Information: The Eagle Falls / Eagle Lake hike is one of the
most popular South/West Shore hikes. The quarter mile hike to
the falls is easily within the ability of virtually all visitors,
although for just a bit more effort, the hiker to Eagle Lake is
well rewarded with stunning views of the Tahoe backcountry. The
down-side to this popularity is the steady stream of people who
crowd the trails during the summer, especially on weekends. Do
yourself and everyone else a favor, do NOT visit this area on
a summer weekend!
To Start: Emerald Bay is located a few miles north of South
Lake Tahoe on Highway 89. The Eagle Falls trail starts at the
Click Here to see a trail
map and profile.
the Eagle Falls parking area ($3.00 fee required). Being cheap...I
mean frugal, we prefer to park outside the parking lot on Highway
89 and walk to the trail head. Of course, on a summer weekend,
this might add an additional mile or so to the hike!
Description: Technically, in order to hike past the falls (1/4 mile)
you need to fill out the wilderness permit at the trailhead. In reality,
few people bother here unless they are heading further than Eagle Falls.
The Trail starts off climbing genlty, but quickly comes to a stone staircase
that always make us feel like we're heading up to someone's front door.
The stairs are short lived however, ending just before the bridge over
Eagel Falls where one gets a nice view back towards Emerald Bay. After
the falls, the trail continues to climb steadily for another 3/4 mile
to Eagle Lake. All in all, the hike involves 420 feet of climbing, challenging
but well within reach of most 4 or 5 year olds. At the end of the trail,
the peaceful, glacially formed Eagle Lake rewards all who endure.