The Emerald Bay area has something for everyone.
Here, we present two day hikes that are easily
accessible from Highway 89 where you can visit a group
of beautiful alpine lakes and bag a couple of peaks
with panoramic views out over Lake Tahoe.
The Route: From the
parking area, continue through the Bayview campground.
trailhead permit kiosk, one trail heads left to Cascade
Falls and one heads to the right to Granite Lake.
Follow the right hand trail for the first 0.5 miles as it
climbs steeply through trees up the ridge towards the
Desolation Wilderness boundary. After several
switchbacks along this stretch, the trail turns abruptly to
the right and emerges from the trees. Just a short
distance from here, you come upon a group of boulders that
are perched atop an overlook with tremendous views out over
Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe. Stop to admire the
panorama, then continue SW up the trail for another 0.7
miles until you reach Granite Lake.
an easy hike of less than 1,000 vertical feet to Granite
Lake. With good reason, many people don't go any
farther than the lake: it is a lovely spot, tucked
into a shady bowl beneath the twin summits of Maggies Peaks.
The only downside of Granite Lake is that there isn't much
of a view once you hike back in towards the lake.
However, if you want to get one of the finest views in
Tahoe, aim for the summit of South Maggies Peak, about
1,000' feet above you. To get there, continue up the
trail towards the saddle between the two Maggies Peaks.
Just over the saddle, head due south off-trail, climbing
upwards until you reach the summit. At the top,
enjoy one of the finest views in the entire Tahoe region.
climb up to North Maggies Peak from the saddle is
recommended only for those who are comfortable on Class 3
terrain and have a desire to bag both peaks. The views
are similar to those from South Maggies, except that North
Maggies does offer a nice view over Eagle Falls Canyon that
isn't visible from the other summit.
Hike #2 -- Eagle, Velma & Fontanillis Lakes: