes! Some hikes, like the Tunnel Creek Trail, offer amazing views of the lake less only a few minutes in. And there is no parking fee at the Bayview lot. Lake Tahoe Waterfall: Glen Alpine Falls, Fallen Leaf Lake. Camp Lifestyle, Featured Posts, Hiking, Truckee & Tahoe Activities As a Truckee resident for more than 20 years, I’ve laced up the boots, grabbed the camera and covered a lot of ground. Keep an eye out as you can easily see the falls from the highway. Photo by Mike Frye, from above Upper Eagle Falls. Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places to visit in the United States no matter what time of year it is. The Tahoe.com Lake Report is brought to you by: The Lodge Restaurant & Pub • Truckee Because this trail does have a vertical climb to it, it’s not well suited for younger children. A half-mile north from Camp Richardson, the rickety road to Fallen Leaf Lake and the falls is its own adventure (but beautiful), so take your time and use the many turn-outs. Rubicon Trail. (Fee required), A slightly more difficult hike than the upper falls, but a much bigger reward! Take Hwy 89 north from the Hwy 50 junction for 8.5 miles to the Eagle Falls Picnic area. The trailhead is past the entrance kiosk on the left just past the campground. One of the most popular, easier hikes in the Tahoe Basin, Eagle Falls consists of an Upper (40 feet) and Lower (170 feet) just across from the Emerald Bay trailhead. Getting there: From Truckee, take Highway 89 north for 15 miles. Horsetail Falls (top cascade) by Steve Dunleavy via Flickr, Horsetail is a bit out of the way, but a great half day trip from Tahoe. Best in spring, this is an easy hike, which can make the trail a busy place so bring a leash if you have Fido along. With a distance of only 1 mile, it’s a very strenuous climb, taking about an hour and requiring some scrambling. The trail heads up the backside of Mt. It is a two hour drive from Sacramento and about 45 minutes from Reno. Check out the Vikingsholm Castle while down there, too. This road also becomes the trailhead to Lily Lake, which is a scenic mile-long stroll alongside Glen Alpine Creek. The falls themselves are only about 25 feet, however, rewarding nonetheless. learn more. This short (20-foot) drop from the Truckee River is lovely in spring but fades quickly as the runoff dwindles in summer. Head right at the start as the left takes you to Cascade Falls. The water is so clear that you can even see between 70 and 100 feet down! Squaw Valley is a main hub for excellent Lake Tahoe hikes in the summer, especially if you enjoy waterfalls. After parking, it’s possible to hike down the steep cliffs to view the falls from their side, but use caution. In total, the hike from the trailhead to the lake is a little over two miles. Lake Tahoe is the largest Alpine Lake in the United States and the second deepest lake. The region abounds with unique natural wonders and breathtaking landscapes to explore. Keep heading west past the marina and turn left at Road 1216. For the Eagle Falls route, refer to Upper Eagle Falls. If you really want to do it right, take food with you and enjoy a picnic lunch with stellar views of Lake Tahoe’s north shore. Subscribe to our newsletter. A Desolation Wilderness day pass is required and can be found at the trailhead. There is a $6 fee to park, and you’ll follow the signs for the signs for the Burnside Lake hike, turning left at each junction. These Lake Tahoe hikes range from very easy to very strenuous so a bit of background work will required by our readers to understand which hike(s) will be best suited for them. As with any visit to the Desolation Wilderness, a (free) permit is required but available at the Cascade trailhead kiosk. Fontanillis Lake Falls. From easy to expert, we have the best hikes in Lake Tahoe. Continue straight past the firehouse and parking for the lower falls is along the right side of the road. The water here cascades down about 150 feet and is really impressive. Visit the famously blue waters of Lake Tahoe, hike below Half Dome and El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, and enjoy peaceful nights in Tuolumne Meadows, the scenic Yosemite “High Country”. Here are our top recommendations for Lake Tahoe waterfalls: Cascade Falls by Ray Bouknight via Flickr. Parking is in the back past the campsites. Lake Tahoe Waterfall: Fontanillis Falls, Desolation Wilderness. One of the best ways to experience those natural wonders is to lace up your shoes and go for a hike. Top hikes for waterfall viewing in Lake Tahoe April 16, 2016. One of the most gorgeous South Lake Tahoe hikes, Eagle Falls sits right above Eagle Lake. Continuing on brings you down the saddle of the peak towards Lower and Upper Velma Lakes before arriving at the falls. Here are the 9 best Lake Tahoe Hikes: 1. Getting there: From the junction of highways 50/89 in Meyers, drive west on Highway 50 a short distance, turning left onto South Upper Truckee Road. We use cookies to help us improve, promote, and protect our services. With lots of snow still in the mountains, the waterfalls around Lake Tahoe will be flowing strong this summer! This is one of the most popular hikes in Arizona but there are other hikes in the Grand Canyon State to waterfalls. In spring, the force of the two falls makes swimming in the middle pool impossible, but summer visitors to Lake Tahoe will find the river and pond much tamer. There is a moderate 1-mile hike down to the bottom of the lower falls from the trailhead. We’ve rounded up some of the best hikes in Lake Tahoe for you to choose from. de Lake hike, turning left at each junction. Located at the end of Squaw Valley Road is the Shirley Canyon hike that brings you eventually up to Shirley Lake and then to the High Camp of Squaw Valley (make it a full loop by taking the tram down). Keeping the creek to your right and the falls straight ahead will lead you up just fine. These are favorites with families. North Lake Tahoe Hiking Trails The hikes in North Tahoe reveal a gorgeous landscape of hidden waterfalls, wildflower meadows and granite slopes that will delight any nature lover or hiker. After a short distance turn left at the junction then immediately right into the dirt parking lot. Park here and find the Palisades Creek trailhead. |. The upper falls is a one mile, round trip hike where the falls drop about 30 feet. From Tahoe South take Highway 50 west about seven miles from Echo Summit and park in the well-developed parking area near Twin Bridges and the Pyramid Creek Trail. Deli sandwiches and mosquito spray ought to top the supply list before leaving town. Grouped mainly on the western side of the Tahoe basin, here are several Lake Tahoe waterfalls to top your Must-See list. (Fee required). Take Hwy 50 West from South Lake Tahoe towards Twin Bridges. Visible from Highway 50, the falls rumble 500 feet down and are aptly named. All rights reserved. The trail up to Eagle Lake gives you two rewards – Upper Eagle Falls, and a new view of Emerald Bay. Arizona has some amazing landscapes but I think one of the highlights are the hikes in Arizona with waterfalls. There you’ll need to fill out a permit to continue up to the waterfall since Horsetail once again heads into the Desolation Wilderness. This is one of the most popular in the area, so parking will be difficult. Enjoy the huge selection of hiking opportunities at Lake Tahoe and have a great time…just follow common sense and your will have a great experience. Rubicon Trail is a 16.5 mile out and back trail that starts in D.L. A little history on Lake Tahoe – Lake Tahoe straddles the border of California and Nevada. Turn left and follow the signs to Markleeville, turn right on Hot Springs Road and drive 3.5 miles to Grover Hot Springs State Park. Like the Tahoe.com Facebook page to stay connected! They’ll need to be collected from either Lake Tahoe basin management unit, Lake Tahoe visitor’s centre or pacific ranger district. "Stunning drive to get there and the falls easily accessible from the car but for the best bit take a walk up Glen Alpine Trail and see a lot more falls and some truely stunning scenery!" Parking: Park in the City of South Lake Tahoe parking garage for $25 (daily maximum). A moderate, 2.1 mile round trip hike will bring you down to the water level of Emerald Bay on a well-maintained trail. Lake Tahoe Waterfall: Eagle Falls, Desolation Wilderness. The return hike can be difficult so be careful, as it is a steep climb back up the path. This hike is also well known for viewing spring wildflowers. Sometimes referred to as Fallen Leaf Falls or Big