Click here for a trail map and
Information: Granite Lake is a little Tahoe jewel tucked away
in the fold of the ridge leading up to Maggies Peaks. The trail
is steep making this an intermediate hike, although many beginners
could make it to the lake with some rest stops...and there are several
with beautiful views. For the more hardy, the trail continues steeply
up from Granite Lake to near Maggies Peaks. From the top of South
Maggies Peak the views of Tahoe, Cascade, Emerald Bay, and the Desolation
Wilderness are stunning.
To Start: Emerald Bay is located a few miles north of South
Lake Tahoe on Highway 89. The Bayview trail starts at the end of
the Bayview Campground opposite Inspiration Point which is the scenic
overlook located one mile before you get to Emerald Bay. A wooden
sign points right to Granite Lake and left to Cascade
Description: From the permit kiosk, look ahead to the sign that
says, "Granite Lake". The trail is wide and easy to follow
the entire way. The first 3/4 mile switch-backs up the side of a ridge
through pine and fir forest that was badly damaged by Bark Beetles during
the drought of the early 90's.
of the trees have subsequently been removed making this less than a
pristine area. The forest health continues to improve, however. The
trail passes a small creek that flows out of Granite Lake. Just after
this crossing, the trail levels out some and bends sharply back toward
the east. Large granite boulders at this turn provide seating for a
well deserved rest stop with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and Emerald
Bay. The trail continues to climb for another 1/2 - 3/4 mile to Granite
Lake. The total elevation gain for this part of the hike is about 880'.
a little R & R at the lake, and maybe some fishing too, you can
continue up the trail to Maggies Peaks. The trail again gets steep for
the next mile or so as you continue to switch-back towards the saddle
between the two peaks . At the saddle, you have climbed 500' above Granite
Lake and have another 450' to go to the summit of South Maggies.
at the saddle, continue just a few hundred feet then head left (south)
off the trail across a sparsely forested slope. Continue up-slope until
you reach the summit boulders.