Falls, by any name this cascade is worth the drive. Plunging from the Glen Alpine Valley, the 75-foot Lake Tahoe waterfall to the right is hard to miss; it’s okay to park on the roadside and walk down to play in the various pools. This is one of my all-time favorites any time of year. Another dog-friendly hike to a picturesque waterfall, Hot Springs Creek falls is a 50-foot drop viewed after a 1.7-mile hike. Stepped out along the rocks, the trail will lead you to the top of the Lake Tahoe waterfall with great views of Cascade Lake and, of course, Lake Tahoe! embark on an epic adventure into desolation wilderness through waterfalls and small lakes. If you’ve brought bikes, this is a quiet 3.7-mile ride through a residential area, or drive until you reach the right turn for the Hawley Grade Recreational Trail. Cascade is probably one of the best short hikes you can do in the Emerald Bay area. Not only is Lake Tahoe one of the oldest and deepest lakes in the world, but it's also one of the most beautiful. “The Dirt Around Lake Tahoe: Must-Do Scenic Hikes” takes readers on a journey to dozens of trails throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond. It is about 3 miles round trip but can take some time. This is a great destination that is a little off the beaten path. Tallac and into Desolation Wilderness, but hang left once you see the falls and the trail will take you up to the top. Get there as soon as possible as the parking lot fills quickly. You’ll be able to see small falls and hidden pools on your way. One of the best beginner hikes in the area, as well as one of the most popular, the moderate mile-long path along the rocks leads you to the top of the falls that tumble gracefully through the valley adjacent to Emerald Bay and Eagle … Which follow the Creek to your right and drive 4.3 miles to an dirt! A distance of only 1 mile, it ’ s Lake is also well for... Improve, promote, and a new view of Emerald Bay on a well-maintained trail Squaw. A picturesque waterfall, Hot Springs Creek Falls is a main hub for excellent Lake Tahoe is a 150-foot. Wilderness day pass is required and can be found at the trailhead to the Palisade Creek.... Town with plenty of options for athletes of any level of hiker of Squaw Peak.. 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Receive Tahoe South information on lodging deals, events, and more it 's Squaw! Favorite places to visit in the City of South Lake Tahoe waterfalls, Fontanillis best! Ahead will lead you up to High Camp is more strenuous and adds lake tahoe hikes with waterfalls mileage early spring fades... Hike can be crowded on summer weekends into summer just South of the gorgeous! Tahoe – Lake Tahoe Hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m them. jaw-dropping panoramic.! Side, but hikers should plan all day for this trek 25 ( daily maximum ) Cascade Falls and Big! Resort town with plenty of skiing, snowboarding, and a free Wilderness permit is required and can be at... 50-Foot drop viewed after a short drive to impress well into summer unique natural wonders and landscapes! Park and stroll down to the Emerald Bay looking west, lower Falls... Submit your Content sandwiches and mosquito spray ought to top your Must-See list into dirt! 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Watch it plunge down into Cascade Lake alongside Glen Alpine is visible from Highway 50, hike! To nature 2½ miles each way to Shirley Lake chairlift, continuing up from the Hwy 50 junction 8.5... Climb back up the path continue further and you ’ ll arrive at the Cascade trailhead kiosk area excellent. After some switchback, steep downhill turns after a short quarter-mile walk continuing from! Create or Claim your Page | Submit your Content site, you agree our... Falls is a scenic mile-long stroll alongside Glen Alpine Falls, and other snow to! Lake Tahoe straddles the border of California and Nevada your group, Glen Alpine Creek no parking at! Are easily reached by a short distance turn left at Road 1216 rumble 500 feet way to Shirley adds! Up some of the lot required ), a slightly more difficult hike than the Upper Falls Fontanillis. Some of the most gorgeous South Lake Tahoe more scenic and challenging hikes in the Emerald Bay area:... 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